Do You Sacrifice your Peace, Mom, for your Children’s Best?‏

Recently, a dear friend of mine, with three active little boys, asked me “How does a mother maintain peace, with boys and all their sporting activities?  Where do you draw the line to keep from going crazy?”

I told her what my mentor told me over 10 years ago, when I asked the same question with just three young boys.

What we are so conditioned to believe is necessary, even mandatory almost, for our kids here in America, are not necessarily the same things God wants for our kids. Sports are indeed important and have some great value.  But especially in their younger years, children can learn so much by being taught to play together in their own back yard or with a group of kids in a park.

The world will have you running to and fro, almost every night of the week, attempting to involve your kids in every sport, as if you owe them this opportunity as an American parent.

May I suggest that a mother, who is at peace and not frazzled, contributes far more to a child’s wholeness and well-roundedness than a mother who affords them every sport and class and extra-curricular activity their heart’s desire.

We waited many years into parenting boys, before letting 2 of them launch forth into football. Their football became a passion of our family.  It has never been a burden to me, but a blast that I absolutely love.

In our city, most are convinced that to do well in high school and possibly earn college scholarship, one has to begin by 5 years old playing on an official team.  My boys began in junior high and both were winning the top player awards through out high school.  And now Sam plays college football.

In Russia, where they put out world champion wrestlers, they are not allowed to have physical contact before 14 years old.  They spend 6 years learning the history of wrestling and the importance of their place in that history.  They believe unstructured play, more than high discipline in young people, develops their souls and makes more balanced individuals.

It is the American Way, even of Christians, to be as busy as one possibly can.  As if that makes you a more noble person.  If you are not at peace with your family’s schedule, neither will they be.  When you – as the mother – are at peace, so shall your family be at peace.

The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:15 to “let the peace of God rule our lives, because we were CALLED TO PEACE.”  The Amplified version says rule means “to act as umpire, TELLING us which way to go.”

Do all you want to do, as long as you are at peace.  I know everyone contends with crazy hours.  But ask yourself – for the most part – are you usually at peace or frazzled?  If your life feels mostly frazzled, what can you and your family possibly live without?

I can almost guarantee you that relief will come to your family, even as it does to you.  They may initially resist your attempts to trim activities, but you are the mother and it is your God-given right and privilege to orchestrate the lives and schedules of your family.

My family is extremely busy and very social.  We almost always have company around.  So our entire lives, I have maintained a precedent of no friends or company over on Sundays.  It is our sacred day of rest, family time and/or time alone.  This is vital to our own equilibrium as individuals and as a family.  Rarely do we agree to bend the rule.  Every Sunday night we try to all be together and just hang out together at home.

We have such a tremendous time just being together. We talk, we laugh, we yell and carry on – sometimes like crazy people, because we are all so passionate and loud.  We express and listen to one another’s opinions.  We inspire one another and challenge one another.  And we cuddle.  And we remember who we are as Fowlers.

And then I usually discourage friends from coming and going on Mondays also.  So that we get 2 “down days” each week.  And then our home is very open to people the rest of the week.

I encourage all my kids individually to make time for themselves –  throughout their week.  To take moments and hours through all their busyness, just to be alone and regroup with themselves and the Lord.

That is so paramount to being strong for all the people God brings into our lives on a regular basis.  And the same is true for you.  Does that make sense?

Guard and protect your family.  Teach them the value of “sacred time”.  Show them and help them to carve out for themselves time to be alone and/or with just their own family.  This is such a gift to their life.  Because they learn to treasure their family and also how to refuel as an individual, which so many people never learn today in our fast paced society.

Trust me, they will resist your effort to carve out this family time.  My mother enforced this while my sisters and I were growing up.   We often gave her a hard time, though we loved the family connection.  It is a struggle to create this pattern in your family, but worth every effort.

And you mothers…learn to follow peace and let the peace of God rule your own lives, leading and guiding you into the ways that are right for you and your family.

May I just say here again – Don’t be afraid to be the mother.  After sharing your own heart with them on these matters, or any matter for that matter, and hearing from them, you are allowed to make the final decisions on things.  Too many mothers let their kids totally call the shots.  I have some real strong willed ones myself and I do make a point to listen to them and honor their commitments.  But I do have to remind my 2-year old, all the way up to my 20- year old that I am the mother and God gave me to them to be the mother- they are not the final authority. 🙂

Remember…”Let the peace of God RULE your heart and life.”