But I Taught Them To Love You, God

But I Taught Them To Love You, God (What to do when your children don't love God.) via www.inspireafire.com & Jean Wilund

Our children will love God even more and better than we.

But I Taught Them To Love You, God (What to do when your children don't love God.) by Jean Wilund via www.inspireafire.com That was our plan, right?

We’d teach them well, and they’d believe. Even better than we.

But what if that plan failed?

What if they walked away from faith or became bored with the things of God?

What can we do?

Our children will learn to love God just like we did.

We were all born with zero knowledge of God other than what He’d placed in our hearts, which I’ve heard described as a God-shaped vacuum.

We blinked through the first phase of life, learning about God through creation and what others told us about Him.

As we grew, we processed all the information we received and decided we wanted to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Some of us fell in love with God and thus chose to follow Him.

Others heard and understood the truth of the Gospel and determined, since it’s truth, they must follow it. Love for God came later.

Then we married, had children, and said with determination and hope, “Our children will love God even more and better than we.”

But Consider This: When did we first really love God?

I felt love for God early. But did I really love Him then?

When my kids were young, I bought them an adorable little bunny. A black and white mini-rex.

Irena Kately Hoppy. Yes, that was her name.

We loved Irena Kately Hoppy. All the way up until that fateful day when she transformed from a mini-rex into a T-rex.

She became a hop-by chomper.

She’d hop over to one of the kids in her cute little bunny way, chomp a chunk out of their skin, and blitz-hop away.

Each incident was an unprovoked hate crime.

We didn’t love Irena Kately Hoppy so much anymore.

We gave her back to her breeder, who told us our bunny’s mother was the meanest she owned.

My suggestion. Stop breeding that bunny!

My point is, we didn’t really love Irena Kately Hoppy.

We felt loving feelings toward her as we pet her soft fur, watched her cute little hop, and she didn’t bite.

But once she made life painful, our love turned to fear. And we sent her away.

That’s how I used to treat God. And He never acts in a way that isn’t loving and right, although sometimes it feels like He does.

The Day I Realized I Finally Loved God

I was a Christian for over twenty years before I learned what it really meant to love Him.

I’d grown weary of battling in prayer over trials and struggles in my life.

Some were caused by terrible choices I’d made. Others were simply consequences of living as a citizen on planet earth.

In my weariness, a truth rose up in my heart, and I cried out to Him.

You alone are God.

I give up trying to make life what I want it to be. I simply want You.

If You never grant a request I beg of You, I will still serve and worship You. 

If you never bless me again for the rest of my life, I will still honor and obey You.

I will do this, not because I feel warm, fuzzy feelings toward You, but because You are God, and You’re worthy of all my love, honor, and adoration.

All children learn to truly love God the same way.

All of us — children and adults — learn to love God by the work of God in their lives and hearts.

He takes us down paths we don’t want to go to teach us things about Himself we need to know.

He allows us to make choices that may not be the best in order to teach us things we need to know about ourselves.

And He brings us to our knees and to a true understanding of salvation and His overwhelming love, grace, and mercy in His perfect time and in His perfect way.

But isn’t there something we can do as parents?

I once told a group of ladies everything I know about what we can do as parents. It took me three minutes.

1) Love your children like Jesus.

Love them deeply. Shower them with grace, truth, and mercy.

2) Show your children Jesus.

Teach your children the Bible, often and well, but above all, live the Bible.

Show them by your life that you serve a God they can trust without any fear and that His Word is a priceless treasure.

3) Pray for your children.

Pray God’s will to be done in your children’s lives and praise Him in all He does.

Even when you don’t like what’s happening, praise Him in your pain and sorrow because He’s Lord over all.

God Knows the Plans He Has For Our Children

No one comes to truly love God by what someone else has said or done.

That’s one way we gain the knowledge about loving Him. But we come to actually love Him by His working in our lives.

So rest. God knows what He’s doing with you and your kids, and He’s always working.

Trust Him to bring your children to a true, deep love of Him in His perfect way and in His perfect time.

And for that matter, if your love for God is more like the love you feel for a soft bunny who doesn’t bite, trust Him to bring you into a true love of Himself.

God knows the plans He has for our children and for us. They’re much better than our own. And unlike our plans, His never fail.

Jean Wilund

Jean Wilund is passionate about coffee and comedy, but she's most excited about leading women into a greater understanding of the Bible and a deeper relationship with God. She writes for Revive our Hearts ministries, creates Bible study videos for her YouTube Channel, and connects with women on her blog at Jeanwilund.com. Jean and her husband live in South Carolina. Their children and grandtwins live scattered across the country.

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  1. Thank you for this, Jean. It is a burden I carry, and this mother’s heart is always looking for encouragement.

    1. Thanks, Cathy. I’m glad I could encourage you. I’m so sorry you have to carry this burden for now. It’s one of the heaviest cares any parent can carry!
      I can recommend three great books that are a wonderful encouragement:
      1) Praying for the Prodigal – Encouragement and Practical Advice for Parents of Prodigals by Andrea Merrell
      2) Engaging Today’s Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope by Carol Barnier
      3) Come Back, Barbara by C. John Miller and Barbara Miller Juliani
      I’ll pray for you and your family!

      1. Jean, I just finished Come Back, Barbara and wanted to thank you for the recommendation. I had already implemented some of the author’s suggestions, but many were completely new to me, and I’m excited with new hope. I also have the other two books and look forward to reading them as well. Thanks again. I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

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