Andrew in Feb of 2009
A few months ago Renee Swope shared on her blog about asking her son, Andrew, the question, “What makes you feel loved?” I thought the blog post she shared was very good. I also thought that my little Andrew (2½ at the time) was probably too young to understand that question, but wanted to be sure to remember it so that I could ask him in the future.
Last week Andrew (who will be 3 on the 30th) and I were playing in his room. It was just me and him. Suddenly, the question “popped” into my mind which is actually kind of strange since I hadn’t thought of it again since reading it. Within a matter of seconds different thoughts crossed my mind like, “He’s too young to understand that” to “I could always rephrase the question if I need to” to “Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask him…if he doesn’t understand it now, I can always ask again later.” So…I asked.
I said, “Andrew, what makes you feel loved?” He said, “Huh?” I asked again, “What makes you feel loved?” He said, “Ummmm…” I decided to rephrase the question. I asked, “What do you like that Mommy does with you or for you the verrrry most?” He didn’t hesitate. He drew out his words, “When you pray with me.” I thought, “Wow, really?! Huh! How incredible is that?!” I didn’t realize that.
Maybe this momma is making more of it than it really is, but that seems HUGE to me! He didn’t say when we play together, do puzzles, read books or even when I do special craft projects with him. He didn’t say when I buy him toys or candy or when I take him somewhere special. He didn’t say when I make his meals, wash his clothes or bathe him. He didn’t even say when we cuddle on the couch (although I know he loves that). Nope, he said, “When you pray with me.”
Does he just like this family ritual (his daddy often prays along with us)? Or does he sense something significant about this activity? Prayer is something I believe he is starting to understand…and I pray (and believe) is being permanently instilled in his heart as an important part of the day. Still, I’m not sure what made Andrew think of this when I asked (and rephrased), “What makes you feel loved?”
What I do know is this: it reminds me of what is truly important! All of the other activities (or at least most) I mentioned above are good and much needed also; yet it’s those simple, yet meaningful things that mean the most! He wants ME. He wants my time and attention, taking the time to pray with him. He wants to know that he is important to me. When I pray with him he must sense the love I have for him and for God. I am teaching him by example and beginning a legacy. Honestly, I may not know the true significance and value of this time together for many years to come.
When I was sharing this story with a friend at church today she said something profound. She said as I was telling her the story she thought of what God might say if we asked him that same question, “What makes you feel loved?” And she wondered if he would say something like, “When you pray to me.” Wow!
God wants our time too!! He wants US. He wants our time and attention, to be glorified. He wants to know that He is important to us, to be praised. When we pray He knows of our love for Him…and others. Our time with Him is significant, valuable and needed! (Note: He always has time for us, is available and willing to listen too. I don’t know about you, but I would say that, that sure does make ME feel loved!)
I am in the midst of reading three different books at the moment. Interestingly enough all three of them came to a point this past week where they were focusing on (what else?!)…PRIORITIES. Each of them contributing to what God had already been laying on my heart.
Although it is important to meet the needs of my family, I can not spend my whole day fretting over making meals, cleaning house or doing laundry. If I am too busy trying to minister to people outside of my home to focus on the ones within my home than my priorities are “out of whack.” If I’m too busy trying to find ways to bring in extra income so that Andrew can have one more toy or treat, I’m really “missing the boat.”
Of all the things I can do throughout my day, my number one priority must be spending time with God, building that relationship. Then, as a wife and mother, my next priority must be the people within my own home, my family. They are the number one ministry God has given to me.
Quality time with God. Quality time with our family. These are the MOST important things we can do throughout our day!!
What makes you feel loved? What do you think makes your kids, husband or other loved ones feel loved? Why don’t you ask them today? You might be surprised by their answer!