Connection must be intentional and purposeful

dad & son connecting

This picture was taken on a Sunday morning in Franklin, TN before attending a conference on how to connect.

In order to make a connection with our own children and the children in our care we must be intentional and purposeful. CONNECTION GIVES EMOTIONAL LEVERAGE. Gaining emotional leverage allows us to have an impact on a child’s behavior and actions. A connection will not occur in passing or in a half-hazard attempt. CONNECTION MUST BE INTENTIONAL AND PURPOSEFUL.

Every child has two questions that must be answered before they can care about academics, future career choices, character traits and morals. These questions are answered through healthy relational connections with nurturing adults.  It’s during that time of intentional and purposeful connection that their questions are answered: Q. AM I LOVED? Q. DO I HAVE VALUE?


It is when a child experiences neglect, abuse, abandonment or relational inconsistencies that a child is left to question if they are loved and have value.

The difficulty is that kids do not know how to articulate these two questions, nor will they ask them directly. For the students who have the ability to excel through academics or sports they may find ways to connect with adults and a temporary coping mechanisms for their pain. But for those who do not possess the abilities to excel through academics or sports then negative attention becomes their only method to connect with an adult. How do I know? That was me!

I failed every grade in high school and dropped out of church. I was kicked out of Boy Scouts, 4H club, church basketball team and several youth group events to name a few. These were all desperate attempts to feel connected with a nurturing adult.

A man named Billy became that nurturing adult that cared enough to answer my questions. He was the only person that decided to look past my behavior and choose to intentionally and purposefully connect with me. By simply sharing one meal a week Billy created an atmosphere where I could feel loved and valued. There were no planned messages or purchased curriculum’s that he shared with me. It wasn’t even what Billy said that impacted me, he was simply intentional and purposeful in meeting with me for breakfast every Tuesday and thus created an atmosphere where we could connect.

Connection gains emotional leverage

Once Billy had gained emotional leverage then I finally felt loved and valued enough to share the source of my pain and discover I was valued and lovable. And even though we never discussed grades, career choices and morals I still made the A-B honor roll my senior year, started to look into future career choices and chose the morals that still guide me today.

As a Youth and Children’s Pastor in various churches and working for the School System in different capacities this same simple method has worked every time. Even though I wasn’t able to use the same methods I was able to find a unique way to connect with hurting children wherever I served.

Concerning my own children I felt I was connecting with my kids through shuffling them to and fro between practice, rehearsals, games, church activities and daily homework and chores. But I soon discovered that my time to connect with my own children had to take place around those events and activities. As much as those activities helped my kids discover their personal talents and develop social skills they still needed their Dad to be intentional and purposeful in pulling them aside and connecting with them. If we desire to keep the emotional leverage needed to have an impact on our kid’s behavior and actions then we must continue to connect with them.

IN ORDER TO MAKE A CONNECTION WITH OUR OWN CHILDREN AND THE CHILDREN IN OUR CARE WE MUST BE INTENTIONAL AND PURPOSEFUL. This blog was also shared on ‘Facebook Live’ on my page facebook page under ‘Connection must be intentional and purposeful.’




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