It's That Simple Journal mother musings Soul Keeping Stirring the Pot

The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Children

March 21, 2016
Stirring the Pot

Stirring the parenting pot today. A good stir* in the right direction, although it works for all relationships.

What’s the most important thing you can do for your children?


There are more books on parenting than pairs of black shoes in the average woman’s closet. When our girls were small, I tried to read one parenting book, maybe two. Remember the brain blurr of early life ? Did you ever finish reading a book? If I had an hour to myself, I preferred shopping for black shoes.

most important thing

Maybe you’re still in that blurr. Maybe you don’t know how you got to this blog. Maybe you wish you could go take a nap. I think you should. Go ahead. It’s amazing to me that moms can dole out–

permission to go ice skating when it’s 10 below

permission to go the movies with boys and girls as long as there’s an uneven number of boys and girls

permission to go to USC even though it will slow up the kitchen remodel for 4 more years

Yes, we dole out the permissions, but we forget to give ourselves permission. Want to take a nap? I’ll help. Permission granted.


Back to parenting. I like to read, but a book doesn’t help when I’m tired, frustrated, and maybe a little bit disappointed with myself, the Man-in-Plaid, the girls, the dog—the world in general.


What does help?

Making myself a cup of coffee in the afternoon and calling my girlfriend.

Making myself leash up the Holli-dog and trot around the neighborhood—maybe twice around the neighborhood.

Making myself remember the most important thing I can do for my children is to make God my most important thing.

That’s it. Make God my most important thing.



The most important thing you can do for your children is to make God your most important thing. // free printable quote // John 15:5

Dallas Willard put it this way:

You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing total contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God–that and that alone is what makes a soul healthy. (as quoted in John Ortberg’s Soulkeeping)

How do I know that making God my most important thing is the most important thing I can do for my kids?

Here’s how:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

When I abide in Jesus, my kids benefit.


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. Colossians 3:15

When Christ rules in me, when I have His peace—everyone benefits.


And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:15,17

When I let Christ sink down in my soul and live gratefully, God works more easily through my fragile frame.


 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 

When God’s kingdom is on my radar – when He’s first on my often cracked radar –He fills in those cracks. And my kids know how much they are loved.


Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered…I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:1,5 

When I confess quickly–and accept thoroughly–all the forgiveness He died to give–I judge less. I love more.


That’s how I know it’s the most important thing.

Abiding in Christ

Giving Him full reign

Traveling gratefully

Setting my mind on His kingdom

Keeping short accounts with the Great Forgiver


How else can we make God our most important thing? Figure it out. Your kids, your spouse, your friends–need you to figure it out. Mine, too.

Free printable. You may want to make two. I know I do.

The most important thing you can do for your children is to make God your most important thing. // free printable quote // John 15:5



* And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24


Sometimes linking with these lovely bloggers:

The Art of HomeMaking Mondays Soul Survival LiveRandomlySimple  TestimonyTuesdays Me, Coffee, & Jesus,  CornerstoneConfessions, CoffeeandConversation,Purposeful Faith Intentional Tuesday Jennifer Dukes Holley Gerth KristinHillTaylor, SittingAmongFriends,Thought-Provoking Thursday Faith-Filled Friday Grace&Truth GiveMeGrace


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  • Reply Heather March 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Hands raised in hallelujah and Amen! Works in marriage too I’m finding… Have you ever read the Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund? Your writing reminds me of her style and I think she said something similar in a snippet of that book I read last week (right before I bought it!)– if your schedule doesn’t allow God to be first, change it, ’cause it’s not working. ♥ I love a confirming witness, don’t you?! ♥

    • Reply welcomesue March 22, 2016 at 11:12 am

      yes, I do love a confirming witness. sounds a little old-fashioned – i like old-fashioned! Yes, I’m old, you know – I read Ortland when Ortland was alive and was the new Holley Gerth! HA! and used it in discipling when it was called discipling, not mentoring. Ha again! Great book and timeless wisdom. Good for you – first Oswald Chambers and now Ortland – discipling beyond the grave! a most confirming witness.

  • Reply Gayl Wright March 22, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Yes, how often we forget ourselves as we give and give to our family and to others. We do need to care for ourselves properly and that includes putting God first. Thanks for sharing those verses and your thoughts! When God is foremost in our lives, the other things have a way of working out, too. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #IntentionalTuesday.

    • Reply Sue March 28, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      thanks for visiting Gayl. hope your Easter was rich and blessed.

  • Reply Dolly@Soulstops March 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    YES! and Amen! I love Dallas Willard and that book by John Ortberg and your post :-) We really can’t love well unless we first let God love us :-) A blessed and happy Easter to you and your family…((HUGS))

    • Reply Sue March 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      thanks, dolly – hope yours was sweet with family and friends. love those books, obviously just need them in my brain a little better and more often!

  • Reply Tiffany Parry March 22, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I love this, Sue. So much of what our children learn is caught, not taught. It’s such a blessing to watch my son, at 13, wrestle out his own faith and embrace his own relationship with God because of what he has caught from his dad and I – both our joys and trials in faith. Modeling faith has created a safe place for him to come with his questions, wonders, and realizations about God. Such great encouragement for parents here – to walk the talk. Visiting from #testimonytuesday.

    • Reply Sue March 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      I love that – you creating a safe place for him to land. we never can know or anticipate from where they may need to land – so this truth is for us parents as for our kids, that’s for sure. thanks for visiting!

  • Reply sunSPARKLEshine March 22, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Sue, how did you know I needed this to be simple? No fancy bells and whistles, just God! And on top of it all, you put a smile on my face. :-) Thank you, my friend!
    Marva | sunSPARKLEshine

    • Reply Sue March 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Oh, good! blessings on you, too!

  • Reply Jessica March 23, 2016 at 10:11 am

    A timely message today!! Thank-you Sue, I will mediating on this truth the rest of the day. To make Him the most important is truly, absolutely – the single most important pursuit. I’m thankful to be your neighbor today at Kristen’s place.

    • Reply Sue March 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      thankful to you, too, for stopping by. one of my fav printables (and needed) blessings.

  • Reply jwiebel March 28, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Such a wonderful funny and uplifting post to encourage me to be the mom my kids need me to be. It is funny that you had this post from John 15:5. I have had a picture verse of this verse on my social media today! Great minds think alike. So glad that you join us at Sitting Among Friends. I love reading your posts.

  • Reply sarahgirl3 March 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Love this! So much truth. I have been trying harder lately to make God my first priority, not just read my Bible and pray when I have time. If I wait for that, it’ll never happen!

  • I do talk to myself (a lot) — but I’d love to hear what you might have to say HERE: