Fitting in everyone’s love needs can be tricky in a large family! We have 8 children and we really want our children to grow up not just knowing (in their minds) that they are loved but feeling that love in deep and meaningful ways.
We like to do a mental checklist to determine if we have practiced showing love:
- ACTS OF SERVICE – Have I stepped in and served one of my children (maybe doing the dishes for a child who regularly washes dishes) or fold clothes and give them a break to go ahead and play?
- PHYSICAL TOUCH & CLOSENESS – Have I touched my children? Do I pat them when I walk by or rub their backs from time to time? Do I hug them and kiss them? Or have I forgotten? Am I so caught up in my world that they are not feeling my touch? Will I give this gift to my older children?
- GIFT GIVING – Have I given a small random gift as a simple way of expressing love? For little ones, sometimes it’s so easy. . .maybe a little bottle of lotion or a string from a ball of yarn to play with. . .for older children, it might be the gift of a cup of cocoa or coffee. . .something that says “I thought of you”
- QUALITY TIME – Have I given my children the gift of direct eye contact and a listening ear? Do they know me as an undisturbed mother who will sit for a few minutes and not be preoccupied with anything else? (Quality Time is my favorite love language. . .but with so many children I feel it’s the one I would like to improve more than the others) I can take a walk with a child and often I allow one or two at a time to come snuggle in the early morning just before rising.
- WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT – Have I given my children encouragement in writing? Do I tell others in front of my children about the good things they are doing and how they are progressing? Do I let my children know how much they are appreciated for the different ways they add joy to my life?
Probably the single most important thing I do as a mom is physically stay home. I invest in myself daily with Bible and prayer time. I enjoy loving my children and I consider it a privilege to raise them and I need all the heavenly help I can get!
I pray all the parents reading this blog will grow in their love of God and of their children and that God Himself, through His word and especially through the encouragement of parents like Joey and Carla (parentingmadepractical.org) will empower all of us to truly love our children and help our children to grow in their expression of love toward others.