The most important thing you can ever do for your home is to keep in mind that everything happening within the walls will be absorbed into the sub-conscious and conscious levels of every member of your household.
Scary stuff ---huh?
Unfortunately, it's true. Counseling reveals the importance of everyday actions. I've been amazed when young adults are hurt because their mother didn't feel it was important to kiss them good-by as they left for school. Other teens have zero social skills or manners because Dad simply sat in his chair at night staring at the tube.
Young men often relate their feelings about women to the fact that Dad never complemented Mom or even asked her opinion. Most hurting adults will point to some insignificant issue in the home and site years of pain over something like, "Dad never had anything good to say about our pastor or Mom hated our neighbors."
Whatever comes out of your mouth or is expressed through body language or is promoted within your home ---that will be your child in 10 years. You can take that fact to the bank.
Of course, a one time action that is followed immediately by an "I'm sorry" can truly be forgiven if it never happens again. Just remember that if you continue to take a negative course of action, you will face it again in your child's adult life. Whatever you promote around your child will become a part of them. The only hope for negative influences is a miracle intervention from God.
It's hard for me to understand parents who are inconsistent. If we want our children to act properly in certain situations, then we MUST be careful to act properly in those same types of situations. Actions speak louder than words.
For example, if we want our children to be kind when someone makes a mistake - then we must be kind. We are NOT allowed to fly off the handle because some kid working at Wendy's didn't fill our order properly. That's when our children are sponges. Our actions at that point become part of their personality. And don't forget your spouse. When you fly off the handle at some inexperienced teen, your spouse will make a mental note that he/she may be next.
If you want your child to appreciate and love the church...then you must appreciate and love the church. Don't have bar-be-que pastor for lunch. If you want your child to be interested in other people...don't ignore him when he has a problem. It won't matter that you were busy thinking about tomorrow's presentation. All he will remember is that he was ignored in favor of work.
I always feel sorry for parents who are so sure their family will be close knit as adults. I watch as these parents cancel family times or miss school program after program because they need to work. After a few years they complain to me that the younger generation just isn't as loving as their generation. Their children neglect the family unit and the parent has the audacity to look surprised.
An old song entitled "We'll get together soon" always made me sad. It was about a father who loved his son very much but when he was asked to take him to the park...circus...or even just to play catch - the father would reply, "I have to work, but we'll get together soon Son. We'll have a great time then."
The song goes on to tell how the son grows up and gets busy with his own job. The father is now retired and wants to spend time with his son. He calls him to see if they can do lunch and the reply is, "I have to work, but we'll get together soon Dad. We'll have a great time then."
We are all a product of our home environment. Don't ever belittle the words or actions of any single moment within your home. Those actions will become part of your children and your spouse. You are changing history one second at a time.
I love the following poem. It is 100% true.
Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
If a child lives with criticism,
He learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
He learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
He learns to be shy
If a child lives with shame,
He learns to feel guilty
If a child lives with tolerance,
He learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encourage,
He learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
He learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
He learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
He learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
He learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
He learns to find love in the world.
I pray today that our homes will not only be filled with love but will build character filled adults that will make America better.
God loves you,