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I wonder how you prioritize things in your life. How you decide what is most important to you. Should someone view your life with your spouse and children, would that person be able to determine from your actions and behaviors what your priorities are?
Some of you, I suspect, have a pretty good understanding of your priorities. Your actions and behaviors likely accurately reflect that. It isn’t so much you to whom I direct this article. However, if you realized, in reflecting, that your behaviors aren’t in rhythm with what you consider the most important things in your life, I would encourage you to make necessary adjustments.
Did you immediately say that your God is most important in your life? However, while you know you need to pray daily and to allow God to talk back to you through daily Bible reading and study, you also realize that you don’t do that? So, is God really your number one priority?
How about your spouse? Partner? If you say this is your next order of importance in your life, do you live that out? Does he or she feel that?
What about your child? Many of us are quick to respond that our child is at or near the top of our list of priorities. What does that mean to you? You probably would, without question, jump in front of a moving train to save him. You would drive through a roaring lightning storm without thinking how terrified you are in order to get your sick child to the doctor.
Those actions clearly say you love that child. But, what about that little one who calls for you when you are in the middle of your favorite TV show, movie, video game? Or texting, FaceBooking, or talking to your friend on your cell phone? Do you get up and check on what the need of that child happens to be, or do you ignore or tell the child you’ll be there “in a minute”? Even though you may be able to pause the action or return a call?
How about when you are busy washing the dishes, folding the laundry, or paying the bills and your little one comes to you with a book or a toy and wants in your lap or your arms? Are you able to put aside those things for even a few minutes to give a needed hug, a snuggle, or a few tickles?
When you find yourself ignoring the child, putting him off, yelling for him to be quiet, does it occur to you that you are telling your wee one that those things are all more important to you than is he? I’m not saying they are, only that the message a young child gets is that those things are more important to you than him and his needs.
A child is a preschooler for only a few years, and there are lots of things he needs to learn during that time. A positive sense of self begins at birth when that infant sees you looking in his eyes and smiling. It continues as you meet his needs for food, warmth, nurturing, etc. Just because he is now able to walk, open the refrigerator to retrieve a sippy cup, and get a snack from a low shelf, doesn’t mean he no longer needs you. Do place your young child high on your list of priorities and let him feel it, experience it, KNOW it. Happy parenting! God bless your efforts.