Connect with and not criticize children is a simple phrase but how should we understand and see it under God?
My parents were deeply hurt people and did an amazing thing. They raised me and did not criticize me at all. Amazing for two hurt people. Yet, at age 12, I felt that I lived in darkness. Yes, they had nothing to deeply connect with me. Thus, though accepted and never criticized, I was lost. It led me to God who could give me both at the cross though much healing was and is needed from my past. Let’s see Jesus heart toward us.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.
Then in 2 Corinthians 6:13.
As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.
Yes, to connect is to open wide our hearts. It means to see people around us with compassion and sympathy. It further means accepting and seeing them well at their point of need. As I mentioned here, children are a main point while all of us need.
Connect With and Not Criticize Children Takes a Lot
In each stage of development, children need our support and especially through emotional connection with both parents. This is what gives children the emotional strength to be all they can be. This of course is God’s plan for each of us.
We will all make mistakes and hurt our children with our attitude and words. Be vulnerable with your kids and confess your overreach when needed.
Now, what our children need, our other family members and friends need as well. Often their need is great as they were not raised with parents who saw them and met them at their point of need. Thus, in adulthood, we carry needs that were never met when we were young. Adults can have puzzling gaps and needs as we do not know their background. Keep digging. To love is to seek to know someone deeper, and God calls us to love in the deepest way.
Correction of friends must happen, but needs to happen in love and understanding. When we correct when we do not know people well enough, we often miss the mark and alienate them.