Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#41 - Praise & Validation

Good morning! Lovin my morning. God is so good & what a blessing to fill a day with thankfulness!!! I am SOOOO thankful to be able to stay home and be a mom! I am so thankful to be able to do what I love every day! To be a mom, get in the Word without a "watch" tied to my time, to be a wife and make Tyler lunch... to go see my boy smile when we go in his room in the morning. BLESSED!! Thank you LORD!!! I'm SOOOO thankful! I'm thankful to be able to pursue my passion of writing, something I have always loved and am now able to do it. What are you thankful for? In the amplified version, Proverbs 27:22 ends with this, for a man is judged by what he praises and of what he boasts. Well, I PRAISE THE LORD for LIFE! I PRAISE THE LORD for the ability to breathe and the ability to PRAISE! I BOAST at how good my God is! I BOAST that HE is JEHOVAH JIRAH, HE is the Lord my Provider - not our business, not Tyler's job, not my books, but GOD IS OUR JEHOVAH JIRAH! I BOAST in that! He has all the money in the WORLD! He is a wealthy Dad and provides all my needs according to HIS riches, which are abundant! I BOAST that my God is JEHOVAH RAPHA! He is GOD MY HEALER! He has healed me of everything. My knee is healed in Jesus Name because of my JEHOVAH RAPHA! I walk in divine health! Tyler Jr walks in divine health! He doesn't need to be healed, because he doesn't get sick! What's better than being "healed"?? Never getting sick or hurt to begin with!!! DIVINE HEALTH! That is how we live! We walk in divine health! I boast in my Father for allowing us to do that! What a great day to PRAISE THE LORD! 

Well, let's get into some Word this morning! :) 
Proverbs 27:2 - Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.
Proverbs 31:31 - Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city].
So... our verse in Proverbs 27 lines RIGHT up with what I have been reading in the book I'm about to finish, Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. It is most often a "guy" book, but I picked it up for several reasons. A friend of mine said it was one of her top 3 favorite books (she's the one who read between 50-75 books last year)... also, I know how much my husband liked it, and I have a boy now! I have a little guy who will grow up to be a little boy who will grow up to be a Godly Warrior for Christ. What a better way to learn about a boy, than to read about how God designed you MEN! To learn how you think! It has been very insightful! 

It reminds me of a few stories that relate to our verse for today. One which came from Wild at Heart. John tells of a time which he went rock climbing with his sons. His son, Sam, got to a rock and was unable to get over a ridge, he hung there and the longer he hung, the more scared he became. Then, the tears began to come. As John assured his boy, he said, he knew of a rock climb that may be more fun, they could go try that one instead. Sam said, "No, I want to do this one." As his dad coached him through some of the rough spots, verbally helping him to get to the top, as he was close to the top, his dad said something that would ring in his ears, "Way to go Sam. You're a wild man." The book goes on to talk about how boys need praise from their fathers. Boys need to hear validation from their dad. Especially as they are in their pivotal years, they need to hear that "they have what it takes," "they can be a man." Later, Sam came up to his dad and asked, "Dad, did you really think I was a wild man up there?" Sam came back looking for that validation from his dad, looking for that assurance, looking to hear that he had what it takes, looking for praise and assurance as he was being ushered into the years of change where he would go from boy to man. 

I remember Tyler telling me of being a boy, only in elementary school and playing in a football game. As maybe an 8 or 9 year old, he jumped into the truck with his dad after finishing his game, happy as a clam because they had a great victory, and Tyler had a touchdown. As he jumped in, he asked his dad, "Dad, did you see me? Did you see me run that touchdown? Dad, what did you think?" enthusiasm was bursting as little Tyler asked the question of his daddy. Looking for praise, looking for validation. His dad responded, "Son, I don't want to ever hear you say that again. We do not talk like that because it sounds like you are bragging and we do not brag." They road the remainder of the drive back home in silence. Tyler's balloon deflated. His face sullen. The one and only person he wanted to please, his dad, deflected his excitement and the joy of victory was now meaningless. 

I think both of these stories tell a lot about Proverbs 27:2. Let another praise you and not your own mouth. Someone else, and not your own lips. In the first story, the dad took the opportunity to praise his son when he saw he had a great opportunity. He saw a chance to build his son up, to encourage, to speak words into his life that would lift his self-image, that would help him to look at himself in the mirror in a positive light. He saw the opportunity to praise and he took the opportunity to praise. He is building up a man, not a girl, but a man. Helping him to see that he can do it, he has what it takes to "conquer the mountain." Not just the mountain that they were actually climbing, but any mountain. He was instilling a "you can do it" mentality in his boy. In the second story, Tyler was deflated. :( Though his dad taught him something very valid and important, something that even goes along with Proverbs 27:2. Let another praise you and not your own mouth. He was teaching Tyler the importance of not being boastful. Something that does indeed need to be taught. Although, he missed a valuable opportunity to praise him, to build him up, to let him know he is capable of anything. Now, if you know Tyler's dad, he is a big, grown teddy bear! He is an amazing man of God, a man that loves the Lord passionately, a man that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He is so full of love, all 6 feet 5 inches of him! He makes Tyler look little. Though this moment was a very memorable one for Tyler in the sense that he didn't receive the praise & validation he was craving, his dad did pour many good things into him throughout his childhood. Tyler's parents poured many good things into all the kids! One stat that is pretty astounding, how often do you hear of 3 kids, popular, attractive, fun, athletic ... 3 kids from the same family waiting until their wedding day to have "relations" for the first time!? That is a statistic that is very rare in this day and time. So, Tyler's parents poured a lot of good stuff into them as they grew up. 

Our Proverbs 31 friend... check her out... everyone enjoys praise, enjoys being elevated and encouraged. Well.... look at our Proverbs 31 friend, she is praised at the city gates. At the entrance of the city, people praise her. I can see it now... as you are driving into the city... there it is a billboard of our Proverbs 31 friend... her new invention, her new product that she has made, her philanthropic services she has created to help the needy. There at the city gates her "works" go before her and she is praised. But lets not forget a VERY valuable lesson.... one of the most common ones we have probably all heard; sowing and reaping. If you look up several verses in Proverbs 31, you can see that SHE has sown! Proverbs 31:18 - her lamp does not go out at night of trouble, sorrow, doubt, distrust - she is helping people at all hours of the night. Proverbs 31:20 - she opens her hands to the needy, she reaches out her FILLED hands to the needy (whether in body, mind or spirit). Proverbs 31:26 - on her tongue is the law of kindness. 

Our Proverbs 31 friend receives praise from others, but look what she has done first! SHE GIVES PRAISE! Just like if you sow corn, you reap corn. She has sown praise, and now she is reaping praise! 

Today, find someone you can praise. Is it your child? Your spouse? Praise them. Notice the good things they are doing. Is it your son? He needs validation, especially as he is young, and even as he gets older. Something a boy desires more than anything is to know that his dad is proud of him. To know that his dad loves him, but most importantly to know his dad respects him for what he is doing. Sons of all ages crave this validation. And, I believe daughters do too. They want to hear that they are "doing good", "making a difference." Find someone to praise today. The person at the drive-through window. You may be the first person to praise them ALL month! They may not get it from parents, co-workers, or anyone. Your praise may keep them going. Tell them they are doing a great job. Tell them you appreciate them. Or even you like their hair or smile. Find something to praise!

Praise & Validation. This is one way to grow up confident, godly men and women of Christ. 

 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.
Ephesians 4:29

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