{Parenting} – “Above all, love!”

By Cindy Morrone

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:7 & 8)

In the daily there is so much to get done. A seemingly endless checklist to conquer. From devotions, to chores, to schooling, to meals, to house work, to exercise, to blogs, to….

 Check
 Check
 Check

Our conversations roll around the ‘to dos’…..
“Mommy, what time do I set my alarm?” “Do I have to do the dishes?” “How much schooling do we have?”

to

“Did you brush your teeth?” “Did you make your bed?” “It’s your turn to unload the dishes.” “Before you play this afternoon, your schooling needs to be done.”

I love the lists; they help me to feel like I have accomplished!
 Check
 Check
 Check

But, oh, can I get caught up in the lists, so caught up that I am only ordering. My entire day is focused on accomplishing menial tasks that have no lasting value. I have a tendency to suffer from the Martha vs. Mary syndrome. And I can drag all those around me into the swirling of ‘to do’ events until we are all frustrated and bound to ‘doing’ with an end result of complaining, griping, and resistance.

‘But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”’ (Luke 10:40)

But there is a different way…..

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41 & 42)

Above all else, just love…..

There is a choice. I with Jesus’ help will choose to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and above all else show love.

So for us this week, this is what some of those promptings looked like: (oh, yes Martha was struggling but in the end Mary won!)
 Before we ran through the morning list of ‘to dos’ I made it a priority to tell them how much they are loved.
 We went to the park one day before schooling as a family.
 When I folded the laundry and my precious daughter started to share, I stopped what I was doing and looked right into her beautiful eyes and listened; really listened.
 When they were playing outside at ‘recess’ one afternoon, instead of doing the dishes I hopped on my bike and rode around in circles in our driveway with them!
 We had a special treat while reading our literature; it was a surprise!

I was reminded that, it’s when I lay down the list; put it aside and instead just love that miraculously the list is effortlessly accomplished!

Jesus is knocking, will you take His advice in parenting?

Dear Heavenly and Gracious Father,

Thank You for one of Your greatest gifts our beautiful children. Lord, God help us to never take them for granted and when we do, we ask for Your forgiveness. Jesus help us to not become distracted in the everyday list of ‘to dos’ but to choose better and focus on the things that really matter; our relationship with our children. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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