I know I talk about LOVE a lot. BCLC's motto is LOVE NEVER FAILS.... The Scripture says that Perfect Love Casts Out Fear.... LOVE is so very important in each of our lives. It is the driving force behind decisions we make, how we treat others, and how we view the world.
Trying to imagine what it is like to never have been loved, or to never really "FEEL" loved, is such a tragic glimpse. The idea that nobody cared or loved me would be overwhelming for me, as a person in my 50's. But what if I were little. What if I were 2 or 3 or 5 or 12?
HOW SCARY WOULD THAT BE?
If a child is convinced through experience that they are not loveable, and then they are placed in a situation where love exists, it can cause them to be so very full of shame. They may try to convince you of "their truth".... that they are NOT loveable, they are not worthy, and that they do not deserve to be loved. The thing is.... "their truth is a LIE." It was a lie that was given to them sometimes at birth, by being rejected. It was a lie given to them that they were not worthy by a worker who dismissed their cries or punished them for being a baby. It was a lie given to them when they grew up in an abusive home where violence was the answer, and it was a lie given to them when they were lost in a sea of little lost souls looked over and ignored as they saw friend after friend leave, and they were not chosen.
TRAUMA HARMS CHILDREN to their VERY CORE! It ROBS them of their personhood. It leaves them, a human shell, not much different than a traumatized war victim.
And then, when they have a chance at life.... sometimes, they are too afraid to grasp it. It is too scary and they don't know how to respond to LOVE. It is something they have either NEVER KNOWN, or at one time they loved and were CRUSHED with rejection and abuse.
Love is a POWERFUL emotion. TRUE LOVE, is not based upon a feeling, but upon doing what is the very, VERY best for another. TRUE LOVE is an ACTION, a VERB.... and feeling follows.
The laying down of one's life for another, and the choosing of kindness and compassion for another is what TRUE LOVE looks like. It is a SACRIFICIAL love. This is the kind of love that GOD has for HIS children. :) It is the unconditional love, not based upon performance or behavior, but based upon HIS WILL to LOVE the unlovable, us.
GOD's kind of LOVE TRANSFORMS us. HIS touch reaches to the very marrow of the bone. It reaches the the very core of our being. It reaches into our soul and it CHANGES US. It changes us from being human shells, to being ALIVE and VIBRANT.
When we love our Children how GOD loves us, with AGAPE love.... it changes them. They respond.
This is why we can say LOVE NEVER FAILS...
I have heard the saying, "Love is Not Enough"..... but truly LOVE IS ENOUGH, because TRUE LOVE is a call to ACTION. It fills the child, does what is absolutely BEST for the child and it NEVER FAILS.
TRUE LOVE.... builds up, encourages, connects, builds on relationship, and never EVER, EVER EVER gives up. EVER. It is not based upon feeling or emotion of any given moment. It is consistent and steady, trustworthy and pure.
True love is a rock. It is a steady stream. It is the continual wave of the ocean that sweeps along the coast that never stops. It flows into us, around us, about us, under us, over us, and washes us. It encompasses our whole being.
Speaking LOVE into our children is so very important. :)
So HOW do we speak LOVE into our children?
We take them into our arms and tell them, "You are wonderful. you are beautiful, you are kind, you are sweet, you are smart, you are fun, you are loving, you are nice. And if we can't find those things in our children at the moment.... we can say, "When you hit, that isn't the real you! The real you is a sweet boy or a lovely girl.... I can see that you are kind, way down deep inside!" Plant the seeds of success into their little hearts. Let them know that you don't see them as awful, annoying, irritating, fearful etc.
Tell them you choose to see their sweet laugh, pretty smile, how they walk, how they dress, how they arrange things. FIND SOMETHING about your child and LOVE that child..... Before you know it, there will be LOTS of things to love about them. :) And they will begin to see you as a trustworthy person and not the enemy.
Did you know you can correct a child and before your conversation is over, they can be empowered to do better, and actually walk away encouraged?
Punishment focuses on the bad behavior. Discipline instructs not just what NOT to DO, but HOW not to do it again and HOW to do the RIGHT thing, and do it better! Discipline encourages and empowers our children with tools to succeed. And after those times of correction, our last words need to be words of affirmation and encouragement.
We need to discipline ourselves out of our own personal laziness to really work with our children actively, both when they are doing well and when they are not doing so well, even when WE don't feel like it; even when we are exhausted. It is a life long, continual exercise to bring them to maturity. And it is soooooo WORTH IT! THEY are sooooo WORTH IT!
Christ has called us to die to ourselves and be alive in Him. If we have been called to adoption, make that calling sure.
We are not called to "Easy". :)