Love Me or Love Me Not

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornIt's summer and flowers are in full bloom! As a young boy I remember picking flowers for a particular girl I liked. I would sit on the grass, check to be sure none of the guys were around and begin to pull off the petals one by one. As I plucked, I would repeat a series of phrases in a sing-song voice, "she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not," until all the petals were gone. The very last petal would tell me whether she loves me or she loves me not.

Perhaps you remember performing this same ritual to determine whether someone you loved would return the sentiment. As I think about many homes today, I fear they have become the kind of place where kids come home from school one day and their parents say they love them and yet the next day they love them not.

As parents, we need to create a home environment where regardless of the circumstances in the home, the kids still know they're loved. Even if they've made some stupid choices, they are still loved. You may not agree with or condone the behavior, but you still love them as your child.

I'm one of those people that never made all the right decisions, especially through my teenage years. As I look back on my life, I know there were many times that my parents weren't happy with my choices but I can honestly say there wasn't a time when I did not feel that I was at least loved. I think that feeling of knowing your family loves you unconditionally can be a great blanket of security. It's something people can wrap around themselves for warmth, especially during those times when their behavior is not worthy of love.

Sadly, many of us equate love with letting people do whatever they want. I've watched homes get destroyed because people were afraid to correct behavior for fear of not being loved in return because they took disciplinary action. It's like they say because I love you, go ahead and do it. Although children might initially enjoy the liberties they are receiving from this laissez faire attitude, they see how strict other parents are and wonder whether their parents really love them. Despite how kids rebuff or oppose discipline, one day they will actually see it as a labor of love.

When parents condone and allow all sorts of behavior, it can really wreak havoc on the entire family. This is especially true if there are younger siblings absorbing and watching what is happening. In certain, dire situations it may even be best to remove a child from a home and allow them to live with someone else for a period of time. This time of separation allows each party the chance to reflect on their circumstances, re-examine guidelines and establish boundaries that everyone can agree on together in order to reconcile the family back to the way it ought to be.

I wish it really was as simple as plucking petals from a flower in order to know whether someone loves us. As parents, our responsibility is to show our kids love through not only physical affection but through our discipline which shows we care enough to set limits.

This should be done in a consistent manner so that our kids never have to wonder whether we love them or love them not.

Connect: Winning AtHome
Author Information
Dan Seaborn
Dan Seaborn is the founder of Winning At Home, Inc., an organization designed to assist and encourage people of all ages and stages of family development. As a featured speaker at churches and large-scale events such as marriage conferences, corporate functions, and university assemblies, Dan Seaborn has earned recognition as a powerful and passionate communicator. Through practical illustrations and memorable real-life examples, he encourages individuals and families to lead Christ-centered homes.

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