Few people seem to realize how our thought lives can make or break us. What we’re thinking about shapes our emotions and informs our actions. If we think we’re nothing, we’ll act like nothing. And if we’re constantly worrying, we’ll cripple efforts to succeed and thrive. But if we think we’re valuable, loved and capable, everything will change.
No one can know our thoughts but us. The “wallpaper” in our brains is seen by us alone. And that wallpaper can be killing us catapulting us to great things. As a parent, we can always help make that wallpaper beautiful by speaking encouraging words to our kids and by helping them guard what they look at, listen to, and believe.
A simple exercise to do with your child is to ask regularly, “What are you thinking?” Give them time to answer and really show interest. Then sift out the lies from the truth. If they intimate that they are having feelings that obviously don’t match with reality, find a truth with which to replace the lie.
A little girl who says she feels ugly can be helped with encouragement that she is indeed beautiful (as all girls are). She can learn that print models are constantly airbrushed and not real in their seeming perfection. She can understand that beauty is a whole package and not just an appearance.
A boy who feels “stupid” can recognize that he is fearfully and wonderfully made, complete just as he is, unique and capable of great things (as all boys are). He can realize his own gifts and pursue a life of honor, whether he excels at sports, math or music. He can be taught that just because bad guys seem to be celebrated in modern media, men of honor are stronger and end up happier with themselves in the real world.
And what about us, parents? Are we thinking that we aren’t doing such a good job in raising our little ones? The truth is, we are the RIGHT parents for our children; otherwise, they would be somewhere else. God in His omnipotence chooses where each child grows up and empowers that parent specifically for that child.
The only thing stopping you from being the “right” parent may be your own thoughts. Remind yourself daily that you are qualified, capable, and that you can teach not only from your successes but from your failures. Then you yourself can recognize that every circumstance is an opportunity. That’s the truth.
So what are you thinking today? And what is your child thinking? Take the time to examine your thoughts regularly. Take captive thoughts that are lies, and lock them up and throw them out. Then start wallpapering with something true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). This kind of “redecorating” could be the key to a complete makeover in your family life!