Don’t Cause Your Little Ones to Stumble
By Teresa G. Lusk –
“Just calling to see how you are doing? Oh, and by the way, he asked me to move in with him.” These were the words left on my voice mail from a woman I had been discipling and mentoring, attempting to restore her self-worth through support and the Word of God. She has had a pattern of falling into emotionally abusive relationships since she was young. Though she hates watching other women endure abuse, emotional or mental, she can hardly break from the pattern herself. Now, she has begun to consider moving in with the man who constantly degrades, embarrasses, mocks and ridicules her life, her being, her body and her personality. That does not make sense!
What could have caused this woman, child of God, daughter of the King of Kings, to seek and remain in one bad relationship to another? Just a coincidence? Hardly! This woman sought the acceptance, love and nurture from the man she called daddy. Instead, he abused her physically and emotionally. Often, he threw her around by her hair, her arms, called her names that would degrade an animal and destroyed her spirit. Now she seeks that which seems familiar but is harmful to her life. Though she realizes that these relationships are not good, she can not seem to break free. She even throws herself at sin for the sake of feeling loved.
What can we do to ensure our children grow up seeking healthy, loving, faithful relationships? It begins in the home. The words that come out of our mouths should be uplifting. Even words that some parents don’t consider as carrying weight may mean much to our kids. “You’re so goofy, stupid, lazy, can’t do anything right, you are wrong, stop laughing like that,” and many more can destroy our child’s self-esteem bit by bit.
Physical abuse speaks for itself. Punching, slapping on the head, face or arms, pounding them against the wall, throwing things at them, using objects to hit them and other aggressive behaviors can all be considered physical abuse.
If we can’t provide a healthy home life within our own abilities, then help is always accessible through social services, counseling and our local churches. God has given us a responsibility to our children. Yes, we all face failures daily in the way we raise our children, but if we are really struggling, we must confess to one another our weaknesses to be strengthened in His calling for us as parents. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Mathew 18:6 makes it clear that our responsibility to our children is great. It is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, I encourage you to not try to do parenting on your own if you find it a real challenge. One thing that comes to mind when I struggle with being a patient parent is, “Would I want my daughter talking to my grandchildren like I am talking to her?” The answer is always no! What is yours?
Teresa G. Lusk is a public speaker and author of Good Enough to be a Homemaker and CEO. You can find her services at www.teresalusk.com.