Guest article by Ginger from Clark Chatter
How often I’ve heard the motivational phrase “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing” (hat tip to Steven R. Covey). In other words, the most important thing we should be doing is making sure the most important things actually are the most important to us. When my husband and I adopted three children from West Africa, my compassion-driven focus was quickly and easily replaced by a culturally-acceptable focus: academics.
What motivated my husband and I to adopt wasn’t a desire to rescue orphans from a bleak academic future. We were motivated by compassion. Orphans need families. Orphans need love. God is the Father of the fatherless. We wanted to share in His heart and show these precious children unconditional love. We wanted them to experience a loving family.
Very quickly after adopting, my priorities suddenly shifted and I was obsessed with bringing my sweet adoptees up-to-speed academically. Two of my adoptees were 9 and 6 at the time of adoption. They needed to learn to read! They needed to learn math! They needed to learn proper English grammar!
How wrong I was.
What they needed was to snuggle on the couch and be read to by a mom who really just wanted them to learn love. Reading can wait until their little brains have been fed and nourished (by love and food!) Math can wait until their little brains are ready to think abstractly. Grammar can wait until they’re mature enough for logical thinking. What adopted children need most is the love of Christ. They learn the love of Christ through us. We don’t only live the gospel for them, but we literally preach the gospel to them.
Here’s the test: Will your child become more like Christ by the things you are prioritizing? If not, it’s time to refocus.