My son suffers from a condition that I frequently call “too-much-time-with-teenagers.” He’s only 7 years old, but he’s developed an incredible wit…accompanied by a healthy dose of sarcasm and self-centeredness. I love him with every ounce of my heart but over the past year or so, his attitude has become…ferocious…at times.
We’ve tried every form of discipline in the book (along with some we made up) but we haven’t quite achieved the “results” we’ve been hoping for. That is, until we had this little epiphany… What if we taught “blessings” instead of “punishments.”
For the past few months, if you were eavesdropping around our house, you would have heard us asking this question: “How can you bless Mom/Dad/Andrew/Jesùs today?”
It’s been a game-changer for our family! I routinely tell Andrew that because I love my son, I want to bless him with ________. And he tells his mom that he wants to bless her with ________. And so on… Just a day or so ago, I heard him telling my wife that he was glad he was able to bless her with bringing in the groceries because she had blessed him with raisins in his lunchbox. Now, THAT was a “proud dad moment!”
Regular and intentional “blessings” have transformed the way our family interacts. Check out this excerpt from Scot McKnight’s book, Jesus Creed, and consider how you can show love and blessings in your home…
Surely one of the most touching scenes in the life of Jesus is when, on the cross, he issues the request to John to take responsibility for his mother, by saying, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to his disciple, “Here is your mother.” Jesus clearly affirms here the duty of loving one’s family. Sadly, far too many Christians love others with abandon while their own families are starving for their love. Let this be clear: Our home is also in our neighborhood.
It is attention-grabbing to love the poor, to show compassion to AIDS sufferers, and to show mercy to victims. But it is attention-deflecting to wake up in the morning and ask, “What does my wife or husband, my daughter or son need?” and then attend to those needs. It is easier to see love in the public square than to show love in the home.