Don't you just love the snow? Well that is when you don't have to go anywhere and you can just enjoy it! The children love to play in the snow - perhaps because we don't get it very often it makes it more of a novelty or maybe because there is just something so fun about making a snowman or having a snowball fight.
But you wouldn't dream of sending a child out to play in the snow in a swimsuit would you? We make sure they have hats, coats, gloves on
I got them to shout "It's Snowing"
The thought came to me though - we often make sure that our children are dressed right in the physical but how about the spirtual? Or even the emotional?
How often do we send our children into things that they are just not ready for - yes sometimes they do need a gentle push, but our society is so wrapped up in getting children to be independent you are looked upon as weird or even worse a bad parent if your 2 year old won't leave Mummy's side, or your 5 year old isn't ready to go to a "class" be it dancing, or sunday school without Mummy or Daddy being present.
But why the rush? Why does it matter if my 2 yo won't leave my side - oh yes silly me - I need a life don't I? Of course spending all that time with the children won't do me any good - I have to have "me" time!
Now, don't get me wrong, I do think that we should make time to take care of ourselves, we shouldn't neglect our wellbeing - but today in our society and sadly our church we've kept our focus on "I" but if we look in God's Word - do we see the commandment - "take care of yourself first", nope -
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men
This passage really challenged me early in my parenting "career" - Jesus gave up equality with God in order to serve us!! And here was me bemoaning my rights as wife/mother. Now I try (don't always succeed) to serve my family - to put their needs first and have the right attitude about it and so - if my 2 yo won't leave me alone because she is not ready to be parted from Mummy, I don't have a problem I'm there for her and will be until she is ready, even if it means not getting to do all the fun things I would perhaps like too -and when my baby can't be left because she still feeds pretty regularly then that's fine - after all I'm investing in their lives - their eternities!
I also want to make sure that my children are "dressed" right spiritually - they need to have an understanding of the the bible and how God wants us to live our lives
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
We need to teach our children the truths in God's Word, - we do this in many ways - mainly by example (big intake of breath as we realise that behaviour our child is displaying is actually what we do) and also by reading God's word to them and helping them to understand it. We have started regularly doing family devotions, using Daily Light for our Daily Walk, we don't always manage it twice a day and sometimes we don't manage at all but we start again the next day - knowing that every day we read God's word to them will make a difference in their hearts.
I encourage you to think about, as you are dressing your child for the day in the physical (or sending them to get dressed) are you also thinking about their spiritual and emotional needs? Are you willing to be there for them even when it inconveniences you? And are you praying for your children and helping them understand those spiritual truths that will help them stand strong?