Sunday, May 6, 2012

Parenting is a Service-Oriented Vocation

While reading The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, I came across a quote that really struck me. It's in the section of the book about the love language called "Acts of Service."

Here is is:

"Parenting is a service-oriented vocation. The day you found out that you would have a child, you enrolled for full-time service. Your contract called for a minimum of eighteen years of service with an understanding that you would be on 'active reserve' for several years after that.
As a parent who must serve, you probably have discovered another truth about this love language. Acts of service are physically and emotionally demanding. Therefore, we parents must give attention to our own physical and emotional health. For physical health, we need balanced patterns of sleeping, eating and exercising. For emotional health, self-understanding and a mutually supportive marital relationship are crucial."

The reality of those two paragraphs just really hit me when I read them. Yes, parenting is a service-oriented occupation. Yes, it can be exhausting. Yes, we need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our children. Yes, we need to take care of our marriages.

I think we all intuitively know this, but what a great reminder of what we signed up for!

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to better understand their children's need for love. Since I started reading it I have been better able to understand what Tyler and Alyssa need from me.

It fills my soul to know I am communicating my love to them in the ways that mean the most to them.

And that is the greatest service we can provide to our children -- showing them our love.

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