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The other day I was spending a few quiet moments (a rarity lately!) reading one of my favorite devotional books, and this paragraph jumped out at me:

The loveliness of the character of Christ will be seen in His followers. It was His delight to do the will of God. Love to God, zeal for His glory, was the controlling power in our Saviour’s life. Love beautified and ennobled all His actions. Love is of God. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. It is found only in the heart where Jesus reigns. “We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19, R.V. In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around.

Steps to Christ, 59

The thought is beautiful all by itself, but as I contemplated it, something struck me. Love is the ultimate motivator. I mean, who would willingly wipe someone else’s bottom for free if they didn’t love them? Sure, some would do it for pay, but all mothers do it for free. Why? Because we love our little helpless babies!

But then something else struck me. When our children love us, they are motivated to obey us. When we have their heart, we don’t have to twist their arm to get them to do something. Have we shown them love like Christ has shown for us?

When our children are motivated by love, look what can happen: “It [love] modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections.”

In the goal of the development of character in our children, let’s make sure that we put in a lot of love!


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