Love Your Children Day One
by Deb Weakly
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Teresa
This week, we are learning about loving our children. Pray and ask the Lord to speak to your heart about what it means for you to love those precious ones He has entrusted into your care, and also to especially show you how much He dearly loves you! When we feel loved it’s so much easier to give love. What a gift it is to truly “have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:18-19.
1. Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call. Keep trying to connect until you get to pray together. This tiny habit of praying with a friend regularly will truly change your life! Done:______
2. It’s time to meet with your Heavenly Father, the one who loves you as His child and accepts you for who you are. Remember, you are holy and dearly loved! (Colossians 3:12.)
Where Does the Time Go?
Time. We never seem to have enough of it. I remember when my children were little, people would frequently say to me, “Enjoy this time–they will grow up before you know it!” I am sad to say that their prophecy came true; the time flew by, and now in the blink of an eye, my children have grown up.
I thank the Lord for encouraging my husband and me to pray together through those years. Each day we prayed, we would always pray Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” and Psalm 29:4 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.”
I truly believe praying these verses has made an incredible impact on our family life and allowed us to treasure the time that we had with our children and with each other.
Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed with the daily drudgery of being a mom and miss the beautiful moments that make up the happy places of our memories, as well as our children’s memories.
God gives each of us 24 hours a day to love well those He has providentially placed in our lives. The ability to savor the days of our lives is a gift given graciously to us by our heavenly Father, and a patient and determined petition. When God teaches us “to number our days so we may gain a heart of wisdom,” we notice the little things more often, savor the kisses and appreciate these ones the Lord has so graciously given us.
I have often pondered living my life backward, with an eye towards how I want to feel about the precious time I spent on this earth. How will I feel when I am very old and think back to the way I loved? Did I love well? Did I savor the moments? Was I a good ambassador to the people God gave me to love?
I believe pondering these thoughts are very productive and helps us to stay focused on the calling that the Lord has given to each of us, and helps us to savor the days, give grace, and laugh more. It helps to change our perspective on our daily chores; knowing we are showing love to God by loving our families well and being a good steward of the days that have been given to us.
How about you, dear sister? Are you burdened by the endless amount of work and stress in your home? Come to Jesus, He will give you rest and help your weary soul. He alone can help you to savor each of the precious days you have with your family and to love them well.
Come to Him today.
4. Questions to Ponder: Prayerfully write the answers to the following questions in your journal. Done:______
– In your prayer time today, ask the Lord to speak to you about numbering your days, appreciating your family and loving them well. What are some ways you can savor the days you have been given with your family?
One example could be lowering your expectations of how much you accomplish each day and how clean your home actually has to be. There are seasons in our lives where our homes are clean, and seasons where they are messy. The time when you have Little’s in your home is not the time to have “House Beautiful.”
Give yourself grace as much as possible. Try to get into a rhythm of laundry, meals, cleaning and playtime, but don’t give in to the feeling of defeat during messier times. Remember, be like “Dori” from Finding Nemo and “Just keep Swimming!” Just keep trying. Don’t give up! Ask the Lord to help you to have a house as clean as you, your husband, and the Lord think it should be. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! You do you!
-Are you too busy to enjoy your life and your children? Do you and your family have too many commitments? Are you in your car too much, shuffling your children from one activity to the next? I have found in my family that it was so much simpler if each child was only involved in one outside activity. But remember, you do you! Pray and ask the Lord to show you if there is anything you should change. Write what He says in your journal.
5. Love your Children Faith-Filled Idea #1- This Faith-Filled idea is my favorite! Begin to pray this week for the Lord to give you a hymn for each of your children. Print it out and put the hymn on your children’s bedroom wall. Be sure to tell them the story of “their hymn.” sing it to/with them often, and tell them why you think God gave this hymn to them. What a gift that will last your children a lifetime! You never know, it could be a huge source of encouragement to your children when they have their own difficult places to walk through. You can find the detailed instructions for picking a hymn for your child here. Done:______
6. Choose at least two Mommy Tips from the list for this week. Don’t let this overwhelm you. If you can only do one, that’s great!
You do you!
Love Your Children Day Two
by Mari Jo Mast
“God’s Truth always trumps however inadequate we may feel, for he longs for his Truth to become our reality.”
1. Smile. You are seen, cherished and adored by your loving Creator!
2. Read Psalm 127 & 128 (both chapters are short)
3. Record yourself speaking Psalm 127:3-4. (listen to your recording when you feel discouraged throughout the week).
He is able!
One morning a few years ago, I read Psalm 128:3 for the very first time.
I had awoken discouraged, being a few weeks pregnant with our seventh child. Morning sickness and exhaustion plagued my days, and I desperately needed relief and healing. No matter how much I prayed or how many remedies I tried, nothing worked. It was difficult taking care of 6 children at the time, and a sense of hopelessness and depression followed. I felt like giving up–like being a Mom just wasn’t worth it.
Feelings of inadequacy and failure had overwhelmed me most of my motherhood years.
I felt guilty for having a large family with kids that were rowdy and disobedient at times. People (even Christians) made remarks about the amount of children we had, and it made me feel irresponsible and foolish. Sadly, because of how the culture and others viewed our family, I allowed myself to believe the lie that having a big family was a curse, not a blessing. I felt so much shame and condemnation. The feelings were so deeply rooted in me, I didn’t know how to fix them.
That morning as I sought the Lord for comfort, tears streamed down my face. I opened my bible and it flopped to Psalm 128. It was then that verse 3 spoke deeply to my heart, “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.” These were brand new thoughts for me!
God’s word changed my thinking that morning. Instead of viewing myself as a failure, I began to see how He had blessed WHO I was. He WANTED me to have children, they were His personal gift to me, my inheritance. I wept, but they were happy tears now.
I share all of this to give you hope–are you struggling too? Do you feel inadequate? Do you feel it’s not worth it to raise children with all the investments, time, and exhaustion? When your strong-willed children misbehave, do you feel ashamed? Do you feel alone?
My dear sister, God sees you right where you are. He loves your children, and His plans far exceed what you can imagine ( Jeremiah 29:11) He can turn any and all of your circumstances around quickly because he is in the business of healing the broken-hearted (Psalm 147:3) and equipping you to do His will (Hebrews 13:21). He has already blessed WHO you are as a mother (Psalm 128:3). Every child he places in your care, He ordains for a greater purpose (Psalm 139:13). It really doesn’t matter what the problem is, he wants to heal you so you can love your children well.
Can you trust him? Please understand that nothing is too big for God. Allow this truth to sink deep into your heart and let it change you. Ask Him for a specific Word that will heal the places in your heart that hurt, the places you’re afraid to go. You can even call a friend you trust to share your vulnerabilities and pray. Don’t hang on to your disappointments; let the healing begin.
HE is Able!
4. Questions to Ponder: Prayerfully write the answers to these questions in your journal. Done:______
-Are you feeling discouraged about anything in your life right now?
-What does God’s Word say about this?
Here is an example from my own (Deb’s) life when my children were little:
“Lord, I am feeling discouraged because my children always get into trouble when we go to my friends houses! It’s so embarrassing! I feel like a bad mom!!”
“God I know your Word is truth, and it says that you are my Helper. I am not alone. You want me to stay close to you and ask for help every day. Your Word says that “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11. Help me to remember that you are gently leading me and that I can trust you.”
5. Love Your Children Faith-Filled Idea #2- Take the time to look your children (and husband) in the eyes and listen to them when they talk to you. If you are in the middle of something and your child is really wanting to tell you something, take 1 minute, turn your whole body towards your child, look them in the eyes and listen to them. If you don’t ever stop to listen to your children, someday they may stop trying. Ask God to help you to know when to try to get your work done and when to stop and listen. Done:______
Love Your Children Day Three
by Tara Davis
“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” – Ann Voskamp
Good Morning my friend! Jesus is so excited to meet you where you are at today. Pray and ask Him to speak truth to your heart as you study His Word which is His great love letter to you!
1.Grab your Bible, find a quiet peaceful corner, and read Hosea 11:1-4. Write verse 4 in your journal.
Drawing Our Children Close During Challenging Seasons
Oh, sweet mamas, this journey of raising our little ones can be so exhausting and confusing at times. We sift through parenting articles, books, and the opinions of others looking for answers to our feelings of inadequacy. We want so desperately to do it “right.” I have searched high and low for godly examples to follow as I learn how to be a mama to my two boys. However, I have found the best illustration of a loving parent in the Lord! In His word, God continually shows us how he parents his precious ones through many different seasons of life.
In Hosea 11:4, regarding his chosen people Israel, the Lord declares, “I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.” All we have to do is glance through the first few books of the Bible to see that Israel was the absolute definition of a difficult child. Yet, how did our Father respond to them? He gently and lovingly drew His children close to Himself.
He lifted them up during hardships, shouldering a portion of their burdens. He met them where they were and continued to pour into their hardened hearts. Life is not without natural consequences, however. Even though Israel had to feel the weight of the consequences it brought upon itself, God never turned a cold shoulder to His child. He never removed the expression of His tenderness. His heart broke for his errant child. He continued to sacrificially extend his love toward them.
It is so easy to push away our own little ones who are walking through difficult seasons. It takes a great deal of strength to pull our challenging children close to us, to lavish them with extravagant love, to pour into their hurting spirits. At times, these responses seem impossible, especially when all we want to do is close our own heart to the hurt and frustration we feel they are causing.
How do we live this kind of love with our own children? In Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul writes, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” The Holy Spirit makes real the living presence of Jesus Christ in the heart of the believer! Christ desires to love our children through us. The only way we can love the unlovely in our children is by abiding in Christ. He will put to death our selfishness, pride, and anger as mamas and replace it with kindness, patience, gentleness and longsuffering.
The most beautiful thing of all is this: if He is capable of making those changes in my heart, He is more than able to produce those same qualities in the hearts of my children!
In 1 John 4:19 we are told that “We love because He first loved us.” The discipleship of our children is to be an outpouring of Christ’s original love. We are responsible for drawing our children close to our hearts and pointing them to the One whose love provides heart-healing. Let us do the work of submitting ourselves to Christ, loving our children as He has loved us, and let Christ do the rest. He is in the business of heart work!
2. Questions to ponder: Answer these questions in your journal.
– Pray and ask God to show you areas in which you and your children need His healing.
– Think of how you can best draw each of your children close and uniquely show them love. Write your ideas down in your journal.
3. Faith Filled Idea:
Sometimes it is difficult to find ways to minister to your child during challenging moments. Finding their love language will help you to brainstorm effective ideas to connect with them and tie their heartstrings to yours. There are great books and online resources to assist you in discovering how your child best receives love. Begin with the following website to complete a love language profile for your child:
After you have identified the ways in which your child best feels loved, make a list of practical ideas that will communicate love to your little one. You can refer to the list on those tough days, when you need to love on your child but are too emotionally exhausted to figure out how. For example, my oldest son’s top two love languages are quality time and physical touch. Here are some of the ideas I jotted down: snuggle on the couch and read to him, scratch his back and talk about whatever is on his mind, and play a hands-on, physical game like tag.