I was listening to an online message this morning from Pastor Michael Todd entitled "U R Loved". He said that love and value go hand in hand. When you love something or someone, you value it...you take care of it. When someone truly loves you, they value you. And when you are loved and valued at a young age, it can make a huge difference in your life as an adult.
"There are extreme differences between children who were valued at a young age and children who were not valued at a young age. When children are valued at a young age, they have the ability to step out and try things that may present danger. They have the ability to comprehend and get through situations of struggle easier. They are able to adapt in other environments easier, as well as they are able to problem solve in hard situations. They can do all of this because when they were younger they were told that they were valued."
As I thought about that, I realized that the strength and abilities and determination I have now is a result of being valued and loved from a very young age. I was raised by two parents who loved me and praised my accomplishments and supported me. They had rules and most of them were pretty strict. I was required to obey and there were consequences when I didn't...because they loved me. My parents were not perfect and they didn't get every parenting decision right. But there was never any doubt that I was loved and valued.
The core strength that I pull from today was planted in those early years of my life. My ability to never give up and never quit comes from knowing that my parents believed in me. So much of who I am now is because of how I was raised.
I am so thankful for loving parents who understood the importance of telling their kids that they loved them and that God loved them even more. Without that foundation, the struggles of my adult life would have overwhelmed me and I would have just given up. I know that whatever I face in this life, that I can handle it. I refuse to let struggles and challenges defeat me.