Parenting with Authentic Love

Most parents would be willing, in the example of Christ, to lay down their lives for their children. When the task at hand is not life or death, but one of many seemingly insignificant choices parents face every single day, what does it look like to parent with authentic love?

Regardless of our individual vocation (marriage, holy orders, consecrated life, single life), we all share a common vocation. We are all called to the vocation of love and communion. We are called to love God and to love others. In his life and ministry, Jesus gave us the perfect example of authentic love: A sacrificial, fruitful, gift of self. Our fundamental vocation is to self-giving, fruitful love in imitation of the Lord.

With very few exceptions, parents love their children. Most parents would be willing, in the example of Christ, to lay down their lives for their children. But it can be a challenge to determine what authentic love looks like in day to day parenting. When the task at hand is not life or death, but one of many seemingly insignificant choices parents face every single day, what does it look like to parent with authentic love?

For more information on parenting with authentic love, follow the West Nebraska Register column, Parenting with Authentic Love. This series examines parenting within the context of our call to the vocation of love and communion, examining some of the toughest issues faced by parents today through the lens of authentic love.

(CORRECTION: In part II of Elizabeth Heidt’s column: Parenting with Authentic Love‚ Behold your Mother, the sentence should read: “Unconditional love is NOT contingent on obedience.)