Battling My Flesh and Learning to Love My Kids

Battling my flesh and learning to love my kids

My flesh would rather watch television or read a book.

My flesh would rather take a walk alone or enjoy the sunshine in peace.

My flesh cries for “Me time” while my kids cry for “Mommy time.”

Galatians 5: 16 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.”

So often I battle my flesh. I don’t want to build Legos or play doll house with my kids. I don’t want to build a fort or make-believe with them. I don’t want to keep pace with a 2-year-old on a walk or try to answer the many questions of a curious 4-year-old boy.

Too often I succumb to my flesh. I indulge in my selfish desires and neglect my kids. “My time” has become more of a priority than the “Mommy time” my kids desperately need.

But God has called me to walk by the Spirit not by the flesh. So while I battle my flesh daily, I strive to walk in the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23)

My prayer today is that I would die to my flesh and live by the Spirit as I parent my children. That I would love them as Christ loved me; sacrificing what I want, to give them what they need (just as Jesus did for me). That I would find joy in their presence and walk in peace with them throughout the day. That kindness and goodness and gentleness would be on my tongue as I speak with them and answer their many questions. That I would have self-control in choosing my activities; making time with my children a priority over my desire for “me time”.

Playing with my kids, reading with my kids and enjoying my kids aren’t always the first items on my list of things I want to accomplish each day. But God has called me to love them, to serve them and to live out the fruit of His Spirit within me in front of my kids each and every day. So today I am going to pray that the Spirit of God rules and reigns in my life and that my flesh is put to death.

How about you? Do you struggle like me?

I wrote a follow up post to this one. You can read it  here.



  1. Well said! I can totally relate. I also often find myself busy in my mind and not totally present with my children. We don’t have very many years to “play” with them, so we need to cherish the years in the present.

  2. Hi Janelle! Thank you for posting this as I am sure we all struggle with this 🙂 Are you saying we should spend most of the day playing with our kids? I ask because my daughter would love this but I feel she has to learn how to be independent some of the time.

    • Shelly,
      That is a great question! No, I am not saying we should be entertaining our kids all day. You are absolutely right that they need to lean to play independently and they need to learn that we do not exist to make them happy. But I do think that we should be engaging with our kids regularly. That could be playing with them or it could be talking with them about what is on their heart or mind or including them in what we are doing (laundry, cooking etc).

      What the Lord was impressing on me was that I often don’t spend any time at all really engaging with my kids and the reason is not to teach them to play independently. Rather the main reason I don’t engage with my kids is that I would rather entertain my own selfish desires (internet, television, reading a book) than showing love to them. I’ve been struggling with wanting all day to be “me time” and becoming bitter at my children when they have a question or want to play.

      So, I really need to let the Holy Spirit work on filling me with love for my kids so that I desire to engage with them. And that I choose how I spend my time wisely…. Learning to balance what I want to do, what I need to get done around the house and spending some time with my kids in a healthy manner.

      Hope that clears it up!

      • Wow! Thank you thank you thank you! That make total sense and is a great encouragement! Thank you for always sharing 🙂

        • April Mullin says:

          Hi Janelle! This is exactly what’s going on in my heart and life right now. I notice a correlation with a lack of desire to homeschool and an increased appetite for “me time” in my heart. When I see my kids as a burden, or a nuisance and not the “goal” or objective. I so want His eyes and heart for them. Thanks for the encouragement.

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