I am absolutely LOVING 7 Tools for Cultivating your Child’s Potential. And, I am so sorry I did not post last week about it…if you’ve been holding your breath to read my thoughts on Cultivating Intimacy…..but, I doubt you have been.
And….now that I’ve said that, you may be wondering why I did not post.
Well, I was doing just that. I was spending a LOT of time having a LOT of fun with my kiddies…oh and my Dad and well, a little visit to the Dr. But, you know, life is life. It has its seasons. Seasons where everything really is going well….and then, seasons where we are growing due to those valleys we all walk through.
Everyone walks through valleys…even Jesus did. Within his own family…he had relationship problems.
So, why should we expect any different? Why do we think we have the right to think that all relationships should be easy and we should all be sitting around a camp fire agreeing that everyone is right and singing Kumbaya.
That doesn’t happen.
We were all created with a purpose – to Glorify God – the Creator of the Universe…our Heavenly Father.
However, he wants us to have relationships with one another. He wants us to talk, laugh….and even cry.
Zan hits the nail on the head in these chapters….Yes, I’m not just hitting one, but two chapters… Cultivating Intimacy and Discovering Purpose.
Why? Well, because I think you need both.
Children Need Parents
Not a best friend, but parents who love them UNCONDITIONALLY and desire a relationship with them!
Our children need us…to be there for them. They don’t need us buried in books (all of the time) or with our fingers on the keyboard or our eyes glued to the tv…or our faces in our phone or our ears on a phone.
Our children need us to be engaged in conversation with them. Not just pouring information or facts into them. They desire a relationship with us and we need it as much as they do.
“Our goal in parenting should be to mimic our heavenly Father rather than worldly wisdom. Our children need our time and our presence in their lives more than we, or they, often realize.” (7 Tools pg 54)
Praying and Reading
They need us to talk with them. NOT just TO or at them. They need us learning with them, growing as a parent…as they grow toward being an adult. Look, we are not born as parents…we grow right beside our children. They need to see us on our knees, in front of our Father praying with and for them. And…praying for ourselves and our world.
They also need to see us reading the Word of God and obeying it.
“As parents, we need to carefully explain to our children why we do what we do. We need to use Scripture in our explanations so they can begin to see that our actions , in big things and small things, are motivated by biblical principles and our love for God………our children need to see us obeying God even when we don’t feel like it.” (paraphrase pg 57)
Our children need to hear more about the positive than the negative. It’s so easy to throw our hands up and just say ‘they’ll never get it’…… I’m so thankful God hasn’t done that with me. As my children and I read through the Old Testament, we consider how often the Israelites walked away from God….and then…we talk about the ways we have sinned and walked away from God in just the few short hours we have been away.
However, God knew that we needed affirmation…of His love and he pours it out by saying “BUT GOD” throughout the Bible…..
Relationships take Work
Yep…they do. Relationships take REAL work. They take time, conversation and a lot of humility….on both parts. But, as parents, I believe we need to show the most. Our children, they are growing up in a society that wants to shut them down….their faith and their purpose in this life. They need you to teach them how to work through relationships, how to build bonds, how to look past the superficiality of this world…..
They need you to help them find their gifts – to understand their overall purpose is truly to glorify God, but to know that once they accept Him as their Savior, He will pour out their spiritual gifts. It’s your job to start seeking what those are..find them and help them grow.
And guess what…it won’t be easy. It won’t allow you to sit in bed, read a magazine, or sleep. No matter how tired or sick you are, God blessed you with those children….YOU…not someone else…it’s time to get up….take that job seriously and love it…
“If you know realistically what to expect as you earnestly seek to raise your children for Christ and as you work at cultivating their potential, you can more easily and successfully navigate the sometimes difficult landscape of family life.” (pg 70)
While you’re working and cultivating, growing, learning, loving and crying a little…’cause super Mom doesn’t exist and we’re all human and chocolate doesn’t always cut it…know…that the there are other moms out there…who know what you know….that “Good behavior and good grades are certainly not bad things, but they will be largely meaningless if we have failed to develop the inner life, the underground root system of the child. We must constantly remind ourselves to focus on the unseen in our materialistic world, because the unseen has eternal significance…if we focus on our water behaviors, we are setting our children up for trouble…. When we cultivate our children’s potential in the invisible realms of life before we focus on their outward success, we give our children every opportunity to live full and meaningful lives. When our children know who they are, when they have intimate relationships with God and with others and when they can appreciate their gifts and strengths, then they will posses a robust root system of invisible qualities that will allow them to weather the storms of life.” (paraphrase 72-73)
In the end, keep your eyes focused on God…….that’s where you want those little eyes focused. Not on you….but on the Heavenly Father who created us.
How are you growing an Intimate Relationship while being Purposeful in your Parenting?
If you haven’t joined the 7 Tools Book Club with The Pelsers – you really should!!!!