This reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures, (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8):
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
As adults, we also share the need for a positive self-image and unconditional love. When we have only received conditional love through life experiences, we learn that we only deserve love when we fit into certain characteristics or molds. We start to create an elaborate rulebook that tells us, play by play, when to feel good about ourselves. Which truly is the essence of conditional love.
Sadly, we start suppressing and denying those parts of ourselves that the world or our parents always seemed to disapprove of. The strong desire that all parents have to ensure that their children don’t live out their negative experiences fuels the passion to end those cycles before they begin again. The simple remedy is this: Love your children fiercely, and love them unconditionally.
When we are exposed to unconditional love at an early age, there is a much better chance we will begin to love ourselves unconditionally. And when we love ourselves unconditionally, we are not afraid to be who we were created to be – because love is always there, it covers, and it never fails.
I am blessed to have a unique vantage point from my work with the Youth For Christ Parent Life ministry; a ministry geared towards pregnant and parenting teens and their families. I have seen firsthand how truly understanding Christ-like, unconditional love can transform the lives of parents and children as well! Our children are then exposed and freed to explore the limitless boundaries of perfect, unconditional love.
(1 John 4:18) “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”