As mothers the Lord has called us to be gate-guarders. But how do we bring life to our family when we are constantly guarding the gate? What do we allow into the home? How do we spend our time? How do we know what our children's friends are like?
To start, my goal for my children is that they would find their best friends within our family unit. My sister and I were raised with parents who would not let us have play dates with our friends if we were not able to get along with one another and we are carrying that down into our family. Yes, my children will always have friends outside the family but the Lord has placed us within a family unit for a reason. There should be a different intimacy with one another then we have with our friends. My prayer is that we would all be able to challenge, encourage and pray for each other as we all know each others strengths, faults and dreams.
So we take walks... ride bikes... play games... read... have a movie night... make pizza together... work in the yard together... and so goes the list.
We enjoy life together.
When they do want to play with their friends, our desire is to make our house a place where they can bring their friends - a place of activity, fun, encouragement and life. When their friends are in our home we know what they are doing, what their attitudes are like and if the friendship is bringing harm or life. I'm able to observe and I would not be able to do that if they were off in a neighbors backyard playing or in someone else's room.
We also love having their friends families over for dinner thus providing good fellowship for everyone.
When we have another family over for dinner we are able to serve together as a family as we clean the house and get the meal ready. I want my kiddos involved in each step of the preparing so that they know they have contributed to the evening. I want them to be able to partake and to give life. Then they learn to serve their friends and they learn to work together as a family in serving their friends.
I must guard the gate of my home yet we will have a home full of life.
graphic from allposters