Early morning walks take me past several day-care homes where I observe mommies dropping their children off. My heart is always heavy as I watch the process, but filled with gratitude that I have the privilege and make the choice to keep mine home with me. I hope that as the years go by, my children will realize their preciousness through seeing the investment God has led their dad and mom to make in them. We express to them their preciousness by giving of our time and resources to keep them in the environment where they are more loved than anywhere else in the world. But I also know how important it is for us to verbalize to them their preciousness.
Recently, in an effort to convey to two of my little boys the necessity of being kind to each other, I started by looking at each of them and telling them of their preciousness to me. Those two little boys’ faces lit up. They were so happy with what I had told them. They remembered it that evening when Daddy came home and wanted to tell him at the dinner table.
That one simple situation made me see how easy it is to be at home with my children, involved with them all day long, and yet not express to them how precious they are to me. I can be so busy that my conversations with them don’t even involve eye contact because I am doing another task as we talk. I need to have the Lord remind me to get eyeball to eyeball with them and let them know how much I love them, how special they are, how valuable they are, and what they mean to me.
Certainly, as we begin a new school year, our focus can be so intense on schooling that we forget our desire to value the ones in whom we are investing our lives through homeschooling. We are so close to everything that goes on with our children that our gaze often is fixed on their faults and shortcomings. We feel a responsibility to train our children in the admonition of the Lord and to build godly character in their lives, so we spend our time teaching and disciplining. Do we take an equal amount of time to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord? Can we speak words of love, encouragement, and value–building them up, looking them in the eye, and holding them close to us?
As we start a school year with the excitement of fresh beginnings, I pray each of our children will know of their preciousness to us and to the Lord. I pray that all of our teaching interactions can be without pressure and criticism, but characterized by an attitude of patience and love. This school year, may we as mothers embody the qualities we want to see grow and develop in our children.