Faith and persistence to love and teach together produces a power that changes the world around us.
00:00 How long does it take a family to change?
01:00 How an unhappy family changed.
02:27 Pursuing a goal.
03:19 Living in chaos and manipulation.
04:25 Teaching about rules and responsibilities wasn’t easy.
05:14 Mom persisted in loving and teaching.
06:41 The miracle after a summer of loving and teaching.
How long does it take a family to change?
It’s not uncommon for people to ask me how long it takes for a family to change the habits of lifetimes of experience. The answer varies from family to family, of course, but following is a fairly typical story.
When I met two parents—we’ll call them Mom and Dad—at the beginning of the summer, they were miserable. Individually their lives were simply not fulfilling, although they couldn’t put a finger on specifically what was wrong. Their marriage was like two binary stars, orbiting each other, never touching, but destined someday to be pulled together by their mutually massive gravity until one day they exploded with spectacular energy and destruction.
What to do? No surprise here: love and teach. First love and teach the parents how to become happy human beings, then to be a couple, then how to loveandteach their children. They pursued that goal. They were loved and taught, and—the greatest miracle—they chose to listen and to implement what they learned.
Living in Chaos
Oh, it was rough at first. For years the family had lived in chaos, with each person manipulating all the others in a variety of ways. The kids learned that they could do anything they wanted if only they chose the right manipulations, so they were entitled, irresponsible, and unloving.
Teaching them that life has rules and consequences was no easy task, but Mom especially realized that if she didn’t begin loving and teaching them, the kids would suffer needless and disastrous consequences for the rest of their lives.
Persisted in Loving and Teaching
Mom learned what it meant to love her children: looking, touching, no anger, all the usual things. It takes real dedication to break the habits of a lifetime, but she persisted.
Then she learned to teach them. First she taught them how to be happy—a natural result of feeling loved, being loving, and being responsible.
Then she taught them how to avoid the unloving behaviors that destroy happiness, and consistently she required them to discuss their feelings and behaviors when they walked off the path that led toward being happy.
A Love and Teach Miracle
The first day of school arrived. After a summer of instruction and practice, all the kids got up by themselves—and on time.
Unbelievable, I thought. Hallelujah!!! The angels sing.
Excitedly, the words poured from Mom’s lips. “The directions from last night were: be in the car by 7:25, and we will drive off at 7:30. But, you know, we actually drove off at 7:26, because everybody was in the car early.”
“I'm speechless,” I said.
“In all the years of our being a family, this has never happened before, where everybody was ready to go early or on time. Not once. They were all pretty impressed with themselves. And they agreed that it was because of their ‘new program’.” That’s the program you’re watching now with the Parenting Training, and this follow-up video.
People really WANT to be responsible and cooperative and happy, but if they’re not taught how to do that, they fall back on selfish manipulations that lead to anger and demands and more.
So we love and teach—over and over—because that’s simply what it takes.
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