The word “blessing” is a rather archaic word. Other than a courteous response to a sneeze, “blessing” someone has really fallen out of favor. But if we go back to its original meaning, we find that the word simply means, “to show favor.” It’s an intentional way to give someone our stamp of approval, to validate their uniqueness and their place in your life. Of course, blessing a child means more than saying, “I love you” (though that may be a part of it). It’s about taking active steps to display your support of and appreciation for your child. As parents, we spend a lot of time correcting and pointing out negative behaviors in our kids, but do we spend an equal amount of time focusing on the positives?
I have never heard a mom express to me out loud, “I want perfect kids.” And I have never heard a dad actually say, “I want to force my authority on my family.” Yet, somewhere between our intention and our execution, these sentiments can come through loud and clear in our parenting styles. Then we wonder why our teenagers don’t listen to what we say! Though we might not verbally demand perfection, our habits and patterns may prove otherwise. If we run up against consistent patterns of disregard and disobedience in our kids, it could be time to ask ourselves a tough question: Is there something I’m doing to keep my kids from hearing me?
Hanging on the wall of my office is one of my prized possessions. It’s a plaque that I received back in 1975 during my first rookie days in youth ministry. It was presented to me by one of the first groups of teens that I had counseled and supported. The now yellowed and worn certificate simply says, “Thanks for caring.”
- 98,000 new tweets are posted
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I remember a particular father who brought his daughter into the residential program here at Heartlight. His eyes filled with tears as he spoke to me about the struggles and the problems that his daughter was experiencing. Frankly, it was one of the worst stories of a troubled teenager that I had heard in quite awhile. My heart ached for this hurting father as he looked for a bit of encouragement.
“Just tell me that there is hope in this,” he told me.