With our children growing in their ability to verbalize their awareness of life, I am seeing my own habits with fresh eyes. For instance, our 4-year old clearly sees things in black and white. If something is unhealthy to eat, then why do we still eat it? Or if he can’t watch a scary movie, then why do we watch it? My conviction has increased when I don’t keep my word in detail or neglect my own daily Bible reading. At the risk of sounding cliche, I want them to be able do what I do and not only what I say.
Which brings me to my renewed intentions for the new year:
- Compromise out of conviction not convenience~ I hope to reduce the number of times I compromise because it’s the easier thing to do. Perhaps I am too lazy to fix a healthy meal so we eat snacks instead; I might not feel like getting out of bed right away so I skip my devotions; I lack motivation so I put off an important task or ignore a friend’s request to chat. These are things I want to leave in yesteryear. Instead, I would like to show my children that at times we compromise because we seek peace with those around us and meeting in the middle acknowledges that we are not all-knowing. Other people have valid points that are worth considering.
- Live the gospel~ Jesus and His truth are becoming more and more a part of our little ones’ vocabulary and that THRILLS my heart. Out of a passion to nurture their desire to learn more about Jesus and genuinely love Him, I want to be passionate about living for Him daily. This doesn’t mean becoming missionaries to Africa; it does mean reading my Bible, audibly praying for wisdom, asking for forgiveness when I make mistakes, and explaining biblical truths that apply to our mealtime conversations.
- Practicing balance~ the young people in our home are busy forming their “norms,” and what they see us routinely doing plays a significant role in those formations. Balance is a necessary practice in healthy living, physically and emotionally. If they see me on the phone more than they see me doing anything else, they will assume that’s what is done; if they hear me talking about my looks or what I dislike about myself every day, they will speak critically about themselves or obsess about appearance too; if I initiate conversation that criticizes others or is cynical about life, this will likewise influence their speech. Alternatively, I hope to speak uplifting words about myself and others and the world God has given to us; I desire to read books and a variety of them at that; I plan to continue to listen to music and theologically rich sermons; and we will be spending much time outdoors every day.
It goes without saying that I am not going to achieve these good intentions right away or all the time. And this allows me to practice showing grace and resilience- to myself and those around me. Perhaps in 2019 the children in this home will learn that just as God shows us grace through His Son, we likewise show grace. And just as He continues to perfect His good work in us, we will continue to try again and again and again to live well and righteously.
What are some of your new year’s intentions? Share them with us.