When my husband is out of town and it's just the three boys and I, I like to use those times to have special talks during my nightly devotional with them. Last night before we read a passage of scripture, I had them list ten things they wanted to be as a husband, dad, and man when they grew up. It's always a little hard for them to begin talking, and there are a lot of laughs at first, but then they get serious about what they want for their future. I love hearing their thoughts, dreams, and desires. Most of all I love hearing that they want to raise their children along with a Christian spouse, bringing their children up in the Lord. That's the most important thing and what I want most for my boys (and for my daughter, too).
I love hearing about what my boys want for their families: A day together once a week (though one said that would sometimes be tough, knowing that he wants to make that a priority makes me proud and gives me great joy). They want to discipline their children and teach them right from wrong. One said he didn't want to be too tough on his children (that would be the youngest who is going through some tough discipline, himself! Ha ha!). One wants to spend vacation times together. One said they wanted to continue to be close to his siblings. All of these "family" issues showed me that family is very important to my boys. I'm so thankful that it is, and pray that it continues to be for them.
After the boys went to bed, I was thinking about other questions I would ask them at the dinner table today. Dinner, lunch, supper, even breakfast....whatever it is....when you're gathered together as a family is the most important aspect of family life. Unfortunately when children are involved in extra-curricular activities, those times are sometimes rare. It has to be a family priority to even happen. It won't happen by accident. But that's when special discussions take place, just as they do during family devotionals.
Learning more about how my boys think is a crucial part of parenting. I don't want them to grow up and I find I don't know much about them. I want to know how they think and what they enjoy. When we're on shopping trips - just one on one with them - we talk about things. When it's just one in the house after school, we talk about things. At other times, there are special times when I get special times with one or all of the boys. They'll be gone before I know it, so these times together are very special - times when we just talk.
Thank you, God, for the special times with my boys!
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