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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Speaking Love, Bringing About Change



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".   :)


3 comments:

Annie said...

I want YOU to do all the adoption training that is ever provided! God has given you the gift of Understanding. I think you are SO right.

You've SO touched on a sore spot for me - That phrase "Love is not Enough" just gets me fired up. What I think people are really saying so often is "Giving my child what I think is an appropriate amount of affection is not making him/her into the sweet and grateful child I expect to have."

OK; I know I'm being a little snarky there, but I think that so often when people use that phrase it is very much what they mean. At least that is what I have often seen. I think that people mistake affection and giving children things, with true love. (A mistake the children, themselves, make as you write about so beautifully in your next post.)

Especially with orphans, people think that if the child suddenly has a nice room, and pretty clothing, and electronic playthings, that they should be good, grateful, well-behaved "happy" children. I don't think the kids need any of that...in some ways it just confuses the issue. The love that is required is Christ-like, sacrificial LOVE, not any imitations. And that kind of love - well, it often hurts, and it can be "irritating" on a daily basis until you realize that in loving we realize true happiness ourselves (!) ....maybe you can't finish your nice dinner; maybe you have to leave it and spend the next two hours giving full attention to your child. Maybe you can't go to the events you want to go to, show your child off in the way people expect, have your family "look" admirable to all, even run your household in the way you want to run it because the child needs more structure.

I see people refusing to make the sacrifices required, and blaming the child - saying, "Love is not Enough" - which I think has got to be the most horrifically dismissive thing to say about any child. Do they really believe that God would leave any of his creatures incomplete? LOVE WILL be enough to bring that child to the place God wants them to be at any given moment. Maybe the child will never be the child the parent dreams of, in this life - but this is not heaven! I often ponder Leo Tolstoy's last words, which were "All for others, but mostly for myself." Many write about what they think he meant, but I think he meant that when we love, sacrificially, it is paradoxically the thing that will make us happiest here on earth and will bring us, in the end, into the arms of God.

Privateer3000 said...

Great and true Words from a little girl. Im impressed! Nice,great and awesome Family! Greetz from Germany

Mike and Christie said...

Greetings to you Privateer!
Thanks for reading.

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