Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Welcomed. Precious. Smiled upon. Beautiful. Celebrated. …

A week ago, it was my joy to share with the faculty of Train Up A Child Preschool and Kindergarten of Abiding Savior Church in Sioux Falls, SD. Like many other teachers I’m privileged to meet and influence, they were teachable, joyful, and unified.

I was assigned three topics on Friday and two more for Saturday, when parents and others from the community joined us. Each topic was important and related to raising and teaching children according to God’s best principles.

A highlight for me was the first topic on Friday. We read and discussed passages from God’s Word related to the teaching principles of Jesus Christ. We began with passages where Jesus interacts with children. (Check out Matthew 18:1-6,10; Matthew 21:15-16; Mark 10:13-16 for background on this if you would like.)

Jesus’ behaviors were observable so we discussed them with a particular goal in mind. I wanted the teachers to predict how Jesus felt about the children and what beliefs He had about children. Feelings and beliefs caused His behaviors. The same thing is true about you and me. Our feelings and beliefs are observable. Not invisible. Not unknown.

Our behaviors are always caused by how we feel and what we believe. Beliefs show up. They can’t be hidden. That’s why it’s important to identify them.

Our beliefs and feelings cause more than our behavior. Our behavior influences how children feel and what they believe. Their feelings and beliefs cause their behavior. Our feelings, beliefs, and behavior cause their behavior. Oh, yes!

We worked backwards.

I asked the teachers what feelings they wanted their children to have while at school. We talked about beliefs that could be birthed in those feelings and behaviors that would result. From there, we drew conclusions about what the teachers would need to feel toward and believe about their children in order for those feelings, beliefs, and behaviors to become reality. It was a profitable discussion.

Get it? Maybe someone can draw a flowchart to show the relationships I’m including here. 🙂

So, what feelings did the teachers list? Here they are. Love, love, love this!

Empowered, called, not judged, proud, valuable, joyful, happiest, important, smart, big and powerful, carefree, open, loved, safe, protected, fun, silly, accepted, energetic, unique, beautiful, happy, wanted, special, wise, comforted, precious, welcomed, excited, celebrated, calm, trusting, willing, peaceful, hopeful, helpful, blessed, encouraged, created in His image, honored, free to express praise, cherished, kind, worthy, believed in, chosen, set apart, fulfilled, delivered, free, forgiven, emboldened, smiled on, appealing, real, invited, won over, fulfilled., inspired to praise, touched.

Imagine if children in your life felt these ways?! Picture the beliefs and behaviors that would result. They’d be secure, know their identity, have healthy belonging, believe in their purpose, and be able to develop competence. If you want this to be children’s reality, what beliefs must you have about them that will influence your feelings and behaviors accordingly?

Children’s feelings, beliefs, and behaviors start with us. Let’s own this responsibility.

Note: The featured picture at the top of this post is from the event mentioned. I had a wonderful time working with this incredible team.