Why Relationships Matter More Than Our To-Do List
When my children ran across the road, I was shamed into believing I was a bad mother. As I ushered my kids into the grocery store, I was constantly aware of the subtle glances I saw coming from onlookers. I have a lot of children. I know. Five children is a lot and often I fall into the trap of self-doubt.
Did we make a mistake?
Am I enough for each one of them?
Will they regret having grown up in a big family?
Recently I attended a homeschooling conference. If big families want some solidarity, they just need to go to homeschooling conference. When I see families of six, seven, or even ten I don’t feel so bad! As I sat there during one of the sessions, I heard a little whisper when the presenter was talking about our goals as homeschooling moms. She said something I think applies to everything in life.
She said: the relationships are what matters most. Yes. We must plan our curriculum and choose a good time to work with each child. But in the end making homeschooling about the relationships will matter in the long run. Our children will not remember the hours we spent memorizing the spelling lists or the tears as we struggled through Algebra. They will remember the time we went to the park and splashed in the fountain. The time we went to get ice cream on a Tuesday and the Friday we ditched school to go to the museum will be what they remember. The days will fly by and in the end our children will have each other. The relationships we forge, nurture, and cultivate during the years they are in our homes will be what matters in the end.
Isn’t this true about life? No matter what job, title, or position you hold – your relationships are what matter. Whether you have children at home or not, you have a relationship with someone. Often we get distracted by things that don’t matter. In the end, eternity is coming closer each day – so what are we doing for eternity?
Are we building stronger relationships? Or are we concerned with other, smaller, less important details? I struggle with this because my to-do list is filled with things like laundry, ironing, vacuuming, making grocery lists, and piano lessons. Those are important – don’t get me wrong – my people need clothes to wear and food to eat. Only, am I stressing and worrying about getting all of those things that I miss the opportunities to build relationships?
More than anything I want to remember that my children are not interruptions: they are the point of it all. As the weather shifts and I reflect on the next season, I want to remember a few things:
1. Read the book aloud.
2. Take a walk to the park.
3. Let them sleep in.
4. Don’t worry about not finishing.
5. Splash in the pool.
6. Have fun.
Although life isn’t ALL about having fun, life isn’t about the stressful to-do list either. Life is about relationships. Life is about building for eternity and growing to be more like Christ. No matter our season; our stage in life; or our responsibilities – relationships matter the most. In the end we have people and in the end God has called us to do the work of winning souls for Christ. Let us put aside our to-do list and let our hearts remember this truth:
Relationships matter the most.