“A child learns self-denial”

That is the title of today’s devotional from Back to the Bible’s series made up of Elisabeth Elliot’s writings. I highly recommend this one. I highly recommend most of her writings. 🙂 But this especially speaks to some issues involved in raising children.

I was especially struck by the thought that in Bible times, women did a lot of hard and time-consuming tasks and probably didn’t have a lot of time for sitting in the floor and playing with their children. I am sure they did to some extent, and, as a young mother, I enjoyed those playing times, but there was a constant struggle and fighting off guilt for not doing that more. But, truly, as we go about our daily tasks and include our children and interact with them all through the day, we’re having an influence on them, teaching them, building our relationship with them, and using opportunities in everyday to teach them about the Lord.

It was also a rebuke and a reminder to include them. When they were little and “Mommy’s shadow,” that just happened by necessity. As they got older I’m afraid I would often shoo them off to play so that I could work more efficiently. But even still I enjoy the fellowship of working together as well as playing together.