Welcome to Day 6 of Parenting Pointers and Mommy Refreshers.
My heart is to bless you this month as I write 31 days filled with nuggets of parenting wisdom. If you have missed any of the posts in this series, you can find them here. Each one is followed by a refresher to help you fix your eyes on Jesus and let your burdens go to Him. Sit with God in this moment. Find a place where you can breathe and hear from Him.
Today’s Parenting Pointer
How do you measure the worth of your children? It’s a question that truly has no answer. Most of us would give up our own lives for any one of them. The fourth emotional need a child has is to feel a sense of worth. Our children need to know their value.
God made us and said we were “very good” as opposed to the rest of creation which He called “good.” He also said, “Let us make man in our own image” – in His image He made them. Can you really consider this fact fully? I’m sure as your child is running through the house with an angry look on their face, refusing to do what you ask while your other child is banging out a song on the piano at a volume that makes all your thoughts impossible to think, the idea of their great value is not foremost in your mind.
God says our children are fearfully and wonderfully made. Imagine that He feels this way about each of them. He took time and care to weave them together in the womb with all the uniqueness they each possess. They have worth. Just as a Monet has worth because it was painted by a master, we have worth because we were carefully created by the Master.
We may be hesitant to give our children the sense of their worth because we fear they will be prideful. But worth – a real sense of worth – is the antithesis of pride. Jesus knew His worth and it was His security in His worth (though being in His very nature God, He emptied Himself). From worth comes the ability to pour out freely. People who feel empty only try to pour from their emptiness – and they do that to fill the void, whereas people who are full have much to give from their fullness.
When children don’t feel a sense of their own worth become little perfectionists, trying to gain approval through their behavior rather than knowing they are valued for who they are, not what they do.
We can give our children a sense of worth by affirming the gifts God put in them, letting them know we love them as they are and giving glory to God for the goodness we see in them and in others. I often say, sincerely, to my boys, “You are precious.” The affirmation of their value gives them a little gleam in their eye. I also say, “God made you special. God made everyone special. Sometimes we have to hunt within a person to find the specialness God put in, but it is there.”
Take a moment to consider how you can affirm the God-given worth of your children today. Value them for who they are, not what they do.
Breaking Down the Walls
This week I was spun. I felt like I had so many things undone in every area of life that when I sat to make a list to organize my thoughts I didn’t even know where to start. From yardwork to housework to tasks for my job to home education preparation to personal obligations I felt like it was all slipping through my fingers and I couldn’t get a grasp. I spoke to two friends on different occasions about this and during my meeting with one of them for Bible study I saw that I wasn’t putting first things first.
God reminds us:
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness
And all these things will be added unto you
First. God reminds me there is a pattern to follow and He must come first. Not only him, but His goodness – His right way – the life where He is in charge and I am not.
So I took action. I cut back, I made prioritized lists. I let things go. I postponed what could be postponed. I prayed. I asked my husband and children for help. As I did these few things, God met me in my efforts and there were spaces opened up so that I could find rest and also complete the urgent tasks.
I was even able to attend a local concert at our symphony with a friend and our two pre-teen sons.
As I sat listening and watching the pianist, Fei Fei Dong, pour out her soul through the piano I was aware that life is best lived fully. I thought, as I sat transfixed and inspired, “There is a difference between a full life and a life fully lived.”
Jesus said He came to give us life – abundant life. The word means life above and beyond. This is fullness of life. It is a life full of Him and His love. We can have a full life where we are running from thing to thing, but lack the fullness He came and still comes to give.
So, I asked myself and I want to ask you too, what blocks you from God? We are like sheep who stray from our Shepherd. What causes us to leave His goodness and wander to our own way? We are naturally prone to wander, it is true – that is our sin nature. But, other things can be blocking us from connection – from the abundant life God wants for us.
Do you find yourself caught in fear or anxiety? One of the biggest barriers to connection with God is fear. Maybe this is why he said some form of “Fear Not” 365 times in the Bible. We can fear what others will think of us (a fear of rejection), fear losing something that matters to us or fear not getting what we think we need. Fear causes us to jump into the driver’s seat and push God out of His place of control. He steps out and allows us to grab the wheel because He knows we will learn to return to Him when we experience our own failure to run our life well. God has a prescription for overcoming fear in Philippians 4: 4-8 and in Matthew 6: 25-34. I encourage you to take time sometime today or as you get into bed tonight to read those two sections of His Word and receive His guidance for your fearful heart.
Another great barrier to intimacy with God is busyness. We are living at a frenetic pace and our life can get so full of “yes” answers and commitments that we don’t have time to rest and pause. God commands us to “make every effort to enter into His rest.” He takes rest seriously. It isn’t just for some or for sometimes. A wise man said, “We don’t rest from our work, but work from a place of rest.” If you are like I was this past week and you have allowed yourself to lose your place of rest in God, know that He is calling you to set aside everything which hinders you from connecting with Him first.
The deepest thing that gets in our way of connecting with God is our wounds from the past. At times we are so hurt, that like a wild animal, we recoil from all touch. We shrink away when we should draw near. We suspect God is unkind as the world has been unkind. We may not put words to these thoughts, but they are real and can be true for any of us in various seasons. God is patient and He knows your frame. He understands when you are too hurt to draw near. He will lift you up and be present for you if you will turn to Him and give Him entry into the hurting places. He is the healer – Jehovah Rapha – and He longs to give you the healing you desire.
I hope you discover what is holding you back from God this week and that as you mother your children, love your husband and serve others you do all these things from a place of internal rest and from a life full of Him and His love.
I pray you found a breath of fresh air here and a moment to reflect and recharge your battery. If you have missed any of this series, all the posts can be found here. Come back any or every day this month to get another Parenting Pointer and Mommy Refresher. And, as always, I do love hearing from you. Let me know how I can pray for you or if something I wrote here touched you.
Monet painting courtesy of overstockart