I was driving over the holidays to visit family…stopped for a break at one of the mega rest stops off the turnpike. The place was crowded with holiday travelers…I ended up sitting at a table just next to a family of 4.
With my children grown, I still so much enjoy the voices of young children. I can still recall so clearly my daughters’ childhood voices…it’s a great source of joy for me.
One of children at the table next to me was a talker. About 10 years old, she was trying hard to get her father’s attention. “Daddy, when we get home can I…Daddy, what was your favorite Christmas gift…Daddy, Daddy…” As I was listening I realized I wasn’t hearing any response from dad, so I looked over and saw that he was looking completely the other way, not hearing a word his daughter was saying. He wasn’t even there…wasn’t where he needed to be. Eventually the little girls stopped trying…but she kept looking up at him with hopeful expectation that he was going to respond. He never did.
I, of course, have no way of knowing his circumstances or his thoughts, and I know that there were times as a young father that I was just as guilty of not engaging with my girls when they needed me…oh, how I long for the opportunity to go back and do it differently. I certainly am not judging that father, but it brought to mind how easily the distractions of the day and of the world can take our focus off the attention needed by our children.
Today, and everyday, try to really connect with your children or loved ones. After Jesus, these people in your life are the greatest gift God gives us. They are also the most important mission field most are ever called to. The easiest way to start showing your love, respect, and honor for them is giving them your full attention when they are talking to you. Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community your thoughts on being where you need to be as parents(or loved ones).
Dear Father God, I know that being faithful parents and guiding our children to You is very important to You. Help me and all parents truly listen to our children and to make them feel secure and loved…and through us, get to know the security and love You are excited to give them. Give all parents the wisdom and strength for this most important task of parenting. I pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”