A Loving Family


 
 
 

What would parents like to have from children?

 

What would children like to have from parents?

 

Let's learn about how we can accomplish some of these things. Young people should pay particular attention to these thoughts because it may take a long time to prepare the best conditions in your home to be ready for children when they come.

The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other. It seems contradictory to say that loving person A is good for person B but in this case it really works! (If you think about it you will see that it always works. Real love always improves everything.) Living in a home where Mom and Dad love one another on a deep, basic level is a great source of security for children. Even knowing that they can't get away with something by playing one parent against the other is a very important benefit for them. Strange but true! The negative example is that during a divorce, the children's feeling of security almost always takes a big, hard hit.

Do whatever is necessary to be sure the love you and your spouse have for each other grows steadily through the years. Apply yourselves to getting along better and to settling your differences with more intelligence, forgiveness, and love. Talk about little problems so you don't have occasion to fight about big problems. Study materials aimed at improving your marriage. Study them together. Set aside time just for improving the bond between you. Tell him/her often how glad you are to be married to him/her and that you appreciate his/her contribution to the happiness of your home.

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A child-centered home
is not the best home
for a child.
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The next important thing for any person to know is that their parents love them.

Tell each of your children every day that you love them! You tell your wife or husband, don't you? (If not, you better work on that first) Tell your children too! It is important for young people to know, as they interact with people in the world that their parents love them 100%, especially their Dad. This gives children the reasons and the courage to do what they know is right rather than whatever their friends may be touting as the great new thing.

Let's look at why that is.

We often make decisions based on our needs rather than on what we ought to do. Perhaps it should not be that way; but think about a person who has just fallen into the water. All his efforts are based on getting to the surface so he can breathe again. If a person has not been able to eat for many days he may eat things he normally would not eat or he may even steal some food. Satisfaction of our physical needs is a strong natural drive in each of us.

If a person has all their physical needs satisfied they then begin to try to satisfy their emotional needs. The most important emotional need we have is to feel that our physical needs will continue to be met. That is called security.

In the normal family, much of the security comes from the actions of the father. He is supposed to protect the family from physical harm. He is supposed to provide for the needs of the family through his work. He usually makes and enforces the rules for safety and peace. He is supposed to ensure some emotional stability in the family, keeping cool and not 'flying off the handle' in difficult situations.

If Dad is not providing that security then often a family member will try to fill that need in another way. It may be through intense personal effort to make their own security. It may be to rely on another person in the family or even someone outside the family to provide security for them. The need is strong in most adult people and even stronger in most young people. They may not have a firm faith in Yahweh to give them security of the right, lasting type. They may not trust in Yahweh to provide, even though Yahshua said, "Do not let your heart be troubled, you believe in Yahweh, believe also in me." (John 14:1)

The next emotional need we have is to feel loved. If our physical needs are met and we feel they will continue to be met then we begin to concentrate on how people feel about us. My world is a lot brighter if just one person I respect lets me know that he or she thinks I'm really good in some way. If a young person has no friend, no close brother or sister and no loving mother or father then their life is desperately empty!

Everyone has a need to know that he or she belongs and is loved. By nature a person will love, respect and bond with those of their own family. If this need is not met at home then they will accept second best wherever it can be found. A young woman may have a stronger need for security and love but a young man's needs are also very strong in this way. This emotional need for love may sometimes drive us to desperate actions. Surely you have seen it happen.

In John 14 and 15 Yahshua tells his disciples about loving one another and about the great love he and the Father have for one another and for them. Then in John 16:1 he explains why he gave them this type of information, "I have told you these things so that you would not be caused to stumble." This is the very situation we have been discussing.

What can a young person do to satisfy these needs? There are some good, appropriate ways of solving the problem. The most logical place to get good love is from our heavenly father Yahweh. Yahweh is love. Staying close to him through reading his word and through prayer will fill a believer's need to a great extent. If you can also be an active member of one of Yahweh's assemblies you will find an abundance of wholesome love. That is how you know you have found Yahshua's followers (John 13:35).

Children, if you don't get told often enough that your dad loves you then just help him a little sometimes. Here are two steps you can take:  

  1. Ask him if he loves you. He'll tell you. [Dad, the answer is, 'Yes, of course I do!'] Then ask him why. He'll give you a few good reasons why he likes having you around and why he thinks you're a great person. If he doesn't know the answer the first or second time, be patient and ask again. He'll think about it and then later he'll know the answer. You'll both be glad you asked.
  2. Ask your Dad and Mom to give you a blessing sometimes too. You don't have to tell them why you need a blessing but you can tell them if you want to. You don't even have to really need one. Just ask them to bless you. Mom and/or Dad can put their hands on you and pray to the Father above to be with you and keep you strong in His ways and bless you with peace, wisdom, protection and encouragement.

Some fathers have a practice of blessing each of their children as the Sabbath begins. I like that idea because it can strengthen the family greatly and bond the children strongly to their parents and to Yahweh.

I don't know about other parents, but I love to bless my children and grandchildren. The scriptures have several examples of parents blessing their children. You don't have to be an ordained minister or even a man to bless your children. In fact, I'll tell you a 'secret': anyone can bless anyone else. Do it! (Send E-mail if you would like to see more about blessing.)
 

CHIT-CHAT

Look at this picture of an ideal home:
And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your children. And you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7.

Parents should spend a lot of time chatting with their children. Talk about the scriptures and also about other things. When parents talk with their children many good things happen:

First, they get to know each other as two people rather than just as parent-child. Parents must realize that their children are actual individuals. They will only be children for about sixteen to twenty-five years (depending on how you measure adulthood). Those are very important years; but you may as well begin building the adult-to-adult relationship which you may use for a much longer time. Parents can have adult-to-adult conversations with children of any age - even those who are not yet talking.

The next benefit is that the child gains confidence in the parent. He comes to understand how the parent thinks and why he says the things he does. His ideas make more sense because they have been explained a few times or at least heard several times.

The parent also gains confidence in the child. As we listen to a person with silent attention we can learn a lot about them. Sometimes the exercise of biting our tongue for a time will pay off in learning something quite useful. For instance we might learn that our child is an interesting and pleasant person. This can be true of any relationship but is especially true in conversation with our children. When you get to know your child you will discover a good friend with real value and personality. After all, the part of that person not derived from you is derived from someone you love.

While we're on the subject of listening we should point out that your full, respectful, undivided attention is one of the finest gifts you can give anyone. It costs you not one penny but you can not buy a substitute at any price. Mom's attention just can not be given by anyone else. Before you will be listened to you probably must do many hours of good, smart, loving listening. The gift of attention is usually appreciated.

One reason for the 'generation gap' of recent decades is the rise of radio and TV. When people talked together more, they just naturally felt closer. Don't say that your teenagers don't talk. Your phone bill is documentary proof that they do!

Make it your personal rule and a family rule to interrupt your TV watching ANY TIME an actual human being wants to talk with you. People are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than anything on TV. (This is the actual reason for the ‘mute' button.)

When a baby is born it needs to be told everything. It doesn't even know how to eat or go to the toilet. Mom and Dad have to teach things to that child for much of the time they are together. Even when they are not actively teaching, the little child is still learning from them. A small child needs that constant teaching and correction; but many parents get into the habit of being in that parent role and forget that it MUST SOON END.

It should be the goal of every parent to develop their children's minds so well that they know how to make wise decisions and how to teach themselves in most things by the time they are eighteen or twenty. When a child turns eighteen she does not wake up that morning with sudden adult wisdom. If she has not been learning for all her past years and making more of her own good decisions she just will not be ready to go out on her own! What follows is a hard time for a 'foolish' young adult who makes mistakes that hurt her and possibly her family. Do not think that this paragraph applies only to young women. Those men and women who have avoided such mistakes should thank their Mom and Dad.
 

SUMMARY AND BLESSING

We have talked about the first three basic needs:

The rest of the needs we are all said to have are:

 

Parents: concentrate on growing love for each other. Keep in mind the goal of preparing your children to be wise adults.

Fathers especially: be sure each of your children know you love them and you always will.

Children; Let your parents know that you want their love and their blessings.

Everyone; Talk together as adults. Listen carefully to one another.

Let's each resolve to do what we can to make our home more pleasing to Yahweh.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as the Messiah also loved the assembly and gave himself for it;

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning the Messiah and the Assembly. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she greatly respect her husband.

6:1 Children, obey your parents in the master: for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.

4 And, you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of Yahweh. 8 Knowing that whatever good thing any man does, he shall receive the same of the master, whether he be bond or free.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in Yahweh, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of Yahweh, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from Yahweh the Father and the master Yahshua the Messiah. 24 Grace be with all those who sincerely love our master Yahshua the Messiah. Amen.

Br Tom Schattke - Scriptural Helps
 

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