Welcome back to Thoughtful Thursday. We are working through “Power of a Praying Parent” . If you are just joining us stop by here to get started: Introduction
Chapter 4: Love and Acceptance
Love and acceptance. The desire for love and acceptance is universal. As adults we want to be loved by our spouse and children and generally accepted by our employer, friends and neighbors. We say and do based on our desire for unconditional love and acceptance.
While we strive to love our spouse, children and those around us unconditionally there was only one that did it perfectly.
Biblical Basis for Love and Acceptance
1 John 4: 7-21
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
That is the biblical basis for love and acceptance! God is the lover (vs. 7) and we are the loved (vs. 10) for whom he gave everything. As we walk with him he gives us this love unconditionally (vs. 13-16) and only asks that we do the same in return (vs. 11, 21).
We need to understand as parents what love is, where it comes from and what it means to be loving before we can show a deep seeded love and acceptance to our children.
Remember that only God loved perfectly and gave us the living example of that through Christ. We will not love and accept perfectly every time but God is also gracious! On page 47 this week our author says “…And don’t listen to the devil weighing you down with guilt about past failures. These are lies from the pit of hell and part of Satan’s plan for your child’s life. If you are tormented by guilt or feelings of failure in this area, confess your thoughts to God, pray about it, put it n God’s hands and then stand up and proclaim the truth.”
Love, Acceptance and Children
In the book on page 48 Ms. Omartian makes a very clear point of asking: what constitutes love and acceptance for our kids? She lists the following:
- Eye contact
- Physical Touch
- Loving Acts
(Gary Chapman of 5 Love Languages fame restated this as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.)
Based on this list fill in the blanks: My child ___(NAME)____ feels loved and accepted when (Specific Way/Time/Event).
Stop right now and pray that God would provide an opportunity this week to interact with your child(ren) in this way!
Love and Acceptance: Extra Credit
You can stop with the exercise above but if you want to dig deeper here are some ideas:
Pray: Pinpoint one situation for your child(ren) and pray that God will show them love and acceptance this week for that particular thing. Are there specific or isolated situations in your child’s life when he/she feels rejected? Do you think this is a real concern, or has your child believed something that has no basis in the truth? How could you pray specifically about that?
Proclaim God’s Truth: Pick a verse about God’s love from the Study or elsewhere in the Bible and pray it over your child(ren) every day this week.
Practice: Commit to take the opportunity God puts in place for you to show love and acceptance to your child(ren) one time this week.
Participation: When your time and energy are running low ASK for participation from others! Reach out to a friend or family member and ask them to participate in showing your child(ren) love and acceptance this week!