Mettle Monday: In a minute

How many times have you told your child that?
I think I run out of fingers counting how many times that phrase is uttered in this house. Then for some reason last week it hit me: "Why do they have to wait?" Is an email really more important, or a phone call so needed that it disrupts their day. Yes, I believe that a child should learn to be patient, have manners, and learn to put others first. BUT if we are really honest with ourselves about how often we make our children "wait just a minute" we might come to understand their frustration with our lack of patience, manners and selfishness. I look at my own attitude at my children and I wonder when did a conversation, or a blog post, or even a morning devotion become so important that I grieve the heart of my child. It shouldn't be so and we only need to look at Jesus' example of embracing little children to see clearly that we might need a reality check:

Luke 18:15People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

I mean think about it!!! If Jesus stopped what he was doing to minister to these children how much more should we as parents make our children the priority of our day. So what does that look like for me:

Example 1
I'm working on my coveted morning devotion and my oldest son wakes up a bit early. I would normally tell him, mommy is doing her quite time go get your cereal and be quiet till I finish. What I will do now is close the laptop, embrace my son with a big smile and sit down with him as he eats his breakfast. After he is done eating, I'll curl up on the couch with him and we can read together his Children's Bible or work on his AWANA verses.  Developing within him discipline to have his own morning quiet time. BUT what about my quiet time, you ask. I am going to have full confidence in God that if there is more that I needed to learn or more time needed to spend with Him, he will open that door for me. 

Example 2
I am elbow deep in chores and my daughter wants to play. I would normally tell her not right now I need to get this chore done, go find your brother to play with till I'm done. What I will do now is invite her to help me finish my chore AND then we will go play. "Baby girl, I would love to play with you. Can you help me finish doing such and such." I can just here her precious voice saying, "sure" with such excitement and delight. 

Example 3
Often my youngest boy comes running to me in great delight over some new discovery or a chance to watch him do this or that. And often I am in the middle of a conversation on the phone. A while back I started having him touch my elbow so that I know he needs something, but I took advantage of his obedience and often forgot to even go see what he was going to show me. So we are back at square one with the interruptions again. So I spoke to him about this issue again, reaffirming his value in my heart and told him:    "What you have to say or show me is important. Please touch my elbow again so that I know you need my undivided attention. Mommy will set the timer and within 5 minutes I will be off the phone to listen to what you have to say." If the conversation I am in is something that needs to go on longer than 5 minutes, I will politely ask the caller if I can call them back at another time so that I can give them my undivided attention. Putting first my children because they are my Number 1 Ministry. 

Of course there are exceptions to every rule and a million what ifs where someone could show me that this wont work or even disagree with my emphasis on my children. But what God is showing me is that 1} He can take care of those "What Ifs" and 2} I am my children's  mother and they are my responsibility and priority during the day. Phone calls, blog posts, crafts, and to do lists can become distractions from my Number 1 Ministry.  
What importance do you give your home and all the responsibilities you have within your walls. Because I am a planner and love to map out my day with a schedule I have decided that I will pencil in my time at home as Number 1 Ministires. I don't know why but actually giving my homemaking duties a name just seems to put some perk in my step and motivate me to do those things I need to get done. If you are not getting done those things you should and could do daily, have a heart to heart with yourself and see if it is because you need some motivation. If so, I would like to challenge you to maybe come up with a "name" to help you remember why you do what you do, find a verse that helps keep you focused on what is important throughout your day or even admit to yourself that you need to change something within your day to make your family know they are a top priority in your life!!!!

I would like to leave you with a Proverbs that can help you greatly determine your steps and be a beacon as you go through out your day:

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs14:1 A woman's family is held together by her wisdom, but it can be destroyed by her foolishness.

1 comment:

Gwen Toliver said...

This is excellent - "number 1 ministry". I love the practical ideas you gave. My 7 children are such a blessing and I've told people this countless times, but I'm not treating them as such when I make them feel like other things are often more important.

I DO think we have to guard against creating selfishness in our children and not letting them think the world revolves around them. But I really think you have found a balance, and this post is very good. Thanks!!