A Mother’s Unconditional Love
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
– Proverbs 22:6
Nothing a parent can do for their child is more important than than showing them the same unconditional love that the Father shows us. By opening their hearts to receive your love you open their hearts to receive His love. Parents, hug your kids and tell them you love them. Tell them Jesus Loves them!
A Legacy of Love
As I entered womanhood, Mom sat me down and told me that no matter what happened and no matter what I did, I could always come home. Because of what those words meant to me, I said the same thing to my sons.
My childhood was filled with affection-lots of kisses, lots of hugs, lots of spoken I love yous. I never wanted for physical affection, and because of what that affection meant to me, I gave the same thing to my sons.
I grew up in a home where love was openly talked about and warmly expressed. I can still picture myself in my attic bedroom, sitting on my bed and fuming at my parents. They had been mean to me and were totally unreasonable-at least that was my evaluation of the situation. They hadn’t understood that I was a teenager and should be allowed certain freedoms. With eyes closed, lips taut and hot tears streaming down my face, I leaned back against the wall and planned how I would get even with them for hurting me. What would be the worst thing I could do to punish them and show how much they had hurt me? It didn’t take long to figure it out-I would never kiss them again. That would do it! They’d see then!
That’s how important physical expressions of love were in my home. And those physical expressions of love were indicative of the singularly greatest thing I appreciate about my mother. She loved me unconditionally while expecting me to live according to her rules, not mine. From her example, I also learned not to focus on myself or wallow in pity parties.
Both my parents came from broken homes and had difficult childhoods; yet they never dwelt on how dysfunctional their families were. They were both survivors, but not survivors at someone else’s expense. In my mother, I saw love’s ability to forgive.
I saw my sweet Mom love my real grandfather, even though he had abandoned her and my grandma and failed to provide for their needs. I never saw Mother treat Grandpa Miller any way but lovingly, even though he was far from lovable. I learned how love behaves and forgives because I saw what a woman can do and be if she wants to-if she is not willing to let her past determine her future.
I watched my mother take care of my hundred-year-old grandmother who, in her blindness, deafness and feebleness, needed almost total care. When I was in her home, I heard what I’ve heard all my life: “I love you, Mother.” They would tell each other this a minimum of five times a day-when Mom would get Grandma up, tuck her in or prepare her meals. And I would hear love’s response as Grandma said, “And I love you, too, Leah.”
Love forgives and moves on, focusing not on what might have been, what could have been or what we wish were different. Instead, love’s focus is on what needs to be done now and on doing it the best we can.
My mother taught me to love; she taught me to press on, forgetting what is behind, and she demonstrated forgiveness. I wonder if she knew then that she was demonstrating principles of life that my heavenly Father would teach me in His Word.
The transition from my parents’ arms to God’s arms was easier because of what Mother did. No matter the hurts, the pain, the skinned knees-I now know enough to get up, go to my Heavenly Father and listen as He says, “Press on. Don’t faint. Run with endurance the race that is set before you. I love you with an everlasting love.”
Make sure the three words, “I love you,” are always a part of your conversation. Sharing your legacy of love-unconditional love-will bless families for generations.
Our heavenly Father, help us to love as You love. Helps us to forgive and move forward no matter what hurts or disappointments we may have experienced in the past. We praise you for a legacy of love that will bless our children and grandchildren and future generations into eternity.
– Kay Arthur