When it comes to being a good parent, there is no greater example for us to learn from than God the Heavenly Father. How did God love us?
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Romans 5:8 (NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and nothing we have done that makes Him love us less. Because God loves us unconditionally, we must also communicate to our children from a young age that our love for them is unconditional. During the formative years of their lives, this love needs to be grounded in their lives, because an insecure child will grow up seeking attention because of the rejection received when they were young. They will change their attitudes, behaviour and rebel just to get their parents’ attention. All these actions are a cry from their hearts, “Can you give me some attention?”
Second, we need to separate the wrong that our children have done from the love that we have for them. We need to let them know that if they did something wrong, we still loved them, but because what they did was wrong, we would have to discipline them.
Third, we need to show forth our love for them through our actions and our words. We ought to ask ourselves, “Is there anything more important than your children and family?”, or “Am I willing to turn down a golf buddy’s invitation in order to watch my children perform at a concert?” Just as God the Father affirmed the Son by saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, parents also need to give words of affirmation to their children, be that positive voice and give their children their ears.
Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV) When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Lastly, always be ready to forgive and forget, like our Heavenly Father towards us, and be there for them as God is always with us.
Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Sermon Series: The Love of the Father (The Compassionate Father and the Two Lost Sons