So many times we find ourselves fearful of the next person we will meet or thing we feel we must do. This fear stifles us, holds us back, isolates us as we negatively judge ourselves and others. We are defensive and then angrily offensive as we find the slights from others that we have imagined.
Your children watch as you and the one you said you would love for a lifetime fight - again. You may wonder why they struggle the way they do. Why are they so oppositional? Why are they so depressed? Why can’t they see how smart they are, how beautiful they are and how life could be for them? And then you may wonder, is it me?
There are many reasons a child may act this way. They may have inherited “the family depression”. They may be struggling in school or in their social life. They may simply be trying out new behaviors in their need to find themselves. They may also be struggling with the major reconstruction their brain is undergoing as they shed many of their unnecessary brain cells between ages ten and twenty-five.
Family Strengths Learned from Marriage
One thing is certain, they are learning from the relationship between you and your spouse. They have been since shortly after their birth, maybe even before. You are a part of who they are in many ways. You provided one half of their DNA. More than any diagnosis, what your DNA provides are thought patterns that they will need to learn to deal with.
You also have provided their view of what an intimate relationship is like. They will initially look for someone who will understand this view of relationship. They will feel loved only if another follows the dance that you and your spouse have taught them. They will follow the relationship rules you have shown them, not necessarily the ones you have taught them.
Mostly, they have learned from you their first view of who they are. They will carry within their heart the home you provide for them. They will respond to good times and bad, in the way, and using the words you have taught them. When times are critical, they will reach deep and find the answer you have given them.
We are all much more affected by things we will never remember than we know. We are all playing out family scenarios that have gone on for generations. There are family strengths that guide us, providing ways to succeed in our lives. And there are family secrets that lay deep within us that guide us through dark times.
Actions that Speak Louder than Words
Let the secret that guides your children be the love that you feel as you are on your knees, praying for the answers you know will be there. Let God’s love for you and for them be the place that they go when they look for someone who understands them and will love them for the rest of their life. Let the family secret be that God loves them, is there with them always and that they must reach for Him to find their peace.
This little secret is better caught than taught. You teach your children who they are every time they enter the home and every time your eyes meet. You teach them how to handle difficult times when they see and hear you struggle. You teach them how to love and be loved as they watch both of you touch - or not.
To pass on the love you so want them to feel, you must remember who guides your life now. Who loves you and is always with you? You may not have been taught this as a child, but now you have a choice. Your subconscious mind is reaching out for answers when there are none. Your brain reaches deep within you for something greater than yourself to ground you and to let you know you are right where you need to be. Your senses reach out to others, looking into their eyes for affirmation that we are all in this together.
You have a personal depth that can be found as you form a relationship with something greater than yourself. Relying on this relationship in good times and bad will allay your fears and help you connect with others more effectively. It will generate the non-verbal cues that have your children love and trust you. This level of trust helps them to reach for the relationship that serves you so well. It will help your children find their answers. It will help them attract similar qualities in others. Lastly, it will help them pass on this wisdom to their children.
It’s up to you. It isn’t always easy to like the person you have chosen to love, but that is what you are called to do. Spiritually, you are loved deeply, and when you accept it, forgiven completely. Accept God’s love and forgiveness, then pass it on. It has been said that when you admire someone else’s marriage more than yours, you should water your own lawn better. This is good advice that everyone will notice and pass on!
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