Moms that Matter – part one
1 Thessalonians The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. (NIV)
Friend to Friend
We live in a world that many times denies the importance of a mother’s role. I believe that moms really matter! In fact, being a parent is a holy calling from God through which He filters His love to us and to our children.
Do your children feel loved by you? Are you loving them the way God meant for them to be loved? The way God loves us is our model for loving our kids. Over the next two days, we are going to examine four practical ways to communicate our love to our kids. Just as every child is unique and has a primary “love language”, there are different ways to communicate that love.
- Communicate your love with your presence.
“I am with you always…” Matthew 28:20
Love that communicates is there! God is always with us. His presence in our daily lives reminds
us of His love. The same is true in the lives of our children. Kids spell love T-I-M-E. Time spent with your child is never wasted. It is an eternal investment.
Our son played football for years and eventually attended college on a football scholarship. As far as I was concerned, whatever jersey number Jered wore was the only important jersey number on the field. We attended every game, arriving early to get our usual seat on the fifty yard line and to have more yelling time. I yelled during warm-ups, during practice drills and – in general – just yelled. At some point in every game, Jered glanced up into the stands, where he knew we would be sitting, and grinned. That was it! But he knew we were there.
Throughout their lives, our children are constantly “checking the stands” to see if we are there! Kids need both quality time and quantity time. Our presence communicates love – especially in the vital moments of everyday life.
Dan and I have worked hard to be home when the kids walk out the door to face their world. We schedule trips, often choosing horrific flight schedules in order to be around for this “send-off” time.
Just as vital as being there when they leave, is being there when they return. Your presence when they get home says, “I love you.” From her first day of kindergarten, our daughter hit the door calling “Mom”. I then got the scoop. You know – the good and bad parts of her day - the funny parts, as well as the frightening parts of her day. In other words, she filled in the blanks of her day for me. Even now, as a college student living away from home, Danna and I talk several times a day. Why? Because she knows I love her and that if it is important to her, it is important to me.
The end of the day is a filtering time, a time to sort through the experiences of the day. When our son was a little boy, I was putting him to bed one night when he began to talk about the recent death of his great grandmother. Jered asked, “Mom, do wrinkles make you die?” I could easily have dismissed that question as childish - but in a rare moment of motherly wisdom, I asked, “What do you mean, son?” With a look of concern on his face, Jered responded, “Grandmother died and she had a lot of wrinkles. Tonight, you and daddy were talking about who had the most wrinkles. And I just need to know if wrinkles make you die.” In those ending moments of the day, I was able to have a great discussion with my son about death, heaven and God.
- Communicate your love with acceptance.
“Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you…” Romans 15:7
Kids don’t need us just to cheer when they succeed. Kids need a cheerleader all the time. Know your child’s worst moment and make a plan to love them through it. The truth is that we all need love the most when we deserve it the least! It doesn’t take long for most parents to identify those “unlovable areas” in their kids. But those areas are our greatest opportunities to prove our love for our kids - no matter what. Kids find out who really loves them when there isn’t much to love. Kids find out where they really stand when they embarrass their parents or rebel against their beliefs. What they are really asking is:
Can you love me like this?
Can you love me when I am defiant?
Can you love me when I am sarcastic?
Can you love me pregnant?
Can you love me drunk?
Can you love me in my addiction?
Can you love me when I have broken your heart?
We can’t always love what our children have done, but we can always love them.
Join me tomorrow, as we discover how to communicate love to our kids by making the right choices and by respecting them.
Father, You know I want to be a great mom. You also know how many times I fail to be the mom my kids need. Teach me how to be a mom that really matters in the lives of my children. Give me the insight as a mom to accept my kids for who they are and to carve out the time to communicate to them that acceptance and love. Please help me to guide their steps in the way You want them to go instead of the way I want them to go. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Prayerfully examine your daily schedule and set aside time to spend with your children.
Buy a personal calendar.
Highlight those times and make them “off limits” to anyone or anything but your kids.
If you are a working mom, it will take extra effort – but it can be done.
Pray each day for God’s plan in your life as a mom.
More from the girls
I am certainly not an expert in parenting. Just ask my kids! But they know I adore and accept them. Has it always been easy? No! Have I failed miserably? Absolutely! Has God honored my heart desire to be a mom that matters in the lives of my children? Without a doubt! He will do the same for you. Hang in there, mom.
For more on this topic, see Mary’s CD, Love that Never Fails
Girlfriends In God
Matthews, NC 28106
Originally published Monday, 19 February 2007.