Like what you read?

Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Friday, 8 January 2016

Priorities, Obedience & Achievement:

My 3 boys are in a transitional stage in their lives as they gradually begin to let go of childhood and embrace maturity…the big stage of adolescence!

I am so grateful to The Lord I am seeing their willingness to mature!

Yet, I believe this has come about due to my intentional efforts to make this a focus and priority…

My boys are just like any others their age; they would like to sleep in each day and spend all their time playing video games and/or getting outdoors to the skate park or shops to buy more video games! Regardless of their Christian upbringing…You see from my observation adolescent hormones seem to bring along for boys in particular; tiredness, outbursts of anger, and disenchantment with life (especially school and people).

Now I am NOT saying, I do not let my boys play video games or sleep in, for that would be a lie. What I am saying, is that I do not want to raise my boys in a way which enables them to more easily become dysfunctional adults…In a way which says (even nonspeaking) that it’s okay to not achieve.

This may sound harsh but I honestly believe that it’s really love.

Even a child with disabilities can be working towards achieving a goal.

So I have begun with my own personal example and attitude.

Young people are NOT inspired by those who preach what they don’t do…So, if you are constantly having to tell them to get off their phone and do their homework; ask yourself how often do you work on a project at home after work rather than watch TV?

This year I have made a ‘no screen’ time for us all each evening; where we spend time devotionally together, discussing an important topic and then all journaling at the dining table. Many years ago we used to do this during the day when we home-schooled. With the business of life, many of our talks had transitioned to taking place in our car during travels to and fro. However our new ‘journal/devotional time’ has been a great success - my boys LOVE it and very quickly I have seen some leaps in maturity and personal responsibility! I did however have to be obedient to what I knew was the right thing to do (leading intentional devotional time) and also to make this a priority…I needed to sacrifice my evening social media time but it has been so worth it!

We’ve discussed how being obedient ISN’T just doing what we’re happy to do when asked…Of how really, it is obeying what we’re asked to do willingly, even when we don’t want to!

True obedience requires sacrifice and humility and this leads to maturity and self-control.

We’ve talked about how people who achieve prioritise and are obedient to sacrifice.

For example we know in order to save money; one must first make it a priority and then be obedient to sacrifice their indulgent treats to achieve their saving goal.

Or if my boys want to achieve success in their hobby they must sacrifice their personal time of watching TV or gaming…Otherwise there will be no time for their hobby, due to homework needing to first be completed.

I believe without knowing their life priorities, young people will most likely continue to float through life not achieving their desires and this will extend into their adult life. I believe unless I model and teach my children, that in order to achieve they must prioritise and be obedient, they will not be as likely to develop these skills.

We have been blessed recently to have a travelling missionary visit our church. My boys are quite inspired by this young man as he has clear priorities and lives a life of sacrificial obedience to achieving his goal of sharing the Word.

You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. (Deut 11:18-21)

Let me ask you what are YOUR priorities and how good are you at being obedient to achieve them? What example are you teaching your children and how are you intentionally helping them to develop these skills for adulthood?

Melanie :)


Joanna Sormunen said...

I agree with you, our example says so much more than our words. Such an easy thing, even a cliché, it seems, but in reality something very hard and profound.
My son has also a very controlled screen time, be it computer, tablet, tv or video games. It is easy and can even seem that as parent we are doing the best for our children if we allow them to enjoy these things. But if I have learned something in my life it's that suffering is the best teacher.
This does not mean that I make my son suffer (although he does accuse me of that when I tell him to turn the device he's currently using off and even of enjoying his suffering) but I want to make him to aspire. To long for things, to hope for something, to miss something, to sense that there is something to live for, that tomorrow will bring something he will enjoy.
So many children and youth today have at the beck and call everything they might want and need. And it seems they have lost the meaning of life. They are bored, there is no reason to exist. The magic has been leached out of their lives.
Let's not saturate our children's lives but make them aspire for something better!

Melanie Baker-Nash said...

Yes Joanna! Less can be so much more and lead to a more joyful life - too much stuff can just bog us down!

INeedToCreate said...

Hi Mel, great article. It does make more sense for our kids (& ourselves) to see a task as something that leads to a goal.
It's not just something that we have to do but something that gets us to a better future.