No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do or what philosophy you adopt, you will always be criticized by someone. We all have voices in our head that try to speak to our heart about how we have failed or fallen short or disappointed someone.
I have often told my sweet children, if you stand up in front of people to lead, probably 20 percent of them already have some criticism of you, because a part of a sinful heart is to be critical. I know for me, when someone posts a critical comment on facebook or says something hurtful publicly, (like last week when someone publicly said, "I didn't get that much out of Sally Clarkson's stuff."), it tempts me just to quit. I believe the criticism and do not want to put myself out there anymore.
But that is not a mature response on my part and I have had to learn to put away the criticism and be humble and understand that I am never, never going to please everyone. But I have one who is pleased! My sweet, patient, compassionate heavenly Father.
Our first year we hosted a conference for moms, we had worked ourselves to exhaustion, invested long nights of planning and writing notes, preparing speakers, gifts to giveaway, took thousands of dollars of risk on the hotel to reach out to moms who needed support and encouragement. At the end of the conference, we offered a survey to ask the moms attending how we could improve.
By God's grace, we had mostly wonderful comments, but one stuck out as a lesson to me. A mom wrote in the section, "How can we improve," "I did not enjoy the conference because the rice was too spicy!"
This comment, was a sample of what I call, "Job's friends advice." Though Job was walking with God and serving Him and was chosen for his righteousness, his friends just knew he was sinning and that was why all of his problems came about in his personal life. Of course we know the other side of the story, he was experiencing terrible persecution and attack by Satan because he was the most righteous man on the earth and he was God's servant.
But unnecessary comments and criticism usually kill the spirit and wound the soul. I have many voices in my head that tell me I am not enough of some things--I am not natural at organizing, details, and perhaps I talk too much or am too passionate or whatever, you fill in the blank. We all have voices. One of those is Satan who accuses the believers day and night. Others are just insecure people. And of course, I think because we have a sin nature and we will not be able to tame all of our selfishness and immaturity until we get to heaven, we have our own guilt voices to accuse us.
But, as moms, we must hope that the voices in our children's heads that come from us speak to them of our unconditional love for them, our belief in their dreams, validation of God's call on their lives, encouraging words that give life to their souls.
I was asked to do a ten day blog article series on something to encourage moms, and so the next 8 to 10 articles on my blog will be about 10 ways to show your children love. But as I began to pray about this and think about it, I realized that loving our children starts with our heart and from our heart flows life and beauty and love and grace.
If in our hearts we have only resentment, frustration, selfishness and guilt, then no matter what else we do or attempt to create in the way of things to do to communicate love, it is our heart that will speak the loudest, because our heart determines the way we carry on every day.
So, the first thing I would suggest to show your children love is to look at your heart. Is is filled with overflowing generous love for your children? Have you accepted their limitations? Their personality? Their immaturity? Their imposition?
I must admit that I had some voices in my head for so many years, from my family, that I was not acceptable to them. These voices determined some of my insecurity and pain. I did eventually deal with it and realize that even if I was never acceptable to them, I was free to enjoy God's love, His understanding of my limitations and yet His unconditional acceptance, and his divine grace. I seek every day to let His voice be the one who determines my worth.
But what a grace it would be to be a child whose mother intentionally placed voices that sounded a lot like God in the ears of her children--love, forgiveness, grace, hope, encouragement and life.
Verses to think about:
Love covers a multitude of sin. I Peter 4:8
Love is a perfect bond of unity. Col. 3:14
If you have not love, you become a noisy gong or clanging symbol. I Cor. 13
Even as a Father has compassion on His children, so the Lord has compassion on us. Psalm 103: 13
Application: Determine to become a voice of love in the heart of your children. Make a specific investment of words of life and love and grace each and every day--including today!
I am so delighted to be able to share these articles with all of you at the blog hop at: Heart of the Matter Be sure to check this great site out!
Also, please take a peak at a new network where I will be writing: thebettermom.com I am delighted to be able to be a writer there for this wonderful network and you can read about it and see my picture with my precious friend, Ruth, today by going there today!
Peace be with you, the Lord is near--right here, right with you, in your home. The Lord is near.