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There's a Dangerous Phrase I keep Hearing on Social Media


This has been on my heart for a long time. I told myself I'm overreacting. Just let it go. Surely, I’m not perfect. In fact, because I’m one of the worst offenders of this kind of thinking, I can recognize the danger.

I keep hearing the same phrase on social media accompanying photos of children and the phrase is… “my whole world”. I’m sure most people are using the phrase to mean, “I’m absolutely crazy about my kids”. Like a buzz word for “I love them”. But if we allow this phrase to penetrate our heart, it’s seriously dangerous.

Here’s why:

1. We need to keep first things first

If you’re a follower of Jesus, your kids should never be “your whole world”. Phrases like this should be for Him alone. He should be what we exalt above anything else. He is our number one and putting anything else in his place is creating an idol of your child. Your kid is great, but he or she is not God. It’s important to live a life that puts Him first.

What this looks like:

  • Allow prayer and the Bible to influence your decisions

  • Pray with your kids and in front of your kids

  • Allow them to see you regularly studying the Bible

  • Talk to them about what God is doing in your daily life

  • Commit to attend and serve in a local church

Don’t be false about this. Don’t be the “do as I say, not as I do” parent. Submit to God and allow Him to change your desires and priorities. Notice I didn’t say be the perfect Christian, parent, or person in front of your kids. But show them that you are putting God first in your life. And be honest with them in your struggles.

2. Next in line comes your spouse.

After Jesus, keep your spouse in the #2 slot. I get it. Kids need more care and attention than your spouse (hopefully), so, you may be spending more time with them than your spouse. However, there should be no question about who comes first in your heart. We foolishly think kids will have more confidence if we put them first. But actually a strong foundation in their parents’ relationship is what gives them confidence.

What this looks like:

  • Tell your kids that your relationship with your spouse comes before theirs

  • Act as a team

  • Serve and celebrate your spouse

  • Never ask your kids to side with one parent

  • Don’t complain about your spouse to your kids

  • Make regular date nights a priority

  • Hug and kiss your spouse in front of your kids

3. It’s not healthy for either of you.

You may be thinking, I don’t practice religion and I’m a single parent, so I’m off the hook. Not so fast. It’s not in the best interest of our kids to make them the center of our world. Not because they’ll end up spoiled, but because it’s too much pressure. Kids need to know that without their achievements we’re still okay. They need to see us having other things in our lives besides them. Otherwise, they’ll feel responsible for our happiness. And that may lead to serious mental health issues. If not, they will surely keep secrets. If our happiness depends on them, they won’t share anything that may upset us.

What this looks like:

  • Make time for friends

  • Get a hobby or two

  • Take care of yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally

  • Don’t freak out when they share things with you

  • Empathize with them, but keep it together for them

  • Always take time to listen to them

  • Allow them to fight their own battles with you as a cheerleader

Living for our kids is dangerous for us too. What will we do when they leave home? Of course it will be an adjustment, but if we don’t lose sight of ourselves while raising kids, that transition may be much easier.

I love my kids. And I fail at this all the time. We all do. My primary ministry for the foreseeable future is my kids. But that doesn’t mean they are my whole world. They are a wonderful, beautiful part of my world, but not all of it.

Blessings,

Shannon