Our refrigerator door has always sported one or two cartoons. For many years there was one featuring a mom and her young son. In the first frame the little boy is in his room obviously upset. Lightening can be seen out his window and it appears that the storm is quite violent. Mom enters in frame two and proceeds to quiet the young man. Frame three finds mom preparing to leave the now calm boy. “Mom, why don’t you stay in here with me?” he asks.
“I can’t, honey. I have to sleep with Dad,” she replies and with that leaves the room.
All alone the boy does not hide his disgust. “That Dad is such a sissy!!”
When we became parents, we decided that it was important not only to establish our list of priorities, but also to let that list guide our actions and decisions. The Lord was at the top, followed by one another. And coming in at #3 was our children. It’s obvious from the cartoon above that kids usually want to have a higher ranking on the list. Maybe the young boy could understand the Lord out-ranking him. But Dad??!!
If you’re a mother, you have probably experienced the exasperation of your child when you don’t give him or her your immediate attention. Maybe your little darling has actually taken your face in her hands and turned it to face hers. Or perhaps you’ve been aware of your child’s desire to be a top priority at other times. Maybe when you’re on the phone.
Your child, who has been absent up to this point hears you answer the phone and magically appears. He encircles you, tangling himself in the phone cord and mouthing words you can’t decipher. Someone else has your attention and that will not do!
A child’s insistent attitude and unarguable dependence in the early months and years of their lives can combine to move them ahead of Dad on the priority list. It can even push them to the #1 spot. The very fact that children are clamoring to move up in rank demands that we are diligent in keeping priorities in order.
Have you ever gotten your priorities out of order, allowing your child to come before the Lord or your spouse?