Love is kind. NT:5541 xrhsteu=omai chresteuomai (khraste-yoo’-om-ahee); middle voice from NT:5543; to show oneself useful, i.e. act benevolently: KJV – be kind.
- Read all of Psalms 107 to begin to understand the loving kindness of God and how we should be longsuffering and kind to our children.
- “And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not” (Neh. 9:17).
- “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Prov. 31:26).
- “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” (Luke 6:35).
- “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).
- “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:12-13).
This scripture may be a key in giving us understanding about how we can be longsuffering and kind. It shows how our longsuffering and kindness fits with the need for our own humility in dealing with our children! Do we need Christ’s forgiveness? Have we ever done wrong? Are we really so much better than our children? Does this give us reason to be longsuffering and kind to them?
- “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Pet. 1:7).
Love envieth not: #2206. zeloo, dzay-lo’-o; from G2205; to have warmth of feeling for or against. Below are some scriptures where 2206 zeloo is used to give us an idea of what it means. This word can mean actual envy, but may also just denote strength of feeling for or against something.
- “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him” (Acts 7:9).
- “But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you” (Gal. 4:18).
- “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31).
Do we find ourselves having a warm feeling against our child? This is not love! If we find ourselves with that feeling, we need to pray about it. Can we help our child optimally if this is in our heart? This feeling may come because we have been continually wronged or mistreated by the child, or because we are seeing qualities in them that are distasteful. We need to do everything in our power to guard against this feeling against them.
Love vaunteth not itself: 4068. perpereuomai, per-per-yoo’-om-ahee; mid. from perperos, (braggart; perh. by redupl. of the base of G4008); to boast:–vaunt itself. Do we constantly compare our children unfavorably with ourselves or others, or do we think we are so great and our kids are worthless? The apostles wanted to shove the little children away thinking their own work was so much more important, but found themselves corrected by Christ (Mark 10:13-15). We need to be careful not to value ourselves and disdain our children. The Lord might have another opinion entirely. Remember: the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Love is not puffed up: #5448. phusioo, foo-see-o’-o; from G5449 in the prim. sense of blowing; to inflate, i.e. (fig.) make proud (haughty). “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished” (Eccl. 4:13). We need to be humble with our children and be willing to be admonished and entreated by them. “He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he” (Prov. 14:21). Do we sometimes despise our children?
We must realize our children’s training is the most important part of our day and not shove them off in some corner or send them to play at a neighbor’s house while we work. What will be my punishment in eternity if I neglect my child’s teaching and his soul is lost? “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15). Also, we should not focus on one child and neglect another. There is a very real problem in many children today; it is called neglect retardation. Balance may be difficult to achieve at times—especially if we have one very intelligent child with whom we identify. Prayer for fairness and lack of prejudice is needed. Much thought and study is also needed. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb. 10:24). Practically speaking, can I regularly make a list of strengths, weaknesses or needs my child has and also list goals for each child to reach toward? This might eliminate some children from “falling through the cracks” and show us if we’re focusing on one child and neglecting the others. If we are not puffed up, the opposite is humility, which serves the other person and considers the other better than ourselves.