What does the Bible teach us about loving our kids?
1. Find joy in children
We learn in Psalms 113:9 (KJV) that God blesses women to be “joyful mother(s) of children.” Psalms 127:3 celebrates children as “an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Verse five says, “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them …”
Even when they try our patience and behave like little monsters, don’t we sometimes hide a smile at our kids’ antics? Kids are generally really funny. Even in the messes, tantrums, sleepless nights and friend drama, can you imagine life without your children?
We’re here on Earth to experience joy, and our kids truly bring us joy.
2. Treat children with tenderness
Jesus was a fierce defender of children. He warned his disciples, “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
Jesus enjoyed the company of children and invited them to approach him. When his disciples rebuked him for engaging with children, he said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
There is no account of Jesus ever berating or belittling young children. Instead he warned to “take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones.” (Matthew 18:10 KJV) I’m sure that even in ancient times, kids were kids. We can all learn from Jesus’s kindness and patience with children.
3. Teach our kids correct principles and obedience
The time and instruction we give our kids is so much more valuable than any materialistic item — a nice house, clothes, toys, electronics or cars — we can give them. Jesus taught us to give “good gifts” to our little ones. (Matthew 7:11) Don’t good gifts include our time and teachings?
Isaiah 54:13 instructs, “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Who better to teach children than their parents? Offer them the good gifts of knowledge of the commandments, manners, how to pray, serve, read and work.
What parent wouldn’t want to create a large banner for their home that states, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1) The commandment to “honor thy father and mother” is another teaching we can emphasize to our children.
As we enjoy the fruits of our labors, we’ll be able to rejoice, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 1:4)