As a parent, I’ll never forget the first love lesson from my own 4-year-old daughter. She had been caught at doing something she knew to be wrong and was now awaiting me to pass judgment. I would have to decide her punishment and with heavy heart, I administered the penalty. All along she had pleaded her case that she was being wrongly accused and she was innocent. But being a dutiful parent, I stuck to the evidence presented and the listened to credible statements from what I thought were reliable witnesses. I felt terrible, and as was our custom, I waited a short time and then we would sit down together and talk about what happened, how it might work out better next time, and re-establish the love I have for her. This little girl was about to teach me some powerful lessons about love.
Love Does Not Keep A Record of Wrong
But there was a problem. On the way back to her room, it came to my attention that she was indeed innocent of the crime. My heart sank within me. I had punished her for something she did not do. Now I had the herculean task of going in to a 4-year-old girl and admitting I had been wrong, that I had punished her for nothing. I sat on her bed and she sat opposite me on a chair in her room. I was so nervous, I kept fumbling for the words. I couldn’t even look her in the eye. Suddenly, as if she knew what I was trying to say she jumped up from her chair, threw her arms around my neck and said, “It’s OK, I love you no matter what happens.” Love lesson number one: love doesn’t keep score of the wrongs others have done.
Love is All Powerful
This story is so powerful to me even now that I cannot write it without stopping occasionally and getting a grip on my emotions. Her love was so powerful, so surprising, that it left me completely speechless. I literally could not talk in the presence of this kind of love. Now please understand that this sort of all-forgiving, unconditional love was something totally new to me. I had not really experienced this much growing up, or in any relationships to this point in my life. The last place I expected to see it was from this little child, but there it was. Her love was so powerful, it changed my life in that single moment. Love lesson number two: Love is all-powerful.
Love is Transferable
Do you ever tire of hearing those words come from the precious heart of your own child? I say that people can never say “I love you” too many times in a day. For some reason, my sweet daughter has always been fond of saying “I love you” several times each day when she gets up in the morning, when she goes to bed at night, whenever we are separated or leaving to go on even the shortest errand for a few minutes. It’s as if she knows that she might not have another chance to say it, so she says it frequently. I took the example of my daughter and now tell the folks around me that I love them at every opportunity. It has spread to all the members in our immediate family, and is spreading to our extended family. These simple words have literally changed our family for the better. Love lesson number three: love is transferable.
Each time my daughter says “I love you,” I am reminded of a good friend who never had the chance to say those words to her father one last time. They had a powerful argument the night before and she had tried to call his house the next morning to make amends. Sadly, she discovered he died that night just after she left. Not a day goes by that my friend doesn’t experience regret. So, I say take my daughters example and use every opportunity to tell the people around you that you love them as often as possible. When you separate, even for a short time, when you’re away from home and calling in, when you see a loved one anywhere, let them know how you feel. Love is a powerful thing and will change your world. Spread it around.
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More Than Words: Simple Ways to Show Kids You Love Them
Have You Loved Your Child Enough Today?