Since yesterday in Bible Study, we began Chapter 3, “How to Really Love Your Child,” I’ve been trying to think about ways I have been choosing to love (or not love) my children. This morning I thought of a new one.
Bethel is almost able to get dressed by herself. And she’s somewhat forgetful. What I’ve been doing is sending her into her room to get dressed (easier for me) and let her come out for help when she needs it. That creates some modesty issues. I really do believe that if I want to be teaching modesty, I need to start before it becomes an issue, but that does create some inconvenience for me. Especially in light of what I believe about modesty, my motives have been to please myself because it’s easier (and I think, it really doesn’t matter yet), and not what is best for my two older children.
Of course, love doesn’t always mean giving my children what they want. Right now my son would like more computer time, but he would choose to be on the computer more than is physically and mentally healthy for him. And just this morning, David was asking for several things while I was feeding baby, and became irritated when I asked him to get it himself. Although I believe love sacrifices, I don’t think it is in the best interest of my children to always wait on them. I need discernment to know when serving my children becomes unhelpful for them and me.
Another area where I’ve not been doing as well as I’d like is keeping my children busy. If I’m going to limit their “screen time” (TV, DVD, and Internet), then I must plan for, and allow them to do activities that fill up their time profitably. Sometimes that means allowing messes. For me, that means allowing the paints to come out regularly, and allowing multiple pages to be used. My tendency is to make that a “special” activity, something we do only once in awhile, but if I don’t let them watch TV, I’ve got to let them do something! And at this age, they aren’t always able to entertain themselves for long periods of time, so I also need to make sure I’m not playing from afar (e.g., I’ll just watch from here is not a good approach.)
Last, and the most significant to me, is the time I spend on the computer. The children are old enough to play while I’m on the computer some being profitable, but I’m on more than I should be. That affects my house, quality of dinners, ability to minister as a family, and a number of other areas. I’d like to do better loving my children in this way.
That’s all for now. I need God’s grace to love my children as I ought.