Today I have the awesome privilege of writing a guest post for a series called Biblical Women of Influence at Angel Penn‘s blog at www.angelpenn.com.
So Many Mary’s!
Can you imagine walking with Jesus when He lived on earth? I would have loved that! I should have been named Mary.
I could have been Mary, the mother of Jesus. Now there’s a woman who played no small part in Jesus’ life. She carried Him in her womb, gave birth to Him, nourished Him, and taught Him to walk and talk and use good manners. She probably taught Him to pray and instructed Him in the ways of God and told Him about the things God did for the children of Israel. She may have led Him to faith in God!
There’s no doubt that she had a great influence on the greatest Man who ever lived.
For instance, there’s the time that Mary insisted that Jesus do a miracle at the Wedding at Cana when they ran out of wine. That turned out to be a good thing – the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
She had a mother’s influence over her son. I’m sure she loved Him as no other. Her love probably gave Him strength and courage to endure all that He went through in His life. His mother had extravagant love for Him.
Treat them with dignity and respect. Be kind and gentle to them. Be as nice to them as you are to your friends and to strangers. Don’t take out your frustrations on them. Don’t talk down to them or be condescending.
2. Give kids freedom to explore and play.
Let them use their imagination. Charlotte Mason calls it Masterly Inactivity. If you haven’t heard of Charlotte Mason, you can google her name and find out lots of great information about her and her philosophy of raising and educating children.
Let them come up with their own ideas of things to do. Don’t call them away from something they are enjoying and using their imagination for to do a workbook or something you had planned. Unless you know for sure that the other thing is better for them than what they are doing. Let them spend a lot of time outside. They process the things they learn from books and what you teach them during their down time. They make connections. They think more deeply about things. They make the knowledge and information their own. It sticks better.
3. Let them be who they are.
Don’t try to make them act and think just like you.
4. Pray with them about using their talents and gifts to glorify God from the time they are young.
Practice prophetic parenting. Help them find their purpose. Be led by the Spirit and follow your intuition when it comes to the best way to relate to your children.
5. Bless them and speak well of them to themselves.
Tell them how glad you are that God gave them to you. Tell them what you see in them, their strengths and abilities. Make sure you have their hearts. Keep the connection strong. Spend time with them. Make good memories with them.
6. Give them a strong family identity to feel proud of and tell them that they have an important role in the family.
Their prayers matter. Build up their sense of security and confidence.
7. Show them unconditional love.
Do everything you do for them out of love for them, not to get your own needs met. Don’t try to control them. Correct the discipline with grace. Disciple them. Communicate clearly and lovingly. Don’t assume that you know their motives. Let them tell you what they think and feel. Show lots of affection. Spend one on one time with them. Find out what is going on with them, especially when there’s conflict or they seem out of sorts. When they are acting most unlovable pull them close and show the most love.
8. Give them attention and encourage their efforts.
Encourage their imagination. Spend time with them. Let them interrupt you to show you something they did or saw or want to talk about that was interesting to them. Listen to them. Show interest in what they are interested in. Don’t talk at them and dominate the conversation. Let them talk.
9. Point them to God as their Father who will always be there for them to love them and take care of them.
Teach them to put God first in their lives and to ask Him to fill them with His Spirit. Teach them to go to Him to get every need met. Teach them how to hear God’s voice.
10. Teach them to pray and believe and trust God and expect Him to answer their prayers.
I am doing an interview series called “Proof in the Pudding”.
This interview was perfect to start a series by this name. Because I literally got to taste the pudding! My husband and I went to a Marriage Retreat called “Come Away” hosted by Hal and Melanie Young of Raising Real Men ministries. And Hal and Melanie’s sons catered the event! Three of their six sons cooked the food and served it to us in a most excellent way. It was all delicious, and the service was exceptional! We were very blessed by all of their efforts. My husband loved it! Food is definitely the way to his heart. I daresay that might be his dominant love language.
I took advantage of the time I had with Melanie to ask her some questions, and she graciously granted me an interview. I asked her about her philosophy of homeschooling, the overall approach and style she used, and how her children have turned out so far. She is a very honest, candid person, and it was an honor and privilege to interview such a gracious leader in our Christian homeschool movement.
She and her husband, Hal, have written several books, including “Raising Real Men”, and “My Beloved and My Friend: How to Be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses”. I bought the second book and am currently reading it. It is very good. You can find many other family, parenting and marriage resources at their website at Raising Real Men.
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, your brain was wired for love, you were wired for love.
God made us in His image. And He is love. So, doesn’t it make sense that He wired us for love?
Well, what does THAT mean?
There is a “perfect you” that we should be striving to live in. When we step out of our “perfect you”, we get into fear and other negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We have to learn to fear, and when we do we put our body and brain out of whack!
When we learn to live out of fear and give into these negative thoughts, we actually cause brain damage!
We have learned to fear through living in this fallen world, through thought patterns and ideas that were passed on to us by people around us, the ways that people have treated us, by our own sinful ways, traumatic events in our lives, whispers of the enemy that cause doubt, and other factors that affect us and cause us to expect negative outcomes and to fear the future and dread the unknown.
But God wants to restore us to our “perfect you”.
You were made for love. God made you so that He could love you.
Here’s the truth:
God delights in you.
He views you as His little child who is in the process of learning what life is really about, what God is really like, and the reason that He made you, the purpose of your life, the thing that only YOU can do.
You can get back to the original blueprint that God had for you by changing the way you think. When you know that you are loved unconditionally, that God has wonderful plans for you, you learn how He sees you, that He favors you, He has extraordinary affection for you, He smiles on you, you have His heart, you have His favor, you begin to think differently. You begin to see yourself as a child of God.
The way that God sees Jesus is the same way He sees us.
We renew our minds.
We start to develop the mind of Christ.
Jesus had a great self-image. He lived in His “perfect you” all the time.
Jesus was wired for love, and unlike us, He never learned to fear. He never succumbed to the worldly way or the satanic way of viewing Himself. He always knew who He was.
We can be constantly becoming more like Jesus by thinking the way Jesus thought and the way Jesus thinks.
As we do this, we will be Changed By Love.
See what I did there?
We change the way we think by taking negative and toxic thoughts captive as soon as they come into our minds, casting them out, and substituting positive, loving, true, pure God’s thoughts in their place.
Simple, but not easy, because we have to overcome years and years of wrong thinking habits.
But we have to start somewhere, and there’s no time like the present to start working on changing our thoughts.
Become the best version of you. Change your thoughts.
And let God Change you By His Love!!!
If you are interested in brain research, you should listen to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, and read her books. She has a website http://drleaf.com that is full of videos, episodes of her TV show, her blog and more.