This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Small Things Done Often


The verse we shared earlier from Proverb 4:23, tells us to guard our hearts for that is the source of everything we do. Whether good or bad, heart beliefs have strong influence in what we do every day.  Heart beliefs have a depth of commitment that makes them part rational and part emotional. You are so committed to these beliefs they change your behavior, attitudes and interests.  We are by nature emotional creatures, even the most rational among us.  Yet we persist in living as if this is purely a rational world where the right ideas win out.  That statement is worthy of some significant self-reflection! You would gain great insight if you wrote out what your heart beliefs are.  Start with your behaviors and look for the beliefs that fuel them.

 I believe the most important beliefs your children are developing are tied to emotions, and you ignore that to the peril of effective parenting.  I talk about the emotional component of individual issues and we will talk much more about that.  But there is a broader emotional component in the relationship you have with your children and mate that affects what we do with individual problems.

We should examine if we have created an emotionally safe home.  In a safe home a child will come to the parent, knowing they messed up without fear of an emotional explosion, or a lecture with such intensity that they cringe or being slapped or hit. Their concerns should be focused on the consequences that will eventually come, not the reaction of parents. In a safe home most of the interaction between parent and child are positive, encouraging or affirming. A safe home has some structure allowing the future to be predictable.  The routine before bedtime, rules for treating siblings with consequences if broken, parents praying with children at night, how and when chores are done ,etc.

In an unsafe home lying is more frequent because of the fear of the encounter when the evil deed is found out.  Most of the interactions between parents and children is about what they ought to be doing or not doing with parents probing for information that makes the child even more vunerable.  Much of the focus is on the immediate present with little attention given to life in the months and years ahead.

We want a home with a prophetic edge tilted toward a future that will work out well.  The child may be struggling in some area now but you communicate that they will eventually figure it out and do well. Your belief in them in bigger than the present problem.  A safe  home is a home where children feel loved and where they believe parents enjoy spending time with them.

Ask yourself, ‘do we have a secure home emotionally?’  Ask yourself, ‘am I an emotionally safe person to my family?’ This is a keystone issue, get this right and many other issues are easier to overcome.  Read ‘Safe House,’ by Joshua Straub.

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