Above all else

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
Colossians 3:12-14

As I go through my journey as a mother, seeking to “write on the door posts” in the lives on my children, I find countless important life lessons I need to teach them. When they were babies my responsibility lay in showing them care and love, and providing them with a stable family life. As they grew I began to teach them how to interact with others. As they get older still I explain to them the value of sharing, the importance of humility, how to forgive and be forgiven. In any one day I might take opportunities to teach everything from how to put their shirts on the right way around, to the meaning of faith.

With so many things to teach my children, it can sometimes be easy to lose focus of what is most important. In Colossians 3 Paul lists many things that are valuable for us to strive for – tender mercies, kindness, forgiveness. But he highlights that there is one thing that has greater value than all the others: love.

Above all, we must teach our children to love.

Love, Jesus tells us, is the fulfillment of the law. Love sums up the law and prophets. Love covers over a multitude of sins. The greatest commandments are to love God with everything we have, and to love others as we love ourselves. If I could teach only one thing to my children, it would be to love God with their whole hearts, souls and minds, because all good things flow from this.

Day to day it can be difficult to keep this priority in mind. Satan, I am sure, takes every opportunity to place distractions in our way and make us see them as so pressing and important that we forget to teach the our children about love. As a homeschooling mother I feel the pressure of the world to provide a good education for my children. Education and careers are extraordinarily highly valued in our society. Whilst I agree it is valuable to be well educated and able to earn a living, it is not the epitome of success. True success lies in love; in accepting the love of God, and returning it to Him and to others.

May we all, as parents, teach our children the ultimate lesson of love – above all else.


1 Comment

  1. June 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been more focused on kindness and thoughtfulness issues lately, but the reminder to teach the basic reasons we should be kind and considerate is a blessing.

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