My one-year-old twins won’t remember this week when they grow up. Without going into the details of a stomach bug, they won’t remember all the things I did for them during these last few loooong days and nights… the things I will continue to do as many days and nights as it takes, because I love them.
We do that as parents. We do all the tough things that need to be done, and we often just assume our children will translate that into a complete understanding of just how much we love them. My love to my children is implied by so many things I do for them, but I want to make sure that love is explicit as well. I want my children to possess memories of their mother telling them how their lives make my life so rich.
January 4, Challenge 4: Explicitly Express your love to your Child/Children! …and/or godchildren, nieces and nephews, etc.
I daily, constantly tell my three sons that I love them. Also, I understand that just telling them I love them without implicit expressions of love would not be sufficient. Still, I want to go beyond just saying, “I love you.” I want my sons to understand that I absolutely want and need them in my life, and that I cannot even imagine my life without them in it.
You see, let me get personal for a minute… I had wonderful, loving parents and a great extended support system as I was growing up…. but, because of some other factors in my life that I may go into later this month, I battled suicidal thoughts for years. It wasn’t because my parents didn’t express love through words or actions… on the contrary, they were great at both. Still, the battle in my mind involved wrestling with the idea that others would be better off without me.
You think that’s rare? Nope. I can tell you from years of teaching that many young people entertain the idea that they are a burden, a mistake, a hindrance, and/or the cause of adults’ problems. But, they probably won’t tell you if they feel that way sometimes.
So, this month, go that extra step. Tell the young loved ones in your life not only that you love them, but that there is absolutely no possible world or universe in which your life would be better without them in it.
I will be telling my teenager that tonight. And if I never get to tell my toddlers that when they’re old enough to remember it, you tell them for me!
Children are an heritage of the Lord. Psalm 127:3
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline httsuicidepreventionlifeline.org 1-800-273-8255