- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- To See or Not To See?
- Three Core Needs That Drive Every Child's Heart
- The Success Illusion
- The Gift of Attention Deficit Disorder
- The Foundation for a Secure Love
- Ten Ways to Be a Great Member of the Family
- Success or Greatness? (Part 1)
- Success or Greatness? (Part 2)
- Sleepover Syndrome
- Raising Kids Right
- Raging Hormones - Helping and Understanding Your Child
- How Would You Define Love?
- How to Teach Your Children Life Isn't Fair
- Grace and Achieving Children
- Consequences - Let Your Child Learn
- Are You Overbooked and Overwhelmed?
- Are You Happy?
- A Secure Love
- 5 Simple Ways to Control Your Temper
Tim and Darcy KimmelDr. Tim Kimmel has reached millions of parents with his message of building strong families. read bio
A Secure Love
All children are born with a need to love and be loved, a need to live lives that have meaning, and a need to believe that tomorrow is worth getting up for. Security, significance, and strength -- love, purpose and hope. They are three ingredients of a life that finds fulfillment. And the most effective vehicle God designed to transfer these to a human heart is a grace-based home.
We have built into our basic makeup an infinite capacity for love. Love begins at conception. But desiring to love your child and actually loving them in such a way that they develop a secure love of their own are two different things. Almost all parents love their children, and children can find clear evidence of that love. But loving your child and even doing things to show your love do not translate into a secure love.
How do we define a secure love?
This is a steady and sure love that is written on the hard drive of children's souls. It's a complete love that they default to when their hearts are under attack. It's the kind of love that children can confidently carry with them into the future.
We all long for a future that is kind to our children, but history has shown that tomorrow tends to take notes from yesterday. And if the past is any indication, our children will certainly have their sense of being love tested as they move into adulthood. They may have to function surrounded by personal hostility.
The good news: If we send them into the future armed with a secure love, they'll do just fine. Remember, our children are a gift we send to a time we will not see. We need to send them into that time so secure that even if we have long since passed away, they will rest in the confidence that they are loved.
But here's the problem: In order to feel loved, you have to actually have someone directing his or her love toward you. There is a love that we can pass on to them that is steady, sure, and available to them whether we are here or not. I'm talking about the infinite love of God.
This love can be transferred to them in a specific way and a general way. The specific way is when they receive God's love into their hearts by trusting in the hope found in the gospel. And we can do something while our children are under our roof that significantly increases their capacity to move into their adult years with that mature and secure love firmly in place. This "general" transfer of love is the result of parents loving children the way God loves them. It's called grace.
The reason many children move into adulthood insecure about love is not because their parents didn't love them, but because the love they received from their parents was incomplete.
- Sometimes our love is incomplete because our children feel they constantly have to compete for it. We tell them we love them and then they watch us make decisions regarding our careers, our friends, or our pastimes that directly undermine our ability to invest the time in them that love requires. Careers can create a sense of competition for our children's hearts. All of us have careers that demand a lot from us. We will always have to allocate more of our waking hours to our livelihoods than we do to anything or anyone else. That's simply the nature of careers, and kids understand that. But kids also know when we make deliberate choices to take something from them that they vitally need so we can enhance our careers. We communicate something that formats them with an insecure love. They don't question that we love them; they simply feel that we love other things more.
- Sometimes our love is incomplete because our children feel like they have to earn it. They figure out that they receive our praise and pride when they do things that make us look good or make our jobs as parents easier. These are kids who have to process a lot of guilt before they can find approval. It's easy for us to blame the way we love our kids on the way our parents loved us. So many parents today feel that they can't transfer the kind of secure love to their children that I'm describing because their own parents failed to do this for them. Does that excuse us? Balanced minds would have to insist that it doesn't. It's an explanation, but it can't be used as a cop-out.
What helps us turn the cycle of incomplete love around is when we understand exactly what love is and what love requires. Here is a definition of love that can radically change your life. This definition of love can help you choose the right thing to do when dealing with your children. It helps you make hard choices and it encourages you when the cost of loving is high.
Love is the commitment of my will to your needs and best interests, regardless of the cost.
1. Love is the commitment of my will…. In other words, doing the loving thing may not always come naturally to you. You may have to muster courage, say no to your fears, and place your feelings in check. Love is about making decisions based on the relationship we have with that person.
2. To your needs and best interests…. Not "to my needs and best interests." Love sees our needs as a "B" priority compared to the best interests of the person we are called to love. It is not in our children's best interest to give them everything they want, to make life easy for them, to side with them when they are clearly wrong, or to circumvent consequences for their sins. Love is about meeting their actual needs, not their selfish needs.
3. Regardless of the cost…. Secure love understands that loving someone is often inconvenient and sometimes painful. Loving your kids costs money, time, and sleep. It might cost a mom decades in time originally planned to be spent on her career. It might cost dad a promotion. It might mean that there are some amenities or lavish vacations you must do without. And it definitely means eating crow, swallowing your pride, and asking for forgiveness a lot.
To read part 2 of A SECURE LOVE and 3 things you can do to give your child a secure love click here.
Used with permission from the book Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel (W Publishing Group).comments powered by Disqus