God entrusts the development of children into the hands of their parents. Proverbs 22:6 exhorts us to “train up our children.” Both the Old and New Testament charge children with the responsibility of obeying and submitting to their parents. Upon entering the Promised Land, God instructed His people (and us) to be sure to take charge of the development of our children spiritually. Speaking of Exodus and Leviticus with a special focus on the 10 commandments, God charges parents, and says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

We are also charged with developing our children emotionally. It’s often easy for us to dismiss our emotional lives as something inconsequential. The truth is, and God acknowledges it, our emotions are the very seat of our security with Him and with our families. Emotions become solid and stable only under the best of loving conditions. We all must be loved and we all must feel love. It was important for God to communicate His love for us. The famous verse, John 3:16, informs us of the depths of God’s love: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten son, so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” Isn’t it obvious that God wants us to know how much he loves us? Why would he tell us this so often. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s unmistakable that God wants us to know He loves us. We must pass that along to our children. But notice that expressing love, God’s kind of love, requires sacrificial commitment. “God demonstrates His own love for us…”

Love is the most stabilizing force in the world. It grips us in a way nothing else can, and impacts us, changes us, directs us, moves us, and motivates us. Everyone needs it, but no one more than our children if they are to become solid, stable, and secure in an uncertain world. One writer observed, “Several years ago when I was visiting my mother, an elderly widow living alone in her house in the mountains, I noticed that an old cat had showed up on the back doorstep. It was a wild cat, and to my surprise she was putting food out for it. Now, my mother was never much for having a pet. But I noticed that when she sat down on the back porch, the old cat came up and rubbed against her leg and she reached down and petted it. She looked up at me and simply said, ‘Every living thing in this world needs to be loved.’ I’ve never forgotten that. We need all kinds of love connections in our lives. Babies need love. Children need love. Teenagers need love. Adults need love. The elderly need love.” Being Christ like with our families is to tell them that we love them and to show them by our actions. This will help develop our children into solid, healthy, wholesome citizens.