Improve your parenting

Parenting is a topic of much research in the field of child care. It applies not only to natural mothers and fathers but to single parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, and others who do substitute caring. In each instance the vital element is love. An important observation emerging from this research is that the loving quality of the care counts more than its quantity.

Shortly after becoming a mother I learned this difference between quantity and quality. Our little daughter had a skin condition that persisted in spite of a great deal of prayer. One day her Sunday School teacher said to me, "I feel your daughter needs more love." I think any mother could picture my reaction—I was hurt and a bit furious too! I felt I had been so loving and patient. But I have always been grateful that God gave me not only the healing message I needed but also the humility to be receptive to it.

I put aside hurt reactions and started to ponder what it really meant to love my daughter. Certainly the quantity of attention she had been receiving was sufficient. I had been doing my best to care for her every need. But then I considered the quality of my loving. Paul's words in I Corinthians seem to exemplify ideal mother love. He speaks of charity—love—as patient, kind, not jealous or envious, never conceited, unselfish, not easily taking offence. Love, he says, "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Cor. 13:7;

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No Achilles' heel
November 26, 1979

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