by Rick Warren
“Let us love one another, for love comes from God.” (1 John 4:7 NIV)
If you want to know how to be a good parent and build a strong family, you don’t have to look on the Internet or go to a bookstore. Look no further than the greatest book ever written on parenting — God’s Word, the Bible.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:7, “Let us love one another, for love comes from God” (NIV).
More than anything else, kids need unbelievable and unconditional love. There needs to be a place where they’re accepted — warts and all.
What is compassion? Compassion is a combination of love and understanding. Compassion is where you know everything about someone, and you still like that person.
Love is not natural. You have to learn to love. You learn it by practicing. What better place to practice than with the people you’re forced to live with all your life? If you can learn to love your family, you can love anybody. Why? Because it’s easy to love people at a distance, but when you’re with them all the time, you don’t always get along. When you practice love in the family, you’re learning to really love.
A lot of times we love our kids, but we don’t express it in the way they can understand it. Children understand love in three ways: affection, affirmation, and attention.
- Affection. Children need lots of hugs and touch and kisses. They need to feel your love.
- Affirmation. They need to hear it! You need to tell your kids every day — and more than once a day — how much you love them. Affirm them, and build them up with love.
- Attention. One of the greatest gifts you can give others is listening to them. When you look at a child on his level, you’re saying, “You matter to me. You’re important to me. I want to hear what you have to say.” In doing this, you show compassion.