Acceptance and Admonishment

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Children need to know they are accepted, but they also need to be admonished when their behavior needs correction. Let these thoughts guide you as you pray for your kids.

But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, ESV).

One of the non-negotiable needs of every child’s heart is the need for a secure love—the need to know they’re accepted no matter what. This is a job custom-made for parents who love their children more than they love themselves. To assure them of our full-out secure love, we need to accept them when they’re cute or cranky, winsome or whiny, stellar or stubborn.

Accepting this child as God’s wonderful gift to us is different than accepting and condoning their bad behavior. But if they know we’ll love them no matter what, they will receive the discipline and consequences of their unacceptable behavior as another assurance of our secure love. Give thanks for God’s mercy in your own life that leads the way in extending that same acceptance to our child no matter what kind of a day they’re having.

“…we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:7 9, 11, ESV).

Another one of the non-negotiable needs of a child’s heart is the need to know that they are significant—that they matter in life and that they make a difference. A parent assures them of that significance when they take the time and make the effort to admonish them. Our mid-course correction says to our child, “I love you enough to make sure you grow up to be a good person. That’s one of the ways you’ll make a difference in this world.”

The word “admonish” literally means “to warn, urge or caution.” What a great reminder that all of our correction must be done with the best interest of that child’s future in mind. When we graciously admonish our children, so that their lives will be significant, we are loving them with grace!

Lord, help me to keep you in mind as I guide my child to live a life that matters to you and others.

This post was written by Darcy Kimmel.

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