Thursday, May 3, 2012

Encouraging our Children

 "Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart."
Colossians 3:21

We exasperate our children when we demean them, when we constantly put them down and demand perfection from them. Our  children lose heart when they don't feel unconditionally loved and accepted. This doesn't mean we don't discipline them when necessary, but we discipline them in an attitude of love and never out of anger.

Benjamin West tells how he became a painter. One day his mother went out, leaving him in charge of his little sister Sally. In his mother's absence he discovered some bottles of ink and began to paint Sally's portrait. In doing so he made a considerable mess of things with ink blots all over. His mother came back. She saw the mess but said nothing. She picked up the piece of paper and saw the drawing. "Why," she said, "it's Sally!" and she stooped and kissed him. West used to say; "My mother's kiss made me a painter." If Mrs. West had not looked past the mess to the potential, she could have exasperated her son so that he lost heart. Instead she encouraged him and he became a great painter. 

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