My niece’s BFF got married not too long ago and it was such an exciting event with my niece as the Chief Bridesmaid. This was her best friend from age 6, so we knew her for like forever. Today, she is separated from her husband, she is just 26yrs old. My other sister’s friend’s son and his wife separated just after the honeymoon last year. You have to ask yourself, what is going on? What happened? How did it go downhill so fast?
I strongly believe that the root of the issue is what our children have been taught by the world about love.
So here are some things I think we need to quickly debunk about love while our kids are still young:
1. The person you love must be handsome, have 6 packs, rich, intelligent, romantic, popular (and the list continues)
When I watch cartoons with my children, the popular kid that everyone likes is “perfect” and the nerd needs to change appearance to be liked and loved. The “celebrities” are beautiful, slim and COOL. My 8yrs old wants to have 6 packs and doesn’t want to be fat because he wants to be cool and loved by his friends. How do we get our children to look inward and get past physical appearance? We need to start to lay more emphasis and importance on character than physical things – looks, wealth, success, etc.
2. Love only those who love you or give you what you want
The best teacher for the child remains the parent and children don’t learn by what you say but what you do. So be the best model of love and most likely your child too will model this. Visit elderly people/relatives, volunteer and give to charity, you need to teach your child about helping other people that can give you nothing in return. It is also important they know that when someone gives you everything you want it doesn’t necessarily mean they love you. God disciples those He loves – so saying No and disciplining you are part of showing love.
3. Love only when the going is good
For better and for richer only. You love someone who is beautiful, rich, successful and has a great job. One day, all that changes, the beautiful lady is involved in an accident that disfigures her. Or she grows fat from having children and we no longer love her because she is not the person we married physically. Life is full of ups and downs and no one can predict how it will go. Just like parents who are with a child through thick and thin and no matter what, that is how love should be. If a child is on drugs or decides to be gay, most parents become disappointed but their love for that child doesn’t go away.
4. Love never says any or doesn’t argue
A relationship based on one person being “superior” is a dangerous one. While we all have different strengths and we should complement one another and know that everyone has something to contribute. And love recognizes this. So Love doesn’t mean not having a say, not arguing or having a conflict of opinion. Love doesn’t force itself on others (1Cor 13:4-8 MSG) – which means it is ok for the person to say No and disagree.
5. Love is when your heart is racing and you have “chemistry”
Love should be seen not as a feeling. Love is a choice, a feeling that expresses itself in action. Sometimes there are gush feelings when the person does something nice and sometimes there is nothing. When love is seen as a feeling, then the truth becomes hidden – someone who loves you shouldn’t beat you black and blue. Truth be told, you love by your actions not in words alone. I like a quote by C.S Lewis “Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him”.
6. Love is Prince Charming or Someone Who is Your Hero
Growing up you either wanted to find or be someone’s Prince Charming., Hero, Knight in shining armor. So everyone girl wanted someone who takes over and rescue you. And there is nothing bad in that. However, we all have a purpose, the greatest love strives to make you not DEPENDENT but independent to grow and blossom to be the BEST YOU. This might mean cutting off the parent support strings, letting go control to let you go out on your own, discover your strength. Love means going from a support/scaffold for a while to a Coach to a fan that cheers from the sidelines.
Love can be messy and complicated and painful. Real love cares more for others than for self, isn’t always “me first, doesn’t force itself on others and always looks for the best in people (1 Cor 13:4-8 MSG).
What better time to teach about Love than on the popular Valentine season Let the children learn more about Love this valentine with 9ijakids LOVE GAME based on 1 Corinthians 13. Take action, don’t let the world teach your child about LOVE.
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