Psalm 103:13: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him…” (NIV).
How many of us like to be told how we can do things better, more efficiently, and more resourcefully? How many of us like to be told our opinions are always wrong, our choices could be better, or we need to think differently and then our lives would automatically improve?
I was thinking the other day about my interactions with my family. What do my words really say to my husband and my children? Do they hear that I am proud of them, respect their opinions, and love to hear their solution to a family problem? Does my husband hear my gratefulness that he took care of organizing a room or does he hear me whine about an insignificant detail? Do my children hear me praising their attempts or criticizing their few mistakes?
I decided that it is up to me what comes out of my mouth and what message I am sending to the ones I love the most. Yes, it is my job to instruct and teach and train my children to be fully, functioning adults, but it is my choice as to how I am going to go about accomplishing that. I decided I am going to work harder at catching my children doing something good than finding fault at their attempts to navigate life. I am going to focus on the 75% that was done well and ignore the 25% that was not done perfectly. I think that when my children are approached with a different attitude on my part, it will free them up to hear loving instruction, when needed, rather than feeling like nothing they do is good enough.
I am going to be on the lookout to find at least one thing daily to genuinely thank my husband for doing or saying that is helpful and appreciated. I am going to start looking at the motives of what is being done rather than the job itself. I am going to start caring for the feelings of the giver more than the results of the giving. And the best part – when I start catching and thanking the people in my life for the good things they do rather than trying to find fault at the little that is not done, we will all be happier as a result. That might be the best outcome of all.