Every year as Mother’s Day approaches I contemplate my role as a mom, and the gifts that I am offering my children. Mothering can be all-encompassing and overtake my waking and even my sleeping hours. I wonder, have I taught my children everything they need to know to face this turbulent world? Do they know the truth of God’s Word, and not a watered-down, feel-good gospel? Will they be able to care for themselves, and those they love as they grow into adults? Have I shown them a healthy balance of mercy and justice? Have I demonstrated humility and kindness? Will they work with perseverance, play with joyfulness and rest with a heart of peace?
As you can see, I have a gift for over-analyzing. Maybe you do, too.
But this year, as all of these thoughts flooded my mind in an overwhelming wave, I realized that there are only a few gifts that will make a lasting impact on my kids. It’s out of this foundation that the legacy of motherhood will grow. These gifts are some of the same gifts that God offers to each one of His children.
3 Gifts that Will Change Your Kids
To Be Seen
In Genesis 16, we find the story of Hagar. Pregnant and rejected, she flees into the wilderness. I’m sure she felt desperate and alone. The angel of the Lord came to her and gave her direction and instruction, and at the end of the conversation she responded: “You are the God who sees me…” Genesis 16:13 (NIV)
To be seen and acknowledged in our times of grief and joy is a gift beyond compare. God recognizes His children in many ways, the most poignant through the sacrifice of His son. We too can be parents who “see” our children by seeking relationship with them, not simply fulfilling our duties to provide, discipline, and guide. This important aspect of parenting will more successfully flow out of relationship. Do we give our children eye contact, focused attention, and show enthusiasm for their interests? Do we comfort them in their sorrows? By doing these things, we show that we “see” them.To be seen and acknowledged in our times of grief and joy is a gift beyond compare. Click To Tweet
To Be Known
Paul describes knowing God and being known by Him in Galatians 4:9. The emphasis of this passage is on the value and preeminence of personal relationship with God versus keeping the ceremonial laws of the Mosaic covenant. Richard Foster writes, “Human beings have a relationship with God that is set apart from that of all creation…The call to us: ‘I am with you—will you be with Me?’”
Just as God offers relationship over the keeping of the law, we too can offer this gift to our children. We have boundaries, guidelines, and consequences that should remain predictable. But, we must give our children the security of relationship that remains steady and committed regardless of their behavior. They need to know that our heart’s desire is to know and understand them.
To Be Loved
God showed how much he loves us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. John 4:9-11 (NLT)
Loving unconditionally sounds easy on paper, but in real life it’s a little less poetic. It’s easy to love our kids when they’re obedient or when they’re…sleeping. But what happens when they’ve done something to hurt us? It’s no longer about fuzzy feelings, it’s about choices. Although we won’t do it perfectly, by our behavior, we will show them our unconditional love.
To be seen, to be known, and to be loved—these are the gifts that make an imprint on the soul. They make the good times sweeter and our heartaches more bearable. They are the gifts that endure.To be seen, to be known and to be loved—these are the gifts that make an imprint on the soul. Click To Tweet
What are the greatest gifts that you’ve given and received? Comment below or share this post with a friend you know who needs some encouragement.