OH, Wow! This one is a “doozy!” Why is hearing the word “structure” causing us to “feel some kinda way?” Causing us to think something like; someone’s about to tell us how we should act. Or what we should or should not do.
No, what I’m about to share with you is what structure says you either will do or you won’t do. Either way, structure will have her way with you. You see, if you choose not to have structure in your life and your home, then she will grant you what you desire. And if you choose to have structure in your life and your home, then she will bless you with a less chaotic, some sort of order in your life. It’s our choice!
Structure- the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex. Or, construct or arrange according to a plan; give a pattern or organization to. Arrange, Organize, Order, Form. The meaning of structure I’d like to talk about today is the meaning of structure that deals with order. Order in our life, order in our homes, order in the world. Ways we can order our lives, simpler ways we can structure our lives to be a little less chaotic.
This is not where I thought I was going with the topic of structure at all, but here we go….
I believe many of us feel like we can’t have structure in our everyday life. And where I realize it’s not easy and we have busy, busy lives, there can still be order in our day-to-day living. Like most things in life, what is most important to us is what we tend to give our attention to. Is it more important that Jimmy has a new pair of designer jeans, or else he’s gonna “cut up” because he thinks everyone in the class will talk about him because he doesn’t have designer jeans? Or is it more important for Jimmy to know that having designer jeans doesn’t dictate who he is as a person? What matters to us the most?
What does that scenario have to do with order…. with structure?
You see, sometimes we will appease our children and give them the things in life that really don’t matter just to keep from having to deal with a possible temper tantrum, i.e., no order. Or rather to simply explain to our children and teach them the things in life that really do matter, like, the importance of not always getting your own way and instead learning how to have a thankful and grateful heart for everything we do have. The arranging of Life and having order is complex. And we have to figure out how to put the pieces together to help make our lives more favorable and less chaotic; ways to create order and structure.
Structure could look something like this because we as a family have a plan, i.e. structure of how we want our family to thrive. From the scenario above: if Jimmy had already been taught the true things that matter in life, like honesty, integrity, empathy for others, kindness, and so forth, he would not throw a fit about such things or behave in such a way because there is order and structure in his household. His parents have already taught him and instilled in him that what people think of him isn’t important, but what you think and believe about yourself is what we as a family care about and focus on. Society and what others deem you worthy of do not dictate who you are as a person.
I realize in the world we live in today, kids can be and, in fact, are cruel to one another, and I don’t take that lightly, not at all. But what I am saying is, in the long run, as Jimmy gets older, what’s going to make the real difference for him in life as an adult? How he sees himself or what others think of him?! What are we teaching our children? What messages are we sending them? To be true to themselves or be true to the world and its values? We have to decide what really matters to us. We need structure. What should really matter to Jimmy is that he comes from a stable and loving home where he is valued, and he recognizes he is loved, complete, and ok with being himself (whether he has designer jeans or not).
I guess the reason why this is so important to me today is that I feel some of us are raising our children with a misunderstanding of life and why we exist. We’re sending them the wrong messages. And it’s costing us a great deal! Kids today are getting killed over a pair of sneakers! They’re getting bullied for not having what others have! For not being like others and for not being what the world deems as “normal,” This just should not be! What I wear or what I don’t wear is not all that I am!
Structure: “Jimmy, today I went out shopping and bought you a new pair of jeans and I hope you like them?” Jimmy’s answer should be, “thanks mom, I appreciate that!” No, I am not living in “LaLa” land! I am very aware of the world I/we live in! But how can we begin to change how our children see themselves and how they value life?! It has to begin somewhere. Why not let it start there?! With a pair of jeans?! Why not teach our children the real value of life?
Structure. Order. It starts in the home what we teach our children at home.
What are you teaching your children at home? What values are you instilling in them? Do your children know how much you love them and that you work very hard to put clothes on their backs and food in their mouths? What’s our part in the condition of the world we live in today? What have we said regarding what’s truly important to have and be?
Order and structure, structure and order, has to begin with us! We as a people, as a generation of people. What we teach our children now will trickle down to what they teach their children, and the next generation, and the next generation, and the next generation. Let’s stop “messing up” our children with the wrong messages we may be giving them.
Featured Image by Suzanne Rushton on Unsplash
Just had a chance to read this and it is so true
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