I received a bit of a blow to my mama ego yesterday. My 9 year old son’s class took a walking field trip to the fire station. I was excited to join them having looked forward to spending time with him at school. When it came time to partner up and walk the few blocks my son chose a little girl named Lauren.
Was I just chosen second? I explained he could have chosen me as his partner, he shrugged and said he didn’t know that but I could walk with the two of them. Hmm, how kind, I thought.
He’s not embarrassed to hold my hand in public, thank goodness, and I think he was glad to have me there. But his attention was directed elsewhere much of the time, including on Lauren. What a strange feeling to dislike a little girl, just because my son gave her attention. They’re friends, he hasn’t expressed any other interest. But it was an uncomfortable foreshadowing of things to come. I will be second one day.
That’s as it should be, I’m raising a boy that will become a young man, he’s meant to leave. I won’t always be first in his affections and I want to be careful now to teach him how to choose wisely the woman he will invest his heart in. But there is one person I want to always come first in his heart; God.
Ahead of me, eventually a wife and children, and certainly his peers, I want God to be first in Max’s affections. I want him to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Isn’t that what we desire as we raise our children that they will experience God’s grace, know God’s presence, and pursue a relationship of their own with him? An obedience out of duty is a lack of maturity, our children are meant to grow up in Jesus and live righteous lives as a response of thankful love. Let’s pray today that they will love God with their whole hearts.
Father, as mamas we pray that as our children grow up they will grow in their love for you. We pray that their hearts and emotions, the very essence of who they are, and everything that makes them strong would be focused on you in love. Prepare our hearts as parents to release them and trust them to your care as they grow. We want to trust that you have their good in mind and are pursuing them as your own. Help us to set the example of a love relationship for them by faithfully loving you ourselves. Amen.
How are you encouraging your children to love God?