A Life Worth Living by Nancy Buxton

Archive for the ‘The Blessing’ Category

What is Active Commitment?

Gary Smally tells the story about how bad he was in math, in fact he had to repeat geometry and found himself in a class where the teacher expected  him to fail.  The teacher actually seated the class according to grades.  One morning Gary came to class and there was a substitute teacher and later the class was told the regular teacher had been reassigned.

Something the substitute teacher said changed Gary’s life.  The teacher provided a clear picture of active commitment.  Standing before the class that morning, the new teacher told them, “if anyone fails this class, then I have failed.”  The teacher made a commitment that morning to do what ever it took to see that everyone passed and he did.  He stayed after school to tutor students and even came in for special sessions on weekends; he was a dedicated teacher and wanted to see his students thrive.

In school life, children desperately need parents who will make that same type of active commitment to them.  In areas they are weak they need to be encouraged and built up.  If they really struggle perhaps a tutor would be of help.  They need to be hugged and verbally praised for their strengths.

When I think of active commitment, I think of how important it is to commit our children or grand children to the Lord, children need the certainty and security that comes from our committing them and their blessing to the Lord.  Pray with your children and let them hear you commit them to Jesus. 

The second step is committing us to our children or grand children  through time, energy and resources.

I feel discipline is another important way of actively committing ourselves to a child’s best interest.  As a grandparent I don’t want to discipline I feel it is up to the parents but I do feel it is an important step in letting children know that they are loved, safe and secure.

John Trent tells about his mom and how her bookcase was full of books that an older gray hairdo grandma usually would not have on her shelf.  Theology books, Heavy Equipment Digest and medical books on cancer and genetics.  You see these are the things her sons were interested in and she wanted to be able to talk to them about what they were doing in their life.

Here are a few hints on how to become a student of your children.

Be persistent in communicating with them.  Set up times with them when meaningful communication can develop.  I remember loving to pick my children up from school, I would learn so much at that time of day.  I just pretended I was an extension of the steering wheel and listened to all the talk.  Take them out to eat, oh my they love to talk and eat.

Share activities with your children. There is nothing like a good camping trip to open the line of communication.

Take initiative in asking questions.  Listen to them with your full attention.  I read a book called FISH and the book told about being present when you are communicating.  Especially with children it is easy to let your mind think about other things.  Have you ever carried on an entire conversation with your child or your spouse while watching television?

Most of us have experienced walking into a room and having someone’s eyes light up when they see you.  Do your eyes light up when your children or spouse come into a room to talk?  Give them your full attention.

It is not easy to be a full-time parent, it takes work and energy and it takes forgetting about self.  The effort is worthwhile, years later you will never regret the time and energy you spent on your children.  The joy of seeing your children’s life bloom and grow because you are committed to them is a blessing in itself.

ARE YOU A TOUCH ME NOT?

 

Meaningful and appropriate touch played an important part in the blessing given in Bible times.  If you read in Gen. 27:26 the story is unfolding about Isaac and his sons.  “Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘please come close and kiss me, my son’.”  Now remember Isaac was not speaking to a small child he was speaking to his adult son Jacob.  All through the Bible there are examples of touch and the placing of hands on someone as the part of a blessing.

 

Touch is very meaningful, it actually blesses us physically.  Every day, researchers are discovering information about the importance of touch. 

 

A Study was done at Purdue University—the librarians were asked to alternately touch and not touch the hands of students as they handed back their library cards.  The experimenters interviewed the students and they found those who had been touched reported far greater positive feelings about both the library and the librarian than those who were not touched.

 

Okay stay with me here—-so if touch was that effective on students in a library what about the people in our homes?  Touching children on the shoulder, holding hands with your spouse, stopping to ruffle someone’s hair (maybe not your wife’s or your boss) are small ways that you can change how others feel about you.

 

I believe parents must know that not giving meaningful touch to their children starves them of acceptance.

 

My precious little 6 year old grandson loves to wrestle with me.  Can you picture it in your minds eye, a sixty year old grandma wrestling with a 6 year old boy?  We have fun and he’s just about all I can handle.  I want to touch him, I want him to feel my love for him and I dread the day I have to tell him he’s too big or I am too old for a little wrestling match.

 

Let’s give our children or spouses the blessing of meaningful, appropriate touch.

My Blessing

Were you blessed by your parents?  I was!  As a child growing up I knew I was the most important person in the world to my parents.  My parents were uneducated, never read a book on  raising children, never attended a class on child rearing and yet some how they knew how to show the love I needed.

My mom, the worrier, never said yes right away, spanked when I disobeyed which was often, never played with me and even worked out side the home.  My dad had a temper, didn’t go to church, and smoked.  How did they do it?  How did they give me a healthy self esteem, how did they let me know they loved me more then any thing?

I believe they gave me their blessing.  They accepted me, they approved of me and showed their love for me by touching me, talking to me and telling me when I did the right thing or the wrong thing.  They talked about Jesus often. 

If you remember, Esau missed out on his father’s blessing.  In Bible times the blessing was a momentous event.  It gave children a sense of value by their parents.  When Esau found he had lost his blessing he asked his father if he could find just one blessing for him. (Gen.27:38)

JoAnn Davidson tells about the Orthodox Jewish homes and how they bestow a special family blessing on their children.  This blessing is much like the blessing Esau was looking for.

If you are a parent or a grandparent learning about the family blessing can give your children a protection against evil and a knowledge of your acceptance of them.

I have seen it over and over again, when a person does not have the blessing of their parents it is difficult for them to leave home and move forward.  Oh they may leave home but mentally they are still there seeking acceptance.

As I see it the blessing has several parts and you may not agree with me but this is what I think just from my experience and from books I have read. Ross Campbell’s book,  How to Really Love your Teenager,  talks about how important appropriate touch is.  Campbell even goes so far as to say even if you have to touch your teenager on the sly do it.  Briefly touch him on the shoulder. I don’t know any one who does not love to have their feet massaged, or  pat her on the back.  Touch is very important.

In Florence Littauer’s book Silver Boxes, Florence tells us that the spoken word is very important, we all like to hear a positive word.  She also points out how important the written word is.  The spoken word will fade in time but the written word is always there to be pulled out and reread.

When giving the spoken word or written word attach high value to the person you are giving it to.

Commit to praying for the person you are giving this blessing to and continue to pray for them daily.

I plan to do some more research on each of these points and I will blog what I find for you but in the mean time, please think about giving your children, your spouse, a family member, a friend a blessing, it’s never too late.

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