A favorite verse of my mother when I was a little girl was, “If God is for you, who can be against you?” (Romans 8:31, emphasis added).
To be for someone means that you are their advocate, you will support them, believe in their dreams, want the best for them. There are endless ways to show love and to provide a foundational championing of our children.
The essence of this kind of love is actually a comprehensive understanding of all the areas of love: “I am for you.” “I am your advocate.” “I will believe forward into the good things I can imagine for your life.” “You can count on me.” “I will choose to believe the best about you and help you grow and find support your whole life.”
Being “for” someone does not mean that they always exhibit the kind of behavior or character we deem admirable. But it is looking at our children with unconditional love and cultivating eyes that see the possibilities in the midst of the “terrible twos” of toddlers or hormonal teen years.
Now that my children are all full-fledged adults with their own life demands, I find I still play the role of encourager, being for them in a world that challenges their faith, morality, and ideals. We become the voice of God’s spirit as we encourage them and help them to continue to find that embracing ideals is worth the cost. We are companions of the grace of God.
As we evaluate how to love our children and students well, we must ask ourselves, “Do they believe and feel I have their best interest in mind or do they think I have my own agenda for them?” “Do they understand that even though they struggle, I am here to help them succeed?” “Is their heart open to my instruction or is there a wedge of resistance that I need to figure out and address?”
In the end, laying down our lives to love those we seek to influence will open the pathways of their hearts and minds to growth, development, and mental and spiritual strength. The most intelligent instructor in the world becomes a noisy gong or clanging symbol to the mind of a child, if there is not love present in the relationship. But the ones who purposefully and intentionally lay down their lives to do the hard work of loving and winning hearts will find a pathway to influencing their children for a lifetime.
Excerpted from Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child’s Heart to the Wonder of
For years, parents worldwide have asked beloved author Sally Clarkson how she and her husband have ignited a love for learning and a deep faith in their children. They want to know how the Clarksons launched their children to live such vibrant, flourishing lives as adults.
Awaking Wonder is Sally’s answer to those questions. This book is thirty-six years in the making and provides a deep dive into Sally’s most profound legacy: nurturing and guiding her four children into a wonder-filled life.
Awaking Wonder will inspire you, delight you, provide laughter, and bring tears through the heartfelt stories of four lively children and the wondrous life they grew up in together.