We’ve been talking about the tragedy of insensitivity in relationships. Parental sensitivity rates desperately low these days. It’s part of the fall-out of our rapid pace. Solomon tells us that our children “make themselves known” by their deeds, their actions. He then reminds us that we have ears and eyes that ought to hear and see (Proverbs 20:11–12). But again, it takes time to do that. And again, we’re “too busy.”
Let’s think that over. A basic task you accepted when you became a parent was the building of self-esteem and confidence into your offspring. Without coming out and saying it, they look to you to help them know how to believe in themselves, feel worthwhile, valuable, secure in a threatening world. In dozens of ways they drop hints that ask for help. The sensitive parent spots the hint, deciphers the code, and wisely brings reinforcement.
In his fine book Hide or Seek, Dr. James Dobson lists the five most common barriers that cause our children to doubt their worth—even when they are deeply loved. The first barrier on the list is “parental insensitivity.” Our challenge is to counteract the world’s value system, which requires of our little ones either high intelligence or physical attractiveness. It’s impossible to shut out this value system entirely, but we must keep things in proper perspective—especially if our kiddos are neither smart nor beauties! Failure to do so can easily result in struggles with inferiority.
The key, I repeat, is sensitivity—tuning into the thoughts and feelings of our kids, listening to the clues they give us, and reacting appropriately. The sensitive heart rubs its fingers along the edges, feeling for the deep cracks . . . the snags . . . taking the time to hear . . . to care . . . to give . . . to share.
It’s worth clearing your schedule, I promise.
Excerpt taken from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, copyright © 1985, 1988, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. For additional information and resources visit us at www.insight.org.