Posted in Faith

Are You A Man/Woman After God’s Heart?

Israel had many kings, but no King was a famous as it’s second King, David. Before he was a king, David was a shepherd boy tending his father’s sheep. He was the youngest of his father’s sons.

In 1 Samuel 16, we find the story of Samuel’s journey to anoint the next King of Israel. He passes over Jesse’s first two sons believing that God would choose them as king. But it is here that God reminds him that God does not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart of a man (1 Sam 16:7).

I can imagine that he was probably picked on quite a bit with 7 older brothers in the house. But it was this little brother that was anointed by the great prophet Samuel to become the next King of Israel.

In Acts 13:22, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do. (NIV)”

David -A Man After God’s Heart

Many of you may already know the story of David, if you don’t I encourage you to read it. David was a great hero and ruler of Israel. He was also an adulterer, murderer, and he failed to discipline his children.

Yet, he was still considered a man after God’s heart. Why? This has always been a question the puzzled me. After all, how could someone who had committed such terrible sins still be considered a man after God’s heart?

In my mind I couldn’t reconcile the sins that David committed with the heart of God. If you take after someone your just like them, you copy them, you walk like them, you talk like them. Isn’t that what it means to take after someone?

It wasn’t until a yesterday while I was listening to a preacher talk about David that I understood what this scripture was saying.

It wasn’t that David’s heart was like God’s, but that David was chasing after the heart of God. In spite of Davids shortcomings David always wanted to please God.

Is that our main goal as Christians to please God or to please men?

Even when David sinned and was confronted by the prophet he confessed and repented (2 Sam 12:1-14). He didn’t harden his heart, like some of us would have done.

When David challenged Goliath it wasn’t for fame, glory, or the hand of Saul’s daughter. He was indignant that such a man would challenge God’s people and make a mockery of His God (1 Sam:17).

When is the last time you’ve been indignant when the world makes a mockery of the things of God? Did you stand up for it or just keep silent?

When the ark of the covenant was returned to Israel King David danced with all of his might before the Lord. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him because he was dancing for God (2 Sam 6).

When God blesses us, do we give him the glory and tell others about what he’s done for us?

Unlike his predecessor Saul, David was obedient to God. The last part of Acts 13:22 says,” … he will do everything I want him to.”

Are we obedient to the holy spirit when he tells us to buy the person in front of us groceries or to give more in the offering this week?

How Do We Become Men/Women After God’s Own Heart

Being a man or woman after God’s own heart does not mean that we are perfect and it does not mean that we will be without sin. It does mean that:

  1. We need to have a relationship with God.
  2. We need to focus on pleasing God.
  3. We should be quick to repent and turn from our wicked ways.
  4. We need to stand up for the things of God, even if it means we have to stand alone.
  5. We need to to be obedient and committed to the teachings of Christ.

All of these things can be accomplished by reading Gods word and developing a personal relationship with Christ our Redeemer. David had a personal relationship with God. He trusted God in spite of the difficulties and the challenges he faced before and after he became King.

Because of Jesus, we are able to develop a relationship with God, without the sacrifice of animals, like David did. So, let us strive to be men and woman after God’s heart.

Remember that God looks at the heart of a person. Ask yourself today am I a man/woman after God’s heart?

If you have any other tips or insights please feel free to share them in the comments section.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Family, parenting

What Not To Do When Your Child Says They’re Ugly

rear view of a boy sitting on grassland
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You’re beautiful, my sister is beautiful, my brother is handsome, and I’m ugly…No, parent wants to hear their child utter such words. But this beautiful morning my 7-year-old son did.

I was taken aback by his statement. Why would he say such a thing? Who had told him he was ugly?

As a mom, my brain went on high alert.

How do I fix this? How do I convince him that he is not ugly?! Better yet, what child do I need to yell at for saying such a thing to my child?!

So I asked him,” Why do you think you’re ugly?”.

“Well mom my teeth are crooked and my face looks weird”, he said.

“Your face isn’t weird. You’ve got two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and two ears. And everybody’s teeth are crooked at this age. ” I replied.

It’s easy, for an adult, to tell a child not to worry about what other people think. Even though most adults are constantly worried about the same thing.

Sadly, we live in a world that constantly puts pressure on adults and children to be like someone else.

Yes, we are becoming more accepting of different body types, and skin tones, but at the same time still promoting an ideal of physical perfection.

When was the last time you’ve seen a model with acne or movie star with crooked teeth? (That wasn’t part of their character).

Perfect skin. Perfect hair. Everyone needs to have a boyfriend/girlfriend or some unrequited love.

Whether we realize it or not, our children feel the pressure to conform just as much as we do.

In a previous conversation my son told me he didn’t want to be alone.

He needed friends and a girlfriend.

I’m thinking to myself,” Where is he getting these ideas?”

I for one am not a fan of kids having boyfriends/girlfriends in elementary school.

Crushes, sure. But being in a committed relationship at 7 or 8. No, thank you. Let’s just be kids and have innocent fun.

But at the age of 7, he is already wrestling with the ideas of loneliness and what the ideal boy looks like.

And as far as he’s concerned it doesn’t look like him.

I don’t even remember being concerned with those things at that age. I don’t even think I started to really like boys until I was 10/11.

As you can see I jumped head first into this conversation. I will admit that there are plenty of things I should have done differently.

Here are my top 5 tips on what NOT to do when your child says they’re ugly or expresses any other kind of negative self talk for that matter:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Instantly Correct Their Negative Self-Talk

I think this is probably the hardest part for parents. Nobody, wants to hear their child talk negatively about themselves. Our first instinct is to jump in and reassure them that their negative perceptions are wrong.

However, this is the wrong way to solve this problem. Instantly, correcting their negative self talk sends a message to your child that how they feel is wrong and their perceptions of themselves (whether you believe it’s true or not) are not valid.

2. Take Over the Conversation

The instant my son shared his feelings with me, I began to take over the conversation. Telling him what he was and what he wasn’t. Providing justification why my opinion was right and he was wrong.

This is hard to do, but as parents sometimes we just need to keep our mouth shut. Instead of trying to talk, we should focus more on trying to listen.

Ask your child open ended questions about why they feel or think that way. Let them do the talking for a change.

3. Downplay Their Feelings

As grown up’s we know that children can and do overreact to things. However, that is not a valid reason to brush off or downplay what they are feeling.

In a time where more kids are committing suicide because of bullying and feeling isolated, we as parent’s can’t ignore out children’s emotions.

Children usually don’t come to their parents or adults about bullying and other harmful situations because they think that we will just brush them off or tell them to toughen up.

I know I have been guilty of this with my son, but I’m trying to do better.

4. Refuse To Share Your Own Stories

When your kids are small they believe that their parents are superheroes and most teenagers believe that their parents have never struggled with anything.

After you’ve listened and validated your child’s feelings, then it’s time to share your own stories. Our kids need to know that grown up’s struggle with or have struggled with the same issues that they face.

Low self-esteem was something I struggled with as a child and even as an adult I still struggle with it sometimes.

As I grew older I became more accepting of who I was and my body image. I could have shared my story with him, but I didn’t. I should have.

5. Forget To Lift Them Up

Now is the time to tell your child what you think of them and how you feel about them. Remind them of how great and awesome you think they are.

If you are a Christian provide your child with Biblically based affirmations.

My son decided to give his life to Christ when he was about 5.

As Christians, our self-worth and our self-esteem should be based on Christ not on the world’s standards. 

…I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalms 139:14

I reminded my son, of Psalms 139:14,”… I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”.

God has made each and every one of us unique. We are like a piece of art made by the almighty creator.

Some people will think it’s beautiful and some just won’t get it. But to God, we are beautiful. We are his masterpiece. The work of his hands.

Final Thoughts

As a parent, it’s hard to see your child struggling with these issues, but the best thing we can do is be there for our children.

Oh, and don’t forget to give them a big hug and a kiss ( if they’ll let you).

I would love to hear what other parents have to say about this issue. I have 3 more kids that I’m sure I’ll have to go through this with. So any advice is welcome.

If you can think of more tips or things that I could have done differently. Please share them in the comments below.

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Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Family

What Do I Call You?

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ok, so the other day my husband asked me something really weird. He asked me what I wanted to be called. We’ve been married for 11 years you would think by now he would have this figured out.(Ummm honey, baby, love of my life any of those names are fine.)

I guess he could tell by my puzzled expression that I had no idea what he was talking about. I needed a little clarification.  So he proceeded to explain himself.

What do you want me to tell people you do? Before I could tell people you were a high school science teacher. Now, what do I tell them? What do you want me to call you? A stay at home mom?

I didn’t know if I should have been offended, but I got what he meant. He had always been proud of the fact that I was a teacher and he didn’t have an issue with me staying at home with the kids.  A lot of people just don’t understand why a woman with a stable career would choose to stay home.

When you tell people you’re a stay at home mom (SAHM) you usually get the,” Oh I could never do that.” or “Oh, really? Good for you.” response. Even from family and friends. It’s always awkward and insincere. Sometimes it’s even accompanied by a look of superiority. Like you are somehow intellectually inferior because you don’t work.

If I’ve ever done that to SAHM when I worked I sincerely apologize. Being a SAHM is no easy task and deserves a level of respect that so often they are not given. Especially by other women.

We work just as hard as any other woman out there. We may not sit behind a fancy desk or broker million-dollar transactions, but taking care of little human beings all day(and keeping them alive) is no easy feat.

Have you ever tried to keep track of two toddlers and an infant in a public place on your own? Believe me, your sanity will be tested.

So what should my husband call me? How about a Child Survival Expert or a Household Management Engineer? (Try putting that on a resume, lol) In the end, I just told him to call me a stay at home mom. I’m not ashamed of my new vocation because I know that it’s one of the toughest jobs out there and not everyone can be a Professional Child Wrangler!

If you could create a job title for being a SAHM what would you call yourself? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Until next time,

The Crafty Afro