Practical Parenting Tips for Discipling Kiddos–Part 2

I said I’d take her to the store that day to look for jeans. When it was nearing time to go, I checked in to make sure she’d gotten her homework and job done (some people call them “chores,” but we call them “jobs,” as chores sound loathing; everyone has a job to do). Nope; it wasn’t finished. It’s the parent’s right to change his or her plan, based on new information (or so I understood years ago from a book authored by a Christian psychologist). I wanted to teach my kiddo responsibility, so…plans changed; we didn’t go to the store.

My mindset got rocked a bit when I watched a Q & A session with Dr. Kathy Koch, which followed her talk titled “Secure Children’s Hearts to Unlock Their Potential” (I referred to this in the last post, which is worth checking out!). Parents were encouraged to follow through on our promises, even if something negative (like a job not being done) follows…It shows our kids unconditional love, like God’s, as well as faithfulness, rather than “love” based on behavior.

Below are more tips on discipling kiddos’ hearts from that Q & A session. These are just my notes…a snapshot, but I hope you’ll still be blessed (watch the video at the end of this post to catch Dr. Kathy’s full Q & A session!).

  • Go TO them. INITIATE conversation; it honors them.
  • Say, “I love you too much to argue with you,” or “I love you too much to let you continue talking to me that way.”
  • Focus the praise on WHO THEY ARE, not on the related behavior.
  • Say, “You’re BEing so kind!” rather than “You’re such a good girl! That was nice that you smiled at her, even though she’s been so mean to you,” or “You’re BEing so diligent!” rather than “Good boy for finishing that!”

* “Correct” means “put wrong right.”

  • Specifically share how to make a wrong right.
  • Say, “You’re BEing _____________; try _____________ next time” (i.e., “You’re BEing careless; try moving everything on the counter when you’re wiping it down to make sure the counter gets clean. Dust and dirt gets trapped under things, too. If you move the things on the counter, you’ll BE extra careful.”).

* “Criticize” means “point out wrong.”

  • There is no such thing as “constructive criticism!”
  • Don’t use nouns; IDENTITY controls BEHAVIOR.
  • Don’t say, “You ARE _______________.”
  • Say, “I know, because _____________” (i.e., I know you’re BEing untruthful…and even deceitful, because I heard you say, “_______________,” to your sister; you just told me the opposite.”
  • Evidence doesn’t lie.
  • We HAVE to have current evidence; we can’t base our assessment on past behaviors. Otherwise, we don’t let them change; we just stick the child in their past.
  • Make sure what we’re teaching as “right” is according to SCRIPTURE, not our own opinion!
  • Humble ourselves.
  • Ask, “How can I help you?” or “What do you need?”
  • Remember our tone of voice, time of day, etc. Boys will talk more when they can avoid our eyes; the dinner table is not the best place to have a serious conversation with them. Go for a drive with them, take a walk, etc.
  • Talk about forgiving them for the choice they made.
  • Say thank you more often.

There is SO MUCH here that I’ve been learning and re-learning…SO much I’m trying to marinate on and put into practice! One way is that I tend to fix it and then feel it; in fact, as I’m typing this, I’ve been called out on the timing of when I brought something up to one of my kiddos. Ouch. Point taken! Humility: the exercise of the day!…With the tips above heavy on my heart, I went into the kitchen, where my kiddo was, waited for the right moment, gently held both hands, and began to share how God has forgiven me numerous times for speaking out of anger; because He’s forgiven me, I’m choosing to forgive, too. Then, I asked for forgiveness for focusing more on what needed to be done than choosing a better time to address the issue…Walls of defense, frustration, anger? They all crumbled…visibly. Humility, forgiveness, truth? They, by God’s mercy, restored a beautiful connection.

I’m truly a work in progress! Thank you, LORD, for loving me enough to correct me!


Do any of these tips resonate with you? If so, which one(s)? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment at the top of this post or a reply at the bottom of the post.

Would you be courageous enough to share an example where God’s way brought about something beautiful?


If you have the time to take in the full Q & A session with Dr. Kathy, check it out below.

Q & A session begins at the 53:00 mark (it follows Dr. Kathy’s speech).

Practical Parenting Tips for Discipling Kiddos

Parenting…It feels like a constant chess game, doesn’t it? Over the years, my husband and I have approached parenting many different ways. One way has worked with one kid, but not another; so, we’ve had to “re-strategize.” Each child has moved into different phases of life, and what may have been “successful” at one point has needed to be changed at another. It’s definitely a journey! It’s a rewarding one in SO many ways, but I’m being real; it can be hard!


I’ve been praying about discipling our kiddos well. Two weeks ago, the LORD answered in a couple different ways:

  1. A reminder from our pastor in his sermon that discipleship has RELATIONSHIP at its center. He also noted Christ’s instructions, in Matthew 28:19-20, for how to make disciples. It’s teaching them to obey what Christ has commanded them. These commands aren’t just a list of dos and don’ts; they have purpose with a specific end result in mind. I can focus on the moment too intently and lose sight of the long-term goal. A shift in focus can make a HUGE difference!
  2. An email from our Children’s Ministry Director, inviting me and others to watch a live stream, featuring Dr. Kathy Koch, titled, “Secure Children’s Hearts to Unlock Their Potential.” It was, in my opinion, worth sharing, whether you’re a parent of littles, teens, or adults; work with kiddos; have grandkids; or influence the life of one.

Here are some of my notes from Dr. Kathy’s talk with some applications; if you want to dig into one point more deeply to hear exactly what she had to say, you can find the full talk at the end of this post. I pray you, too, will be challenged and encouraged!


  • We’re raising adults, not children.
  • Kids are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS! Celebrate WHO THEY ARE (they’re character, heart, and who they’re becoming), not WHAT THEY DO/DID.


  • They’re not stupid; they’re just inexperienced.

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

Isaiah 1:16-17 NKJV
  • They have to be taught what IS evil to know what to STOP doing.
  • They have to be taught what IS good to know what TO do.
  • Teach character and beliefs (they won’t always absorb truth just from living with us).
  • Teach how to change. The word “change” means “exchange” (to replace with something different); teach them how to change something that doesn’t line up with what God prefers (i.e., what can they replace it with–the opposite of what you’re seeing). Make sure to apply what you’re teaching to your own life!

“if indeed you heard about Him and were taught in Him, just as the truth is in Jesus. You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man, who has been created in God’s image–in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.”

Ephesians 4:21-24 NETB
  • Pray that the Spirit will reveal what needs to be “laid aside” in our own lives, as well, as parents, to model the righteousness and holiness of Christ better to our kids.


  • Deal with the heart. Interview; ask about the cause for their behavior. Talk about their beliefs.
  • Inspect; look for patterns (i.e., Does the behavior show up only when substitutes are in the classroom, when they’re hungry, when they’re on electronics?). If there’s no pattern/consistency, they’re still trying to work it out, internally. If there’s a specific pattern, it’s become part of their essence.
  • Talk more about what you WANT than what you SEE (i.e., We’re supposed to show love–who God IS–by showing kindness/mercy to those who don’t deserve it. How could you have let the Holy Spirit help you respond to _______ differently and shown them kindness/mercy in that situation?).

If you have the time and would like to take in the speaking event I watched, featuring Dr. Kathy, check it out below.

Beginning: 16:00 mark

Duration: 36 mins

Q & A session beginning (follows Dr. Kathy’s speech): 53:00 mark

I hope you’re as blessed as I’ve been! Help other readers by commenting below, if there’s something that stuck out to you from her lecture that I don’t have listed above.

Epitaph: What Does it Say?

An epitaph isn’t something we think about often, but it is rather fitting, as many believers are observing Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection this week. There have been some interesting epitaphs written over the years:

“Famous voice actor Mel Blanc–who gave voice to characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig–immortalized one of his most well-known lines on his tombstone:”1

“That’s All Folks!”

“Actress Bette Davis had to fight her way up…at every step of her career. She immortalized her struggles–and triumphs–on her final resting place:”1

“She did it the hard way.”

“Quoting a famous line from one of his most famous speeches–“I Have a Dream”–Martin Luther King Jr.’s epitaph embodies his faith and inspirational spirit:”1

“Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty; I’m free at last.”


Our family listened to a sermon in December last year on Jesus’ family tree, based on Matthew 1. Sure, it may not be the most exciting passage in Scripture, but it has a purpose. As we followed along, reading all the names, my husband pointed out the following verse:

“and Jesse fathered King David. David fathered Solomon by the wife of Uriah,”

Matthew 1:6 ISV

We lost power shortly after we read that and continued talking as a family. I don’t remember ever noticing how Bathsheba was referenced here before. Scripture doesn’t mention her name, like it does Rahab, Ruth, and Mary; it just calls her, “the wife of Uriah.” Even though Uriah wasn’t technically part of Jesus’ kingly lineage, he was still an honorable mention for his faithful allegiance to King David.

This epitaph, of sorts, is a constant reminder of David’s sin with Uriah’s wife…there for everyone to read. Typically, our sin isn’t something we want to broadcast for everyone to see or know. Isn’t it fitting, though, whose name you see at the end of that genealogy (Matthew 1:16)? God provided the ultimate sacrifice in Jesus, the Messiah, to be the payment for sins and The Way to receive forgiveness. This is a reminder that all of us sin…and that because of Christ’s death for us (and resurrection), we can all be covered with His forgiveness! It’s because of His forgiveness that we can “come clean” with our sin, sharing our experiences, and the reality of the hope we have because of Jesus!


It hung on the cross, above Jesus’ head…a sign to all explaining why He was being punished this way…the “accusation,” as Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote in their accounts of the crucifixion. Another word for the Greek word Matthew, Mark, and Luke used, meaning “accusation,” is “crime.”

Crime? He was without sin (1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5)!

Exactly! John said, in his gospel, that Pilate had questioned Him and heard the case against Him, yet there wasn’t any fault found in Him (John 18:38, 19:4). So, Pilate wrote an inscription to be fastened to Christ’s cross:

The King of the Jews

This same saying was written in three different languages for those who passed by to be able to read…and they did. John 19:20 tells us that “many of the Jews read this sign, as where Jesus was crucified was near the city.” Black letters written on a white tablet, which is what this was said to be, according to the Greek word “epigraphé,” would be easily read. Jesus had claimed that He was the King of the Jews, when Pilate questioned Him (Matthew 27:11, Mark 15:2, Luke 23:3, and John 18:37), so it makes sense why Pilate wrote this inscription, as this is what he knew was true from questioning Him.

John called the “inscription” a “title,” rather than a crime in his gospel. It’s interesting that a synonym for “inscription” is “epitaph…” Christ’s epitaph was not a crime, though they considered it so. It was one of His many titles. Do you know how “the one chosen” in ancient times was crowned king? A horn full of oil was poured on the top of one’s head for his anointing…to grant him the title/position as king. To be king is an appointment by God (Daniel 2:21). Guess who else was an anointed king (Hebrews 1:8-9)?

“Jacob fathered Joseph, the husband of Mary, who was the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.”

Matthew 1:16 ISV

“Messiah” also means “Christ” and…

Anointed One!”

Now, that’s an epitaph!


Growing up, around the table before Easter dinner, we’d talk about different aspects of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Maybe this season, you could ask your those you’re celebrating with to discuss:

  • In what areas is Jesus King over your life, and in what areas do you need to let Him reign more?
  • What are some other titles for Jesus? Spend some time in awe of Him.
  • If you were to do die, what epitaph would others write on your tombstone? What title would they give you? What would you be remembered for?

1 “10 Famous Epitaphs: The Good, the Bad, and the Weird.” Merkle Monuments, 1 May 2018,

Joy Breakers

Written by Guest Writer, Shirley Taylor

Have you ever been so excited about an upcoming event, but when it arrived, something happened that felt like it robbed you of the joy you were anticipating?  This has happened to me more times than I’d like to admit through the years, but I can never remember anything quite like the experience I had some weeks ago.

For over a month, I had looked forward to the weekend we would spend with family, watching our grandkids play in their respective sports’ tournaments.  The weekend started out great.  Seeing our granddaughter using her God-given skills, playing volleyball with such love and enjoyment for the sport, brought so much joy to my heart!  I definitely wore my proud MeMa hat!

A few days later, it was time to see our grandson in action, playing basketball.  He had worked so hard, preparing for this season, and I couldn’t wait to cheer him on.  I was so excited to finally take in one of his games!  The night arrived, we found our seats in the appropriate cheering section, and I couldn’t wait for the game to start!  Prior to the game, a group of teens from the opposing team decided to find their seats two rows behind us and proceeded to fling brutal comments to our team’s players.  This went on throughout the game, even to the point of disrespecting the referees.  Needless to say, my MeMa hat was ready to blow, especially when they made my grandson one of their targets!  I had spent the past hour turning around, hoping they could sense my displeasure at their mockings, but nothing helped.  I had had enough and finally turned around and asked them to please “shut up.”  I’m not proud of what I did. In fact, it bothered me for days afterward.  I left the game feeling robbed of my witness and joy as a believer and angry at those who had felt it necessary to brutalize my grandson and his teammates.

The next morning, after a night of wrestling with my emotions over this, the Lord gently reminded me of the night Jesus had been taken to face those who sought His death.  The chief priests and all the council were having trouble finding witnesses whose testimonies would prove they were justified in trying to get rid of this One who had made such blasphemous claims.  Even though their false witnesses’ stories didn’t agree, they wouldn’t give up.  Because of Roman rule, this council didn’t have the authority to put anyone to death, but if they could bring their claims to Pilate, the Roman governor, hopefully he could be persuaded to see their reason for wanting this Jesus to be put to death.  The next morning, they bound Jesus and delivered Him to Pilate.  When the chief priests threw accusations at Jesus, in front of Pilate, Jesus never tried to defend Himself. 

At one point, Pilate even asked Jesus, “Do You answer nothing?  Look at all the things they’re testifying against You.”  Still, Jesus kept silent, and Pilate marveled. 

Isaiah chapter 53 tells us what Jesus was subjected to.  He was despised, rejected by men, acquainted with grief, wounded, bruised, oppressed and afflicted.  He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, He opened not His mouth.  The Father laid on Him every sin that has ever been or will be committed throughout time.  Jesus took all of that in silence.  When the religious rulers, because of their envy, stirred up the crowd to cry out “Crucify Him,” Pilate relented, and even though he could find no fault in Jesus, he had Jesus scourged and later crucified. 

As I read these accounts, I thought again of the way I reacted to those who thought it necessary to slander my grandson and his teammates.  How I wish I had acted differently.  My heart aches as I think of the times I brought shame to Jesus because of my words or actions.  I realized that even though I wasn’t one of the chief priests or soldiers mocking Jesus, or striking Him with the whip loaded with pieces of metal, the one placing the crown of thorns on Jesus’ head, or the soldier pounding the nails in His hands and feet, my sin put Him there.  My sin nailed Him to the cross.  He went through all of that for me; taking MY punishment for MY sin.  His death and resurrection brought about that precious moment when I heard Him knocking at the door of my heart.  I opened the door and invited Him in, bringing about a relationship with Him that brings an indescribable joy that the world could never understand.

Jesus has often reminded me to pray for those teens and their need for Jesus in their lives.  Any time I find myself face to face with a joy breaker these days, I want to remember how Christ forgave me and choose the joy that only He can give.

Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash

Does What I Say and Do Line up with God’s Character?

“God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. He wraps the rain in His thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight. He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with His clouds. He created the horizon, when He separated the waters: He set the boundary between day and night. The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at His rebuke. By His power, the sea grew calm. By His skill, He crushed the great sea monster. His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and His power pierced the gliding serpent. These are just the beginning of all that He does, merely a whisper of His power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of His power?”

Job 26:7-14 NLT

Omnipotent…It’s a big word that simply means “All Powerful.” This describes God, the Almighty! Whether you believe it or not, God can do ANYTHING…as long as it falls in line with His purposes…

“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be restrained.”

Job 42:2 WEB

“But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”

Psalm 115:3 MEV

…and His character.

“So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable, because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence, as we hold to the Hope that lies before us.”

Hebrews 6:18 NLT

“You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin.”

1 John 3:5 ESV

“God is not a human being who speaks falsely, nor a mortal, who feels regret. Is God one to speak and not act, to decree and not bring it to pass?”

Numbers 23:19 NAB

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.”

2 Timothy 2:13 ESV

Some people have questioned whether or not it’s “impossible” for God to lie or if He just chooses not to. Take a look back at Hebrews 6:18 (listed above). The Greek word for “impossible,” used in this verse, is “adunatos,” which comes from two Greek words: “alpha” (meaning “not”) + “dunatos” (meaning “possible” or “able”) = “not able or possible.” I think “impossible” is quite an adequate word to describe His inability to lie! He can’t “deny” (“contradict”) Himself; He IS Truth (John 14:6, 16:13, 17:17)!

As I was thinking about this the other day, I got to thinking about how we identify ourselves with God. Maybe we call ourselves “believers” or “Christians” (“little anointed ones”). If this is true, then we identify ourselves as children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-4:7), God’s Son, and have the Spirit of Christ in our hearts, crying “Father! Father!” So, if we’re children of God and have a healthy relationship with our daddy, we love Him dearly and are dependent on Him. Keep trackin’ with me, here…

  • If God is in us…the same God who’s unable to sin or contradict His character…don’t you think He’s a good daddy and can be relied on to help us, as we try to imitate Him?
  • And if He’s unable to contradict His character, why do we think it’s ok to act in a way that contradicts HIM, when we belong to Him?!?

If [God] is unable to contradict His character, why do we think it’s ok to act in a way that contradicts HIM, when we belong to Him?!?

“Well, you didn’t see what she did to me! She totally had that comin’!”

“They only seem to listen if I yell!”

“Why should I forgive him? He doesn’t deserve it!”

“Well, if I told you the truth, I’d hurt your feelings.”

We have our excuses, don’t we?!? But if we have God inside us…the One Who can do anything that pleases Him, we should be truly reflecting Him by making choices that also please Him. If we’re acting contrary to His character, we’re acting like He’s not in us…like we’re not identifying as His kid. If we, as a believer in Christ, contradict Him, we give a false representation of Who He is to others. It’s not about seeming “stuck up,” “intolerant,” or “too conservative.” It’s about truly representing Who God is!

That’s enough for me to pause and dig deep, asking the Spirit to show me any inconsistencies in MY life. How about you?
Photo by Thomas Grams on Unsplash

Sin, Guilt, and Repentance

“I got to thinking about the first time I ever felt guilty. It happened when I was in the first grade…My mom was a hair dresser, and every Saturday, she had me stay with Mrs. Gunner; Mrs. Gunner was…my baby sitter while Mom…worked. I loved Mrs. Gunner! She was like a second mother to me.

She had a son named Scotty…He was off to college…I used to take a nap in Scotty’s room. Scotty had a soldier’s hat, and I REALLY LOVED that hat! So, one day, I was getting ready to [go] home. It was cold; I’d worn a coat, and I took that hat (I loved it so much)…, and I put it under my coat…I took it home.

Well, it didn’t take me long to realize, once after I got home, that I couldn’t wear the hat, ’cause if I did, my mom and dad would ask me where I got the hat, and I’d have to rat myself out! So, you know what I did with that hat? I put that hat under my bed.

For the next week, I got the worst sleep of my life! All I thought about was that hat, and this thought kept coming to my mind: ‘That’s not your hat! It doesn’t belong to you! You stole it! You shouldn’t have taken it! That is NOT YOUR HAT!’ I was miserable, and I finally realized (on Friday night before the Saturday I was going to go back to see Mrs. Gunner); I finally got it! ‘I don’t have that hat! That hat has ME!’

So, the next morning, I got up, put the hat under my coat (I never told my mom, by the way, that this happened)…, and I went back. I’ll be honest with ya. I’m six years old. I don’t even know if I know what the word “guilt” really means, but I can remember it like it was yesterday. I walked into the house, and, oh, I just dreaded it so badly! I walked into the kitchen. Mrs. Gunner was in the kitchen; she was making breakfast for me. I walked in, and I took that hat from under my coat, and I put it on the table.

I said, ‘Mrs. Gunner, I stole Scotty’s hat, and I’m so sorry!’ I had tears in my eyes.

I still remember Mrs. Gunner coming over to me, and she said, ‘Well, I saw you took it.’

I said, ‘What?’

She said, ‘I saw you took it.’ She was a godly woman, and she said, ‘But I wanted God to teach you a lesson. She said, ‘How did your week go?’

I said, ‘Terrible!’

She said, ‘Good! That’s what I prayed for every single day!’

But I want to tell you, when I gave her that hat, and she said to me, ‘I knew you’d bring it back, and I forgive you,’ let me tell you what happened: 1) I had the best time playing I had all week! 2) I got the best night’s sleep I’d gotten in a week!

…You may be living with guilt today, but you don’t have to live with guilt tomorrow! There is an answer! There is a hope for you! Now, let me say up front: There is no human cure for the problem of guilt…Why? Because the cause of all guilt is sin, and only God can cure your problem! You can…get all the counseling that you want to, but guilt is the infection, and only God has the cure.

Dr. James Merritt

God used this story to impact me this week! I see sin, and I hate it! It bothers me, and I want to cure it…fix it. So, I pray that God will use me…something I say…to penetrate someone’s heart! Mrs. Gunner’s reaction jumped out at me like bold letters on a white page! In that situation, I so would’ve been chompin’ at the bit to share God’s word with Dr. Merritt’s younger self, show him why what he did was wrong, call his mom and fill her in, so she could talk through it with him and pray for him, too,…! Sigh. Did you see what he said? “Only God can cure your problem!” I’m not saying that God doesn’t use us to bring Truth into people’s lives! He does! I’m just realizing there are times when all He wants is for us to trust Him with the timing and to trust Him with the conviction and result! I think the thoughtful, trusting, prayerful approach Mrs. Gunner took in letting the Spirit of God work that week was further reaching than anything she could’ve ever said days earlier!

Dr. Merritt went on to preach a fantastic sermon about sin, which “in the eyes of God, is not a misdemeanor; it’s a felony,” guilt, and repentance, based on Psalm 51:1-5.

Sin: It is NOT a cold; it’s a cancer!

Dr. james merritt

Several words in the Bible refer to sin, but I haven’t always understood why they’re all used, like they’re different. Here’s how they’re slightly different (you’ll also see them in Psalm 51):

  • Transgressions–cross a forbidden boundary; rebel against the law
  • Iniquity–perversity (to think you can sin against an all-knowing, all-perfect, all-holy God and get away with it)
  • Sin–miss the mark (bullseye); the bullseye of your life is the will of God, which is what’s right…His best for you

Take some time this week to read Psalm 51. It’s a heart-wrenching prayer of sin, guilt, and repentance that we all can pour out to God, when He convicts us of our sin.

“The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit, a heart broken and bruised, O God; You do not despise.”

Psalm 51:17 LSV

To hear Dr. Merritt’s entire sermon, click on this link:

Far from Reckless

You’ve probably heard a well-known song, describing God’s love as “reckless.” A rendition I heard a while back was unique, with beautiful harmonies; it stirred my Spirit, even well into the night. It’s a controversial song. Some have spoken to their worship leaders about it, chosen not to join in singing it at their churches, or turned the channel/skipped it, when it’s come on the radio, Spotify, etc.


“Reckless” is “marked by lack of proper caution: careless of consequences; irresponsible; heedlessness of probable consequences.”1 Here are some synonyms listed for this word with their definitions/implications; note that all of them expose “oneself to danger more than required by good sense:”1

  • DARING implies fearlessness in courting danger.”
  • DAREDEVIL stresses [a showy, unrefined demonstration in order to draw attention and impress with greater qualities than one actually has] in regard to daring.
  • RASH suggests imprudence and lack of forethought.”
  • FOOLHARDY suggests a recklessness that is inconsistent with good sense.”1

This is why many have a tough time with this description of God’s love; it’s depicted as careless or irresponsible.


“When I use the phrase, ‘the reckless love of God,’ I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His love isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at Him and offer ourselves in return. The recklessness of His love is seen most clearly in this – it gets Him hurt over and over. Make no mistake, our sin pains His heart. Yet He opens up and allows us in every time. His love saw you when you hated Him – when all logic said, ‘They’ll reject me,’ He said, ‘I don’t care if it kills me. I’m laying My heart on the line.'”2

Cory Asbury

I read a blog by a passionate worship leader about the use of the word “reckless” in “Reckless Love” and how believers have raised questions about it. He said, “I honestly cannot believe I just wasted 10 minutes of my time needing to argue why reckless is an okay description of God’s love in this context. I think if more Christians were more distressed about reaching their lost neighbors with the gospel of Jesus instead of putting up a fuss about songs like this, the world would be a much better [place] with more saved people. But nope. We still battle our pharisaical and religious tendencies.” His view was that “The chorus focuses on how incredible it is that God loves us and pursues us. The term “Reckless” has gotten a lot of attention. As usual, when a gifted songwriter uses a bit of language that is not typical, all of the Pharisees in the church come out of the woodwork and make a loud fuss.”3

We ABSOLUTELY need to be concerned with reaching our lost neighbors with the gospel of Jesus and be in awe of the incredible love God so drastically demonstrated to us! So, when’s it “fussy” to call something out, and when’s it just discerning? My belief is that when something misrepresents Who God IS, it’s ok to be “fussy,” as some people see it. Misrepresented information has the possibility of deceiving people or causing them to question truth, and we want to be extremely discerning in representing our God correctly. If you follow this blog, you know I spent quite some time combing through misrepresentations of love. The consequences of misstatements are detrimental.

  • Love (1 John 4:8, 16), so describing God’s love IS describing HimHis character; you can’t separate the two. This word for love, as you may remember, is agape, which means “what God prefers.” He prefers what aligns with His character/who He is.
  • Purposeful (Job 42:1-5, Ephesians 1:7-11, 3:8-12). I’ve seen this with new eyes while working on the Bible study God’s prepared for me; He is purposeful, even in the smallest details.
  • Righteous and merciful (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 89:14, 119:137; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • The giver of every good gift (James 1:17).
  • Our debt payer. The definition of “bankrupt” is “unable to pay outstanding debts, completely lacking in a particular quality or value.”4 To say God’s love “bankrupted heaven” is to say He was insufficient in paying the debts for our sins; however, He PAID the world’s sin debt…in full…with one payment (Psalm 37:21, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 10:10, 1 John 2:2, 4:9-10; 2 Corinthians 8:9–there’s a difference between “poor” and “bankrupt”).

There’s much more we could dive into here, but this is enough to digest.

We creative types like to make an impact through our words and try to be different in our approach in order to do so. However, it’s important that we choose our words with MUCH care (Matthew 12:36).

The purpose of this post is not to bash that song or its author; it’s to draw close to Truth and encourage all of us (including myself) to study Him and rely on His Spirit to convey Him/His character correctly through our words.

1 “Reckless.” Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 March 2022.

2 Asbury, Cory. “Reckless Love.” Songfacts, Accessed 9 March 2022.

3 Gosselin, Jake. “Reckless Love by Cory Asbury – Song Meaning, Review, and Worship Leading Tips.” Churchfront,, 8 November 2017.

4 “Bankrupt.” Oxford Dictionaries, Accessed 11 March 2022.