Having 4 children, the oldest being 7 and the younger three all under the age of 3, I am constantly working on teaching my children how to be more loving. Here is just a list off the top of my head of things I work on my children daily:
- saying please and thank you without being asked
- not having a selfish, me-first attitude
- not interrupting people when they are talking
- sharing joyfully
- not bragging
- not tattling
- helping each other without being told
- obedience to our rules and orders
- self control and not giving in to temper tantrums (our 2 middle boys).
Now there are books all over the place on each one of these issues, but none of those get to the heart of the matter. In the end, all of these are the effects of not having a naturally loving heart. No, I don’t think its just my kids. No I don’t think this makes my kids and other kids any more “bad” then the next. I think it is natural to be selfish and unloving for the most part. I certainly think every kid has issues with it to some degree, (some more than others of course). But the truth is, truly having a loving heart is something that has to be nurtured and cultivated. And in my opinion, without the help of God’s spirit, it is impossible for mankind to be perfect at it. Even with the help of God, for many it takes a concious effort. I work on this with my children daily. And God is working on me in many of my adult versions of “temper tantrums” etc. And as I cultivate in my children a love and reverence for God as well, I can trust that God will work on them as well. And ideally, when they become adults, and no longer have my husband or myself to be consistently there to teach them, they will be just fine on their own with God as their teacher because their love for God will be authentic and real.
This is why I wrote the children’s book, How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents. It touches on the heart of what most of our children’s issues stem from (and lets face it, even ourselves for that matter). It goes through the famous letter to the Corinthians:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable, and does not count up wrongdoing. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (English Standard Version, I Cor 13:4-7)
Through out the book, I give examples that are applicable to kids in how they can be loving or unloving in their actions. Most of the images are appropriate for children ages 2-8. Although the written content is appropriate for children of all ages. Here is a chart I offer as well to help kids check themselves if they are behaving with a loving heart or not. This is good for us parents too!
||Unkind Or Mean
|Not Jealous/Happy for Others
|Boastful of God and Encouraging to others
||Boastful Of Self
|Polite And Respectful
|Lets Others Have Their Way
||Insists Its Own Way
||Keeps Record Of Wrongs
|Rejoices In The Truth
||Rejoices in Wrongdoing
|Bears, Believes, and Hopes all Things
||Does Not Bear, Believe, Hope
|Endures all Things
||Gives up When It’s Hard
So I encourage you to go to Amazon and check out the book!
How To Love Like Jesus: A Guide For Children And Their Parents
There is no other book like it available on the market. It is a non-fiction, life-application book for kids on how to love like Jesus. Right now it is available for Kindle only at Amazon for a special introductory offer of $2.99.The print book will be available soon for readers. I know my kids enjoy paper books best. This Kindle version is great for Kindle readers or for those who would like to test the book out before buying it. Don’t have a Kindle? Don’t worry, you can download the free Kindle Reader app for your smartphone, PC, or tablet. 🙂