Helping Kids Have a Measure of Success in Building Healthy Relationships
We have a really beautiful piece of artwork posted on the peak wall in our sunroom. Various colors of natural wood have been re-purposed, cut and carefully shaped into what is a quite striking directional compass. It reminds me, quite often, of the importance of having a measure for truth, health and direction for the more important relationships in my life. Passing on healthy measures is also important to my husband and to me.
Let’s talk about young love, current chaos and ancient paths of the simplest wisdom. In this age of sensual temptation and media driven pressure to confuse love and lust, wouldn’t an easy measure of healthy relationship be helpful for our sons and daughters?
I have an idea.
Allow me to introduce a list of simple questions for our precious young men and women to ask themselves as they navigate friendship turned to romantic interest, as is the best order of things. What if our measure of potential strength of relationship asked:
Where have I seen him show patience with me?
What does his kindness to me look like?
Does every moment seem to be about her?
How jealous does he get, about me or other people?
How often does she demand her own way?
What does his anger look like and how often have I seen it? Does she remind me of my weaknesses or failures? Is he happy to participate in actions we both know bring hurt or regret to us or to others?
What are the simple truths she lives by, and do I celebrate and align with those too? Where has he believed the best for me?
For those of you still reading, the passage may be familiar, though often reserved for weddings. What if we made 1 Corinthians 13 a practical conversation with our kids about the way of love way before the wedding?
Help your kids know how to recognize, and how to build healthy lasting relationships. The compass on my wall is also a reminder that we are all invited, at any time to choose a new direction when we feel stuck. Always remind your kids that wrong choices can be replaced by new measures. The ancient paths have made space for redirection too, but it often requires our patience and loving assurance as parents. Learn to use simple truth from God’s Word to encourage healthy habits of meaningful conversation.
Director of Church Engagement