A character in the book I was reading lamented her life as a child. In a flashback scene, the little girl remembered her mother’s dream to sail around the world, and how her mother was lost forever at sea. And somehow, her mother’s desire to pursue something other than her child stamped the girl’s little heart with the message that she wasn’t enough to keep her mama home.
I’ll admit, this is a tough subject to write about. I worked outside of my home for five years after my first son was born. Then I woke up on his fifth birthday and knew I simply couldn’t do it anymore. I had missed so much being away from him, and I knew God was calling us to a more peaceful, less hectic lifestyle.
I started writing and speaking about a year before my move home. And what started as a hobby for me, a way to help myself understand the Word of God better, has turned into a burning passion to encourage the hearts of women. But as I read about the broken heart of the little girl in my book, I found myself wondering . . .
Should our kids be all we need?
Should our children know that there are other things in our lives we love? Other things that bring us joy? Other things we’re passionate about that deserve our time and energy? I think so. Here’s why.
1. We were made to find our ultimate fulfillment in Christ alone.
Not in our children, not in our husbands, and not in the success or failure of our dreams. The best thing I can do as my children’s mama is to love Jesus with all my heart, mind, and strength. Everything else flows from our devotion to Christ, and our children will learn about their value to Christ and to us as they see us make choices that prove it.
2. We really DO have responsibilities other than our children.
Like their dads. And our church family. And the people of our communities. As a mom, I consider my first and most important ministry to be my family. But I also want to walk in obedience to God’s Word as I comfort others, serve those in need, and demonstrate love to those outside my family. I want my boys to be givers. And the only way they’re going to know how is if I show them.
3. We need to teach our children to dream God’s dreams for their lives.
We live in the culture of “me,” where children are told that if they can dream it, they can do it. But I want my boys to dream God’s dreams for their lives, not their own. And how can I show them what that looks like if I’m not following hard after God’s plan for my life?
I don’t mean having a cutthroat attitude that says, “me first and you last.” I simply mean being faithful to what God calls me to do day-by-day. Being their mama, writing and speaking when God provides an opportunity, loving their father, worshipping with other believers, serving those in need. As my children watch me walk out my calling as a Christian wife, mother, and woman and sacrifice things that don’t contribute to God’s plan for me in this season, they’ll be encouraged to do the same.
What do I want them to know about me?
I have to think that there were more problems in the relationship the little girl in my book had with her mama than that the mom pursued her dreams. The last thing I want is for my children to go through life emotionally maimed because their mama cared deeply about something other than them. But I do want them to know that mama loved them, Jesus, and others, and she was willing to follow God’s plan for her life with everything she had.
For Your Reflection:
Do you think our children should be all we need?