And Cultivate Love Update #1
My son has to be one of the most generous kids around!
This year he bought Valentine candy grams for every child in his class, with his own money.
It was something he really wanted to do. I didn’t dissuade him, even though it was expensive. (I know his primary love language is gifts, and it blesses him to give to others.)
The heartbreaking thing is:
He did not receive a single candy gram in return.
Quietly hurt, he took it very philosophically.
‘The system does not work,’ he said. ‘The popular children get the most candy grams and feel even more loved. The children who really need to feel loved, get nothing.’
It’s tough, isn’t it? And sad.
And it’s one of the reasons why your child REALLY needs to know your love:
#1: Your child needs to know YOUR love because the world may not always love them.
Life’s hard knocks will come. How important then, that your child knows your love. Unconditionally.
I remember my previous pastor saying that he always tried to speak a positive word or encouragement to his children before they left for school, because once they were out the door, he had no control over the negative words they would encounter.
What a great challenge to show love to our kids each morning before the world gets its hands on them. (Maybe a challenge in every sense of the word for some of us. It’s all too easy to get stressed and irate in the early morning rush of getting everybody up and out. I know.)
#2: Your child needs to know YOUR love because YOU know how to love your child best.
Believe it or not, you are the best mum (or dad) your child could ever have! You know them better than anyone else. With time and intention, you can learn to love them as they best need to be loved! Each child is different, and who better to know that than their parent.
#3: Your child needs to know YOUR love because YOUR love leads them to a GREATER love.
Yes, it’s true. God uses you to show His love to your child!
Each time you hug your son, your Father God hugs him too. Each time you wipe your daughter’s tears, your Heavenly Dad wipes them too. Each time you reach out to your child in love, God is able to show His love through you.
Pause, and think on that. (Selah, as the Psalms say!)
It doesn’t matter if you feel like a good mum or not (remember, you’re the best mum your child can have), or mess up (we all do), God still shines his love through you, through every little thing you do for your child each day.
I remember one of my brothers as a teen. He spent several years away from God, and isolated himself from family. My mum determined to still hug him every morning before he left for school (these before-school-times are important, aren’t they?), even though he showed no appreciation or response.
Time passed, and my brother came passionately back to God and family.
I truly believe my mums’ steadfast love (and prayers) opened the way for my brother to receive God’s love again. Even though my brother had pulled away from God, my mum’s hugs allowed him to receive a hug from God each day!
So, there we are. Three fantastic reasons to love our kids.
Now, I know you do love your kids. I love mine too, lots.
But I still want to learn how to love them with intention, and how to love each one in the way that means the most to them.
And, so, that’s why I’m beginning The Cultivate Love Challenge this month.
This is a challenge to be intentional in loving my kids (and my husband), and a challenge to help my family discover how to love each other best.
(If The Cultivate Love Challenge is new to you, you can find out more about it here.)
I promised to share with you, each month, how it is going, so here’s
The Cultivate Love Challenge Update #1
It’s nearly the end of February. I’ve just got out my printed copy of The Cultivate Love Challenge. I haven’t looked at it since I wrote it, several weeks ago.
So well done, if you’ve started putting any of the Cultivate Love ideas into action already. You’re doing better than me!
If like me, your great intentions are still waiting to happen, then let’s start together! You may even be reading this months from now. That’s OK. You too can start right now! Go search your email for The Cultivate Love Challenge, and download it!
(If you’re new to The Cultivate Love Challenge, you can find out more and sign up here. It’ll be great to have you with us. It’s free!)
So, what ideas will I be using from The Cultivate Love Challenge this coming month?
I’ve chosen three:
(You don’t have to choose that many. My kids are older now; I have more time.)
Cultivate Love Idea #1
I’m going to read *The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman.
As I read, I’ll use Cultivate Love Resource #1 to write down ideas on loving my teens. I’m not planning on putting these ideas into action yet….that will be for next month. So just reading, and jotting down some great ideas!
(If you have kids younger than teens, then check out the book *The 5 Love Languages of Children.)
Cultivate Love Idea #7
I want to do The Cultivate Love Bible Study with my family. I think it will be a great way to get us thinking about love, as we look at 1 Corinthians 13 together.
Now it’s been a long time since we did a family Bible study. In fact, I don’t remember when!
The study is only 3 sessions long, so we’ll plan some dinner times together to make it happen. We do eat together everyday, but there’s often one child out somewhere, or someone in the middle of an online game that ‘can’t be left’. (Being really honest here. I’m sure I can’t be the only mum who struggles with online games and meal times!)
Cultivate Love Idea #24
I’m going to pray for my husband.
Now, I do pray for my husband. But it’s rather haphazard. So this next month, I want to commit to pray for him everyday.
To help me remember, I’ll do it at the same time each morning, just after he goes out the door. (If I forget, then I pray God reminds me before the end of the day. But, hey, there’s grace too!)
We have some big changes coming up. In four months time we’re moving home and country, from Turkey to England! We need to fit our current home into 6 suitcases (I’m sure we’ll end up paying for some more), finish well here, make decisions on a new home in England, finds jobs and schools.
I think my husband could do with a little extra prayer!
This is a great book, with 30 different areas of prayer for your husband, with testimonies and encouragements on how and what to pray.
So, those are my three ideas for the next month!
I’ve jotted them down on the Cultivate Love Monthly Planner, and made a note of what resources I need. Now to begin!
(I gave up with the Cultivate Love Yearly Planner – I can’t think that far ahead! But it’s there for you to use, if you do like to plan ahead.)
I would absolutely love to hear what idea/s you’re using, or planning to use, as you start The Cultivate Love Challenge.
Feel free to use the same ideas as me, or look through The Cultivate Love Challenge and choose your own.
Leave a comment below with what ideas you plan to use, how it’s going so far, or any struggles you face in getting going.
Let’s encourage each other, and pray for each other.
(And, if you haven’t already, click here to get ‘The Cultivate Love Challenge’!)
All the best!
PS. I’ll report back next month on how it all went!
50+ Ideas & Resources to Help Your Family Grow in Love