As the school year begins I had a thought occur to me again. One that has sort of become a pet peeve of mine. An idea that seems to be subtly circulated through the minds of parents (at least I assume) by our culture. And this is the idea: that others can see how much you love your children by how much you share about them on social media and/or how much your life centers around their activities.
Of course, like many lies, this seems very easy to pick out when written out in black and white. However, when going about your daily life, it is one that slyly creeps in and can effect decision making without us even realizing it.
Let me give you a few current examples. My oldest child is 6 years old and entering kindergarten today. My husband and I were D1 athletes and still work with college athletes in ministry so we know what can happen to a kids love for the sport if pushed too young and too hard. At this stage, we are holding off getting our kids involved in organized sports. However, I have received questions from my son’s classmate’s parents asking about what soccer league my son will be in this fall. It is easy to see how the subtle lie can creep in. The lie is this: that loving parents put their kid in extra-circular activities. On top of that, the more experiences you give your kid, the more you love them.
Another example comes from within my own heart and mind but I believe is put there from society. When I got on Facebook, Instagram or another social media outlet and see the posts about my friend’s kids I found myself feeling like I ought to post something about my kids. I find myself drifting to thinking that people may question how much I enjoy my children if I do not have pictures posted of them daily.
These are just two of many subtle thoughts I find myself having. But, like I stated, these are lies. The bible tells us how we can know if we love our children.
Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” ( In other words, we care about their character development, we help show them the Way of life, we correct the error in their ways.)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
I am doing the hard work of “taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5) and choosing to believe the truth. I am asking God to help me become aware of the these lies that come into my heart and mind (Ps 139:23). I am grateful that God has commanded that we take time to rest (Sabbath) and reflect on life, as this is the space to allow the Spirit to show me the error in my thinking and behaving (Ex. 24:20).