Written by Andrea L
I’ve gone back and forth, forth and back.
There are strong arguments on either side. My children need to understand Who comes first in my life. I need to be in a right place with God in order to parent properly and that only happens when I have spent focused and concentrated time with Him. And they need to learn to be patient and respect my space.
On the other hand, when I am curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a book, they have no idea if it’s a Bible study book or a historical romance novel. To them, it all looks like the book is more important than they are.
But here is the one that finally sealed the deal—for me anyway.
“Let the little children come to me.”
Our kids learn from us what God is like. Are they seeing him as private and closed off? For grown ups only? Or does he make time for the little ones. How can I say to them, “Jesus loves you. Jesus takes time for you. I, however, cannot right now.”
There are plenty of times a day we can teach our kids patience and guide them into being less self centered—like while we are making dinner. Or in the car between errand numbers 432 and 433.
In the Gospels we see Jesus continually seeking out solitude so he can pray. We also see him continually interrupted. His disciples are looking for him, Pharisees are sneaking out to see him under the cloak of darkness. Yet Jesus and his Father still managed a fantastic relationship.
Granted they were two parts of the same whole, but doesn’t it seem like someone who set aside heavenly fellowship for earthly whatever would fight for his quiet time?
Well, he didn’t. When his disciples or anyone else interrupted him, he treated them with kindness and compassion.
“Let the little children come to me”
He included them in his mission.
“Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also.”
But he remained consistent in his pursuit of one on one time with his Father.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:15
But how does this work in real life? We really do need that one on one time with God to do this parenting thing right. It’s hard! My kids fight and drop their pizza on the floor at CostCo and lose their shoes right as we are supposed to be leaving.
Yours don’t do that do they? You’ve trained them better?
Here are a few real world tips.
Be consistent. Strive for the time—the same time everyday if possible. That way our people will know what to expect.
If a precious darlings needs attention, give it. Give attention by inviting him to snuggle up with you as you share your mission. Read the Bible passage out loud. I’ve noticed one of two things will happen when I employ this technique: my child will either find something better to do OR he and I get to share together the wonder of being connected in the Word of God. Regardless of the outcome, he now knows what I am up to and he feels included and loved. And I get my quiet time.
One more thing. God’s voice has more than one volume setting. Still and small is his specialty. However, he’s been known to thunder loud enough to be heard over the wind and waves od a storm tossed sea. He can be louder than wailing toddlers as well.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13.