Oops, I see that I skipped 29 ways to affirm your children. Let me make it succinct: Affirm, affirm, affirm your kids. Affirm them for their gifts. Affirm them for their personalities. Affirm them for their spiritual interest and maturity. The essence of Christian child-training is celebrating our children for who they are while at the same time spurring them on to greater development and maturity.
Now parents sometimes wonder, “Will Junior take advantage of all this affirmation?” In my mind, it works a lot like grace. Legalists worry that too much emphasis on grace in our practice and teaching will somehow lead believers to take advantage of God’s gift. But I see it as just the opposite.
The more I know and experience of God’s grace, the more I desire a close relationship with Him. I do not want to sin more. I want to sin less, because I am in a love relationship with my Father and I do not want to disappoint him. In a healthy believer, you could say that grace – and the relationship that comes with it – is self correcting.
Affirmation is very similar. Children run to where they are affirmed. Your affirmation builds a relationship with your child that, generally speaking, they will not want to break or disappoint.
Now if this does not describe your own childhood and affirmation does not come natural to you, it will take some intentional effort. But we have something to help. We have previously published 29 ways to affirm your children and have collected these posts in this archive. This list is extensive, but is not designed to weigh you down with more to do. They are ideas to incorporate into your every day family life. And I know you can do it!