Even intentional, loving parents are going to cause some heart-wounds in our children. How can we identify those wounds? How can we help them heal?
That's our topic today on the Practically Speaking MOM Podcast, the place for an intentional mom to build a strong family.
Every child's heart is asking, "Do you love me enough to RESTORE our relationship, to REPAIR my heart?"
Today we're talking about the wounds we may cause in our children’s hearts (even unintentionally and sometimes completely unknowingly). We'll look at how to RESTORE with our children (even grown children), how to MAINTAIN OUR INFLUENCE in their lives, and how to remain vigilant in SEEKING OUR CHILD'S HEART-WHOLENESS.
Today's conversation centers around one of the six main questions of every child’s heart, "Am I Worth Restoring?"
I imagine you have some childhood emotional scars. All of us do, to varying degrees. Some of us allow our hearts to heal from God directly or with the help of someone else who cares enough about our wholeness to help us work through our pain. Or perhaps a counselor or therapist has been your key to healing.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful, though, if the people who cause our heart wounds, would be observant enough and caring enough and emotionally equipped themselves to be able to help us heal those wounds when they cause them? As intentional parents, we need to learn to answer, "I love you enough to go through the healing process with you - restoring our relationship and working toward your heart-wholeness."
Being willing to do the hard work of RESTORING after a relationship fracture, is one of the most important gifts we can give another person. It's the focus of episode 62, "Mending Your Child's Heart at every age"
This is material that I spent months developing as I sought God’s heart on HOW TO LOVE OUR CHILDREN MORE EFFECTIVELY. You see, as a mom of seven (five of them now grown), I have had many opportunities to realize and reflect on the reality that while I have loved all of my children sincerely and sacrificially, I haven’t always loved them effectively.
A few years ago, a parenting group asked me to speak to their group for Valentines Day on the topic of Loving Our Child Well. Since I had months to prepare, I began jotting down thoughts whenever God would bring memories to my mind of
*times that I had caused wounds on my child’s spirit
* times when I saw their spirit soar with strength
*what had worked well and what I had missed or neglected about their hearts
*what I had done that caused big heart wounds and what brought restoration
This list seemed to grow and grow. I was discussing it with my husband, Rich, one day and he and I together began dividing everything into categories. Then I went to scripture with those categories and began searching how God loves us effectively as our perfect Heavenly Father.
Those categories are represented in these six questions. They are...
Am I worth TREASURING?
Am I worth KNOWING? Am I worth PROTECTING?
Am I worth BELIEVING IN?
Am I worth INCLUDING? Am I worth RESTORING?
Here’s what I’ve come to understand:
God our Creator designed every heart to ask love questions. Why did He design us that way? Because He wanted us to long for His love, identify His love, and experience His love! He wanted to demonstrate His love to us in a way that we would KNOW His great love for us! So, he made our hearts with a LONGING for these answers. Then He wrote a love letter to us (the Bible) explaining His deep love for us and telling us how He demonstrates His love to us. He knew that if He didn’t tell us, we might not even recognize His actions of love.
HINT, PARENTS: Sometimes we need to tell our children that what we're doing is an action of love to them or they don't recognize it.
The earthly family is God’s illustration of His love relationship with us.
Just as our hearts long for the answer to these questions from our Heavenly Father, so as children, we long for answers to these same questions from our earthly parents. We carry our parents’ answers (or lack of answers) with us throughout our lifetime.
How did your parents do at answering these questions of your heart?
*Perhaps you know they loved you but you did not feel treasured.
*Or you didn’t feel like they really knew you or were reading the signs and symptoms of the condition of your heart.
*Or maybe they failed to protect you.
*Perhaps there are some wounds that they didn’t’ work with you through the healing and restoring process.
As Intentional Parents, WE CAN DO BETTER AT ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS. Yet, even after knowing about these questions of our child's heart, we won't answer them perfectly because we're not God. We will make mistakes along the way that create WOUNDS on our child's heart. This doesn't mean you're a failure as a parent; it means you're human.
However, we shouldn't just leave it at that. We must do the hard but worthy work of MENDING OUR CHILD'S HEART and RESTORING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM. That's why this podcast episode is so important. I share the restoration steps in episode 62, "Mending Your Child's Heart at every age." You will hear a discussion between myself, Val Harrison, and the Chosen Mamas Podcast hosts, when I was a guest on their podcast for a Q&A session that was recorded immediately following my speaking to their moms' group on the topic of "Your Love Becomes Their Strength: Answering the Six Questions of Your Child's Heart."
Here are the main STEPS TO RESTORATION that I discusse