How do you encourage kids and grandkids to breakthrough from a pleasure driven life to a purpose driven life? Misbehavior and self-destruction can result when pleasure only is pursued. This doesn’t mean you can’t have pleasure and passion. “At thy right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11) A relationship with God will bring joy as you live a life free of fear or anxiety. Also developing a relationship with your young one will bring them an awareness of this life of joy, success, and peace.
Let’s look at ways to strengthen connections with the young ones in your life so you can develop a strong relationship with them so they will come to you with issues and concerns. It’s not about rules. For relationship rules when you’re living life and impacting them. You started a relationship with them with cuddles, love and kisses, praising them for their cuteness Don’t lose this as discipline is added, which is always for their good and success. Here’s five ways to pave a path away from a pleasure driven life to a positive, purpose driven life:
1 – Identity
Knowing they are valued and important can build confidence and character that will help them face the future and make wise decisions. The song, “I Am a Child of God” will change their focus from feeling like they don’t matter to knowing they are a son or daughter of God. Fill them with words of positive affirmation even from infancy. I know of a father who reminded his daughters every day that they were princesses, loved by him and God, they grew up knowing they were special.
Model a good work ethic for them. They will learn to take pride in a job well done and see the rewards that come from it. My husband has worked hard for 40 years and his son recently thanked him for that example. He now works hard for his family and future.
2 – Time
This may seem an overused term, but it is essential to spend time in their realm. Show support at ballgames or ballet. I don’t like football, but I was at all my grandson’s games, watching him, not the ball (Which I could never find anyway!) I saw him looking for me during a game, his face lit up and he waved. It made my heart smile! Family game or movie nights will always be remembered by your young one. My grandson has a tattoo of a movie reel on his chest with my name beside it because he has fond memories of watching movies at our house as a child.
3 – Listen
Sometimes it’s hard to hear what they have to say. It may not be what you believe or hope for in their lives. However, maintain an open door with an open mind that doesn’t show judgment or condemnation. Kids have learned in a liberal society which rules in their thoughts and lives. You need to gain knowledge about what they believe so you can prove what you believe. Gather your facts jack! Develop a strong relationship so they will respect you and consider the truth. My grandson has been taught evolution in school and on TV shows. I bring to his attention Creation by an intentional Creator, not goo to you by way of the zoo! (This is a book by Harold Hill) It’s hard for him to fathom that his teachers and science are wrong. It’s an ongoing conversation, but I’m sure he’ll consider Creation as the way.
4 – Pray
Strong faith creates a firm fortress to stand and survive difficult situations. To share faith, hope and love from the Victorious savior will give strength to your young one. There is a battle for your young one’s mind and life. If you feel hopeless or helpless, divine strength is there to turn the battle and demolish strongholds, whether it’s attacking you or your family. (See ll Corinthians 10:4-5) If they have been raised in a mess, abusive or drug filled home, pray for healing and a breakthrough. Be patient and kind in helping them push past this. God has never forsaken them and He gives forever favor to our descendants. (See Psalm 18:50 TPT)
5 – Consume
What fills them or consumes them is important. They may be ruled by the junk food they consume, instead of fruits or vegetables. This will start a path of pain, because they can’t have energy and health if they don’t eat right. Misplaced pleasures, such as drugs, premarital sex or overeating, may be an attempt to avoid pain, but in reality they lead to more pain. If you help them lay a foundation that is stable and secure by realizing their value and purpose in life, then success, peace and prosperity can rule their lives instead of self-centered destructive behavior. As a kid we had a clean plate club and did not get desert until we ate a balanced healthy diet. There may have been complaining but our generation is better for it.
What if they are consumed with social media, inappropriate songs or games? Monitor what fills them and restrict or eliminate what is negative or destructive. Maybe let them have one hour of You Tube and then one hour with social media off . You will be surprised at how constructive they can be, and one hour turns into many. Help them also be consumed with kindness, manners and wise choices. These bring joy and success in life as they learn to put others first and care for them.
I have seen a preteen soften her stance after a discussion with me. Be caring in your conversation, not condemning. Establish a relationship so they will always know you are there and will listen and not preach. Remember relationship rules, not rules run the relationship! It’s exciting to think about the opportunities ahead to love and impact your young ones, even your old ones!