Children Need to Know God Loves Them
By Rick Warren
— May 16, 2011
“You (God) created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11b (NLT)
So a parent's primary responsibility is to teach their children to love God. It is the first critical choice a child has to learn because it is a choice they will be faced with over and over at every stage in their life.
Out of all the conversations parents need to have with their children, one of the first and most important is telling children that God created them and loves them.
Until our children understand that they were made by God and for his pleasure, life will not make sense. Isaiah 44 tells us, “I (God) am your creator. You were in my care even before you were born” (Isaiah 44:2 CEV). Children need to know that God thought them up. They were not an accident. They may not have been planned, but they were not an accident because God knew them and loved them from conception.
Now, no parent is perfect. They can have their good days and bad days. But God does not. His love is not based on his mood. He doesn’t love us one day and dislike us the next because his love is unchanging – that’s his character. It has nothing to do with who we are or what we do. We can’t make God stop loving us. He created us and made us to love us.
Our children need to understand this. And then we need to talk to them about how we respond to this love because God also gave us the capacity to love him back It is called worship. So we need to talk to our children about this key issue – what will be the center of my life?
Whatever is at the center of your life is what you worship. As children grow up, they can center their life on what other people think (peer pressure), sports, school, family, career, having fun, money, or collecting things. And there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. God created all of them for our enjoyment. They just don’t belong at the center of your life because they don’t last.
If you center your life on you career, it can go away. If you center your life on money, you can lose it. If you center your life on your appearance or health, they can fail. All of these things can disappear and you’re left growing up with insecurity. But a life centered on God is solid because God cannot be taken away from you.
So a parent’s primary responsibility is to teach their children to love God. It is the first critical choice a child has to learn because it is a choice they will be faced with over and over at every stage in their life. Will they choose to live a self-centered life or a God-centered life?
When our children understand that they were created by God to be loved by him, and they choose to put God at the center of their lives, they will be able to stand strong against any challenge that comes their way.
Pastor Rick is leading us through a series on parenting right now, and we thought you’d be interested in this new curriculum at Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure.