Where do the children fall on the people priorities list?
After God and Husband of course, but before Career and Ministry. Your Husband, your home and your kids are more important and should be a higher priority than any other outside-the-home career or ministry.
I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. (I Timothy 5:14)
So what kinds of things do I use to evaluate this third most important priority? Here's my list:
- Do my children know I love them? – Do I tell each child every day that I love him or her? Do I physically reinforce with hugs and touch and kindnesses that they are loved by this Momma? That should be one of my goals because after all, I could feed them, clothe them, provide for them sacrificially, even give my life for them, but it would be worth nothing if they did not know that I loved them (I Corinthians 13).
- Am I consistent in love and in discipline? – Do I discipline because I love and am consistent administering the kinds of training consequences or lifestyle disciplines that will grow my child into the man/woman he/she needs to be for God? Or do I discipline in anger and frustration, too preoccupied with my own “to do” list to take the time necessary to mold and train them correctly? Does my love come across stronger than my discipline? Am I approachable or do I always say “no” to their requests? Do they know what to expect from me? Are the rules clear and consistent? (Helpful resources:Don't Make Me Count to Three and Shepherding a Child's Heart)
- Do they know I love God? – Do my children see me reading my Bible, praying, studying? Do I read the Bible to them? Do they hear me singing to the Lord? Do I encourage an atmosphere of praise to God in our home? Do they know He is real in my life and that I love Him? Do I encourage them to know Him better and love Him too?
- Did I share the Gospel with them today? – My children are my primary mission field. These are little souls that God hand-made and placed specifically in my care so that I could evangelize them by God's grace and for His glory. What am I doing today to show/teach/give the Gospel to my kids? It's not my responsibility to “save” them. Only God can save. Only the Holy Spirit can convict. And each child will have to make the decision to accept or reject Christ on his own, but what am I doing with my “captive audience” opportunity today? (A great book on this subject is Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick)
- Do they know I love their Daddy? – Do my kids feel secure in our home because they have no doubts that Mommy and Daddy love each other. Do they see us demonstrate our love by speaking kindly to each other and by being affectionate? Do I build up my husband in front of them? Do I tell them how wonderful Daddy is and include them in the excitement of serving him and others?
How am I doing with the kid priority today? Is God being glorified? or am I giving the enemy cause to speak reproachfully of my Lord?
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