In their mega-bestseller, “The Love Dare,” Stephen and Alex Kendrick offered Christian-inspired wisdom on love and marriage, challenging couples to practice “unconditional love” for 40 days while building the tools necessary to sustain a strong relationship. Now, in “The Love Dare for Parents,” the authors have created a similar workbook for parents, guiding moms and dads through a 40-day journey full of lessons for improving their relationships with their kids and creating family dynamics that support confidence, love and respect. In this exclusive essay for Bookish, “Love Dare” co-author Alex Kendrick offers five key tips for being a better parent.
Ask how you’re doing
Ask yourself if your children feel secure in your love. Do they really believe you love them? Taking time to gently ask them may provide insightful results. Find a few moments to sit and talk with them where they have your full attention. Let them know your love for them is constant.
Keep your cool
Love practices restraint. It involves controlling your emotions, rather than letting them control you. When you demonstrate patience in your daily relationships with your children, it provides another way of saying “I love you.” Determine to show patience in your reactions and demeanor.
Kindness is love in action. Where patience minimizes the negative, kindness initiates the positive. Finding small ways to show acts of kindness will leave lasting imprints on your children. It also sweetens the “aroma” of your presence in their lives.
Lend an ear
Whoever has your children’s hearts will also have their ears. They listen to those they believe love them. A wise parent will nurture their relationship with their children so that communication is always open. When they know you love them, your children are more likely to truly listen to you.
Love honors authority. Children pick up on how to react to authority from their parents. If you do not honor the authority in your life, your children are more likely not to honor you. Make sure your reaction to the authority in your life is appropriate and respectful. Your kids will notice.
Brothers, pastors, filmmakers and authors, Alex and Stephen Kendrick co-wrote the international bestsellers “The Love Dare” and “The Resolution for Men.” They are among the co-founders of Sherwood Pictures and worked together to write and produce the hit Christian films “Flywheel,” “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof” and “Courageous.” Alex and Stephen continue to serve on the pastoral staff of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.