The What and Who of Meandering About

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Narrative - Three Things

In the quest to provide a new narrative for our children, I believe there are three things we can constantly speak into their lives no matter where we find ourselves or what our family circumstance might be. These three things may appear rather simple on the surface. However, they can prove to be a lifeline to a young person who is struggling with their personhood and the negative narratives that play over and over in their ears and mind.

1. "I believe in you." This is not only a statement of confidence in the person who is standing in front of you, it is also a statement about who that person is becoming. Saying this is not saying anything about someone's behavior or the quality of their choices. "I believe in you" can be spoken regardless of the circumstance. This is a statement about personhood. "I believe in the who you are." It is also a call for the one to whom you are speaking to accept the challenge to live into the person you see them to be.

2. "I trust you." At times, this is a more difficult phrase to speak. This is especially true when trust has been broken or a violation has taken place. However, if we can once again speak more into personhood rather than actions, our trust means more than "I trust that you will make the right choice." In this instance, "I trust you" is about trusting someone with their own being. Again, this is not about the approval or disapproval of behavior. We all must face and handle negative behavior and poor choices as each circumstance merits. The "I trust you" statement is an in spite of statement. Young people need to hear that they are trusted with their own personhood. Ultimately, they are responsible for the person they are going to become. The "I trust you" statement is telling a young person that you believe that they can indeed be trusted with the becoming.

3. "I love you." We all need to be reminded that we are loved no matter what. In my experience working with students, I can tell you that there are times when nearly every young person wonders if they are indeed worthy of love. It is critical that we remind the young people in our lives that they are indeed loved. They need to know that the love of which we speak is not tied to performance or ability. The love of which we are speaking is a covenental love - a love that is committed to the person and our relationship with them. Young people need to know that a love like this is not going anywhere. Their bad choices, the consequences of those choices, their faults and foibles will not change the fact that they are loved.

These three things can be formative and transformative in the lives of the young people with whom we interact. Remind the young people in your life of these three things as often as you can. In so doing, these three things can become a part of the new narrative that plays over and over in the ears and minds of our children.

Three things will always be true...
I believe in you
I trust you.
I love you.

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