It's so easy to fall into a "check-list" trap. You know, where you have a nice list of things you want to do or accomplish with your children each day. You make goals to reach and lists to check off. But when it comes down to it, that's all it is: a list to check off.
Your goal is to get through the list to feel accomplished. You may not even realize that's what you're doing, until after a while, when the children are tucked in at night, and you begin to feel as if something is missing from your days.
Although you're accomplishing your designated tasks, you're not engaging with your children. You're not connecting with their hearts through each goal you have created for them.
I found myself in this place. Oh is it tough to be faced with the truth. In the midst of all my goal-setting and desire to feel accomplished, it left me empty. My heart wasn't in it. It was simply the next thing to do. Having my children clean wasn't about training, it was about "we need to get this done". So rather than showing proper cleaning skills, I'm push, push, pushing then to "hurry up and get it done".
Before I can train my children's hearts, I need to recognize that my own heart is in need of training.
I must lead my heart to teach Christ's love.
My goal shouldn't be to "read the Bible" at breakfast each morning. Instead, it should be to lead them to God's grace through His Word. The only way we can be empowered to obey is through our gratitude for the grace already bestowed on us. If my children learn this truth backwards (which then becomes false), they'll learn nothing more than to perform out of legalism or duty. That's not what I want, so I need to adjust my goal to aim for the right training and growth.
I must lead my heart to show Christ's love.
They way I show love is to learn to be immersed in God's love and that only comes from being in His word consistently and in prayer constantly. I cannot love my children in my own strength. I've tried--and I've failed; countless times. Only Christ can love my children through me. My heart must be lead to know God more everyday so I can show my children His glory everyday. Even if only a glimpse. So whether I feel like it or not, I must make the time to connect with God daily.
I must lead my heart to own Christ's love.
I can't show Christ's love if I first don't own it; if I don't receive what He's offered me, how can I extend it? How can I walk in it? This has been an ongoing struggle for me. No matter how many times I fail, His love remains? Really? How can that be?!
So I must remain engaged with Him and His word so I know the truth.
I need to get, and keep, my heart right before the Lord in order to properly lead my children's hearts. If I'm far from God, my children will be as well.
In order to give my children my best, I need to give God my everything first. I must be open to heart change in my own life.
What are you doing to keep your heart engaged with Christ so it can remain engaged with motherhood?
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