Love has creative power, and in the home love does its magic by engendering unselfish acts and helping each family member see the others in a positive light. Everyone wants to be understood, accepted, and loved for who he or she is, and the home is a God-created environment where these things can thrive.
There are also things that work against love in the home—enemies of love, if you will. Disagreements between children and parents and sibling rivalries are a couple of the obvious ones, but there are other problems that are more subtle and therefore even more dangerous—selfishness, laziness, indifference, criticalness, nagging, taking each other for granted, and thinking and talking negatively about one another, to name a few. These usually begin with small, seemingly innocent incidents—finding excuses to not help out, squabbles over petty issues, little putdowns and sarcastic remarks—but unless you recognize these as attacks on your family’s love and unity, they will develop into bad habits that will take a terrible toll on your family.
It’s not enough to simply save the moment by sending the feuding parties to their separate corners, silencing the sarcastic, or pressing the shirker into service. That’s dealing with the symptoms, not the root problem, which is a lack of love. The only thing that will cure a lack of love is love itself, so ask God to bring more love into your home. Then cultivate that love through loving thoughts, words, and actions.
Children remember things very clearly and are directly affected by their parents’ attitude and how their parents feel and think about them. So if you’re constantly speaking faith and positive things about your child, either to him or to others, and if you’re thinking positive things about your child, this will have a good, faith-building, positive effect on your child, and he’ll become more like what you think of him and expect from him. But if you are thinking or speaking negatively about your child, either directly or indirectly to him, it will have the effect of making him think negatively about himself and hinder his happiness and self-esteem, his performance, and the way he sees himself. Faith begets more faith; positive attitudes foster more positive attitudes in both yourself and those around you. It takes faith in someone to bring out the best in them.
© Aurora/The Family International. Used with permission.