From the time your child enters the world until the time you release them into it on their own, you are given approximately 18 years, 216 months, 936 weeks, and 6,570 days to nurture, train, and love them. And with each moment you have with your children, it’s a moment that can never be recovered.
As our children are getting older, my wife and I are becoming increasingly aware that our time with our kids is short. And the investment opportunities of things that we desire to still see instilled in their hearts and lives before they leave home is shrinking by the day. Our oldest will be heading off to college within just a couple of years, and we’re nearing the ‘half-way’ point with our youngest.
While we continue to have great times together making many memories as a family, we can’t help but think of all the memories that we still want to make. But time is limited and fleeting. That is why it is so important that we love our children lavishly while we still have the chance.
And what do I mean by ‘loving them lavishly’? I simply mean there ought to be regular times when our kids are the beneficiaries of the outpouring of our love in undeniable and even somewhat overwhelming ways.
For example, of the 6570 days that God has given to you with your child, how many of them will stand out in their memory as days that they remember being lavishly loved? Days or moments when they were treated like royalty, and given the very best of who you are as a parent?
While I’m not at all suggesting that we need to spoil our children rotten (that’s grandpa & grandma’s job), there is a healthy balance of times when our kids should feel the overwhelming sense of being surrounded with our love – physically, emotionally, and mentally. These don’t have to be times when we spend a lot of money or even any money at all. They simply need to be times when they know that they are our #1 priority then and there, and that we love them more than we love any other earthly possessions or commitments.
- For my 10-year-old son, to love him lavishly would look like this… to play a 3 hour game of monopoly (that he knows I can’t stand) but to have fun doing it, then to play football in the backyard, and then watch his favorite movie together. To him, this is to be lavishly loved by dad.
- For my 7-year-old son, it would look more like this… Taking time to go frisbee golfing together, helping him build something in the backyard or up in a tree, and doing the piggy-toes each night before going to bed. Of course, right after eating some microwave popcorn together (his favorite).
- For my 13-year-old daughter, loving her lavishly would include things like Starbuck, Buffalo Wild Wings, and extra long bear hugs. Because she feels most loved through those two things – her favorite foods and my physical affection.
- For my 15-year-old son, to be lavished with love looks like me and him playing basketball in the driveway, watching action movies together, and just talking about life (of all our kids, he surprisingly loves to talk the most).
This will look different for each of your children as well, and knowing their love language will help.
Mom or dad, when’s the last time that you loved your children lavishly? Think about some of these different ways that you could show them your lavish love this week:
- Give them an extra long hug (no side hugs allowed) and don’t let go until they know undoubtedly just how much you love them.
- With younger kids, fall asleep with them in their bed holding them tight and singing to them.
- Praise your child for some of their strengths in front of your family or friends.
- Write them a handwritten note expressing your love and how proud you are of them.
- Make them their favorite breakfast or meal out of the blue as an ‘I love you’ gesture.
- Take them to do their favorite activity or to eat at their favorite restaurant for no special reason other than ‘just because’.
- Have a meal around the dinner table where everyone in the family brags on what they appreciate most about them.
- Sit them down, look them in the eyes, and tell them exactly how much they mean to you.
- Brag on them in a one-on-one setting where you pour out your heart and your pride.
The possibilities are endless, but the opportunities are not.
I absolutely love it when I see parents taking their kids out on dates, doing special activities together, and spending individual time with one another. It truly blesses my heart to see parents loving their children lavishly, and I know it blesses the heart of the Heavenly Father even more.
One day many parents are going to look back and wish that they had taken advantage of more opportunities to love their children lavishly.
So, however many years, months, weeks, or days you have left, why not make the most of them to lavish your most prized earthly possessions with your most precious priceless gift – your love. I guarantee you this – you’ll never regret it, and they’ll never forget it.