Happy totally belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! It takes a couple’s retreat with our church small group for me to find time and energy to think and blog.
We are going through a book and video series by Frances Chan called Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. In one of the sessions, we watched Chapter 5 where Chan was talking about relationships. He used the analogy of his relationship with his kids to demonstrate Gods relationship with us. Chan shows love differently to each of his kids but at the end of the day it is so important to him that each child knows to the very core that he loves them with all his heart… and that is what God desires for us.
So this also led me to think about my role as mom and the nuances that make my relationship with each of my children special. I am reminded of Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages of Children
and how I use different languages of love to express my affection to each of my children. The 5 primary love languages that Chapman talks about are: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts.
My seven year old is in public school. I spend a lot of time with her especially before bedtime, talking about her day, her friendships, her ups and her downs. She is my super sensitive child and thrives on encouragement and praise. She needs more of my emotional support right now and highly values words of affirmation.
My second daughter loves to hug and kiss. Whenever she senses that I’m upset with her she often wants me to give her a hug right away. This is often hard for me because I need time to cool off… but I realize that physical touch is a very important demonstration of love to her.
My three year old boy is active and loud and likes to play with his imaginary “shoot gun” making shooting noises everywhere and crashing his toy cars and trucks everywhere. At the same time he has such a sweet spirit and will randomly say “I love you” to me, one of his sisters, or a caregiver who is around. He seems to especially love the times right before nap or bedtime when we sit and read together. Since I am running around so much working part time and driving the older kids to activities, the quality time that I can spend with him is truly treasured.
My youngest requires the most amount of my physical attention. He is wholly dependent on others to meet his physical needs. He is uttering many words now and competes for attention by calling out “mommeee”! He has also learned to hug back and pat the back of my neck with his little hands. At this stage I find that I’m showing love to him mostly by my acts of service, though I’m sure I will be using other languages of love as he grows and his needs change.
I have made many mistakes as mom and will make many more... but at the end of the day, like Chan, I desire my kids to know that they are genuinely, utterly, and fiercely loved.