I like being a mom. I especially like the idea of being a mom. But some days, when our kids’ lives feel more like a battleground than a playground, it’s all we can do to not quit. Some days, well, it’s just plain hard and the progress I want to see in my children seems so very slow.
But I do want to see progress in their lives and sometimes, to get that progress it is just plain messy.
We all want progress in our lives.
We hope to retire one day. To reach this goal, we ask our employer invest our money before we get our hands on it.
We want to be fit, so we join the gym. But think about this…the average cost to join a gym is $1,200 a year. The average person goes to the gym 5 times a year. That averages out to $240 a visit! Why do we do spend money on what we don’t use? Why do we order the videos, sign up at the club, buy the workout outfit?
Because we want results. We want to be fit. But we miss the next step. The working out part.
If you are like me, you listen to parenting messages, have a shelf full of books on relationships and ask all kinds of advice. We want the best relationships possible. We get “the gym membership”. But, we don’t often to “go to the gym”. Life gets busy. The “have-to’s” always seem to crowd out the “get-to’s” when it comes to investing in our loved ones.
If we truly want to have a “fit” relationship with our family members, just as we have to carve out time to go to the gym, get on the machine and do the hard workout, having great relationships is work; hard work. They don’t just happen. Close relationships require investment.
The first place we have to make that investment in is our relationship with Jesus.
Seem a little backwards? To have a better relationship with those I love, I have to have a closer relationship with Jesus?
My middle daughter is coming home from college for break. Now, what if she came to me when she got home and said, “Mom, I want you to teach me how to can.” Can? I have not the first clue about canning. Ask your grandma; she could teach you how to can. Me? No way.
Now, if she said, “Mom, I want you to teach me how to cook?” That I can do! See when I got married, I was an awful cook! Beyond awful! I was so bad, my mom didn’t even want to come over to dinner! Mushy goulash, trout casserole. I’m just saying…not good!
But, I did the hard work. For years, I have poured over cookbooks, learned to make a menu, even figured out how make food come out at the same time! 26 years…that’s how long it has taken, but you know what? I’m a pretty good cook now! And cooking is something I can “give” to my kids. I have done the hard work, obtained the skill and I can confidently pass it on. (Just please don’t ask me to bake!)
To have a great relationship with our kids, we have to begin with having a great relationship with Jesus. Like me and canning, we can’t give away what we don’t have. If I haven’t experienced love, joy and hope given to me by perfect, unconditional love, I am not capable of giving away unconditional love with joy and hope.
I can’t give away what I don’t have.
But, when I engage with Perfect Love, Jesus, and have His love filling my heart, I can then be intentional to pour this love into those I love.
To begin a healthy relationship, we have to begin at the beginning…Jesus.
Are you in a daily relationship with Jesus, where He is filling you with the love you need to pour out into others? Are you each day learning more about Him, having Him change you, making you more like Himself, so you can show and model love? If the answer is “yes”, great! You’ve made it to the “gym” and you are ready to do the hard work. If you’d have to answer “no”, today’s the day to start at the beginning. Learn how to start this amazing relationship with Jesus here.