I know that we all love our children more than words could ever express. Most of you reading this would do anything for your children and you sacrifice daily for them far more than they will ever know (until they have their own).
But besides loving them to pieces, there is more. Can you honestly say that you delight in your kids?
I have three small toddler tornadoes ages 3 and under. Things can get crazy at my house very quickly. One minute everyone can be crying, whining, throwing a fit, and having a major meltdown while we are all tripping over legos, lincoln logs, and yesterday’s popcorn snack. But 15 minutes later everything is different. We’re all snuggled on the couch reading great stories and laughing together, everyone with a smile on their face and in their heart. It is just part of the whirlwind days of motherhood.
I know with older ones, the situation is much the same. The whirlwind just looks a bit different.
The word delight means a high degree of joy, extreme satisfaction, and something that gives pleasure.
Let’s not just love our children but delight in them. Let’s not hold back. Let them know how much you enjoy them.
Let’s Delight in our kids.
While sometimes things can seem to be out of control or that you are in a never ending tunnel of laundry, dishes, and sticky floors, don’t forget to intentionally let your children know how much you enjoy it.
What? Did I just say enjoy laundry (gag), doing dishes, and mopping floors? Yep. I sure did. Delight in the fact that you have a little person to do laundry for, a little mouth to feed, and someone to spill kool-aid all over your floor.
Find joy in the mess. Paul in the book of Thessalonians tells us to Rejoice Always. Let’s take those words seriously.
Here are 5 Practical Ways to Delight in Your Kids
1. Life Words
I have certain life phrases that I say to each one of my children regularly. I want them to hear and know how much they are enjoyed. Take your daughter/son and look them directly in the face and say:
- I’m so glad God gave me you as a daughter/son.
- You bring me so much joy.
- I really like reading to you.
- It’s so fun to have tea parties with you.
- I had fun with you today.
- I love being your mom.
What’s sweet is that since toddlers are mini parrots. My children will say these same phrases to me sometimes.
Build life words in their hearts today.
2. Time: We’ve all heard the phrase that children spell Love T-I-M-E. It’s the truth.
- Make a special effort to do things with your children that they like to do . (example: Play ponies, play superheros, build forts, tea parties, play dough, play games, listen to their music, etc..) Enter their world whether they are teenagers or toddlers.
- Make a special effort to bring your children into your world and enjoy doing those things with them as well. (example: cooking, cleaning, reading, crafting, exercising, gardening, sports, serving, etc..)
3. Be Patient: When we get impatient we tend to get irritable and short with the ones we love most.
- When it takes 2 hours to walk in to Walmart, who cares? Just enjoy the stroll. These days won’t last long. You will want them back.
- If they want to put their shoes on and it takes 15 minutes. Big deal. Just get around 15 minutes earlier so that they will have time to try and be independent. Don’t forget to delight in how proud you are that they are learning to do new things and let them know it.
4. Laugh: Have fun. Laughter is the best medicine. Show them how to enjoy life. Life is a gift. Treat it that way. Laughing with your children sends a message to them that you do delight in them and enjoy life with them.
- tell funny jokes
- laugh at yourself
- crank up the tunes and sing loud and dance crazy
- laugh at their silly antics
- listen to their stories
5. Get over yourself. (Ouch) We have to beat selfishness. I notice the times when I am not “delighting” in my children are when I’m being selfish and worrying about me, me, me. I’m not saying you don’t need a little time now and again to recharge. I can tell when I need a good soul refreshing lunch with a friend, a quiet hour, or a trip to the restroom by myself. I’m just pointing out that our children are given to us for a very short time to love, nurture, care for and delight in. God has entrusted their care to you. So evaluate your priorities and what’s causing you to be short or frustrated with your children.
- Evaluate your time. What are you doing with your time that could possibly be cut out for now so that you can be more patient with your children?
- What are some ways you could make your life simpler so that you are not over stressed?
- What things do you need to give up or scale back on now in this season of life while you have young ones?
When your children are grown and out of the house what kind of relationship do you want with them?
Delight in your kids today so they can delight in you tomorrow.
Now Sista let’s get out there, roll our sleeves up and Delight in the craziness, Embrace our life, and Rejoice in the gift.
More to consider…