What matters most to our kids? If you ask them now, they would probably say things like toys, video games, sports, vacations, or other such luxuries. But we know that none of that matters most. And, in the right moments of life, even our kids recognize that these things aren’t what matter. Truth be told, most of the things that matter most are fairly simple.

  1. The show of affection. Our kids need our affection. As they grow older they may not like to be public about it, but even in middle school and high school, our kids crave our love and support. The less we give it to them, the more likely they will be to seek it elsewhere.
  1. Words of encouragement. We sometimes forget what it’s like to be a child. This is a time when they are learning about the world and how to live in it. They make mistakes and experience embarrassing moments. In many cases, they get picked on or ridiculed by other kids their age. Parents must be there to lift them up and let them know we are proud of them. They need someone to give them confidence and encouragement.
  1. A chance to learn. I’ve noticed over the last year or so that my kids love it when I take the time to teach them something new. Whether it’s something like how to play a game, how to cook, how to mow grass, how to fix a broken toy, how to do a math problem, how to throw a ball, or even how to brush their own teeth, I’ve noticed that any time I say “hey, let me show you something”, my kids are eager to jump in with me to learn. Frankly, I’m 39 years old and I’m still eager for this with my own dad!
  1. A listening ear. Children always need someone to help them think through life and the pressure they face. As noted already, working through the issues of childhood and the uncertainty that comes with that can be tough. Too often we bombard our kids with instruction or our opinion without listening to what they are thinking or what they’re going through. They need us to hear them and value their concerns.
  1. A stable home. I grew up in a broken home and it had a huge impact on me. When your home is broken, the foundations of your world are broken. I have vivid memories of the struggle I had in school in the weeks, months, and even years that followed my parents’ divorce. If you love your kids, you must constantly strive for a marriage and home that are stable.

We show our kids our love in a lot of ways. But these little things can’t be forgotten. Let’s press on together for their sake! Dads and moms, I’m praying for you and with you today!