Unconditional love empowers. Children who understand their own worth in God’s eyes are set free to love and serve others.1
Maya’s Unconditional Love
Maya stood quietly to the side as I handed apples to the kids coming to Hope for Children, an after-school program for boys and girls who would otherwise be home alone. When all the other children were seated at the tables, she stepped forward to speak to me.
“Hi, Maya. Did you get an apple?”
“Do you need something else?”
She shifted from one foot to the other. “Do you have another apple?”
I knelt in front of her. “I do have a few left. Are you extra hungry today?”
“No, Miss. It’s not for me. My sister’s at home because she’s too old to come. She really likes apples, but Mom says they cost too much.” Maya seemed to gather her courage and stood a little taller. “May I take her one?”2
Set Free by Unconditional Love
We talked about her sister as I put several apples in Maya’s backpack. I reminded her the apples would need refrigeration. She said the three of them—Maya, her sister, and her Mom—would eat them all that night.
Maya’s story is a beautiful example of the implication of Jesus’s words, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31 NLT. It is impossible to have unconditional love for others if you are not secure in your own worth. It is my opinion that the only way to find that security is to know that you are a beloved child of God. Only his is perfect unconditional love.
From an early age, talk to your children about how much God loves them. No matter how much they mess up, he will not stop loving them. When they know God’s unconditional love, they are free to take the risks that could be part of loving others.
1 Carole A. Bell, LPC, From Birth to Seven Build a Strong Foundation, (Plainview, TX, Bean Hill Press, 2016), p. 197.
2 Carole A. Bell, LPC, From Birth to Seven Build a Strong Foundation, (Plainview, TX, Bean Hill Press, 2016), p. 28.