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To every Negative there's a Postive - Live life with your kids - Issue 108
July 03, 2009
Hi there! ....

This week I’ve been thinking about passion – what is my passion? What is passion? Thanks to Hollywood we think of romantic passion but I believe there is more. Jesus was passionate – Paul was passionate – the early Christians were passionate. The early Christians – they turned the world upside down! You can’t do that without passion. But what about me? Am I passionate about the things God would have me be passionate about. I think of Paul again – as Saul he was a passionate man, and yet Jesus apprehended him and he came to see that the things he was passionate about were not the things the Lord Jesus was passionate about. Saul, changing his name to Paul, changed his passions to be in line with Jesus. We need to do the same. What passions will I be known for?

Live life with your kids!

To every Negative there's a Positive

I have no idea if the science behind my title is correct or not, but I do know that when I look at my children it is true. There is a positive to every negative. Often we focus on our children’s ‘growth areas’ (the negatives) because those things irritate us or to be charitable, we see those as the areas we need to work on, to help our child with. But if we applied the 80-20 principle to our parenting things would look different - 80% encouragement and 20% correction. Imagine what would happen if we focussed 80% of our training on the strengths we see in our children and 20% of our time on the growth areas.

How do you see your child?

The Bible says “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” God knew every part of our body, and our personality or temperament before we were born! Awesome! The Bible also says, “Each one of us has been given gifts according to His grace.” We are not just sinners with issues in our life that we need to change, we are also created in His image – we have gifts and strengths to use in our lives - as do our children. When you look at your child what do you see?

  • Do you see being prone to tears as a weakness or do you see it as a sign of sensitivity and compassion?
  • Do you see constant talking as a weakness (or irritation!!) or do you see it as a gift of communication
  • Do you see a lack of specific goals as a weakness or do you see it as a blessing to be able to go with the flow and be flexible?
  • Do you see demanding, nagging behaviour as a weakness or do you see persistence and determination?

I am in no way condoning the weaknesses but if we could get a glimpse of how those weaknesses that frustrate us in our children could be turned around and seen as strengths, it will be a powerful thing in our family life. It is about the potential we see in our children – do we give them the hope that they can be great or is our constant picking on them giving them the idea that they will never make it.

We need to flip our thinking around – instead of looking for the bad in our children look for the strengths and help them tame and direct those strengths to be a powerful thing in their life. My dad says, “any strength overused becomes a potential weakness” and I think this is a useful thought for us mums to remember when we are overwhelmed at our children’s weaknesses. It helps us pause and consider, maybe I am dealing with a strength here, maybe this is the thing that will help my child be a success.

Let’s look at some of this flip thinking:

  • Diplomacy is a strength, but when overused it becomes wishy-washy, as if there are no convictions.
  • The ability to lead is a strength but when overused it looks bossy, domineering and controlling.
  • Being able to communicate is a strength but when overused it looks like a chatterbox who never listens.
  • Being diligent to complete the task to a high standard is a strength but when overused it looks like perfectionism and leads to depression.
  • Being happily reconciled to life is a strength but overused looks like the child is unmotivated and blasé.
  • Great enthusiasm and organisational skills are a strength but overused the child can look bossy, opinionated and self-sufficient.
  • Creativity is a strength but when overused a child can’t follow the rules.
  • Making friends is a strength but when overused a child finds themselves friends with everyone but only shallow relationships.
  • An eye for detail is a strength and yet overused it can lead to being task orientated rather than people orientated.

When these positives are overused in our children’s lives we just see the negatives. When we try and stamp out the negatives we actually reduce the effectiveness of our child’s life. God made these strengths. We need to take a step back from the hustle and bustle in our family life and look at each of our children.

What are their strengths?
Have I been squashing their strengths, not training them?
How can I harness them and prepare my child to be all that God designed?

The fruit of the spirit is there for all who walk with Jesus. (Gal 5)

I say then: walk in the Spirit,
and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh …
but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering,kindness, goodness,
faithfulness,gentleness, self control.
And those who are Christ’s have
crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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