Deep down, what motivates our children’s choices?
Being motivated by obligation won’t last or drive integrity, but being motivated by love will.
When Jesus healed a woman who had been crippled for 18 years, the Pharisees were angered and annoyed because it was the Sabbath Day.
Jesus didn’t care – he cared about the woman in pain – he cared about loving her above all. He wasn’t moved by customs and law, but love.
Sharing simple ways our children love well shifts their mindsets from doing things grudgingly to doing things out of love.
From TIME TO TIME, I will say this to my kids:
“Thanks for loving me well by putting your dish away.”
“That’s awesome how you loved your sister by making her bed for her.”
“Great job sharing with your brother. You really loved him well and put him first.”
“Great job not responding in anger when she was rude. You really loved her and the Lord with your response.”
“Thanks for doing what I asked right away. You sure loved me well by listening to me.”
The Lord’s two greatest commandments hinge on love: to love God and love others. And, Jesus’ deepest motivation to follow the law wasn’t because he had to, but because he chose to out of love.
As we call out small examples when our children choose love, they will begin to be motivated by love, just as Jesus was.