Are you WITH your children actively or passively? No time to waste-they will fly away!

photo joy airport 2014

Saying goodbye to my sweet one at the airport.

“Mama, all I want to do is to be with you. Let’s spend as much time together as possible,” from Joy this holiday season, my always extraverted child who wanted to be going and doing when she was younger. But this holiday season, being together and being friends is what she longed for–the comfort of being with someone who knows you, validates you, loves you with all of your warts and takes time to listen.

Over and over again in the Gospels, we read that the disciples were “with” Jesus. Our Lord developed the hearts of his followers by spending time with them-instructing them, advising them, modeling right behavior. He spoke with them one-on-one and in small groups. He included them in his ministry and in his daily life. But what he almost never did with his disciples was to sign them up for activities and programs!

In contemporary society, we tend to value activity, and this is certainly true for most Christians I know. We don’t want our children to miss out on anything. We take them to church on Sunday, to AWANA or some such Bible memory class,  and perhaps to a Sunday night meeting or youth meeting. We are on the go for God. We are busy doing may activities and going to this meeting and that seminar and one more lesson.

Church discipleship and meetings can be great. My own children benefitted greatly from Awana–but it was at home that they learned to believe the verses, to love the God they were studying, to take to heart what God was speaking because we were appealing to their heart through our daily love.

And I wonder how many minutes every day the average woman spends with her eyes glued on a screen, hoping someone else will have thought of her or validated her. I also wonder how many moments each day a mom looks into the eyes of her child to be present, to listen and to hear the unspoken hopes for a time alone with mom. How many opportunities do we miss to cultivate that friendship instead of just passing through the wasteland of busyness and distraction.

 All of the “going” in the world will not make us or our children spiritually deep and alive. It is only by coming to the living God and developing intimacy with him that we will really draw near in our hearts to Christ. What many in our culture don’t understand, and many more forget, is that a relationship with Christ is best taught through a long-term personal relationship with someone who knows the Master, and reflects Him personally in all the moments of life–not through activities organized around lots of people in impersonal and distracting instructional situations.

Jesus didn’t meet with his disciples once a week for Bible study and then say, “I’ll see you next week!” or “I gave you your 15 minutes today.”

He gave them his whole life. He lived with them, slept with them, traveled with them, and lived out a life of godly maturity before their eyes… In the same way, our children will learn righteousness best by seeing it lived out in every possible way in our lives, moment by moment, in the context of normal life. The first principle of reaching our children is that we have to make the time to be with them–so that when they grow up, they will want to be with us!

1ogiftsifwisdom3D

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Comments

  1. Tania says

    Yes…my oldest is about to turn 12 and I wonder where all the years have gone.
    I have 5 children… And this read was another nudge… Not to take my gifts from God for granted. Thank you. X

  2. says

    Eureka!!! :D This is soooo good, Sally! I especially love this, ” All of the “going” in the world will not make us or our children spiritually deep and alive. It is only by coming to the living God and developing intimacy with him that we will really draw near in our hearts to Christ. What many in our culture don’t understand, and many more forget, is that a relationship with Christ is best taught through a long-term personal relationship with someone who knows the Master, and reflects Him personally in all the moments of life–not through activities organized around lots of people in impersonal and distracting instructional situations. ”

    Thank you.

  3. says

    Oh Sally! I wish I could just sit and talk with you over coffee and let the thoughts of my heart pour out before you! God is reshaping me, molding, lovingly and gently making things “new” in me. It was a little before Christmas when I began to feel the overflow of a His joy, and it has been a delight beyond compare to live in this joy I have prayed so fervently for! Along with joy came love and a desire to live out His love with my husband, my children, and all who I have contact with. But, it’s the first two (hubby and children) that I am zeroing in on. It’s not that the love and joy have not been there, but I am ready for more! He offers all and I want to receive all. He gave all and I want to give nothing less!
    Today this encouraged me to keep pursuing Him and abiding in Him so that all of His fruits will be abundant in my life and displayed as the sweetest of gifts for my husband and children (and everyone else). And that through me learning to abide with – “settle down with” (AMP Bible) Christ, I’ll learn how to do the same with those dear people in my life.

  4. Emma says

    Thank you! I have a 3 & 2 year old and a 10 month old and the busyness of life takes over so often. Thank you for reminding me of the important things, of time I’ll never get back. Chores and messages can wait, my babies are growing minute by minute. Your ministry blesses me daily. X

  5. says

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom! This week especially I’ve been feeling burnt out and wanting to escape to spending more time on the computer, or putting on more movies for the kids while I go work on other projects. Thank you for the gentle reminder to keep pouring into our children!:)

  6. says

    I needed to hear this today, Sally! I am a busy pastor’s wife and homeschooling mommy of 5 children. My oldest daughter just turned 10, and I can’t believe how fast these years are flying by.

    Thank you for this reminder to keep things in perspective.

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