This Sunday I had the privilege of hosting a child dedication service at Sun Valley East Mesa where I serve as the Campus Pastor.
The service is designed to celebrate and pray for families while parents dedicate themselves to raising their children to the best of their abilities to meet, know, and follow Jesus. One key question that we asked families to consider was what does my child need most?
What does my child my child need most?
If you’re a parent, you’ve certainly asked yourself this question before. My question is, do you know the answer? Well, likely you can guess at it: what your child needs most is love. And yet, our children need a love that leads. They aren’t born with wisdom any more than they are born with language. Your daughter develops her abilities as she experiences life.
Love provides the foundation for all the good development in your child’s life. They need to experience an unconditional, no strings attached, one way love from you as a parent. This is the way God loves us. It is grace. And yet, God’s grace is married to truth. In the same way our loving needs to be married to leadership. At Sun Valley we describe this principle as follows:
We choose to love first and lead second, but always do both.
Your sons and daughters need unconditional love and godly direction. They need to be taught money habits like give first, save second, and live on the rest. They need to see how to read the Bible, journal, and pray. They need to learn how to manage conflict well. Boys needs to learn how to treat women with honor and respect.
None of these things are learned with love alone, but with love that leads.
How are you doing as a parent? Are you more inclined toward loving or leading? Where do you struggle most?