Our children are extraordinary gifts. God did not create them to just be ‘acceptable:’
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirt of God dwells in you? 1 Cor. 3:16 NKJV
If our children are doing their best to walk in God’s ways, they don’t have to bother with questioning themselves – other than to make sure they are in alignment with Him. Moreover, when they have questions about living that godly life, they will look within, rather than outwards to the opinions of the world.
We can also help our children to realize that all life consists of and is contained within relationships; and that here too is where they want to bring their inner Guide into play:
“HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]. Mt. 19:19 AMP
…let each of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:33 ESV
“You shall rise before the gray-headed and honor the aged…” Lv. 19:32 AMP
A man who has friends must himself be friendly. Pr. 18:24 NKJV
“…give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven;” Mt. 19:21 NKJV
“Judge not, that you not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Mt. 7:1, 2. NKJV
Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment]. Pr. 19:11 AMP
God created all people to be equal, and He loves them the same way – equally. God shows no favoritism. (Rm. 2:11) And in our quest to be godly, we do our best to emulate Him. So, we exhort and honor all people: friends, parents, spouses, other family members and all other acquaintances, regardless of age, gender, race, etc.
If we have a chance to lift someone from their station in life, or out of an unfortunate situation, we are called to rise to the occasion.
Teach your children not to pass judgment, so as not to bring blame. Tell them that when they judge, the only thing that they define is who they themselves are being. When they can suspend judgment, then the burden of self-judgment is also lifted.
That creates the space for forgiveness – first for ourselves, and then for others. After all, everyone is subjected to their humanness, and will slip out of their goodness from time to time. We all have need of forgiveness, and we are required to forgive:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Col. 3:12, 13. ESV
Healthy relationships only form, take root and flourish if they are founded on love – love that is freely given. And relational love must come from the love that you have for yourself. You can never find what you don’t already possess in your own heart. Thus, you must become what you seek. The good news is, that deep down, you already are that lovable person. You only have to let him or her come out to express themselves.
Happiness is what happens when you experience peace, love and joy.
You are the only one who knows exactly the how you need to be loved. Love yourself that way first. Then, you’ll be able to go ‘out there’ and have loving relationships with everybody else. As you bring your love, bring too your acceptance and compassionate understanding.
Begin each day by asking yourself, ‘How can I make this day extraordinary for your friend, family member, partner, etc?’ The only way to true personal happiness is to share with and contribute to, the happiness of others. Give to them first, what it is that you want for yourself.
When you fill yourself with love, you create an open space for others to choose whether or not to love you; and it will not matter to you what choice they make. If they choose to love you, you have an opportunity to co-create a new love relationship; if not, you won’t take it personally. Instead, you’ll bless them inwardly with your love and wish them the best life possible.
When we do enter into relationship, we cover our partner with our gratitude. Relationships only break down when one or both partners aren’t thankful. Everyone needs appreciation and acknowledgment. Gratitude brings healing.
Even in the best relationships, there will be times when you don’t feel love for your partner. You need to have the freedom to feel that, because then you can make the free-will choice to love them anyway. Anything else is slavery.
All relationships have conflict from time to time. The partners must look for ways to live with each other’s differences, constructing new ways to find clarity in the conflicts, instead of running away.
However, NEVER stay in an abusive relationship. If someone tells you in one breath that they love you, but in the other they try to control you, treat you with disrespect, or become violent, that is not love. You never deserve to be mistreated in any way. Be thankful for the lesson and go!
Healthy relationships have solid boundaries, where both partners’ yes and no are honored.
Teach your children that ultimately, the keys to successful relations are:
1. Stay in present time and drop the past; love and forgive.
2. Let go of guilt and shame; acknowledge your mistakes and take responsibility for making amends.
3. Always search for truth.
4. See the differences between you and your partner as building blocks; don’t try to change yourself or your partner.
5. Free yourself from the need for approval and from the concern of the opinions of others.
6. Choose healthy partners, someone with good character, not a potential partner looking to have you heal their wounds.
7. Be responsible for bringing 100% of your happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment to the relationship and hold your partner accountable for bringing theirs.
8. Finally, release any form of dependency – you don’t need anyone. It only puts you in a position where you are always preoccupied with the potential loss of them, and it robs you of your ability to be present. Just be thankful for each moment…
We’ll wrap it up next time.
Goodnight and God bless.