Friday, January 27, 2012

Life-Giving Parenting: Parent to Potential!

     Believing in a child and helping her to develop her potential is one of the greatest opportunities for a life-giving parent. The following story illustrates that the most powerful parenting tool we have is our words.
     Wracked with insecurities and self-doubt, a young woman found herself sitting in my office seeking consolation. Quietly crying, she recounted growing up with emotionally distant parents. She could not recall one encouraging word or one act of support from her mom or dad. On the contrary, she had memories full of criticalness which encased her in a prison of self-doubt and insecurities. If only her parents had known the havoc they were inflicting on their daughter’s soul. If only they had believed in her and encouraged her they could have unlocked her potential, rendering her confident and secure. Instead, their daughter was broken and deeply wounded.

     The most POWERFUL parenting tool we have is our words. James 3:6 says, “…and (the tongue) sets on fire the course of life…”  The very existence of one’s life is set into motion by words. This young woman had not reached her full potential because her potential had not been “spoken to” by the people that mattered most, her parents. The message that their words conveyed to their precious daughter was, “You can’t do anything right.” “You are a bother to us.” “Why did we have you?” “You are one big mistake.” “You will never amount to anything.”
     The direction of her life would have been much different if she had heard these encouraging words, “You are awesome!” “What a blessing you are to us.” “We are so proud of you.” “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” “We are one hundred percent for you!”
     During our time together, I spoke words of encouragement, focused on her strengths, and helped her to establish her identity in Christ through experiencing the transformative power of Scripture. By having someone in her corner cheering her on, she began to experience a confidence that she had been lacking her entire life.
     It is imperative that as life-giving parents, we create an atmosphere of blessing in our homes. Words that do not shine the light of Christ increase the darkness. We have all experienced families where the parents criticized and shamed their children which served to create angry, insecure children. Sadly, these parents missed opportunities to enable their children to fulfill their potential. James 3:6 says, “The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark…the tongue…can turn our whole lives into a blazing flame of destruction and disaster.” Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

     Wise parents use their words to build up their children and create an affirming environment in their home. Although we may be tempted to be critical and negative, the antidote for this behavior is learning to bless. Make your words life-giving, full of mercy and grace. With our words we have the power to set our children up for success. So, cheer your children on! Be their greatest fan!  What are your thoughts?
    

    



    

Sunday, January 8, 2012

RUTH IS MY HERO!

    I was reading the story of Ruth the other day and I realized I could learn a few things from this woman! In order to really appreciate her story, you have to understand a few things.  First, Boaz, the owner of the barley field, represents God in the story. Second, Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law by her deceased husband, represents the Holy Spirit. Third, Ruth represents you and I.  Naomi counsels her daughter to REST at the feet of Boaz, and as she rested, Boaz moved on her behalf and blessed her with more barley than she could imagine.
     Here is what I gleaned from this story:  when I rest in the Lord and trust Him with my plans, projects, dreams, and ideas, then He moves on my behalf and I am blessed! As I REST and enjoy His love for me, He works on my behalf.  He worked on Ruth's behalf as she RESTED, He will work on my behalf as I REST and He will work on your behalf as you REST.  What a BEAUTIFUL exchange!  
     Can you share about a time when you have rested and waited and God moved in your situation?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking Ahead: 2012!

It’s that time again….time to reflect on the past – put it to bed and focus on what is ahead (Phillipians 3:13). Every year I ask the Lord for a word to stand on. I find this a more successful strategy than a resolution which I never can keep especially the “weight” kind!   My word this year is Psalm 44:3, “For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them.  But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them. You are my King, O God.”

I would love to hear what your word is for the coming year!  Happy New Year!