How to attain a full life while raising children
How often do you focus on wanting things your way, wanting what you don’t have, or comparing yourself to others? When my mind wanders to these places, I am brought back to Jesus’ life-giving words in Mark 9:35. He sat down and told his disciples,

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

I can be so self-centered that I have to intentionally shift my thinking to be more aware of others. When we are doing that tenth load of laundry, cleaning our children’s hundredth mess of the day, or breaking up another sibling fight, it can be hard to look past ourselves. And, while we matter dearly to God and He wants us to bring all things to Him, big and small, we need to check ourselves with how self-consumed we are.

Don’t Get Caught Up in Too Much Self Reflection

Naturally, our instinct is to look at our own lives and self-reflect, see what we’re missing, pout, and overanalyze how we can change to become better friends, parents, or spouses. Some reflection is a good thing, but at times we need to let go and just be.
It’s easy to become too self-reflective while so many around the world are just trying to get by. I don’t say this to spark guilt, but it reminds me that the Lord does not want us to be self-absorbed. That doesn’t bring full life. At all. It’s the opposite of what he came to do. He came to give his life. And said that through giving of ourselves, we would gain full life. This is an outlook I want my children to understand.

Jesus wants us to simply come to him and serve others with a sincere heart.

I think we can make it complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. In Jesus’ words, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus said that everything depends on these two commandments: Love God and love others. Everything. And, we are called to do this earnestly, with all our hearts, and to teach our children to do the same.
Focusing less on ourselves and more on others is a daily process. We will begin to reflect Jesus’ heart and mind as we follow his words in Mark 9:35: “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

We are to be the servant of all.

This completely transforms my way of thinking. I love Jesus’ words. They bring me closer to his way when I have resorted to the “it’s all about me” attitude. Empty life. When I focus on others, I come closer to God’s way of thinking and his heart, and find more joy. My life becomes more full. As we change our outlook, our children will follow suit and learn how to pursue a full life as well.
What are you longing after? What is grabbing your attention away from others to yourself? What shift do you need to make in your own mind and heart?
Jesus said, “I came so that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Let’s focus less on ourselves and more on others so we can drink in the full life Jesus tells us about, and so our children will hopefully do the same.
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