By Meredith Mills
Friday nights are a favorite around our house. After running full speed all week, each family member looks forward to an evening of doing nothing.
Well, not really nothing.
We do have plans, but they’re fun plans, plans to stop everything and enjoy just being together. Most of the time, this means gathering in the living room for a family movie night (because anything else requires too much energy for this worn-out mom.)
One of our favorite movies is the DreamWorks film Home, about an unlikely friendship between a loveable alien and a scared little girl. At one point in the movie, as they’re looking for the girl’s mom, she becomes furious with her new friend. Confused by her angry expression, he asks in his awkward alien verbiage, “What is the purpose of your face?” He knows her look means something – he’s just not sure what (though she quickly fills him in!)
Like the main character in Home, our faces have a lot to say, and their words speak loud and clear. As we go about our day, our kids watch our faces and subconsciously ask the same question – “What is the purpose of your face?”
Let’s be sure we’re communicating what we want them to hear:
- “You’re important to me”
Every day, I’m tempted to live distracted, to listen to my kids without looking them in the eye. I’m busy, after all. I need to multi-task if I’m ever going to check these items off my to-do list.
But our relationships with our kids matter more than dinner being on the table by six o’clock or than checking our notifications on Instagram. We need to read their faces, too, so we can understand their hearts.
- “I delight in you”
I’ve often caught myself listening with a hurry-up-and-finish-talking-so-I-can-get-back-to-work look on my face. Though unintentionally, I’m communicating that my kids are a bother or an interruption.
Thankfully, God is making me aware of this tendency and teaching me to trade in that expression for an I-like-you look instead. A smile and attentive eyes go a long way in helping our kids feel loved.
Moms and dads, will you join me in asking God to help us speak life with the expressions we wear? The next time our kids wonder, What is the purpose of your face? may their souls grow stronger by the words they hear.
What do you want to communicate with your face? How are you intentional about showing those things? Please comment below — I’d love to hear!