Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Family on Purpose {speaking their language}

We’ve talked about filling our tanks and making sure that we have what we need to be the best parents we can. But our kids need to have their tanks filled as well.

We all have a void of sorts that God intended to be filled with the love and support of our families and friends around us. And we all have a particular way of communicating that love.

We were reminded of this recently as we struggled through some issues with one of our children. We were going through what can only be described as a rough patch. Patterns of disrespect, disobedience and massive amounts of frustrations marked nearly every interaction with this child. To say it was frustrating would be an understatement. 

We were just about ready to lay down the hammer in response to this behavior when I found myself listening to The Five Love Languages of Children. I can’t say that it was accidental. It was God, gently prodding me back on track. Thank goodness for that, we’d be lost with out his gentle guidance! It reminded me that our child has a particular love language, and if we’re not speaking that language, he is most likely not feeling loved. As I thought about it I realized we had been critical way too much, we had taken too much out and had not put enough love in. Because our child wasn’t feeling our love, he wasn’t able to respond to any our direction and correction.

Of the five primary love languages we all have a preference of how we speak love. If others in our lives are speaking our language we feel loved and affirmed. If not, then we’re in trouble.

Words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch and acts of service are the fives ways we communicate love. The quickest way to figure out our children’s particular love language is to watch how they give love. Or go take the simple quiz.

The point is that if our kids are not receiving love in a way that they can recognize, they will be resistant to correction and prone to acting out. Or more simply put, they will be naughty little buggers.

After my timely reminder, we switched gears. We got really intentional about how we were filling up our child. After a few days we watched things begin to change. No lectures ensued. We did not bring the smack down. Of course, there were still some consequences that had to be walked out because of his choices, but we’ve ended up with a happier, joy filled child. And that makes for a happier joy filled home.

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