One of our goal’s this year (and every year) is to grow closer to each of our kids individually. It always seems like the most stressful times in our marriage revolve around issues with our kids. But the reverse is also true – when we’re hitting on all cylinders with the kids it really sets us up for harmony in the home.
A few months ago I was in a dinner meeting with leadership guru John Maxwell and I asked him what advice he had for parents leading their kids. He took me to Matthew 3:17 and explained three points that all parents need to learn from how God parented His Son.
Jesus had just been baptized, officially launching His public ministry to the world. As soon as He came up out of the water His Father said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
With this phrase God gives all parents three things we should communicate to our kids:
1) You are mine. One of our core human needs is acceptance, to feel as though we belong. Letting them know “you’re my boy” or “you’re my girl” sets a firm foundation for them to know and grow in their identities.
2) You are loved. Our kids need to know that our love is unconditional. No matter what they do we will always love them, period. Nothing they can ever do will change that.
3) I am pleased with you. Our kids need to know we like them. Love is one thing, like is another. Tori and I can physically see how much it impacts our kids when we tell them things like, “If we were your age, we’d totally want to hang out with you.” It touches their soul when they feel as though we think they’re cool.
God is such a good example!