After reading this post by Kim Sorgius over at Not Consumed I really felt convicted to change the way I parent. She gently points out that we should not ignore requests from our children but that we should remember that the Father's love is enough.
I was convicted to read into this post even further. This post made me realize a very real problem that I have. I have been blessed with a husband who helps me parent our two boys and they have our undivided care day in a day out. Instead of serving them in love as we are called to " Be Imitators of of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ Loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." as it states in Ephesians 5:1(NIV). And Paul goes on to say "Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. . ." Ephesians 5:15
After all, am I being selfish in all the moments that I tell my boys "maybe later", "just one minute", "can't you see I'm busy"? Yes, I am selfish. Every time I tell them things like this it was not because I didn't have the time or means but because I was not serving my family in love and making the most of every opportunity that the Lord has given me.
Now that I got that little bit off my chest I am going to share with you a fun activity that we did this week because I chose not to say "maybe later" and chose to say "OK honey, we WILL do that as soon as mommy finishes her house work." While it is OK to set the time in which you do fun things it's not OK to essentially lie to your children to make your own selfish desires come first. And by the way, if this is an issue for you make sure to pray about it.
I have been praying that I live the life filled with the fruits of the spirit " But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22. I am a work in progress but the good news is that He is working in my heart.
We have had this box of "puppets" in their toy closet now for almost 2 years. My mom spent hours with my oldest son making these adorable cardboard cutouts attached to paint stirrers and sticks. They cut out all sorts of sea animals and other fun animals. I almost threw them out several times knowing that I would never agree to letting him play with them, after all, that would be such a big time commitment. Wow, I had my priorities off. And, while at IKEA this last summer I purchased a set of finger puppets that I promised myself that I would let them use as their intended use and not just another thing to throw in the toy box.
To make our show we used the following items:
- Old curtain
- Table Cloth
- String ( tied this at head level and then attached the "curtains" with clothes pins)
- Clothes pins
- Fitted Sheet
- 2 TV trays (We put the two trays side by side and then put the fitted sheet over them.)
- Hand made puppets
- Finger puppets
- Building blocks
- paper clips
- toy truck
- whatever other toys needed to carry out the skit
- camera on tripod (to record)
Once I had everything set up including my camera on a tripod I had them take turns putting on a show for each other. And I even put on a show for them. Let them take time building the "set" for their characters and make up a story. I also had music turned on for "background" music. I let them take turns pushing the record button on the camera when they weren't putting on their own show. This kept them involved the entire time and provided fewer fights for attention. They played for the entire morning and we even invited my sister over with her two girls to watch and play. This would be a great play date activity!
Enjoy putting off your own selfish desires and serving your children in love!