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Wednesday Devotional: Outdoing Others


Do you like competition…to outdo others? If you don’t know me very well, one thing I should mention here is that I am HIGHLY competitive. I mean, I refuse to let my husband win in a card game of speed, I fight till the end of a ping pong match and I may have slammed my tennis racquet down too many times to count losing an infinite amount of tennis matches against my husband.

Paul suggests a friendly game of “One Uping” each other in honor. However, I think we as Christians often forget this friendly competition and take is as a suggestion, rather than a declaration of what at true Christian looks like.

In Romans 12:10, Pauls says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

To honor someone means to pay attention to them, celebrate their successes, acknowledge and build up their confidence and give them credit for the accomplishments in their life. Praise them when they do good, recognize their hard work, build up their reputation, notice when they are trying and let them know they are dear to you.

These are ways you can tell a Christian from a non-Christian. If you are a Christian, you are called to treat others-all others-in this way. Even if you are at odds with a person, you should treat them this way. You will be astonished at the change of your mindset if you start treating those you have disliked in this way. Begin to put into action your Christian morals by noticing the good in others, telling them you are proud of them and telling others about it too.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

God, thank you for each and every person in my life. Forgive me for being focused on negative things in others’ lives. Help me to honor others’ lives and celebrate the people you have placed in my life. Help me to build up others’ confidence instead of tearing it down. Help me to notice only the good in their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Outdoing Others in Honor
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A Wife's Duties in Her Marriage

Wifely Duties

There is so much confusion today within the roles of marriage. Culture tells woman to stand up for herself, fight her own battles, live for herself, etc. To set the record straight, I am neither a feminist nor a prude. However, the Bible is clear on the role of a wife.

#1 Ladies, we have to help our husbands. I was sitting with a group of moms recently, and we were talking about all the roles we have as mothers have and all the things we have to schedule, remember and do for our children. We began to talk about how these responsibilities typically fall on the shoulders of the mommy, while the dad gets to wrestle the kids and be the “fun” parent. A friend of mine gently spoke up and reminded us our husbands have much on their shoulders as well. They are scheduling, remembering and doing important things all day at their jobs too. They are providing for our families and are stressed too. 

With two toddlers, I am exhausted at the end of the day. When my spouse walks in the door, It is hard to think about what he needs because I am too busy exploding about how my day went wrong to even give him the chance to share the ups and downs of his day. 

The fact of the matter is, whether our men verbalize it or not, they need our help too. 

#2 Friends, we need to love him unconditionally. Yeah, maybe he is not perfect and does not do everything just like you want him to, but we have to accept him for the person he is and appreciate him to the fullest. Period.

#3 Girlfriends, we must respect our husbands. Okay, my intention was not to talking about sex in this post, but it fits here! I recently I overheard my husband joking to someone, and he said, “If our wives would respect us and have sex with us, all men would be happy!” Well, that totally makes sense! 

Showing respect to our husbands means we must build up their self-worth. We value his wisdom and follow his decisions. We need to end up back on the same team after a conversation, disagreement or argument. We should be his biggest fan and loudest cheerleader! He needs us to believe in everything he does, verbalize and show our support for him in all that he does.  He wants and needs our respect.

#4 Gals, we have to submit to our husband’s leadership. I know, I just rocked the boat, but for our marriages to last, our man has to be our leader. Let me be clear about what I am saying. I am not asking you to sit quietly and have no place in your marriage. I am not asking you to never share your opinion or not give input into a situation with your hubby. I am not asking you to be a doormat or be submissive to ungodly leadership. However, the Bible clearly tells us the man has the authority over decisions for our families, and we, as wives, must meet our husband with approval of the decisions they are making for our families. It is not always easy, but it is what the Bible calls us, as wives, to do. 

So how about we become women who are committed to helping our spouse-loving him, respecting him and submitting to his leadership? I’m up for the challenge, are you?

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Wednesday Devotional: God’s Love

What is your view of God? Is He a God of wrath? Or is He a God of love?

Ephesians 2:4-7 gives us a picture of who God is. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in  Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Sure, God is a God of wrath. If we are not His child, we are His enemy, but if we follow Him, He loves us and pours out His mercy on us. We cannot do anything to deserve His love, but He chooses to save us by grace through Jesus Christ! Thank you, Lord!

We do deserve God’s wrath, “But God” sends us Jesus, so that we can be united with God again in Heaven! The verses above tell us we are raised up and seated with Jesus in the heavenly places. This verse means we are citizens of heaven when we become a Christian! That is so amazing! So if we know we are citizens of of heaven, then we must live like it each and every day. We must live like we are living in heaven today.

Friends, it will take us all of eternity to understand just how much God loves us, and then, I’m not sure we will even be able to fully understand! This is how much He loves us!

If you are a Christian, and you see God as a wrathful God and not a loving God, search God’s Word for His promises for His children and see if you view changes.

God, thank you for loving me. Forgive me for not living a life like You love me. Radiate Your love through me. Help me to love others as you love me, and help me to always remember how much you love me. Thank you for saving me, God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

A short devotional about God's love for us!
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Wednesday Devotional: He Knows Me

Sorry to miss last Wednesday’s post. I had some things going on, and honestly was just too exhausted to get something up. I missed you all though!

Today’s verse is one I really need to be focusing on right now. In the middle of this crazy thing we call life, this verse is a great reminder. I hope it helps you out in some way too!

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15

I love that Jesus said he knows us just as God the Father knew Him. Think about it…Jesus  the Son of God, who was there from the very beginning with God, when God created everything, Jesus was there. When God started to reveal His plan for saving His children, Jesus was there. When God flooded the Earth, Jesus was there. The relationship between Jesus and God is the closest relationship ever possible. We truly can’t even grasp how close the Trinity are together in Their knowledge of one another.

So this statement Jesus makes is such an amazing statement! He is telling you that He knows you intimately.  He is telling you that He will always be with you. He is telling you that He understands your problems, and He knows the solution! Wow! Let this fact sink in for a minute!

For me, it’s so refreshing to know that Jesus knows us. He knows when we are going through a rough patch. He knows when we are down. He knows when we are afraid. He knows each one of us intimately!

So we must take all our problems, worries and difficulties to Him in prayer. He is there for us and He has the answers to everything we are going through. Don’t put your trust, faith and hope in anything else, put it in the Great and Almighty God!

God, thank you for knowing me and still loving me. Forgive me for taking this for granted. Pour out your love on me daily. Help me to remember that you know and love me intimately. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Surviving the 3 Year Old Years

Surviving the 3 Year Old Year

Parenting is hard and there is no manual to tell us how to do it! You always here about the terrible twos, but how about those though 3 year old years that follow? Year 3 is hard too! Here are some tips to survive raising a 3 year old (and can help with 2 year olds too)!

Routine is key. Not only does routine help children learn about time and developing healthy habits, it also gives them a sense of security.

Help you children by developing a morning routine and a bedtime routine. Have structured meals where they know what to expect and when to expect it. Have a consistent childcare routine, so they will feel secure with whoever they are with or have structured playdates, so the child is aware of the schedule. Routines do not have to be boring. You can schedule a family movie night, like we do each week or pick a date night for your son once a week.

Routines do not have to be bland to promote consistency, but they do establish security and safety in children’s lives.

Always have snacks! I admit it…today I forgot snacks! Big mistake! As soon as we arrived at our destination, I heard, “Mommy, I want a snack!” Oops! Mom Fail!

Physically, toddlers’ stomachs are smaller, so they cannot eat enough food at regular mealtimes, so snacks are important to make sure they get enough food throughout the day. They provide them with the healthy energy they need to make it through the day. Let’s face it, no one wants a hangry kiddo! They are absolutely no fun!

However, don’t just give your kids any kind of snack under the sun though; make sure you are giving them a healthy snack to replenish their energy and promote good eating habits. This can also be a good time to introduce new foods to your child because they can choose whether or not they want it.

Like I mentioned above, snack time is part of our routine. My kiddos get a snack in the morning and after their nap in the afternoon. They expect it, and they enjoy it!

Let them sleep. Research shows that 3 year olds need 10-13 hours of sleep. Sleep helps your child’s body be able to physically grow. Research has also been linked to children lacking sleep becoming overweight because often when they are not sleeping, we offer them something to eat. Sleep also helps your child’s body to fight off germs. It can reduce accidents and injuries because when a child is more rested, he is more alert, and less prone to injury.

Show them you love them. Physical touch is a way we tell our children you love them. We can tell them and we can show them by snuggling them and giving them hugs.

Hugs are even an important part of discipline. Giving your child a hug after you have disciplined him doesn’t tell him his behavior is okay (he will realize it is not because of the discipline), but it shows him that no matter what he does, you will always love him.

Surviving the 3 Year Old Year can be quite challenging, but by surviving it, you will build a stronger relationship with your little sweetie, and it will all be worth it in the end!

How di you survive Year 3?

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Wednesday Devotional: Love Your Enemies

This scripture is a tough one, so let’s dive right into it! There is also so much packed into this short passage, so read Luke 6:27-31 below. 

But I say to you who hear, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from the one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

These verses start out with a BANG! It starts by saying, I should do good to those who hate me! Wait a minute…I have to be nice to those who HATE me? He is not just saying that I don’t have to hate them back, refuse to retaliate and just ignore them; He is calling us to do GOOD things toward them. Seriously? Yes, seriously, but He doesn’t just stop there…

After He tells us to “do good to those who hate” us, then He tells us to “bless those who curse” us. A blessing is giving God’s favor to another person. But doesn’t it really feel much better for us to ask for God to bless or have favor on a person, rather than heap burning coals on their head? If we really think about it, I think our answer would almost always be “Yes.”

But wait…He is still not done yet…He asks us to pray for those who mistreat us. Pray for them that their attitude would change and they would repent from their sin. Okay, that might be a little easier.

Still He keeps going…if someone slaps you in the face, you should turn to them the other one! Okay, that might be one of the most radical things I have ever been asked to do. If someone slaps me in the face, the last thing I would want to do is turn to the other side and let them do it again! However, Jesus isn’t necessarily talking about a true slap in the face, but in Biblical days, a slap in the face was an act of insulting another person. This illustration is used to tell us if someone insults us, we should not retaliate or insult them back. It is basically saying, if someone insults you, just do not respond. Okay, now that it is broken down in that way, I think I can handle it a little better. Bite my tongue. Got it! 

There is still more…He says if someone takes your clothes, give them more. We must give to others even if they are mistreating us. It is hard to give to people who mistreat us, but Jesus is telling us not only to give, but to give even more than what they take from you.

Then, He says give to everyone who asks, and if they take something from you, don’t ask for it back. How do I give to everyone who asks? This scriptures seems to  say this, but when we cross reference it with other scriptures, we see that we are to give to those who ask, but not those who do not work for themselves. This passage also shows us to live above worldly standards, so when someone asks for something from you, we should not turn around and ask for something just because we have given something. We should place less value on possessions, so if someone asks for something from us, we would not be so concerned with getting them back. 

One final thing these scriptures tell us is to do to others as you would want them to do to you. It’s much more than not doing something if we don’t want someone to do to us. We have to go beyond this thought and do nice things for others as opposed to simply refraining from doing negative things to them. You want to be treated nicely, right? Lovingly? You wouldn’t just settle for someone not treating you negatively, would you? You would want them to care for you and love you instead of just existing in your space not giving any niceness and love back to you. To take it a step further, we are called to make the first move. We cannot just sit back passively waiting for people to “do unto us”. We have to be proactive in doing to others.

This is what Jesus calls us to do-Love God & Love Others. So let’s get busy loving others by doing good to them, praying for others, biting our tongues, giving generously and showing an unmistakable Christ-like love. 

God, thank you for loving me. Forgive me for not loving others the way I should. Pour out your love for others through me. Help me to give my love generously to others. Help me to pray for others even when I don’t want to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 


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Wednesday Devotional: Brotherly Love

Welcome to this week’s Wednesday Devotional! I’m glad your here! Today, we will look at Romans 12:9-10. 

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

What does brotherly affection mean? Let’s take a closer look at it. Affection means to

  • It is attaching oneself like family
  • It is the emotion of giving one’s love to another above all else
  • It is an intentional act of serving others
  • It is emotionally giving to others spiritually
  • It is having hope and faith in others
  • It is fervently praying for others 
  • And it is sharing what you have with those who need it

We are to love one another like we are family and pour out our emotions both mentally and spiritually all over each other. We are to serve others and hope the best for them. We are to be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ and sharing what we have with them when they are in need. 

Think about how you love your family. Do you love them based on conditions? No, you love them because you are family. When a family member messes up, you still love them. You aren’t surprised when they disappoint you, so you keep on loving. We realize our family will likely let us down now and again, but we love them through those times. However, we tend not to view our Christian brothers and sisters as we view our biological brothers and sisters. We get all caught up in our emotions and write off our spiritual brothers and sisters as quick as we can turn around after they hurt or disappoint us forgetting we are all a part of the family of Christ. We all have our weak spots, and we will all stumble from time to time because we are not perfect, but we have to turn the other cheek like we do when our family member falls short of the expectations we place on them. 

In these moments, when we are let down, we need to pick up our brothers and sisters instead of cutting them out. We need to serve them and show them a Christlike and brotherly attitude as opposed to writing them off as unworthy and not worth the fight. We are a family, and we should be building each other up spiritually as opposed to running in the other direction abandoning our relationships with one another. 

This world is tough enough to live in with the non-Christians and nominal Christians tearing down our faith. We as a church, worldwide, need to be standing together and having hope and faith in one another. We need to pray for our Christian friends around the world to stand firm to care for each other with an unimaginable brotherly love. 

My point is, we should not be assuming the worst in people. We should grant them the same grace we grant our biological brothers and sisters when they mess up. Let’s begin to give others the benefit of the doubt because wouldn’t we want the same in return?

What would it look like if we began to look at the best in people rather than the worst?

What would it look like if we began to praise others face to face rather than tearing them down behind their back?

What would it look like if we begin to go to others for clarification in a misunderstanding rather than assuming a false (often negative) judgment about them?

What would it look like if we began to bite our tongue instead of letting harsh words come out of our mouths?

What would it look like if we began to think about others feelings and not just our own?

We, as Christians, need to take seriously honor, respect and value for others. If we begin to take this seriously, we will only glorify the beauty of the cross even more. 

God, thank you for the families you have placed us in. Forgive me for taking advantage of my family and the friendships you have provided me with. Pour out your love through me on every relationship in my life. Help me to treat others in the same way I want to be treated. Help me to love others in the same way you love me. Help me to learn to serve others before serving myself. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 


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raise your kids in Christian faith

Raising Children in Faith

If you follow my blog, which I hope you do, you know I am a woman married to a pastor, with a spunky little girl and her silly brother living in Bangkok trying to share God’s love with anyone who will listen! So to say we raise our spunksters in an environment filled with faith might even be an understatement! They are my 1st and foremost mission field!

I love Jesus, so I teach my sillies about Jesus because I want them to love him too! However, I also teach them to remember they don’t have to be perfect because no one, except Jesus, can ever be perfect! I teach them we are different. We live in a culture that is less than 1% Christian, so I don’t want them to grow up to believe Christianity is the only thing out there-and I know it’s not because we see Buddhism everywhere here. We always talk about other cultures and why the people here are visiting shrines and celebrate holidays that we do not. Ultimately, I want them to choose Christianity, not because I tell them to, but because, they know in their heart, Jesus is the only thing that can save them! So every time we talk about other cultures, we also talk about Christ. I want them to know it is okay to be different, to love Jesus and to stand up for what they believe in always!

My husband and my #1 goal in raising our children is to teach them to love God and love others. They don’t always get it right, and neither do we for that matter, but we try with all of our might to teach them this principle. We pray for them everyday that they will grow up loving God and loving people, and in the meantime, we try to teach them this idea everyday by example, activities and by correcting them. Through our actions, our children can see Christ’s love coming out of us. Through activities, we can teach them how to love others. Trough correction, we can teach them what not loving others looks like also. They also see us actively talking about Christ’s love with others, so we are not only directly teaching them, but indirectly teaching them. They can also see our love for Christ in the conversations we have with others. They also learn it is okay to talk about God with their friends because we aren’t ashamed to do so.

I also don’t depend on my church to teach my children. Yes, I plan our curriculum at the church, and sometimes I teach their class, but ultimately, it is my job to teach them about Jesus everyday. It will be the same when I send my children to school. It is not the school’s responsibility to teach my children everything they ever need to know about life and growing up or even to fully educate them on all matters. It is ultimately my job to oversee what they are learning and help them navigate through this life, and the same goes to their spiritual learning as well.

So, mamas and daddies, I am encouraging you to raise your children up in faith. Raise them to withstand the outside influences of this crazy world we are living in today. I am not telling you to shelter them, quite the opposite, actually, but be involved in their spiritual maturity raising them up in a faith they can stand strong in forever.


Let Love Win

The 5 Love Languages have been ever so present in my life lately. They came into play in my life when my husband and I got married. It was what we studied for our premarital counseling. I used them in my counseling practice, and, recently, they were talked about in regards to raising our children at MOPS. We also just talked about them at our marriage event at our church. So since they keep popping up in my life, I thought I would share with you some things I have learned while studying The 5 Love Languages. 

First,  I will start by explaining the Love Languages. You can get an idea of what yours might be by thinking about these questions. Do you like receiving love notes from your significant other or love when other people compliment you or your work? Do you love receiving hugs? Do you enjoy spending time with your spouse or others? Do you like it when your significant other helps out around the house or others help you when you need it? Do you like receiving gifts from others to remind you that they care about you or show you that they love you? Depending on the way you answer these questions, it could determine what your love language is.

The 5 Love Languages are Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts.

If your Love Language is words of affirmation you lost certainly love when people build you up and compliment you. You love when others let you know you are doing a good job and encourage you. You like when people say nice things to you and to others. But what if your spouse’s, or your child’s, Love Language is words of affirmation? You could write them notes to let them know you love them. Most importantly, make sure you are complimenting them and encouraging them with your words. Furthermore, criticizing them breaks them down and hurts them more than anything else. So watch your words and keep them positive.

Those whose Love Language is physical touch obviously need lots of touching, but what exactly does that mean? They need to hugged, patted and kissed. They need to be snuggled on the couch or their feet rubbed. There are many ways to show someone you love them through touch. However, neglecting to touch them makes them feel unwanted and unloved. The most damaging thing that could happen to a person whose Love Language is physical touch is to neglect to touch them. So make sure you are learning how to touch your spouse, outside of sexual intercourse.

Someone who feels love through quality time needs to be around other people. Being apart from others for long periods of time is crushing to someone who loves by spending time with others. Spending time with your spouse who feels love in this way is super important.

Those whose Love Language is acts of service love to hear others say, “I will do it!” It is like music to their ears! They love to see people show their love through actions by helping them do something. They also love to hear others say, “What else can I help you with?” This love action could be helping your spouse with household chores or repairs that need to be made. Showing kindness through actions is the way these individuals feel loved. If you spouse feels love in this way, make sure you are helping around the house and fulfilling that “Honey Do List”!

Gift giving is not just for special occasions. For people who feel appreciated by getting gifts it is imperative that you give them gifts even when their is no occasion to do so. Gift giving can be simple and practical. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive; it just needs to be something. Something as simple as a note or flowers will work just fine. However, remember not to forget those special occasions because those are still important to the person who loves receiving gifts too!

The important fact to all of this information is to learn what you spouse needs. Does your spouse need to be uplifted, someone he knows will brighten his day with her words, being publicly affirmed, someone who will say how much she loves him or is he someone that just needs to hold hands or be hugged regularly? Does your spouse need to spend time with you or does she need to snuggle on the couch while you watch a movie? Does he need to be praised as a leader or spend time talking about his day? Does she need to lie in the bed and talk or just have her feet rubbed? Take time to figure out how your spouse feels most loved. Figure out what are the 5 most important needs for your spouse, and, then, start doing them.

There are many ways you can do this. Ask you spouse how you can help them. Send them a texts throughout the day to tell them how much you love them. Don’t tell them their ideas are stupid. Kiss for 10 seconds. Hug your spouse often. Unplug from your phone, computer or television to spend time with your spouse. Make sure to kiss your spouse when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Leave your spouse a note in their lunchbox, briefcase or car. Tell your spouse how much you love him or her. Bake together. There are a plethora of ways to show your spouse love.

The best advice I can give you concerning this topic, is to find out what your spouse needs in order to feel loved and do those things. Once you start, it is actually quite simple.

Finally, and most importantly, seek God in your marriage and let Him bless it richly!

Courage to Love

As some of you may know I recently started a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group here in Bangkok. I recently talked with them about having the courage to love our children. I wanted to share some of the things I shared with them.

What do you remember most about your childhood?

Are there any smells you can relate to your childhood? 

Did you have gifts that make you feel special? 

Was there something you always made together? Baking something or a craft? 

Holidays or vacations you spent together?

A funny childhood memory?

What can you do to make your child feel special?

Just as we relied on our parents, our children rely on us. They learn to trust us as well as others because they learn they can rely on us. They can rely on us because they know we will always be there, and we will always be together-whether on vacation or during a holiday. Even the tough memories can shape our children and let them know we will always be there for them and love them.

So again, I will ask you: what can you do to make your child feel special?

Encourage them.

Tell them you love them.

Hug and kiss them.

Teach them to not give up on their dreams.

It’s not difficult for us to make our child feel special. We just need to be intentional about it.

But let’s take it even a step further…how can we love our children extravagantly?

How can we love them without a restraint in spending our money or using our resources?

I’m not talking about loving them by spending money on them-I’m talking about loving them as if no amount or lack of money or resources would hinder our love for them. Love without limits. Love them in a way that exceeds what is reasonable or appropriate! We should love them in a way that they or we ever thought we could.

The Bible tells us how we can extravagantly love others, but it really applies to everyone’s life. First, let me say I am not perfect, and I do not do all of these. These are things I need to work on in my own life.

Love never gives up.

Do you give up on your child? Have you ever said something like, “Oh, that is just the way he is.” Accept your child for who he is, but don’t give up on him.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Do you care more about yourself? We should care for our child’s well-being before ourselves. Most of us have flown on an airplane before. When they are doing the safety instructions, and they say, “In case of an emergency, always put your mask on before putting the mask on your child.” I understand their point, but really? Who would really do this? Wouldn’t we all put our child’s mask on first?

Love isn’t jealous.

Do you compare yourself to other moms? Oh come on, who doesn’t? The thing about comparing yourself to others is that their situation is always different than yours. Their child is different than yours. And their past is different than yours. Don’t compare your parenting skills or what you can give to your child to what other moms do. Because if we give our children extravagant love, they will have all they will ever need!

Love doesn’t boast.

If we love our children extravagantly, we won’t need to brag about ourselves to make ourselves feel better. We will feel good about ourselves because we will know how much we can truly love our children.

Love doesn’t make others love them.

Do you try to force your love on your children? Do you try to earn their love? Do you do this by trying to buy them things? Know that this will never work!

Love doesn’t think of itself first.

Do you think of yourself first or your children first? Don’t get me wrong, we need to take time for ourselves and take care of ourselves, but if we are pouring into our children with this extravagant love I have been talking about, we won’t even have to feel guilty for taking time for ourselves because our children will know how much we love them.

Love doesn’t anger.

Are you easily angered at your children? Love is slow to anger and quick to understand.

Love forgives.

Do you hold on to the bad things your children have done? Learn to let the past be in the past. Don’t hold on to the things your children have done in the past. It will not change what is happening now. It will probably end up making things worse.

Love speaks in truth.

Do you speak truth to your children in a loving way? Do you lie to your children? Our children will respect us when we have the hard conversations with them, even disciplining them as long as we do it in a loving way. Lying to your children will not help them. Again, it will only end up hurting them in the long run. 

Love endures all things.

Do you deal with your children in love even when they do something you don’t like? Even when they break your favorite home decor? Love them even when it is hard. Even when it hurts.

Love trusts God.

The Bible says, love trusts in God because God is love.

Love always looks for the best.

Do you look for the best in your child? What are your child’s best qualities? List them. Now!

Love never looks to the past.

Do you hold on to the past with unforgiveness toward your children? If there is something you haven’t forgiven your child for, forgive them today and move forward. Holding onto past mistakes only causes a barrier in your relationships with your children.

So I was also a counselor in the States, so I want to share some practical ways to put extravagant love into everyday life.

First, instead of telling your child to leave you alone when you are busy or are in the middle of something, set up healthy breaks. For example, “I need to finish this one thing, and then I will help you.”

Tell your child, “You’re so…(fill in the blank with a positive word).” Be positive. Encourage them.

Allow your child to have feelings. If your child cries, even if you think it is silly, acknowledge the feeling. Don’t just tell them not to cry. Ask them why they are crying and how they are feeling. You can even show them faces if they can’t verbalize how they are feeling.

Encourage your child. “Way to go! You put both of your shoes on the right feet!”

Don’t compare them to their siblings or others. Every child learns at a different pace. Even if their sister did something sooner than them, it’s ok. They will eventually learn how to do it too!

Phrase things positively, instead of negatively. “I like it better when you do it this way.” as opposed to “You know better than that!”

Research shows that time-outs are more effective than spanking. Often the child is concerned with the spanking and not the reason for the spanking. Often with spankings, they are never told the reason they are getting a spanking. Research also shows that a 2-year-old will repeat a behavior within the same day 80% of the time, no matter what discipline is given. Children don’t “learn their lesson” with the first consequence, just as we often don’t.

Discipline should happen immediately. Threatening to take care of something “when daddy gets home” often proves ineffective because the child cannot connect the consequence with the behavior they just exhibited. Furthermore, why should your child have to suffer from anxiety all day for something that could be punished for and forgotten about immediately?

Be specific in your praise. Instead of saying, “Great job!” tell her specifically, “What a beautiful picture you have drawn! I love the colors of the flowers and the detail you put into that house.”

Finally, and most importantly I will leave you with this: keep calm. You are doing a great job! Remember to not be hard on yourself. Your child loves you and is never as hard on you as you are on yourself!