The purpose of this article is to challenge parents to use every opportunity given us to “engage” in the lives of our children. Much is revealed about our devotion to our children’s well-being in our conversation with them on any given topic, and at any point in time during the day.
“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”Colossians 4:6:
Our focus on them must be intentional. Am I more interested in their learning or whether they had fun? What about in church? Am I more concerned that they enjoyed it or that they learned of Christ and His Word? When the day is spent and all convene at home, what are my hopes for this opportunity to reconnect to my family?
Much can occur in the individual lives of family members throughout the day as we are apart due to school and work. The time to reconnect can be very challenging, especially when we want to make it a productive time. Are my thoughts at all toward what has happened in my child’s life throughout the day? Do I give them my ear and attempt to help them navigate life? When they confide in me and look to me to help them, through what lens do I help them to see?
Sometimes we don’t entertain any thoughts in their direction because our lives have been so consumed and bound up in our own work-related cares and worries. If we are not careful, this opportunity will be missed because we are focusing only in getting the tasks completed that are before us, like homework, baths, and lunch packing.
Abraham Hamilton, III, is the American Family Association’s Public Policy Analyst. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. In his daily broadcast, he steadfastly reminds us that we have just left our “part-time” job of making a living and are heading to our full-time job of raising children and building a family. How does his position resonate with me as a parent? What is my focus and intent in the life and heart of my child?
Our children know clearly if we are sincerely interested in their lives. Might we ask, “What did you learn today”? Or might we ask, “Did you have fun today?” These two questions speak volumes to the degree of our interest and goals for our children. What is most important in these two options? Ecclesiastes 3:1: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” The ideal would be to learn while having fun, but often we learn more when things seem challenging, as Jesus taught:
In our quest as parents to aide our children in finding their “place” in life, it is best when we lead them to sit at the feet of Christ and His teachings. In America, we are privileged to have freedom of religion and freedom to learn “the plans God has for us” (Jeremiah 29:11). The Bible is the top selling book of all time. Psalm 119:105z; “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Might our best question be “What did you learn about God today?” Or better yet, “Let me help you to see God in the events and interactions of your day.”