Yesterday I stumbled upon THIS post by Rory Feek (whom recently lost his sweet wife to cancer). His post, which was titled, “less is more” was one of the most beautiful posts i have ever read. In his post he talks about how his wife prepared their young daughter for her passing in a completely SELFLESS way. She prepared their daughter for her departure by allowing her to foster a stronger relationship with her Daddy. He says..
“And she started going against everything in her being that told her “time was short” so hold her baby even tighter… and longer… and more… and instead – she handed the baby to me, and sat alone in a bed and watched and listened as my relationship with Indy grew…and hers lessoned.” -Joey Feek
His post goes on to quote this bible scripture found in John 3:30 which says,
“He must become greater; I must become less.”
I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for this sweet mama. What an amazing thing to do for her little daughter.
Those words got me thinking about an experience i had on a plane once. I was traveling alongside my husband for a business trip. Our seats ended up not being next to each other and i was seated next to this unbelievably beautiful woman. Normally I would keep to myself and stare out the window. However, something about this woman was striking and I was intrigued to know her story. I finally got brave and opened my little mouth to make small talk. We spent the next couple of hours chatting. It was here that i learned that she had a twelve year old son. She had been divorced for five years and had not yet remarried. She told me that after her divorce she wanted things to be as normal for her son as possible so she purchased a home just a few houses down from her ex-husband’s home.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” -John 3:30
She told me of the bbq’s, bday parties, and holidays they would share ALL together. She told me it was slightly awkward at first but that their son was the #1 priority. Neither of their needs mattered- they were too busy raising an amazing son.
She told me about how her ex- husband had eventually remarried and had children of his own. She talked about how sweet his new wife was. She talked about his children and how they called her “aunt.” The light in her eyes when she spoke of them was something i will never forget. The conversation we had was something i will never forget.
Do i think this situation is possible in all divorce cases? Absolutely not. Do i think it’s possible in some situations? Absolutely-but first one would have to fully surrender to the greater good of the child.
He must become greater, I must become less.” -John 3:30
Both of these stories got me thinking about parenting and raising up our little ones. What things could we do better if this “He (our child) must become greater, I must become less.” Was our motto? What if we put aside our own agendas and surrendered to the greater good of our child?
What would that look like? In my case it might be that I let my child use her creative abilities to pick out her own outfit, regardless of whether or not it matched. Maybe it would be that, even though I can’t possibly fit one more thing into the day, I would still take the time to encourage their instrument practicing or throw the ball with them in the backyard.
Perhaps it would be that i would wrestle a toddler for hours on end at a church service that i didn’t hear a word of- in hopes that maybe my child did.
Would it be easier to stay home, quit the dang instrument, let him play WII instead of baseball? Absolutely. Would it be serving my own interests instead of his? Absolutely.
“He must become greater; I must become less.”
Here’s the best part- by surrendering to the good of our children we are no longer the focus and we become “less.” However, that less is temporary because as our children rise- we rise as well. We both become greater beings that thereby have a greater ability to impact those around us. I am on a new mama mission this week to look for ways where my children can become greater and i can become less. I hope that when they go looking for me- they will find themselves.
Thank you sweet Rory and Joey Feek for a parenting lesson we will never forget and may the Lord continue to bless you and your little ones. Go check out their blog HERE.
What things could you do in your own parenting to allow your children to become greater?
**and in case anyone was wondering- there is NO way i’m allowing my child to pick out her own mismatched outfits. I’m just not ready yet k?