“From the very earliest ages, our children need to know that they belong to God. God created them for a purpose, and He created them in His image.” Zan Tyler
This is just one of the great thoughts from Chapter 2 of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential. I hope you have had a chance to read it already, but more than that, I hope you've had a chance to work through the Family Identity assessment questions and thoughts.
Zan states that one of the main ways God designed for children to gain identity is through the family unit. Taking assessment of the “strength and vibrancy of your home life” (p. 33) can be extremely challenging, eye-opening, and convicting!
Our family has been through many changes in the last few years, including a deployment, moves, job changes, and venturing into teenage years, and we have struggled with our identity as a family. Right now, in fact, we are separated as my husband is on temporary assignment until October. Truthfully, we've floundered a bit through all of this.
We've tried to hold onto some basics of who we are as a family.
Decisions and discipline still go through dad–even if it has to be dealt with over the phone. The girls and I still do pizza and movie nights on Fridays and donuts on Saturday mornings. We still worship with a church body on Sundays, even though it's tough to be there sometimes, amidst the “complete” families who get to worship together.
When my husband is allowed to come home for a weekend, we try to make the most of our time together as a family. We stay up late, do simple chores, like grocery shopping, together. We have family discussions and times to just sit and tell stories and laugh. We cry together when he has to go back.
It's not the ideal family situation. It gets stressful and lonely for me. It's easy to lose sight of what our family is really supposed to be about.
It's easy to get discouraged.
Family life feels a little like this right now–unfocused
However, as we honestly ask ourselves the questions in this chapter, we can be praying that God will not only reveal things that need to be brought back into focus, but that He will give us the courage and strength to do so.
Do you find yourself questioning the health of your family? As you read through the assessment questions, do you find yourself weighed down by the burden of what needs to be different?
Please take hope and heart from the fact that our God is capable of doing more than you could ask or imagine within the life of your family!