Tuesday, August 28, 2007
How to Chase After A Child's Heart
There are warning signs.
You realize you do not have the heart of your child(ren). What do you do now?
You also know this is God's heart for your family. You cannot neglect this situation because to do so would be sinning. But the concept is new to you, where would you begin? With every situation different, solutions to each situation will vary as each individual and family are unique. Here are some timeless points to begin with---let's take a look:
1. Love. We must love them to the point where they do not doubt that we love them. We can show this is a myriad of ways and should also include hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and physical closeness. When a child is struggling with a bad attitude our natural tendency is to withdraw or be angry with the child---but instead we should continue to show an abundance of love and encouragement, it might even call for patience and gentleness. If all they ever hear from us is criticism and correction they probably won't feel loved.
2. Time. It is important to spend time with our children. Do not be fooled into thinking we can spend quality time verses quantity time. It takes time and effort to build a relationship that keeps a heart. Time apart actually distances the relationship. We should try to find everday type of outings along with special outings to enjoy with our children. Make sure you include your children in projects.
3. Smile. Does your face light up when your children talk to you? Or do you show annoyance and irritation? Do not give your best smiles for company and strangers outside your home. Instead give your best to those you love and whom count the most.We must learn to smile at our children and with that we communicate love and acceptance.
4. Praise. If we want to keep our children's hearts they must feel they are valued in our eyes. We must strengthen them, encourage, build them up so that their hearts are drawn to the Lord and us.
5. Forgiveness. We must ask forgiveness from our children when we wrong them. We are sinners and at some point or another we will sin. We must keep an eye out ways we have sinned against them and ask forgiveness for the transgression. Some examples: yelling, anger, etc. If we do not do this bitterness can grow in the relationship.
6. Conversation. Keep the doors wide open for conversation, be available to talk and have favorite times of the day where you can come together and share. This is a strong relationship builder.
7. Anger. Anger can be very damaging. If you deal with anger, learn to get your anger under control. Apologize when you exhibit anger for it can destroy relationships. I recommend the tape from Dr. SM Davis "Freedom From The Spirit of Anger". Anger can be overcome and self control can be learned in time.
We must be active and not grow weary in keeping our children's heart so we can be effective parents as we point these cherished ones to the Lord. Ultimately, it is the Lord who will help you on this endeavor so be sure to seek Him first for help. There are also two other points I'd also like to share in this series. My next post Bad Appetites and Biblical Sheltering will address this. These are also important aspects of chasing after child's heart, until then....