But What if You Love Your Kids More Than God?
Do you love your kids more than you love God?
I was wrong.
In Twelve Truths to Change Your Marriage, there’s a story about how I was sitting around a table with a bunch of women at Bible study one morning and the Holy Spirit convicted me that I had something “on the throne” instead of God: MY KIDS.
When Jesus had come back from the dead, He asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15).
He was referring to the other disciples.
He could have been referring to us, too.
Want some good news in the midst of being uber mad at me? 🙂
I love my kids even MORE than when I had the realization that I loved them more than I loved God. Want to know what is different? I love God more than I did then – and I love Him more than anything or anyone now.
And THAT love has filled me with a desire to “do the right thing” to follow Him, to obey Him – and it has made me a better parent. I’m not saying I’m perfect – FAR FAR from it – but I don’t struggle as much as I could with “doing hard things” (aka “enabling” or “rescuing”) in decision making with my kids…
You know what I mean – the kinds of decisions that allow for short term suffering, like letting your kid make a bad decision so they LEARN on their own, instead of striving for “all the perfect choices” and making all their decisions for them.
And sometimes I wonder if husbands would love and respect their wives better and wives would respect and love their husbands better, if we wouldn’t be working so hard at orchestrating perfect outcomes for our kids.
It may be why so many kids are “failing to launch” in this 20-something generation. It may also be why kids are maturing later, and as a result, marriage rates are at an all time low. In looking back to Monday’s post about the Life Hacks that kept my sanity while surviving motherhood and working life balance while working part time and home schooling, I realized that the women that gave me those tips were actually ones that loved God more than their kids, or anything or anyone else, too.
We’re not supposed to have other “idols” and we’re to love Him with ALL of our heart, but we don’t have to love our kids less – the heart He’s given us has infinite capacity – you know this as you wonder (if you are a mom) in that last trimester if you could possibly love this child at all, or as much as you love your other children – then you meet her outside the womb, and realize you worried for no reason. 🙂
Dare you today to just ASK HIM to help you Love Him More.
Double dog dare you to ask Him to take His place on the throne in your life. And join us in the discussions we’re having about this – Leah and Debbie are blogging about this, and I’m sure it will get discussed in Leah’s book club on the 12 Truths to Change Your Marriage.
You might also consider becoming “the meanest mom in the world” – it “worked” for us… 🙂
What do you think? How do these thoughts fit with your reality today? And don’t feel guilty – it’s okay to love your kids as much as you love them now. I pray your love continues to grow! 🙂 But how does your love for Him fit into that picture?
Would love to interact with you about this today!
Love to you,
Six years ago I lost everything, money, ability to homeschool, my home, my health. He is a jealous God and in losing everything, I saw my idols. At times I reflect, what kind of mess would we be in if I didn’t see God through that excruciating time? I look back and think, “Thank goodness I lost it all….”
It’s not easy, the mantra I repeat is that God always cares more about our heart than our health, kids grades, how clean my house is….
My dear friend warns me, she see’s I have a great relationship with my kids, she warns me that they are leaving and it will be my husband and I.
Maybe I’m doing okay, this week my 14 year old told me she hated me among other attempts to manipulate and bully me into getting her way. A couple of times I winced at how harsh the punishment I gave her was. But in speaking truth to myself, I know it is imperative to stick to the punishment.
This is a truth that God revealed to me in a gentle way through a painful time in my oldest daughters life. I had a “perfect” picture and plan for what she would do and who she would be for God. She became the first of my 6 trophy idols. There was nothing wrong in my wanting her to be a godly young women but I went about it the wrong way. We had learned a very backwards approach to relationship with God, an outside in approach. It left me immensely lonely, insecure and miserable accept for the hope that I could condition and train up little pastors and missionaries to have all the joy that my ruined past (I wrongly believed) prevented me from having. When my oldest daughter decided at 16 to move in with her biological (not Christian) dad, I was devestated! It was God’s mercy at work though, He allowed me to see the idolatry at work in my heart with my religion and my children. I was hurt, humiliated and finally exhausted enough to give up striving for outward perfection and truly meet the Lover of my soul, Jesus Christ! I had been saved at 15 but got lost in religion and performance and guilt and missed the most important aspect of Christianity, a relationship with God through Jesus. The devastation of my daughter’s actions caused a brokeness that nothing could touch and sent me angrily accusing God. It went something like this, ” God, after all I’ve done for You! This is how you repay me! I’ve given up everything (list of pleasures) I’ve kept all the stupid rules(list of things I’ve resented) and this is how You bless me (the payoff expected for performance) God very gently asked me, “Amy, did I ask you to do all that?” Uhhhhh, well, I..I… umm? No, no I guess You didn’t. And so began my encounter with Jesus, my Deliverer, through the pages of His Word, through the example of His life, as I sought to know how I’d ended up so very far from my First Love. I did love my kids more than God. But He graciously brought me back to Him. 4 months later my second daughter died. If God, in His mercy, had not shown me the reality of my heart through my oldest daughter, I cannot imagine enduring the loss! God knows. I’m thankful and wonderfully in love with Jesus the only worthy King of my heart and enjoying my kids immensely but not supremely 😉
My husband and I always put our kids first without even thinking twice. It wasn’t until this year when our marriage hit rock bottom that we realized we needed to put God first and work on our marriage. The devil almost succeeded at destroying our marriage. I could have easily walked away but I chose the harder way and that was to stay and work things out. I realize now that it was the best and right way. Our kids are just fine and if anything, the best thing for them is for us to display what a Christian marriage should look like. I am glad we are doing a much better job at putting God first. It is so easy to lose perspective in this world. I hate the fact that our marriage was almost ruined just because we didn’t take time for us and more importantly putting God first, before everything and everyone. God is good!
I’m there right now. Trying to be the best my I can be while battling others stresses in my life. I feel bad when my children don’t have the best of me. Perhaps your right Nina, I may just have it backwards. Peace and love
AGREED! 🙂 It can be SO hard to let kids fail – but there are so many things they won’t learn unless they do. And you are absolutely right – we need to be on our knees, lest we do too much or not enough. Tightrope walk, isn’t it sometimes? 🙂
Love that you are here!
“Working at orchestrating perfect outcomes for our children.” So been there, done that. It’s hard to step back and allow the people we love to fail. But failure at lesser things can help us be successful in the greater thing of overall life. I have three children; each very different. Children, I can tell you, make poor idols. They canl break our hearts. But they also can be the thing God uses to transform us, if we learn to bring everything to God in prayer. Highly recommend Moms in Prayer (formerly known as Moms in Touch). Has been a lifeline for decades!
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