When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt, I called my son. But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals, and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them, I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:1-4
“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” – Ann Voskamp
- Good Morning my friend! Jesus is so excited to meet you where you are at today. Pray and ask Him to speak truth to your heart as you study His Word which is His great love letter to you!
- Grab your Bible, find a quiet, peaceful corner, and read Hosea 11:1-4. Write verse 4 in your journal.
Drawing Our Children Close
Oh, sweet mamas, this journey of raising our little ones can be so exhausting and confusing at times. We sift through parenting articles, books, and the opinions of others looking for answers to our feelings of inadequacy. We want so desperately to do it “right.” I have searched high and low for godly examples to follow as I learn how to be a mama to my two boys. However, I have found the best illustration of a loving parent in the Lord! In His word, God continually shows us how he parents his precious ones through many different seasons of life.
In Hosea 11:4, regarding his chosen people Israel, the Lord declares, “I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.” All we have to do is glance through the first few books of the Bible to see that Israel was the absolute definition of a difficult child. Yet, how did our Father respond to them? He gently and lovingly drew His children close to Himself.
He lifted them up during hardships, shouldering a portion of their burdens. He met them where they were and continued to pour into their hardened hearts. Life is not without natural consequences, however. Even though Israel had to feel the weight of the consequences it brought upon itself, God never turned a cold shoulder to His child. He never removed the expression of His tenderness. His heart broke for his errant child. He continued to sacrificially extend his love toward them.
It is so easy to push away our little ones who are walking through difficult seasons. It takes a great deal of strength to pull our challenging children close to us, to lavish them with extravagant love, to pour into their hurting spirits. At times, these responses seem impossible, especially when all we want to do is close our own heart to the hurt and frustration we feel they are causing.
How do we live this kind of love with our children? In Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul writes, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” The Holy Spirit makes real the living presence of Jesus Christ in the heart of the believer! Christ desires to love our children through us. The only way we can love the unlovely in our children is by abiding in Christ. He will put to death our selfishness, pride, and anger as mamas and replace it with kindness, patience, gentleness and longsuffering.
The most beautiful thing of all is this: if He is capable of making those changes in my heart, He is more than able to produce those same qualities in the hearts of my children!
In 1 John 4:19 we are told that “We love because He first loved us.” The discipleship of our children is to be an outpouring of Christ’s original love. We are responsible for drawing our children close to our hearts and pointing them to the One whose love provides heart-healing. Let us do the work of submitting ourselves to Christ, loving our children as He has loved us, and let Christ do the rest. He is in the business of heart work!
Questions to ponder
- Pray and ask God to show you areas in which you and your children need His healing.
- Think of how you can best draw each of your children close and uniquely show them love. Write your ideas down in your journal.
Faith Filled Idea
Sometimes it is difficult to find ways to minister to your child during challenging moments. Finding their love language will help you to brainstorm effective ideas to connect with them and tie their heartstrings to yours. There are great books and online resources to assist you in discovering how your child best receives love. Begin with the following website to complete a love language profile for your child:
After you have identified the ways in which your child best feels loved, make a list of practical ideas that will communicate love to your little one. You can refer to the list on those tough days, when you need to love your child but are too emotionally exhausted to figure out how. For example, my oldest son’s top two love languages are quality time and physical touch. Here are some of the ideas I jotted down: snuggle on the couch and read to him, scratch his back and talk about whatever is on his mind, and play a hands-on, physical game like tag.
Join the Community!
Share some of your ideas for speaking your child’s love language. It’s great to learn from others![/box]
Together, we can learn who He is and who we are in Him, and together, we can take this one little life He has given us and pour out His love in a way that changes hearts, especially our own!