Are you struggling with a child? Fighting? Every communication is just another botched attempt at reaching their heart or accurately portraying your love? Are they rolling their eyes when they see you coming, stiffening their stance– while in your heart you’re screaming, “Listen to me! I LOVE YOU!”
When every word you say seems to fail you, when every utterance becomes an argument…Keep trying. Don’t give up. But maybe also give this method a try…
Write letters. Notes. Anything, even if it’s just a drawing. Buy a pack of 100 blank cards and envelopes and write something every day. Stick it in the same place or try mixing it up and making it fun for them to find. Some notes can be as short as “Your hair looked pretty last night,” or as heartfelt and full of wisdom as you can muster. Share verses. Share personal stories. Put in a funny joke every now and then. Sneak in a piece of juicy fruit gum. Some can be as simple as “I love you” and some can be as vulnerable as a prayer. But write.
Seal each note with a prayer to the One who has the power to change the heart of your child…and bring wisdom, strength and understanding into your heart as well.
Over time, where your verbal exchanges may be failing or misconstrued and misunderstood, your written record with dozens of encouraging and heartfelt notes can only become a pathway to peace. They will be a legacy of love. A daily reminder to your child that where your words may fail, your love never does.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
I can’t tell you how many parents I have implored to use this method. They call after a week or a month and tell me it has been to no avail. Does it make you feel any better to know that I have been writing one of my own children for several months? Why do I know this method is powerful? Why am I convinced it will work?
Because I know us as parents. We love these children so fiercely that our mouths and our passion can get in the way of everything we are trying to do. When we stop to write, we measure our words more carefully. And while the spoken word has power, the written words are never tossed away. They save those letters. That child may be mad as heck at you, but they WILL read the note…even if it is just to chew the gum.
So don’t grow weary as a parent…even though you may be exhausted by the fight. You will reap a harvest if you don’t give up. Just don’t give up! Keep fighting in faith trusting God to give you the words to write, and your teen the heart to hear. There have been many times as a parent that I have thought to myself that the pinnacle of faith is being assured of what we do not yet see in our children, even though we have been working at it, teaching it, preaching it and living it with them for so long. Continue in your faith, speaking those things on, over and for your child as you fight in the heavenlies with prayer.
When I was 33 years old, I received a birthday card from my father-in-law. It was the only written words I had ever been given by any father figure in my life. My hands shook as I read a simple encouraging note from him scribbled at the bottom of a Hallmark card and I cried while my family looked on confused. Even as an adult, words written from a parenting figure in my life had a profound and lasting effect. Imagine that power exponentially impacting the life of your child as you just continue to chase them with love and letters throughout their struggle.
If your child is overwhelmed with an issue, a heartbreak, or even hard-heartedness and belligerently trying to forge their way into a painful path, you can still daily pour into them with a written note. Don’t let their walls keep you from reaching into their world. This little effort on your behalf may very well be the pick axe that helps you tear down those defenses one brick, one letter, one day at a time.