“Jesus left there and went along the sea of Galilee. Then he went up on the mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them… Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people…’” Matthew 15:29-32
C.S. Lewis said, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” Recently, I have been extremely convicted about how I treat my eight children: I sometimes treat them as a distraction rather than important work. I set out my agenda each day, and my focus and ability to feel good about myself sometimes rests on how many things I can check off that list. I utilize the summer months to reorganize and deep clean our home. Yet, some days I get bombarded by curious children, emotional teenagers, and teething babies. I treat my most prized possessions as a distraction when they are the core of my “job.”
Jesus never treated anyone like a distraction. In Matthew 15, Jesus had compassion on the hungry crowds and fed them. When He would escape to the mountains, the crowd would follow Him and He would heal “the lame, the blind, the deformed, those unable to speak and many others” (Matthew 15:30). The result was that they would give praise and glory to God. Jesus utilized every moment.
I want my children to give praise and glory to God because I was able to speak life. When my boys have an argument and need me to help work it out, I need to see it as an opportunity to learn the gift of conflict resolution. When I am in the middle of sorting out toy bins, I need to take the time and answer my daughter’s curious questions. I need to see the valuable lesson of teaching self-control to my sweet three-year-old in the middle of the grocery store. When I sit down to read my Bible and the baby wakes up too early, I need to be patient and teach the importance of reading God’s Word even if it is in small increments.
This summer, let all of us strive to use everyday situations as a way to teach, to love, to nurture, to honor, and to be. Oh Lord, helps us remember that our precious ones are our greater work. Help us remember that the days are long, but the years are oh, so short.
Blessings and Love,
- Read Matthew 15. Note when Jesus withdraws from the crowd and His reaction or response.
- Write out some ways you can respond when you feel like you are being distracted by a child.
Five years ago, my children and I began a journey to add a little fun to every summer day. We called it “No Bummer Summer.” Every day, I would come up with one fun thing we could do as a family. For example, we would have water balloon fights, car races, science experiments, game days, park days, homemade ice cream parties, and so many other things. Make a list of fun things to do this summer and pick one to do each day. Your family will love it, and your relationships will flourish.