Monday, April 16, 2012

Motherhood 101 - Loving Our Children


Last week I mentioned that we would be diving into what God has been showing me regarding motherhood. The backbone of what I am learning comes from Titus 2:3-5.  It reads:

" Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure,working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

This verse is jammed full of goodies but today I just want to focus on loving our children.


As Moms we are called to LOVE our children.  Love is a noun AND a verb, it requires action. 

To love our children well we must cherish them, hold them dear.  We are called to actively take a role in pursuing them, which means you need to get to know your children.  I strongly encourage you to date your children, starting at a young age.  By doing so you will be able to get to know them without distractions, it gives you time find our their likes/dislikes, what they are struggling with currently, and what their passions are so you can encourage them.

  Allow them to talk freely and you, as Mom, need to truly listen.  Repeat what they are saying to you so they know you are hearing them and don't forget to make eye contact when you are communicating with them. Dating is one way we, as Mommas, can nurture our children.

Give your children uninterrupted time.  When they desire to sit and talk then put aside all distractions and really focus on them, believe me, it will cement their trust for you, make them feel important and build your bond of love.

Loving our children is a selfless act.  Sometimes it is going to require putting the to-do-list aside in order to sit down with a teary eyed child and help them work through what is bothering them.  Other days it might require stepping away from the stove and removing the pot from the burner so you can use your spatula  , sword, and help Captain America smite the bad guys.  Loving our children can be seen as Momma, bone tired and weary, gathering her precious ones into bed next to her and reading them each a story even though she just wants to slip into blissful sleep but she knows that this time is special and sacred for her tribe.

Loving our children selflessly also means that much of what we do will go unnoticed.  The countless dirty dishes you wash, the piles of laundry you fold, the 21 meals a week you prepare, playdates you set up, and lessons you teach... all of this is an expression of your love and although your children may not notice or seem to appreciate it now, one day they will.  Remember, all that we do we are doing to the glory of God.  Let HIM fill your cup when you are feeling empty and poured out, do not rely on your children to do so or you will come away discouraged as that is not our children's job.

Being a loving Momma means being available without being annoyed.
When Billy is tugging on your pant leg asking "Momma will you please read me a book" and you are in the middle of sorting laundry rather than replying curtly "Billy, not right now!  Can't you see I am busy."  Try saying "When Momma is done sorting this laundry I will read you a book.  Why don't you go pick out something and sit on my bed and I will join you in just a few minutes."  or "What a wonderful idea, I would love to read you a book.  First I need to finish sorting this laundry, would you like to help me?" And PLEASE, if the laundry will take more than a few minutes to sort then just set is aside and snuggle up with the one who calls you "Mommy" and read a book!


 Of course part of loving our children is instilling safe boundaries for them and when they step past those boundaries lovingly and gently correcting them so they will not make unsafe choices in the future.
"We love (the verb) our children by not being too slow to discipline when it is needed, not frustrating them and making them angry with our scolding, yelling, scowls and anger because we do not feel like getting up or putting aside what we are doing to go upstairs or outside to deal with the issue at hand. Instead, hands submerged and soaking deep into the endless well, we reach up and pour out, letting our children know what is expected of them at each unique age and ability, what behavior is acceptable or unacceptable in our homes, again according to age and ability, thus giving them the safety and security of boundaries."(written by Hannah, from Cultivating Home)

 Invest in your children's lives, show them that they are special to you.  Children especially need an assurance of their parent's love - tell them often that you love them, do not be afraid to hug them and let them know that you care. It is amazing how something as simple as a hug has an affect on our children.   Show them that you are devoted to them, that they are more important than the phone, the computer, shopping, sports, etc. and your children will thrive.

Remember:
"“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” - Jill Churchill"

Here are some more links if you wish to be inspired on this journey with me:
 More than Words - Simple Ways to Show Your Kids You Love Them - From Simple Kids
Loving our  Children - From Thankful Homemaker
Loving our Children - From Cultivating Home 
Loving Our Children with the Written Word from Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking

Learning along with you,
Dawna

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