Sunday, August 19, 2012

7 Tools Book Club: Cultivating Intimacy

So many times I start a book and never finish it.  Thankfully, this book club and
this book are keeping me accountable and determined to finish.

This chapter on cultivating intimacy was the one I wanted to read the most.  

The Pelsers 7 Tools Book Club

Here are some of the points that I highlighted...
  • If your parents never loved each other, "and you never saw that and absorbed it as a kid, it's hard to know how to do it."
  • "Many kids are now affected with depression.  The root of this depression is alienation.  God created people to live in fellowship with Him and with other human beings.  Alienation from God is the primary source of children's depression; alienation from family ranks a close second."  This last comment relates back to the last chapter regarding establishing identity.  After reading the last chapter, I realized how glad I am that our family has a small group ministry.  It gives our family an identity and helps to form a bond.
  • "Relationships, like gardens, require constant attention and cultivation.  Without these ingredients,  weeds will grow out of control and choke the life out of our relationships or drought will wither our relationships on the vine."
  • "Why do relationships require so much work?  Sin.  Sin results in our alienation from God and from one another."
  •  "What is intimacy?  Intimate relationships are those in which we make ourselves known to others, and they reveal themselves to us.  Today, we refer to this as community."  We see this happen in small group settings.
Four tools for cultivating inimacy:
  1. Time
  2. Personal Presence
  3. Conversation
  4. Physical Affection
Zan discusses each of these in depth.  And then ends with a bang in her conclusion.  Children mimic us (parents).  We know that.  But she teaches and admonishes by saying, "We need to be aware that children are their parents' ambassadors to the world.  They will tell the world what they have seen, heard, and learned at home." 

What ever they see us doing, they will do likewise.   Both the chapter on establishing identity and this chapter confirmed the importance of our family's small group ministry.

 When she was talking about the importance of conversation, Zan mentioned the "importance of explaining to our kids why we do what we do and using scripture in our explanations so they can begin to see that our actions are motivated by biblical principles and our love for God."  And, that we do it even when we're tired and don't want to!  Her friend used Philippians 2: 3-4 to explain to Zan's boys why Zan was making, and taking, a meal to a family in need.  "Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.  Everyone should look out not [only] for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." 

What is one thing that you do to cultivate intimacy with your kids?  Say good night to each one?  Take each one out alone once a month? Something else?

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