Our children are some of the best gifts we will ever receive … but we often miss the joy that could be ours as parents.
As I tried on clothes in the changing rooms of a department store recently, I couldn’t help but tune in to the conversation between a mother and little girl in a nearby stall.
“Oh, come on. Stop doing that…I’m not going to dress you for the rest of your life, you know. Don’t do it that way. Oh, hurry up. I told you, stop that!” were some tidbits from Mom. Predictably, the little girl’s replies to her irate mother became more defensive and high-pitched every minute. “I’m not. I know! I am!” and so on.
Maybe this mom was raised by an impatient mother herself. Maybe she never got the respect, patient instruction, and affirmation she needed. Maybe that’s why she was so snippy and short-tempered with her daughter. I don’t know her circumstances, and what else may have been on her mind, but the message she was giving her little girl was clear:
You are a constant bother to me.
It makes me sad to see parents forfeit the delight God intended for us to enjoy with our sons and daughters.
Ten years from now, how will this mom and daughter be relating? Will they be sharing a cup of coffee, talking girl talk and sharing matters of the heart? Or will this daughter turn bitter and leave the house the day she turns eighteen – while Mom herself breathes a sigh of relief?
Life is too short not to love.
The years fly by. Our relationships are the sum total of what we put into them. This Thanksgiving, commit to showing your kids and other family members love in a fresh way.
Here’s one creative way idea: as you give thanks over the feast, say what you appreciate about each person there, aloud. Words of blessing go deep into hearts. They build relationship and increase joy between loved ones.
Give thanks for some of the best gifts you will ever receive, in a way that your “gifts” can hear it. You’ll each have more joy.