I have had the blessing of having our twin grandsons – aged 4 – the past few days at our house. I got some Lincoln Logs down from the attic yesterday and we have been building cabins for each of the boys and for various Little People.
I like to build. I like to have all the pieces fit and the roof stay on even when “people” are going in and out. I also like the various shades of these old Lincoln Logs to match.
I know, that is way over the top! The boys could care less about the log color – but I did find out they care about the roof color!
We used all the longer log sections and ended up with four buildings and a “stable” for the horses. There were bunches of singlets left. You know – those log pieces with just one slot. These are important for building windows and doors, but our Lincoln Logs are parts of three yard sale sets and there are LOTS of singlets.
One of the boys tried to build these little logs into towers – but the most he could stack that would stay up independently were three. There was not enough of a foundation to hold any more logs.
Relationships are like building with Lincoln Logs. You need a good foundation to have a secure structure – a structure that will withstand the pressure of use.
The time to start building the secure foundation in a relationship begins with the birth of a child.
Some parents and grandparents think that they will have plenty of time to build that relationship when the child is older and ready to;
- really communicate
- spend time doing the things the adult enjoys
- is able to take care of their own physical needs
in other words – ceases being a child!
That will be TOO LATE.
Children will build the foundation of meaningful relationships with others if the parents don’t take the time to do so. I have heard many adults lament the fact that their children or grandchildren never want to spend time with them as teenagers or young adults.
Did those adults spend time building the foundation of a good relationship early on when the child was young?
Children will go through times of rebellion.
It is natural for children to pull away from the adults in their lives as they grow older. Yet if there is a strong foundation – a bridge of respect will allow the child and the parent or grandparent to bear the weight of that challenge to the relationship.
I heard this Scripture shared yesterday as a key to building respectful relationships with our children.
1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (NIV)
10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Those three words from verse 12 hold a key to building a secure foundation in our relationships with our children and grandchildren.
- and urging them to live lives worthy of God
Notice it does not say –
- listing the child’s mistakes
May we all take the time and effort needed – with God’s grace – to build those strong foundations based on the LOVE and GRACE that our Heavenly Father has so lavishly shared with us!