God gave us the Bible for our instruction manual for life. Below are some scriptures and practical application we are using to help our sons overcome.
For those who may have a child that has been given a label. Falls into patterns of communication and relational barriers similar to Aspergers, high functioning autism, neurological struggles. A label isn’t always necessary. We see our children’s struggles. We as Believers, know the help for all of our struggles is Jesus. Through His Word, and loving, repetitive, practical applications, we can watch and see Jesus move mountains in each and every intricate part of their lives.
I have a son who had a stroke at birth. He is 15. I have had a few people comment on his confidence. In particular his confidence in communicating and relating in relationship. People who have seen him transform in just this past year in this area. I have had that comment come to me again and again. “I am amazed. Whatever you have done, you have done well”.
I do not share this to brag. Boast. Or toot my own horn. Quite honestly, this whole journey I have felt completely inadequate every step of the way in being his mother. Focusing on the ONE Who is adequate to meet all our needs. God called me to be a mother for our two sons. Both have needed help in these relational areas. In different ways. Home schooling. Walking and talking them through this life, God’s Word. Beauty.
I do share this to boast. Boast in the the Lord. Boast again in His perfect Holy Word. That He calls us to obey. Calls us to listen to. Calls us to use for everything that pertains to life and godliness.
Stroke, special needs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, struggles, challenges – there is nothing that His word cannot cut through in loving relationship with Jesus Christ and one another. Parent to child. Family. Sibling to sibling. Walking together.
With stroke has come many challenges. Communication and relating to others has been one very hard hurdle. Each hurdle has been overcome, in time, patiently, with the Bible and varying techniques to teach, instruct, train in the way the way they should go.
Last Fall I set goals. Quite honestly, I forget half the time the actual specific goals I write down. I forget how it all came to be, that we stand here a year later with many people seeing, what has happened for our son. Once again.
As I prepare for goals for this Fall, I am blessed to find the written goals from LAST year. Now I remember what the LORD specifically showed me to do in this area that was still stuck, that I yearned for freedom in for my son!
The Lord gave me SCRIPTURES for each detail of communication and relationship. (I’m sure there are many more. But this is what we used for this season) We went through each piece. Showed by example. Role played with family, friends, people out and about. Practiced each and every way through living life.
We have to get to the heart of our child. For them to know, that though coming out of “their world” their “comfort zone” feels extremely uncomfortable, God’s grace is with them, and His will is the best thing for their lives. Though this is extra hard work, and most likely will always be, they will find it is worth it, to be walking God’s way.
COMMUNICATION/RELATIONSHIP- SCHOOLING ON THE ROCK 2016 – 2017
“I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.” 3 Jn. 14
God created us to speak to one another face to face. With friends. With family. With others. How special it is when we do a simple greeting and use their name. It makes it all the more personable and special. Different greetings for men and women. Different ways of greeting children, adults, strangers, friends, family. Greet mom when she wakes in the morning. Stop what you are doing, greet dad when he walks in the door from work. Greet the neighbor who walks by the way. Etc…
LISTEN – “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” James 1:19. Practice listening, and responding back in varying ways. With a nod. With an “I see”. An “oh…”. Showing you care. This can be done with younger children too. Celebrating with a small reward after they have listened for such and such amount of time (make attainable goals. Grace! Grace! This is hard for our kiddos!)
SPEAK – “I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge…” 2 Cor. 11:6. “…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say…” Matthew 10:19. We can walk confidently in the way God has created us, to speak. We may not always please men. That’s okay. We are here to speak and please the Lord. He will give us what we need to speak. Do your best. Trust God.
“The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” Exodus 4:11-12
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:6. God created us for conversation. Pay attention that we are kind in our conversations. That tone of voice can be VERY difficult for some. For my son, everything sounded like one tone for a long time. I had to gently instruct for LONG time to notice the tone. Brash, gruff was his natural way. Most likely it was the way to get it out when it was so hard. Extra work to collect one’s thoughts AND…. pay attention that the tone goes with the moment. God wants me to learn how to converse and communicate back to each person who comes my way.
ENCOURAGE – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thess. 5:11. God created us to use our speech to be an encouragement to others. To see outside of ourselves. Obey God’s word, and look for something good to say on another’s behalf. Again, this will require mom to be “there” to direct him and help him to see those opportunities. This will require patience for mom to not grow weary in doing good. This will require mom to be abiding in Jesus. Praying without ceasing. On the spot, moment by moment. There are times I wondered if this was ever going to stick. It does! Just keep going.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Eph. 4:29
REJOICE! – “Rejoice with those who rejoice…” Romans 12:15. Rejoice when someone else shares or does something good. Pay attention to our tone of voice. Varying a bit higher tone for excitement. And so on. Our tones, communicate. Say words like “that is great”. “very cool”. “oh neat”.
WEEP – “…weep with those who weep” Romans 12:15. When someone shows and communicates they are hurting, sad, etc. Use a quieter, gentler tone of voice. Words like “I’m sorry.” “I’ll pray for you”. “that would be difficult”.
FELLOWSHIP – “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Phil. 2:1-3. Be excited for what others can do. Be humble. Pay attention to what others are into. What they get excited about. What is happening with them. Make what they have to say as really important.
TALK – “My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long…” Psalm 71:24. God created us to bring Him glory. As we speak to others. Listen to others. As we speak about the Lord and all He has done for us. We are doing exactly what God created us to do.
“He lifted me out of the pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand….. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”
From Psalm 40:2-5
God created us. He makes no mistakes. He knows everything about each of us. He is our help and strength. He is ready to perfect His plans for the lives of our children. He gave us His Holy Word to be the help that we need.
“… but I have put my hope in your word.”
Train our children… God’s Instruction Manual for LIFE!
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”