“These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
– Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NIV
The children of Israel were being led by God through the wilderness, out of slavery from Egypt, into the promised land of Canaan God had spoken to Abraham many centuries earlier. During their transition, God used Moses to communicate with them what He expected of them while they walked with Him and what He required of them to maintain their relationship with Him during the journey. God expressed His love, devotion and compassion for them and held the Israelites accountable to display their love, devotion and reverence for Him in return. God demonstrated His love, displayed His power and distributed His grace to the children of Abraham while they transitioned through the wilderness.
With words and actions God expressed His unconditional love and compassion for His people. In the same manner, God held the parents of the Israelite community accountable to the duty and responsibility of communicating with their children as He communicated with His. During the transition from captivity to liberty, God provided messages of assurance, affirmation, affection, attention, appreciation, acceptance and correction that provided stability, strength and inspired hope for the community of Israel.
The past 2 weekends I have recently shared with my children, I reminded them I was proud of them, I loved them and they make me happy. I reminded them that God loves them always and we will never do anything that will keep God from loving us. We revisited how Moses’ life is similar to ours, with my daughter reiterating today that they, like Moses, experienced being reunited with their parents. Today, they both recited in synchronized harmony the passage from 1 Corinthians 11:1, ‘Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ,’ which I have asked them to commit to memory with regard to the subject of leadership. I also reiterated to them that being proud of them is not just because of their current performance and productivity in what they do in school and elsewhere, but also because they are my children. I reminded them that if I am only proud of them because of what they do, then being proud of them will diminish when they fall short of my expectations.
Today, I also expressed to them how important it is to me they talk openly about what they are thinking and feeling, not fearing the need to talk when it is important to express themselves. So I explained to them to give me a signal when it appeared I was not listening, or appeared to be distracted and it was important for me to listen. ‘Excuse me. Are you listening?’ This is the new cue we agreed to, that they expressed to me would be used to get my attention when the moment for communication is important to them. Healthy, positive communication creates a strong connection that opens doors and affirms the parties engaged of their significance and self-worth. We ended today’s talk time with a long hug break (new ritual implemented at beginning of transition) that ended with tickling and laughing. Our years with them as children are few, but the memories last forever.
May God bless you and help you to develop healthy positive ways to communicate and create innovative rituals that will strengthen your family as you transition towards resiliency.