Relationships fascinate me. We want our children, our spouse, our friends to think of us as their cheerleaders. We want them to know our love. It is strong, after all!
Sometimes it might be worthwhile to put ourselves as the listener, as though we could be in their shoes, and ponder whether ours is the voice we intend- ie, are we the voice of understanding or of just not getting them? Of pride, or maybe criticism?
Think of the people you have learned most from. You know, the good teachers who pulled the best out of you. They didn't need to use fear, they were smarter than that. Lets take a minute to look historically at the christian martyrs in the Collosium. Christianity spread because a message was being proclaimed( albeit to the ultimate sacrifice of its proclaimers) that there was a real belief, a God, worth dying for. The Romans couldn't help but compare this witness with their own fear of the maniacal Ceaser that controls their own actions.( Quo Vadis provides a vivid picture of the cultural clash at that time, among other things!) There is just something about fear that is paralyzing. As a parent, we would not be doing our job to let our kids do whatever they want. Yes, there need to be just consequences for wrong decisions. But, fear? Not if you want to inspire. And if we consider what our goal is, to communicate what life is about, how will the message get through years of barriers?
I don't pretend to know the one most important job of a mother, if there is one. But one that could use a little more thought is listening and perception! From listening and correct understanding of the PERSON, the unique individual, stems the correct, tailored advice and encouragement, clearing up lacks of understanding and in the case of children, corrections. So much of what is heard depends not only on what is said but on the wiring or temperament of the one who is on the receiving end. It is so marvelous and a constant cause of wonder to me how differently we are all made. It is worthwhile knowing our temperament as well, because we can more clearly see how our worldview differs from others and stop banging our heads against the wall! :) This is where we will see we have more work to do on ourselves. Boy, does it take a lot to meet others real needs, which lets face it, is our goal!
We all see the world through different lenses because we are wired differently. It is amazing and part of the stuff that makes us grow. And, I even got my husband on board to the point that I don't know who likes this book better, him or me!
Have a great day, friends!
picture source- Amazon.com