I read the article “Love key to brain development in children” by Dr. Charles Raison with interest this morning. It highlighted something that I have seen many times throughout my years as a classroom teacher and also as a licensed professional counselor and certified life coach.
Love is the key.
Dr. Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, writes that the single most important environmental factor to parenting is love. Yes, there are also numerous other environmental factors (and biological ones) that have great effects. And yes it is possible to not be loved and still grow up to be a healthy adult but still the impact of love is huge.
We have been created to love and be loved.
As I walked the halls of the orphanage many years ago I longed to scoop up all the children and love them. I knew that it would not change everything for them but it would sure help. I know that love does not heal all wounds but it makes a great difference.
Motherhood challenges our love.
Day after day we pour our lives into our children. Cleaning up messes. Tenderly kissing hurts and bruises. Long hours listening to their hearts and showing them that they are important.
Fatherhood challenges our love.
In a world that pushes for more and more and greater and better, parenting calls us to lay down our lives and quietly love. Spending time. Choosing another path.
One day at a time.
One moment after another.
“Love is patient. Love is kind.” (I Cor. 13:4-7)
And when all is said and done the question still remains “Have you loved well today?”
Love is contagious.
It grows with encouragement and nurture.
One who has experienced love knows how to pass it on. If you have not experienced being loved, you can still grow up well –adjusted. Just read “A Child Called It” by David Pelzer.
One generation after another.
It is all too easy to forget. To grow inconsistent in loving. To falter with the busyness and distractions of each day.
But let this gentle reminder encourage you to love today.
Wherever you can. In as many different ways as possible.
Won’t you join me?