The 3 Most Important Things I Tell my Kids
by Jennifer Roos
Ever sit in church and momentarily drift away to the sink full of dishes awaiting you at home, the pile of bills that need to be paid by tomorrow or, even to the happy couple whose children are sitting quietly beside them as they listen intently to the preacher?
How do they get their kids to sit so still anyway?
Ever simply fall victim to ceaseless daydreaming while listening to something vitally important?
In fact, between the tsunami of …
…social media tantalizing my mind constantly and my responsibilities at home running through my head at all times, I’m surprised I can pay attention to anything anymore.
Admittedly, the cares of the world invade at crucial times; times when focusing on the external would equip me to live more effectively in the “now.”
I love it when pastors, teachers and friends qualify their most important statements with phrases like, “Jen, if you hear nothing else, please hear this.”
With prompting like that I immediately perk up in anticipation, eager to receive the golden wisdom about to enter my brain.
Have you ever felt like saying that to your kids?
I mean, if I’m having a hard time focusing, what about them? What kind of input are they retaining in their own busy little worlds where memory verses compete with video games and quiet time rivals play dates and soccer practice?
In the midst of information overload, I want the words I speak to my little ones (well, most of them) to resonate in their ears for years to come. Sometimes, I just want to say…
“Makaio and Mikayla, if you remember nothing else mommy ever says to you, please remember this,
- Mommy and Daddy love you so much, but God loves you so much more!”
Right now my kids are satisfied with our devotion to them. They don’t yet grasp their spiritual need for divine love. But as they mature and those needs begin to surface, they’ll start to wonder about God and the nature of His affection toward them. They may wonder if they have to earn God’s favor or if it’s even possible to attain. By telling them, daily, that the God who created the whole world loves them deeply, they begin to see a greater purpose for their lives at an early age. As they get older, their understanding of the sacrifice Jesus made for them grows too. They feel hemmed in by love, both earthly and divine.
*Thanks to my friend Melissa for helping me see the importance of sharing this with my kids.
- God has a plan for your life and it’s better than anything you can ever imagine!”
Every night before bed as I tuck my little angels into their blankets, I remind them that God knew them long before they were in Mommy’s belly; that He created their personalities and gave them interests and talents and spiritual gifts that He will use for His Kingdom one day. “Isn’t it awesome to know that God has a very special mission for you both? Something unique…that only you can do?” I ask them. My son’s eyes light up as his imagination runs wild. “Stay close to the Lord, all the days of your life and He will use you in ways you can’t even dream of.” It’s true you know. God does it in my life all the time and I know He can do it for my kids, too. A sense of purpose is growing inside their young little hearts.
- Let’s pray together.” Praying with my kids is paramount. We pray together at all times of the day in all kinds of situations. We ask God for His blessing on our trip to the zoo, we praise Him for the unexpected gift we got in the mail. We thank Him for the food on the table even when its spinach. We ask Him to bless our friends even when we’ve argued over toys. We pray for healing and good health and we even pray for Daddy when he has a big test at school. We talk to God like He is our Father and we talk to Him like He cares about the little things in our lives. I’ll admit, I felt silly at first but my kids love me even when I look foolish. That’s the beauty of child-like innocence. I know prayer is shaping my children’s view of God. They will not grow up thinking that God is obscure and distant. No, they will know He is near and I consider that a parenting victory!
As a parent, I fail a lot. I’m far from the Christ-centered June Cleaver I wish I were. But where God is concerned, I’m pressing in for the victory!
What are the things you hope your children will remember?
Jennifer’s passionate pursuit in life is to fully surrender herself to God’s agenda. She aspires to inspire women of all ages to free their faith and boldly pursue Godliness. Being a wife to Wouter and Mama to Makaio and Mikayla are her daily joys and she is looking forward to starting her MA in Mental Health Counseling at Denver Seminary alongside her husband in August 2015! Jennifer Blogs at www.jenniferjroos.com and also contributes over at www.unveiledwife.com and www.startmarriageright.com.