Love Dare Day 8: Reach out to your children one by one and tell them you want to be closer to them than you are right now. Ask them the questions mentioned near the end of today’s chapter, and begin taking steps toward winning and keeping their hearts.
If one or more of your children are resisting relationship with you right now, what have you concluded the reasons to be? On the other hand, what things are providing the most helpful in maintaining healthy access to their hearts? How could you keep doing more of it? What did you learn from talking with your kids individually about this? (p. 38 – The Love Dare For Parents)
Recommendation from Day 8 in The Love Dare For Parents:
The heart of your child is really at the heart of your parenting. If you realize you’ve lost one or more of your children’s hearts, then quickly press pause on your schedule and ask God to help you draw them back to you.
But don’t try to change your child before examining yourself first (Matthew 7:5). Ask if your heavenly Father currently has your heart? Are you loyal to Him and submitted to Him? If not, don’t be surprised if your kids have been following your example by pulling their hearts away from you and from God.
Reach out to your children and ask, “Have I hurt you or wronged you in any way? Are you angry with me? How can I make it right? Help me understand what’s going on inside you.
Be ready to listen, apologize, and help them work through their frustrations until all issues have been resolved. Let your love encourage you to make the necessary sacrifices, fulfill the promises, and do whatever it takes to make sure you have your children’s hearts again.
How many parents do you know who apologize to their children for hurting them or wronging them in some way? It takes a humble heart to admit you’ve done something to hurt your child. Most parents aren’t intentionally hurting their children. But the children get their feelings hurt anyway. Taking the step to find out what you did that hurt your child can go a long way.
We aren’t supposed to stop there, though. Asking “how can I make it right” is an important next step. Giving our children a voice to be open and honest with us about what they need from us helps bring healing.
When we take time to ask God for guidance before having this difficult conversation with each of our children, we will be better prepared to not react to what they may say to us. Ask God to help you see your children the way He sees them. Ask God to help you not react at all to how they answer your questions about how you hurt them and what you can do to make it better.
If your children say there’s nothing you can do to make it better, pause and quickly ask God to give you the patience, gentleness and calmness needed to not give up on the relationship. If your children aren’t ready to have this conversation, attempt the conversation again later. Do it over and over until the two of you can come to a peaceful resolution. Your children will see you aren’t giving up on them or your relationship. They will see you aren’t judging them and are patiently waiting for them. They will also see you turning to God for guidance.
No one ever said parenting was easy. Story after story in the Bible shows one hard relationship after another involving parents and children. It’s up to us to refuse to settle for a strained relationship with our children. Today’s dare helps us start the journey of reconciliation.