I am frequently guilty of negative self talk. Do you do it too? I don’t know when or why it started, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have brain chatter filled with messages of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. I have a hunch the real payoff in this behavior is that I am constantly preparing myself for rejection. (every behavior has a payoff) If I’ve already said the worst to myself, it won’t hurt as much if someone else rejects me, right? Wow, that’s a pretty deep revelation I just had there.
What breaks my heart is the reason behind this discovery. I see our kids doing the same thing. And not just my originals… it isn’t passed down through genetics, but learned behaviors. Our beautiful blended family is actually a group of hurting individuals who’ve each felt very rejected through the realities of being children of divorce. All 7 of us.
Now my husband and I are faced with the task of learning to love each other as well as all 5 of our children in ways that clearly communicate God’s unconditional love and acceptance. How on earth do two imperfect people demonstrate perfect love? Honestly, I have no idea. Most of our attempts thus far feel like failures. The good news tho, is that even in our failures we are showing that we’re trying, and that in itself communicates love. More simply stated: never give up. Not on each other and not on any of your children.
No one is easy to love 24/7. Love them anyway. No one is free of annoying habits. Accept them anyway. No one will live up to all of your expectations. Give them grace.
Don’t know where to find this love and acceptance and grace to give? Pray.
Don’t know how to pray, or what to ask for when you do? Reach out for help. Stormie O’Martian is one of my go-to girls, and we’ve never even met. She writes books on praying for your spouse and your children, and when I can’t think of the words to say I read hers. Here is the one I discovered this morning. It fits perfectly into this discussion of love and acceptance, and it fits perfectly into an issue our family is dealing with right now. Perhaps it fits you too. Give it a try and let’s pray together….
I pray for our children to feel loved and accepted. Penetrate their hearts with Your love right now and help them to fully understand how far-reaching and complete it is. Your Word says You loved us so much that You sent Your Son to die for us (John 3:16). Deliver our children from any lies of the enemy that may have been planted in their minds to cause them to doubt that. Jesus, said “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9-10). Lord, help our children to abide in your love. May they say as David did, “Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust.” (Psalm 143:8). Manifest Your love to these children in a real way today and help them to receive it.
I pray also that You would help us to love all of our children unconditionally the way You do, and enable us to show it in a manner each one can perceive. Reveal to us how we can demonstrate and model Your love to them so that it will be clearly understood. I pray that all my family members will love and accept each other, and may each of our children find favor with other people as well. With each day that they grow in the confidence of being loved and accepted, release in them the capacity to easily communicate love to others. Enable them to reach out in love in a way that is appropriate. As they come to fully understand the depth of Your love for them and they receive it into their souls, make them vessels through which Your love flows to others. In Jesus’ name I pray.
We have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. – 1 John 4:16
How do you model unconditional love for your family?
What can you do today to show someone you love them?