Ask all those who are serving overseas right now what they would like to have for Christmas and they no doubt would say: “I’d like to be home. I’d like to be with my family!”
Ask their wives, husbands, children and parents the same question and I believe you would receive the same answer: “Oh….I’d give anything if they were home!”
Ask the thousands and thousands of children in orphanages and foster home what they would like to have and I believe most would like to have a family!
We can give our children lots of different kinds of presents for Christmas but nothing will compare with our presence!
3 ways to give the gift of presence to your children this Christmas
1. Give your attention!
One of our biggest weaknesses as parents is in the area of listening! We can lay down the law, set the record straight, let them know when there out of line and yet we can be failures as parents if we don’t give them our attention and listen to them when they need for us to hear!
Our children need for us to look at them. Our children need us to listen to their story’s. Our children need us to watch their performances! They need our attention! And if they don’t get it from us, one day they’ll probably get it from someone else!
2. Give your affection.
Let your home be filled with love. Men, it has been said that the greatest thing that we can do for our children is “to love their mother.” Our children need to know that their parents love each other and that they love them. Christmas is about the love of God! Let’s make certain that our children experience the love of God in our homes!
3. Give your approval.
We’re pretty quick as parents noticing when our children mess things up! What they need most is our approval when they do things right! They need our encouragement!
A mother was taking her children to see their grandmother. She told her children as they drove over to make certain that they cleaned their feet before interesting the house because their Grandmother had new carpet, and she was so proud of it! The family arrived at the grandmother’s house and the children were careful to wipe their feet.
Soon after arriving, the Grandmother gave them some kool-aid and cookies. The mother warned the children not to take it into the living room on the new carpet. But the little boy soon adventured off into the living room and as you can probably guess he spilled red kool-aid all over the new carpet!
The little boy was so scared. He tried wiping it up with his shirt but that didn’t work. So soon he started to cry. The Grandmother quickly came to his side and the little boy begin to tell her how sorry he was that he had spilled his kool-aid. The grandmother looked at him and said: ”Honey don’t worry, I’ll get you some more kool-aid!”
Now that grandma had her priorities right! She knew that the little boy had learned a valuable lesson without scolding him and she knew that what he needed most was love! Remember the things that are most important!
Give the gift of presence this Christmas
Now if you were to ask young children what would they prefer – a new bicycle or an hour playing with mom – they would answer without hesitation: Please give me the bike ! But 20 years from now the thing that will mean the most and be remembered the most will be your presence with them and not so much your presents to them.
How can you give the gift of presence to your children this Christmas?