Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
As we were about to leave the house to go pick up a friend of my boys, Zack and Mason began arguing about who would sit in the back seat with the friend. I had something to do, so I let them have at it. The result was an angry stalemate: Zack refused to get in the car, and Mason was a thunder cloud. I had to finish what I was doing so I continued to ignore them.
When I finally made my way down to the garage, lo and behold, they were both in the car already and back to their usual happy selves. In my confusion, I asked where the change happened.
Mason said, “I learned from Zack that you have to let things go and move on.” Really?!!! This was my temperamental kid who could storm around for hours when he’s upset about something. No matter what little motto, lesson, lecture or method I try with him, I’ve never been able to get him out of a funk that quickly.
That’s when I recalled my sister, Kerry, telling me about her friend and her sister. Kerry witnessed their reunion after one had been away for a few months. They practically knocked each other over in their enthusiasm to hug.
Kerry asked them how they got so close. One of them said, “Whenever Lily was having a bad day, my mom would encourage me to be the one to help her through it, and vice versa. When you have someone who helps you through the bad stuff, over and over, the bond grows strong.”
That story has stayed with me for years, but I’d never implemented it. I’ve always been too controlling: always wanting to be the one who helps my kids work through things. In my selfish need to be needed, I’ve limited the network of support for my kids.
This situation was a great reminder that this motherhood thing isn’t supposed to be about us; It’s supposed to be about our kids. The more people we can encourage to be there for them, the stronger their network will be. And the more we can lead our kids to God for help, the more eternal that support system will be.
Questions for Reflection:
* Who do I allow my kids to turn to for support?
* Are there other people I can bring into that network?