Written by Kim Wilson
The first thing we think of when we think of Valentine’s Day is Love.
"Love is patient, love is kind … " I Corinthians 13:4-8
However, there is a kind of love, tough love, that is necessary in parenting. Tough love, controlled by a loving heart.
We all need tough love every now and then. As parents, our tough love is often delivered through consequences. But what do we do when our kids are too big for the naughty corner or when they are not with us all the time? How do we ensure that they will choose to do the righteous thing?
God gives us tough love when we need it. He also has consequences for wrong choices or ungodly living.
"For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He punishes every son who He accepts.” Hebrews 12:6
Since we can’t always be around to externally motivate our children to do the right thing, we have to rely on internal motivation. How do we foster good internal motivation for our kids?
- Parental prayer. Basically, divine intervention empowered by the Holy Spirit. Praying for our children daily and continuously.
- Our example of daily living. Trying our best to live out God’s Word, even when we fail.
- Our long-term investment into our relationships with our children.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it." Proverbs 22:6
Love isn’t always lovely in appearance. Parenting is tough. And tough love is an important part of parenting. As we celebrate this Valentine’s Day, I want to reflect on my present relationship with my sons. I intend to be in prayer as to where I need correction as a mother. Where I need to be a little more love-ly and where I need to be a little tougher to guide our sons in the way they should go.
"Your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left." Isaiah 30:21