As moms, we long to connect with our children. A hug. A smile. A laugh. It’s funny how moms continually push the memory recall button––I remember your first step. Remember the vacation when you… It seems like yesterday when… Do you know what I mean? In my opinion, if doctors could x-ray a mother’s soul, they would find it full of sweet memories and unconditional love for her children.
When God opens a window to our children’s souls, we experience inexpressible joy. Just a glimpse beyond the physical, a quick view of their spiritual growth, spurs us forward. I must share the following story with you…
When Carly Jo, the youngest of our four children, was a senior in high school, she read her English essay to me. The love and wisdom poured out on an 8 x 10 piece of paper overwhelmed me. May the Lord bless you through Carly Jo’s heart of love…
“Love, it’s more than just a word or statement. Love comforts the lonely. Love feeds the hungry. Love saves a life. A child without love is like a heart without blood. How can children know how to love, if they’ve never been shown love themselves? Parents are the vessels used to show real love to their children.
Typically, a child’s first words are “mama” or “dada.” Oh, what pride a parent experiences when they hear these words. Parents make the difference in a child’s life. Involved parents are dedicated to teaching their children wisdom as they grow in life. They are there for them when they scrape their knees, for soccer games, piano recitals, and theater performances. They help their child realize she is a priority and special. Parents teach their children how to make wise choices early in life.
A parent’s love helps nurture the child’s life. But, ultimate love comes from the Father above when He gave His son Jesus to die for us and redeem us. He has such unconditional love; our human minds can’t fathom how deep and how wide His love is for us. He will never leave nor forsake you. You may leave Him, but He will always be waiting for you with open arms. Allow God’s love to shine through you as parents. The ultimate gift is God’s love.” – By Carly Jo McDougal
Tenderness enveloped my heart and soul. This essay reminded me of God’s love for His children. Our Father God expresses His love to us through His Word, almost as if He writes love letters on the tablets of our hearts. The Bible is filled with encouragement, affirmation, and confirmation of His love for us. In fact, the book of John opens the door to understanding God’s ultimate love gift–Jesus.
Again, praises flow. In her teenage heart, Carly Jo recognized God as the ultimate giver of true love. His truths abound throughout her essay.
Fast-forward a few years. Fred and I have moved into what the world calls, The Empty Nest. But, I choose to call it, The Place of Rest. Even now, questions arise… Did we equip her for the real world? Will she keep Jesus the center of her life, even in college? Again, God hears my cry, Lord, help all my children to enter the real world armed with Jesus’ love, wisdom, and truth. To love Him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
God gives us, as parents and grandparents, the privilege to pray for our children and grandchildren. Our priority should be to pray for them to have a real, personal relationship with Jesus. To help them grasp the role of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity. All in one, yet individual. All the same, yet with different roles. Pray for our families to desire to live sold out for Him. In return, through prayer, our labors of love strengthen our own faith and trust in Jesus.
Do you long to see inside your children’s hearts? Ask God to open a window to their souls. Watch for ways He offers you a behind the scenes view into their lives. Be their prayer warrior throughout the day. As you clean up their messes, wash their clothes, or sit in carpool lines––pray for their relationships with Jesus. This labor of love strengthens your own walk with the Lord. And don’t forget to praise God, not your children, for their spiritual growth. Let them always hear and observe you giving God the glory for all He is doing in and through their lives.
Does not wisdom cry out? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: “To you, O men I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.” –Proverbs 8:1-7
Excerpt from SOLD OUT: Live for Jesus, by Carla McDougal
From My Heart to Yours,