Nothing is More Important than Love


“What would you rather do, play that computer game or come and give me a hug?” I ask my daughters.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Gemma-Rose says, “Hug you of course!”

“Do you even need to ask?” says Sophie.

I am humbled. What did I do to deserve such love?

I love my children so much it hurts.

“I love you so much,” I say.

My girls smile. “We know that!”

Maybe my children weren’t always aware of just how much I love them. I used to give them the impression I loved the good opinion of other people more. I would say such things as…

“You can’t wear that! What will people say?”
“How could you embarrass me like that?”
“I haven’t got time to do that with you. I have to clean the house. What if someone came to visit?”
“What’s wrong with you? Kids your age can read. What will everyone think?”

I used to complain and criticise and never appear satisfied.

I wanted people to think I was a perfect mother with a perfect house and perfect children who were perfectly educated.

But my children aren’t perfect. Nor am I. One day I realised my kids love me just the way I am. They don’t say, “We’d love you more if you were a better mother.”  Actually their unconditional love makes me want to be the best mother in the world.

So I love my children the way they love me. They don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to impress. It is enough that they are my children. My love for them overflows my heart. Yes, I love them so much it hurts.

Why does it hurt so much? Perhaps love is like a dart that wounds the heart. Maybe I imagine how I would feel if my children were no longer around. I hold my children tight, close my eyes and my heart suddenly contracts with love, but also fear and pain at the thought of losing them.

I don’t know what is ahead of us. I don’t know how long I will have my children. At the very most I will have them here with me in our home for only a few years. So I have to make every moment count. Make every day as joyful as I can. Live life in a way that brings us together, and doesn’t push us apart. Live so there are no regrets. Love until it overflows.

Nothing is more important than love. The most comprehensive curriculum, the best resources in the world, all the possible extra-curricular activities, all the experiences and opportunities I could provide, all the things I could buy … All these are nothing compared to love… the unconditional kind, the kind of love with which God loves me. It is love that has the greatest power to make our children grow and develop into the people they are meant to be.

“I’ve come to give you your hug.” Gemma-Rose climbs onto my lap. I place my cheek next to hers and drink in the sweet smell of her hair. I wrap my arms around my daughter and I feel so very, very thankful that I have children who have taught me about love.


As we sit and embrace I remember another hug and another blog post. It’s been two years since I wrote Time to Unschool. I am two years closer to the end of our homeschooling days… but I’ve had two more years of love. And for that, I am truly grateful.


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Comments

  1. Reply

    I LOVE this post! I feel just the same Sue and love is complex but so very beautiful and true.

    1. Reply

      Kelly,

      "love is complex but so very beautiful and true" I have been thinking about love a lot recently, trying to work it all out. It is so very powerful, and really nothing else matters.

      Thank you for your kind comment!

  2. Reply

    Oh, this is wonderful. Loving them so much it hurts – I well know the feeling. I'm now into my second generation of such lovely hurt, and sometimes I feel that if I just hold onto a grandbaby all day and never let her/him out of my arms, time will simply stand still! Think I'll go see if that works….

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      I often want to hold onto one of my children all day. Yes, I also want to try and make time stand still by not letting go. Eventually though I say, "I guess we'd better get on and do something." Gemma-Rose always replies with a smile, "We could just stay here." I am always tempted to do just that!

      Nancy, I am so glad you understand what I meant about love hurting. I found that feeling hard to put into words.

      I hope you enjoyed that long hug with your grandbaby!

    • Gina
    • July 23, 2013
    Reply

    Thanks for such a great reminder! Just ten minutes ago I was comparing my two sons' standardized test scores to the stats in a pro-homeschool article. Then I saw their language arts scores and was feeling like a failure. I think it is so wonderful how sweet your girls are. Some of my kids are similar in that they are very loving to me, but one or two make it difficult sometimes for me to feel the love.

    1. Reply

      Gina,

      It can be a worry wondering if we are doing an adequate job educating our children. We don't want to let them down, and it feels like a lot of responsibility at times. Gina, I'm sure you are not failing. All children are different. They have different strengths and different personalities, and can't really be compared. I used to want to change some of my children, wishing they all fell into the 'normal' range. Now I am happy to let them be who they are and appreciate their own individual gifts. It was a hard learning process for me!

      Yes, some kids are so sweet and others more difficult to relate to. After reading your comment I remembered a talk I heard, given by some Missionaries of Charity. They spoke about how some members of our family are not so easy to love as others, but it is these children who need our love the most. Love can change people. I reposted a story about that talk on my other blog if you are interested!

      God bless!

  3. Reply

    I LOVE this post! Yes! This is why I home school! Right above my desk I keep a letter Oob wrote me when he was 4.

    It says: MOM i (heart) wen u (smile) at me

    It reminds me to never be to busy to smile and hug!

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      Oh I love Oob's letter! Such things help us keep focused. It can be so easy to forget what's really important. Those smiles and hugs are going to be remembered by our children long after they have forgotten so many of the academic things we shared with them.

    • Kari
    • July 23, 2013
    Reply

    Sue-

    I recently attended a home school conference in the hopes of coming away with lots of new inspiration and encouragement from the line up of expert speakers. But, the speakers really did not have anything phenomenal to say. I was more inspired and more blessed by a conversation I had following the the conference with a few other home school moms and it went much like this post.

    We discussed and reminded each other (and ourselves) that– Our greatest reason for home schooling is love of our children. Our greatest blessing of home schooling is time with our children. Our greatest lesson of home schooling always boils down to love- love our family, love our neighbor, love the Lord with all we have. And if nothing else goes right in all our years of home schooling- as long as we got the love right- our children will be better off.

    After that, I left the conference inspired and encouraged! This post just drives all that inspiration and encouragement home even more! 🙂

    In love of Christ, Kari

    1. Reply

      Kari,

      Thank you so much for sharing your conference story.

      Everything comes down to love when we think about it. "And if nothing else goes right in all our years of home schooling- as long as we got the love right- our children will be better off." Yes! It might only seem like nothing else goes right. With love miracles can happen!

      Maybe you can write more about the conference on your blog. I haven't been to a conference for many years. I'd be interested in hearing about yours! Did you come home with any particular resolutions?

      So lovely to chat. God bless you!

      • Kari
      • July 24, 2013
      Reply

      Sue–

      I just put up a post touching a bit on all this. Would love for you to stop by and share your thoughts.

      God Bless, and as always thanks for the food for thought!

    2. Reply

      Kari,

      I will be over to visit. Always good to share thoughts. I look forward to reading your post!

  4. Reply

    This is beautiful, Sue:)

    It seems that love is the foundation on which learning best occurs, anyway. At school, I remember the high achievers usually were bright and happy, whereas the strugglers were often unhappy or seemed lonely.

    God bless:)

    1. Reply

      Vicky,

      I agree! We all learn best when we are happy. And what makes us happy? Being loved!

      God bless!

  5. Reply

    Klenda was wondering who made the picture of your family on your blog header – she liked it a lot!

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      Sophie drew the header picture. I wanted a picture of our whole family, but we didn't have any suitable photos. My daughter Felicity lives a long way away (on the other side of Australia) so it's not easy for us to get together for a photo session. I'm glad Klenda likes the picture. Sophie will be pleased!

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