Currently, we are reading and studying The Love Dare for Parents. We’ve already completed our third week of our study, day 15 of our 40 day challenge. And today, Sarah Nap, one of our lovely team writers, is sharing how God is faithfully working in her own heart through this study. If you’re interested in joining us for our online study, it’s never too late.
Sweet blessings to you,
Carlie & Megan
Love Dare – Intentionality
What an amazing study The Love Dare for Parents has been for me thus far. The Lord has used each day to either remind me of something I’ve known but forgotten or to teach me something new. As a homeschooling stay-at-home mom of six blessings, my life is full of parenting moments. These moments are given to me by the Lord to teach, instruct, discipline, and disciple. The problem is most of these moments just go passing me by. The opportunities given are often opportunities lost. I’d like to say I’m too busy or that I just don’t see them but that isn’t the truth. So often I see them, I have the moment, and I just choose to let it slip by.
The weekend before we started this study, my husband and I had time away at a company retreat with only the baby. We had lots of time to talk without much interruption since we didn’t have any other talkers with us. The Lord really brought one word to us that weekend. Intentionality. Being more intentional in many areas of our life including our time in The Word, our time together, our time with our children, our teaching, our health, our finances, our future, and so much more.
Now my husband and I are talkers. We so often come up with ideas for what needs to be done and ideas for how to do it. The problem is the follow through. So we left that weekend with some glaring areas about where we weren’t being intentional and lots of ideas. I was worried that we would fall into the same path without any change but then this study started. The Love Dare for Parents is all about making intentional choices in your parenting to truly love your kids. Just one thing at a time. Isn’t God so good like that!?!
The Lord stirred in us this need for intentionality, the book has offered us daily areas to be intentional, God has provided us with ideas on how to be intentional in those areas, and we have followed though with His support. It has been amazing. This week alone offered so many awesome insights.
“You can teach your children almost any skill you know how to do if you will just let them watch you, then let them help you and then let them try it under your supervision.”
We instituted dinner helpers this week. The four older children each picked two meals that they love and wanted to learn to make. We put them on the calendar (two kids per week) and a plan was born. I always mean to take that “moment” and have a kid or two help me in the kitchen but I always push them out just to get it done. Instead, this week I have been intentional. That time with each child teaching them was the highlight of my day. They light up and get all chatty. They beam when everyone thanks them for the meal. It carries them for days and they look forward to their next meal. Someday, my kids will be able to make a full meal for the family just by intentionally teaching them twice a month and having fun at the same time.
“The fruit of your lips not only help them define their reality and comprehend their identity but also guides their destiny.”
Wow. Am I being intentional with my words? We are positive encouraging people but this quote hit me hard. What about the stories I am telling others about my kids? When my son hears me tell people that he doesn’t care about what clothes he wears or whether or not he does his hair, what am I saying about who he is? He seems to care less and less about his appearance but isn’t that who I have defined him to be? I have seen that being intentional about what I say not just to them but also about them to others is vital.
“Are we more interested in keeping the peace for the moment than strengthening their character for the rest of their lives.”
“Admonition goes deeper by appealing to their consciences with the knowledge that God is ultimately the One they are to honor and obey.”
We have always been good at what we call “get off your buns parenting.” We deal with issues right away and are pretty consistent. However, I don’t want my kids to just be “good.” I want them to choose to do what is right. That all comes down to the heart. I must be intentional in getting to the matters of the heart in each disciplinary moment. This takes more time but the consequences are eternal!!
Love is compassionate…
“(Compassion) means listening to someone’s struggles instead of discounting their discomfort.”
This one is hard for me. To intentionally offer those moments of comfort is something I have to be intentional about because it doesn’t come naturally. I am trying to not brush off their hurts, physical or emotional, as I usually do and instead take the time to truly look into their eyes and listen. I want them to come to me with the big things when they are older but if I am not intentional in my compassion now, they won’t come to me. I know this from experience. It is only a moment and I must be in that moment with them now to win their confidence later.
Love is from God…
“The truth is, the love God can give you to shower upon your children is infinitely stronger that your parental love alone. It is fortified by His love, the source and fountain of all love.”
I can be intentional about so many things but I can’t be perfect. I will make mistakes and I will fail my children. I will miss some of the most important “moments” because I am selfish and sinful. But I love my children and through Him, I can love them even more. When I do fail them, I can come to them for forgiveness and direct them to the perfect love of the Father. When I am not enough, I can pray for more of His love to flow through me. While I may struggle receiving unconditional love from my Savior, I am able to show my kids how much a parent loves their child by sharing His love with them. I must be intentional in accepting His love for me so that I can pass it on.
This study has been all about intentionality in our house. I can feel the difference. It is all about choosing to catch the moments. It is all about love!!
Sarah @ The Nap Clan
Living in the Word, link-up
Are you doing a particular bible study right now, reading a book that is growing your faith or spending time in God’s Word and you just can’t wait to share what God is doing in your heart? We’d love for you to join us and share the amazing Truths God is showing you. When we share our faith with one another, we allow God to shine through us blessing and encouraging one another to keep pressing on and leaning in to Jesus. We hope you’ll join us here each Saturday! When linking up, please be sure to keep the following in mind:
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