Loving God Above ALL Else. Yes, Even Your Children.

My mom and I were recently talking about this topic, and she said how hard it is for her to do this because she loves my brother and me so much. She said she has a hard time believing she loves God more than us. Now that I am a mom, I totally get that. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, and I brought the question to a bunch of Catholic ladies who I trust very much. Here is what they and I had to say:

Me:

I have a hard question (at least for me): So, we are supposed to love our Lord above all else, even our own children. I struggle with this (not the concept, just the practice). I love my kids as much as I know you all love yours…which needless to say is a whole lot. I always think that I would do anything and everything for their well-being. How can I put into practice/show the Lord that he is number one in my life? What does that look like? The love I FEEL for my kids is much greater, and I know it shouldn’t be that way. Anybody else struggle with this?

I may be answering my own question, but by taking care of the Lord’s gifts (our children) to us, are we showing our love for him? By dying to ourselves so that they may prosper a way of doing this? What else might there be?

Katie:

I’ve actually brought this up in confession – not for kids, because obviously – but with my husband. I struggle with feeling like I love my husband more than I love God, when I know it should be the other way around. The priest told me that living my Vocation & loving my husband WAS loving God, that I glorified God by loving my husband. I’m still conscious of it, but I don’t worry so much about it. I know I DO love God more, because without Him there’d be no Adam – and no me – but I can show my live for God by loving my husband.

Sarah:

I would say, in my albeit limited experience, that by bringing your kids up in the faith even when it’s not easy (like taking them to Mass) would mean you love God over all. It’s the way you live your life as a whole.

Jennifer:

Loving our children and our spouse is loving God, but that also means we have to have a certain spirit of detachment towards them in knowing that they are God’s and not our own, and He can take them, and we need to be ok with that (or at least at peace with it). The other thing I think it calls us to as parents and spouses is in loving God to sharing that love with our family, to uphold our spouse in prayer and to lead them closer to Christ through our witness, and to teach our children that “The Lord is God, the Lord alone, therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength”. That’s easy to do when they are little, but it can mean some tough decisions and hard conversations as they get older. It may be easier to “keep the peace” and say what our children need to hear, but that isn’t loving them, and it isn’t loving God if it means condoning a life of sin. Not that any of us expect that, but life is what it is, and our world is what it is, and at some point our children may decide to stray from their faith. It may seem crazy but I pray every day that God takes the lives of my children or of my spouse rather than they lose Him. I’d rather lose them in this world, than for all of eternity.

***

How intelligent and well-spoken are these ladies? I am so glad I have them and many other to go to with questions like this. Do you have any thoughts on the topic? How would you answer my question?

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Comments

  1. Hi!
    A bit behind the times, but i thought I might chime in…

    Like Marian Bart, I offered my children back to God when they were born. I felt supremely blessed to be trusted enough by God, to be given these children to watch over while they are here on earth with me. So, to answer the question… I believe that we as mothers and fathers show that we love God above all else, by taking care of those he has entrusted in our care: our spouses, our parents & sibilings, our extended families, and especially the children He gave to only us.

  2. I’m intrigued by this. I honestly have never once thought about it! I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I love my child so much, but because of the insane things in my life, there are so many ways i fall short of being a really good mom. I look at my own mother, so on fire and in love with the Lord, and have never questioned the fact that she loves God more than me. She makes it ver obvious that God is her first and true love, and my grandmother was the same way. Because of this, I’ve always just thought that the love these women have for God is returned to them so that they may give love freely to those in Gods family. I’m in a serious struggle at the moment to live the saint life God has destined for me, and find that some weeks I’m lucky to remember the homily, let alone the readings. But my prayer everyday to her head “draw her close to you Lord. Show her your love, mercy and grace. Keep her in your loving hands”. My offering is her every week because there is some weeks I’m so beat down wit life she is the only thing I have left to give Him. Is that sad? I feel it is. This post for sure hits close to the heart.

    • I’m so glad this post got you thinking! That is always my hope :) Just remember, you are one awesome mommy and the fact that you are concerned about always making yourself and better mom and wife means that you are putting God first and that you are, in fact, a good one! Did that even make sense? Stupid Tamiflu.

      • So about that tamiflu….I’m a ny-qui-l-holic. Which is a buzz kill cause I can only take it sick when I know David is home, cause I’m out like a light. Iv never taken it, but feel that, besides the puking, you love it! Ha! Hope you feel better really soon!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post. Obviously, I came over to your blog for a reason. This was why. This really puts things in perspective for me. It really is interesting to see how others respond to things. I feel much more at peace now that I have read this. It makes sense to me in my mind and heart that loving my husband and my children IS showing love to/for God. Thank you for posting this wonderful article. http://onecreativeprocrastinatinggal.blogspot.com/

  4. I have struggled with this on many ocassions. I love my kids like crazy. I love Jesus too. I know He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Lord. I love the part of this post that says loving our husbands and children is loving God. That really touched my heart. Jesus instilled in my heart a great love for my family. I am honoring Him when I choose to love them openly and selflessly.
    Beautiful post!!!
    xoxo

  5. Marian Bart says:

    I had a really hard time with this concept when I was a younger mom, especially when studying the ‘surrender the child’ stories of Abraham and of Hannah and of our Blessed Mother. One turning point for me was when Fr. John described his discovery of his call to the priesthood (after living a totally different kind of life) and how his mom said something like, “Oh, I’ve been waiting for this. I gave you to God on the day you were born.” I realized that it really is our first duty as parents: to offer our children – these gifts from God – right back to Him. There’s also a tremendous peace in it because, especially as they get older, there’s SO much we can’t control but God can. I enjoy understanding that He loves them even more than my husband and I do.

    • I always think about that story too! I am sure as Ellen and the others get older, I will have feelings of being out of control as well. It must be a life long struggle :)

  6. Good stuff, and so intense to reflect on. Three things.
    1) I love the concept that we have been entrusted these lovely, beautifully, freakishly awesome children for the sole purpose of bringing them to heaven. That is why God has given them to us. For me, it helps order my feelings that are sometimes overwhelming when I think about the call to ‘love God more’.
    2) I think we have to be careful sometimes when reflecting on this though, because I do not think God is competition with our love for our children. They compliment each other. Loving God more perfectly (check out that grammar) helps us love our children more. Loving our children more perfectly, helps us love God more perfectly.
    3). One of my favorite books, ‘The Great Divorce’ has a part in it that has always haunted me. A woman is being invited to join God in heaven, but hesitates. While on earth, she had lost her son. And she tells God that she does not want to enter heaven unless he guarantees her she will see her son. She says she had to live out her earthly life without him, and she wouldn’t want eternity if it was without her son. That has always stayed with me, because her reaction is SO human, so understandable, and yet so wrong…What we should desire, above all else, is our union with God and if children become a BLOCK to that union, there is when we need to better our spirit.

    Good stuff to reflect on, because Jesus knows I love my little munchkins!

    • I really like that idea that God is not in competition. I think I forget that sometimes, and when I reflect on it, it is crazy! Why would He be upset that I love them so very much, ya know?

  7. I also struggle with this, in fact I think it borders on scrupulosity for me. This probably sounds really bad, but even though I have 5 awesome kids, it’s the intense love for my husband that makes me question if I love God more. I like what your friends said, some good food for thought :)

  8. This is a great article! Thank you!! Another thing I think about often is, I know how much I love my kids, yet God loves us even more than that! What a mighty God we serve!

Your pretty thought would look nice down here.