Loving Kids When It’s Hard

Kelley Stine   -  

It is easy to love those who are sweet and kind all the time, even the world does that.  But we are called to love those who are harder to love as well.  I work with kids every Sunday and I know that they all are in different stages of lovability, however God says to love them.
How do we do that? First we must understand that God loves us.  If we don’t believe this we have insecurity and anxiety as our by-products. Read verse 18 below.  God’s love is perfect – Greek word teleios: complete, reached its goal, mature, not hampered by insecurity or anxiety. We need to recognize the love God has for us.  “We will never love well until we realize we are well loved.” – Beth Moore
Next is be there.  Love your kids and the kids in their world by being present.  I am blessed every Sunday and challenged by the greatness I see in our volunteers showing up and listening to stories, asking questions, role playing games, tossing balls, etc…  Some of these kids may not get shown the best love at home, but when we get to be in their presence, they can be loved well.
Finally, look at them through God’s lens.  We don’t always know what brought their family to church, what struggles they face at home, how much sleep they got the night before, if they are overindulged or neglected; but regardless we are called to love.  This time with us may be the only glimpse of Jesus they get all week, or all month. We can do it. God loves us and commands us to love one another, and even better, He has given us His power to love. The following verses tell us all about it.
1 John 4:7-21 (NIV) – God’s Love and Ours
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
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