SummaryKids might be embarrassed or slightly unnerved when they witness a show of parental affection, but they need to see it anyway. Ashlynn Smith explains why.
Growing Up in Love’s Embrace
A man arrives home after a long day at work. He enters the house and finds his wife cooking dinner in the kitchen.
She turns to greet him, and the husband gives her a hug and kiss on the cheek. Almost immediately, gagging noises, followed by a chorus of giggles, interrupt the sweet moment.
The parents turn to find their children watching them from the kitchen table. They laugh as the kids hide their eyes from the sight of their parents’ embrace.
This was not an uncommon happening as I was growing up. My parents always showed their love for each other unashamedly, and often it was in front of their five children.
Although my brothers and sisters and I usually reacted with disgust, we were blessed to grow up in the embrace of parental love.
The Feeling of Safety
While it was fun to laugh and make fun when my parents displayed their love for each other, deep down it always made me feel safe and protected. Parents are the cornerstone of a home; they build the foundation and fortify the walls with their love for each other.
Knowing that my parents loved each other meant knowing that our home would withstand everything life could dish out.
It meant knowing that even when things got rough, our world would not crumble because the love that my parents had for each other would keep it intact. By displaying their love in front of their children, my parents gave us a sense of security and reassurance that our home was a place of love and joy.
Learning How to Love
The first place a child learns about love is at home. There is no one better to teach about love than parents. In showing love for each other, parents teach their children how to have loving relationships with their family members and, eventually, their future spouses.
My grandparents to this day display their love for each other in front of anyone who happens to be in the same room.
It was from them that my Mom learned about love. Through their loving actions and words to each other, my grandparents taught my Mom that loving someone means staying strong with them through the tough times, comforting them through the sad times, and rejoicing with them through the happy times.
They taught her that spousal love is something wonderful and beautiful, something blessed by the Lord. Through their love, my grandparents enabled their children to grow up in a happy and safe home.
My Mom took what her parents taught her about love and applied it to her relationship with my Dad when they got married.
Having the role model of her parents, my Mom was able to build a happy and loving relationship with her husband. As a result, my parents in turn were able to give their children a happy and loving childhood.
My grandparents taught my Mom how to love; my parents then taught their children how to love. In the future, my brothers and sisters and I will give the world more families with children who know how to love because their parents taught them.
Knowing to Wait
Seeing the love between my parents and my grandparents makes me want to have a spousal relationship like theirs one day. There is so much pressure in the world on young people today. We are told by pop culture and peer pressure: “Do whatever feels good, date whomever you want, start dating early, and don’t worry how many relationships you have.”
As a result of this, young people leave behind a trail of regrets, broken hearts, and disappointed hopes. Eventually, they begin to question if real, permanent love even exists.
Since I grew up in the arms of parental love, I never doubt if love exists, because I see it every day in my parents.
Knowing that love like theirs is attainable and real gives me patience. I do not have to go out into the world and search for the meaning of love through multiple relationships and interactions, because I already know that it exists. I know to wait; I know that if God is calling me to marriage, He will bring the one He made for me into my life.
If I wait for him, I know the Lord will give us a love like my parents and grandparents.
Power to Change the World
Love is a powerful thing, and one of the most powerful forms of it is parental love. There are too many homes in today’s world where children do not get to experience parental love, for various reasons.
Therefore, parents who truly love one another should make it a point in their homes to let their children know just how much they love each other. In doing so, they will raise a generation who knows how to love, and will even give a good example for those who did not grow up with parental love.
If the cycle continues long enough, then maybe, just maybe, the world could know what it means to love again. Love starts in the home, and it starts with the parents.
Parental love is a powerful force. It might just change the world someday.