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Giving a Strong Emotional Legacy


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Philippians 4:6-7

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”


People from all walks of life struggle to overcome negative emotional legacies that hinder their ability to cope with the inevitable challenges of life. Sadly, a solid emotional legacy seems to have become the exception rather than the norm. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether or not you received a strong emotional legacy, you can still give one.

For those who have spent their entire lives trying to escape the past, it is difficult to comprehend the strength and stability that a positive emotional legacy can have upon future generations. If thoughts of your childhood bring fear rather than fondness, imagine what it would be like for family memories to warm your heart rather than tighten your stomach. Now imagine yourself giving such feelings to your children. You can, and the first step is to understand what an emotional legacy should be and can be.

A strong emotional legacy is an enduring sense of security and stability that is nurtured in an environment of safety and love.

 

First, an emotional legacy is nurtured by parents. Nurturing takes time and care. Much like building a home out of brick on a solid foundation so that it can withstand the storms of life, it takes a lot of time and consistency to give your child a sense of emotional wholeness. Creating and maintaining an environment that surrounds a child’s fragile spirit with the nourishment required for healthy growth gives them security and emotional stability.

Second, an emotional legacy endures. It is not quickly forgotten and will last throughout his or her adult years. When a child reaches maturity, the end of their childhood experiences become the beginning of their emotional legacy that continues throughout life.

Third, a healthy emotional legacy gives security and stability when cultivated in an environment of love and safety. The environment and tone of family life directly influence the outcome of our emotional selves. An atmosphere of love nourishes our emotional stability, thus giving us the capacity to cope with failure and pain and the confidence to face a harsh and often cruel world.

Clearly, a strong emotional legacy offers a stabilizing influence for our children; it:

    •   Provides a safe environment in which deep emotional roots can grow.
    •   Fosters confidence through stability.
    •   Conveys a tone of trusting support.
    •   Nurtures a strong sense of positive identity.
    •   Offers a “resting place” for the soul by creating a calm, loving atmosphere.
    •   Demonstrates unconditional love.

(An excerpt from Pastor Jack & Lisa Hibbs’ book Turnaround at Home)

Pastor Jack

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