One of my favorite authors is Donald Miller. He's written several books, one of which will be made into a movie soon (Blue Like Jazz). I enjoy his unabashed approach to writing and telling the truth about his journey to becoming a Christian. He has a raw and unfiltered air to his books that I find pretty refreshing. Anyway, if you'd like to see more about him, check out his blog HERE.
Several day ago he blogged about how children learned that they matter. I thought his description of how this occurs was convicting for me and made me put a lot of things in a different perspective. Sometimes, when you're caught up in the day to day activities of your family, you forget to think about the lifelong impact your words and actions are having on your children. I thought I would re-post Don's blog here because it impacted me so greatly. A copy of it is now pasted on out refrigerator to hopefully remind me every day that God is communicating to my children through me ... and I need to be up to the task.
Children Don't Learn They Matter From The Bible. They Learn It From You.
Young men and young women really do want the same things; to know they are important, to know they matter, to know they can impact the world, to know they are wanted and so on. Of course, these desires are expressed in different ways, but children of both sexes gain early on a confidence that they are on the earth for a reason and not as a mistake. And they don’t learn this from a book, not even from the Bible. The idea we matter is more important to learn in childhood than in any other stage. And they learn from adults, from whether or not they get off the phone, make eye contact, get mad too quickly, love them enough to stay married to their mom, love them enough to protect them from danger, even from themselves. The message God wants to communicate to children is entrusted to you, to the way you look at them or celebrate them when they walk into a room. If they get that message, the Bible will confirm it for the rest of their lives. And if they don’t, they’ll struggle to believe the overwhelming obviousness of God’s love.
The acclaimed poet Maya Angelou, when asked how she had become such a great poet, responded by saying she’d become a great poet because when she was a little girl, her father’s eyes lit up when she walked into the room.
Love your sons. Love your daughters. Teach them what’s already true; that they are delightful.
*Taken from http://donmilleris.com, October 27, 2010 post*