Sunday, February 17, 2008

Because I Love You

My bedtime conversation with Matthew last night, after he had been crying and complaining about me making him go to bed "early":

Matthew (crying): It isn't fair that I have to go to bed before Elizabeth and Joshua! You're making me go to bed early because you don't love me!
Me: No, Matthew. It is because I love you that I am making you go to bed early. If I didn't love you, I would let you stay up as late as you want to. I would just say, "Whatever. I don't care. Stay up late!"

He stopped crying, so I continued.

Me: Every decision I make, everything I do for you, I do because I love you.
It is because I love you that I punish you when you do bad things.
It is because I love you that I make you do your homework, even when you don't want to.
It is because I love you that I wash your clothes, and make your dinners, and tell you to take a shower and brush your teeth.
I know sometimes you don't like the things I do, or tell you to do, but everything I do, Matthew, I do because I love you.

He seemed to be listening, and I pray those words will echo in his head until they rest comfortably in his heart.

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8 comments:

KarenW said...

It's tough love. My 9 year old thinks it's unfair that she has to go to bed before my teen agers. She wants to do everything they do. I try to explain to her that they also have more responsibilities, more schoolwork, etc. It helps her to understand but she still thinks the bedtime is unfair.

Wendy said...

When my oldest was quite young (and still the only child at the time), she asked me once why she didn't get to do whatever it was she wanted to do at the time and I told her this:
"If I was a bad mommy and didn't love you, I'd let you do whatever you wanted because I wouldn't care enough to bring you up right. I want you to be healthy, safe and smart, and that's why I have to say no sometimes. Because I love you, I do care, and I'm trying to be a good mommy."
Not only has she always remembered that, I've overheard her tell her sisters the same thing. "Mom loves you, so..."
You've planted excellent seeds in your sons heart. Good job, Karen.

Caution said...

I had the same argument from my youngest last night, but I didn't respond so nicely. The same argument is sure to be used again tonight by at least one of my kids, so maybe I'll do better with my response tonight!

kreed said...

I hope the message sinks in - that is such a hard thing to understand as a kid and such a no-brainer as an adult!

Coach J said...

Aahh...we just don't get that 'til we're parents. Or is that just me?!? ;)

Corrie said...

Hey Karen,
I feel like I've had that same conversation with my daughter a zillion times just this week!!! Ah, the joys of repetetive speaking to our children...good thing God did it all throughout the Bible so we know it's just part of the gig, eh?
I have been on a major blogging sebatical. Just getting through the holidays and cold/flu season left me feeling quite depleted. Anyway, enjoyed reading a bit on what you've been up to. I look forward to getting back into the swing of things and always enjoy what I find at your site!
Have a super day!
Corrie

Jenileigh said...

Meadow tells me this often. In her eyes things can seem so unfair with two older sisters. This was a sweet story. Thanks for sharing!

luvmy4sons said...

You're one awesome mom!