The boys had tagged along with me on a task I had to do that involved all of my attention and required them to entertain themselves for a couple of hours. On the way home I thanked them for having had such good attitudes throughout the evening – this is something we try to keep on our radar, more often than not we forget to do this, but we do strive to thank our boys for good behavior when it is exhibited.
About ten minutes passed. Then Judah asked me; “Mama, will you tell daddy that we worked hard on being good tonight?”
I told him that I would be telling Paul that. I could see his huge smile in the rear view mirror and, intrigued, I asked him why he wanted me to tell his daddy that they had been good.
His answer was humbling;
“Because mama, when you tell daddy we worked hard on something he always encourages us to keep at it, which encourages us to want to be that way again and again.”
“Our chief want is someone who would inspire us to be what we know we could be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
They want to work hard on being obedient because we encourage them to! His answering brought tears to my eyes. Such sweetness, such depth, wrapped up in a young life.
But this is exactly how we should be – encouraging one another on to good works.
Hebrews 10:6 tells us:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
If this is how Christ wants us to be as a church, do you not think this should also be a natural part of the family unit?
We fall short of noticing our boys and their efforts so often. We often conclude that their failed efforts were attempted foolishly, rather than that they were giving their best and, because they are still children, resulted in what we perceive as failure.
We often fail at encouraging them, and yet despite that, we should be thinking of ways to encourage one another toward love and good deeds.
We ought to be extending true effort into considering how we can encourage our children.
Let us consider how we may spur our children on toward love and good deeds – what does this then mean within your own family unit? With the unique makeup within the walls of your home, with the unique personalities and quirks living together, and the foundations that have been laid already – consider what it will take to encourage your own children on towards love and good deeds.
Encouraging and affirming words–words of life, as I like to call them–have the power to give hope, to strengthen others to keep growing in righteousness. And if I, a grown woman, need them to keep me going through hard time, my children need them even more. Positive words act as water and sunshine to our souls to help them grow strong. Yet I have found that very few people really take the time to say those words that all of us, and especially our children, long to hear.
From an encouraging post entitled Apples of Gold by Sally Clarkson that I would encourage you to read.