5 May 2016

You are the best parents for your child(ren): how to bless your children

Mom bless
Pop bless
We bless you!

Every parent wants to bless their child(ren). But sometimes it can be hard.

It can be hard when you find your resources limited, you simply cannot afford what is touted as 'advanced, best, enlightened'.

It can be hard when they irk us with their demands, expectations, and what feels to us like pathetic levels of endurance and patience - these softies raised on a diet of fast, quick, and easy.

It can be hard if our picture of blessing is a plump and statuesque pronouncement that their future is secure because we have an estate or because, like those grand biblical figures, we call upon the Almighty and our word is good as gold.

It sure can be hard. It's hard to bless our children when we wonder if we are blessed.

To bless is a soul exchange. It is to impart and leave something that will live on. It is an extension of one's substance, a sharing of one's joys, an offering of one's life; so that another will thrive and exceed us.

What do we have within us and our means that can do that for our children?

1. We bless our children when we live blessed.

Every home is defined ultimately by the choices parents make. If a home is filled with anger, tension, a sense of lack and frustration; it is how the parents have chosen to live. A home that resonates with peace, joy, and abundance begins with parents who know how to find and fill themselves up with the these gifts of life. We cannot give what we don't already own.

2. We bless our children when we build them up.

God has shown me that parents are trailblazers. Each unique life is a fresh trail of possibility and love. Each child God's imprint of hope upon our worn ways and days. Parenting is about finding a whole dimension of yourself as you make sacrifices to help your child find his feet, his shoes, his path in life. I am mot thinking of sitting in hours reading the papers while waiting for your child to emerge from enrichment. I am not sure if that is sacrifice. But all parents have to say 'no' to some things in order to say 'yes' to their children's needs, requests and growth struggles.

It takes homework and housework to feed and fit a child for life. It takes targetted prayer and persistent effort to discover strengths, overcome weaknesses and explore territories.

Do you know what milestone is coming up for your child? What he may find overwhelming, difficult, enjoyable? We cannot anticipate every outcome and should not; but we should track where we are on the trail and find resources to keep going in the right direction.

3. We bless our children when we bless the LORD.

Recently, I have been coming up against a new kind of hard too. The voice that whispers, "You never had all of this. Kids these days are so 'spoilt'. Time to dish out the tough stuff..."

It's hard to be a blessing when you are assailed by doubts; and we all have doubts. After all, the terrain is new. The world is changing ever so fast. We expect too much or too little. We try too hard or not enough....

But precisely so, we need to find anchors and a compass to navigate our way.

Also I notice that this voice always makes me pull back from being trusting, generous and joyful: indicators that I should beware of its source.

The voice of dubious origin (perhaps not so dubious) often has some ground to stand on. In this case, it is true that our children have a lot more provided and going for them. Just consider the wonderful reality that is the air-conditioning. I did not have that. Even without global warming, I remember sweating and soaking through some nights.

Yes it is true that our children seem to have nothing to worry about except their studies (friendships, skin condition, clothes), but the more I recognise how the lack I grew up with impacted me; I am glad they have a secure base with which to venture forth from.

But generations come and go; and life will go on until it is time for The Total Re-haul when Christ comes again. In the meantime, all of our movements and crazy spinning can go off orbit unless we set in our hearts that our lives will bless God and that becomes our true north.

I know as a young person I struggled with what felt like a restrictive notion: living for God. But now, I discover how freeing it is, what focus it gives, and how fruitful life can be when we have a way to gauge the value and quality of our days without being bombarded by the whims of our unsteady hearts and the winds of change around us.

Psalm 100

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.

Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.

Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, [a]not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name.

For the Lord is good;
His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness [endures] to all generations. {Amp version}

Mom bless
Pop bless
We bless you!

Because, God has declared it so.

And o, here is something...especially for fathers !

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