“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” 1 John 3:18-19
Most people are looking for some kind of assurance that they’re meeting the approval of the important people in their lives. It starts when we’re very young, probably about the time we figure out that if we do certain things we get praised and if we do other things we get scolded. With these realizations we embark on a journey in which we endeavor to assure ourselves that we measure up by doing things that get us the praise of others while avoiding their criticism.
The precise kinds of praise gaining behaviors depends on two factors: the innate qualities of the individual, and the preferences of those they’re trying to please. In the early years the latter factor is generally the parents. Researchers have also found that of the parents the father’s praise and criticism seems to have the greatest impact when it comes the influence of the messages they send to their children. So fathers, especially, need to be careful that they’re sending the messages their children need from them
There also seem to be gender differences in the kinds of approval generally sought by a child. Boys are usually looking to their fathers for some kind of assurance that they’re making the cut when it comes to manly achievements. Girls, on the other hand, generally are seeking some assurance from their fathers that they’re precious to him. You can see this played out everyday. Little boys trying to make muscles and show their daddies how strong they are and little girls all dressed up in their cutest princess outfits, twirling in front of their fathers, and asking the question, “Am I pretty, daddy?”
The drive to get assurance never goes away. The father may eventually share the privilege of communicating the assurance with a grown child’s husband or wife but the need of that child for assurance that they’ve made the grade, or have value, never goes away.
I find it reassuring that our Heavenly Father makes what he’s looking for in us clear. He’s already shown us that we’re precious to him by giving Jesus to win our salvation. And when it comes to securing his approval he makes that clear as well.
Love one another. Be nice. Be kind. Be generous. Be patient. Be gentle.
We don’t do any of this to become God’s children. We do it because we are God’s children and this is how people are when they’re filled with the Spirit of God and called by the name of Christ.
Do you want to have assurance with God. Love like Jesus.