“Love the Lord your God with all your heart.” Mark 12:30
I (JCD) will never forget the day I took my daughter, Danae, then four, for a bicycle ride. Neither of us realized at the time that I had positioned her new passenger seat too close to the front wheel. We were flying down the road when Danae thrust her foot into the spokes. In a terrifying instant, both of us were thrown to the pavement; Danae’s tooth was knocked loose and her foot bloodied.
Kneeling over my wounded child after that accident was one of the most painful experiences of my life. Danae remembers it vividly as well. She later wrote, “My father gathered me in his arms and ran to the house. He cried as he ran, saying over and over, ‘Babe, I’m so sorry I hurt you!’ The tenderness of my father on that distressing afternoon has come to symbolize his love for me through the years.” Apparently, in the agony of those moments, Danae realized—perhaps for the first time—just how precious she is to me and how deeply I care about her. It was one of her first pictures of how much God loves her, too.
Are your children learning about the love of God through your love for them? Are they learning to talk about the Lord, to include Him in their thoughts and plans, to turn to Jesus when they are anxious or lonely? The best way to encourage intimacy between your kids and the Lord is to demonstrate His love in their lives each day.
Father, we understand that the best way to teach our children to love You and serve You is to love and serve You ourselves. Forgive us for the times we’ve hurt our kids, and show us the path that will bring us closer to You. Amen.