|Loving You Forever
By Reginald Bullard
‘ l’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be. ‘
This is a quote from a book called Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. The book was a gift to our oldest daughter, a baby present over 20 years ago. It’s a short, but moving book describing the seasons we go through as parents and eventually as caregivers to our elderly parents.
Recently, my wife and I blessed an expectant couple who were expecting their sixth child. We offered to take care of their other boys (ages 2 through 9) during the week of delivery. Since we will officially be empty nesters in less than 5 years, it brought back memories of installing car seats, being awakened by a toddler going through potty training, and preparing meals for little ones. It was a challenging time, but I had fun showing them everything from alligators in a nearby swamp to a ride on the ferry.
Prior to that week, my Mother stayed with us for a week. I gave my sister and brother-in-law a well-deserved break. In my Mother’s new season of life, I spent a lot of time ensuring that she dressed appropriately for the weather and attending to her physical needs, and, yet again, preparing meals—this time for a not-so-little one.
The whole experience reminded me that we go through seasons of our lives when the roles change from being young parents to caring for older loved ones. Exodus 20:12 instructs us to honor our parents. We are then promised that if we do so, we may live long in the land the Lord is giving us. Ecclesiastes 3 also tells us there is a season for every activity under the heavens. My challenge to you today is two-fold: love your children in this season, but also ensure that they honor you as parents in the same manner that you loved them. Specifically, teach them to…
- Be a listener. (James 1:19)
- Be patient. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, Ephesians 4:2)
- Put others first. (Philippians 2: 3-4)
In doing so, you raise children who will bless you in the seasons to come.