When Your Children Say ’I Hate You’

I remember hearing about children, grown or still living at home, that would scream at their parents “I hate you!”  In fact, it happens so often that I thought it was necessary to be included in my little booklet called “Teaching Children the Gospel, How to Raise Godly Children”.  In it I wrote that, “When children are the worst, they are absolutely the most difficult ever, you feel like screaming or giving up and the hardest to ever love at that point…is exactly when children need the love the very most.  The most effective way to respond to children who least deserve love is to give them exactly what they need the most. That is your unconditional love. Love and praying for them when you feel it is the most impossible to do so is the very time that they need it the most.”  Sounds impossible, but in Christ, we can find His strength to do this.  

When we love our own children and even our own enemies outside of our family when they are at their worst and seem to give us the most grief is when they need love more so. It is like they are screaming out in their souls…”I am hurting, I am confused about life, and I can't handle all of this that is called life so I will take it out on you.”  We, as human beings, seem to always hurt the ones the most that we love the most.  Paradoxical I know, but love them.  Be kind to them when they despite you…pray for them when they verbally abuse you….kiss them when they spit at you.  How strange I know, but this works.  This mimic's God's love for us. We don't deserve it. We have not earned it. We are not entitled to it. Yet God loved us while we were still enemies of Him.  His loved is not conditioned on our behavior; otherwise none of us would be saved.  

It’s not logical, it seems impossible, it goes against the grain of human nature, but it works.  I know. I was in this stage of life. God saved me when I didn't deserve it. I was angry at God.  He loved me.  I tried to take my anger out on Him.  He responded by loving me.  I was broken and didn't understand, but He understood of me.  He saved me.  He gave me what I didn't deserve (called grace) and withheld what I did deserve (called mercy).  He sought me, He bought me, He caught me, He taught me, what I ought be.

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