I recently listened to a commentary on Titus 2 that honed in on the phrase, "teach the younger women to love their husbands and children." I heard something new, something that I had never considered...
The word "love" in that passage is translated to the Greek word "philos." Philos refers to friendship.
As I listened, I wrote a note to myself, "Am I a friend to my kids? Do they feel as though I like them?"
My kids know I love them. I have no doubt of that. But do they feel liked by me? Do they feel as though I enjoy spending time with them? Do we have fun together? Do I tell them that I like them for who they are? Do I treat them with the same care and respect I do a friend, or even an acquaintance?
Sadly, I can't be sure.
But this is something I need to be sure about. So here are a few things I think I can do to let my kids know I really like them:
- Really listen and respond when they have something to tell me. Look at them and pay attention.
- Be willing to set aside my duties in order to do something fun.
- Say yes more often than no.
- Laugh more.
- Smile more.
- Tell them the things I like about them. Every day.
On the first day of school, the kids and I played a board game together when they got home. We had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, and the dog hair never got swept up, but I'm pretty sure everyone crawled into bed with a smile that night.
And you know what I realized? I really do like my kids!
What do you do (or could you start doing) to help your kids (or husband, or parents...) see that you really do like them?