The hidden half of domestic violence
How to have eternal life
Failure to Thrive
What Is Failure to Thrive?
Although it has been recognized for more than a century, failure to
thrive lacks a precise definition, in part because it describes a
condition rather than a specific disease. Children who fail to thrive
don't receive or are unable to take in or retain adequate nutrition
to gain weight and grow as expected. The condition is common in
babies born prematurely, usually in conjunction with other medical
problems linked to prematurity.
But full-term infants can also fail to thrive. Whereas the average
term baby doubles its birth weight by 6 months and triples it at 1
year, these children often do not meet those marks. "The typical
picture has been one of a child who starts out plump and growing well
but over time begins to fall off, particularly in weight gain," says
Jay A. Perman, MD, professor and chairman of the department of
pediatrics at the University of Maryland. After a while, linear
growth (height) slows as well.
If the condition progresses, the undernourished child may become
apathetic and irritable, and may not reach milestones like sitting
up, walking, and talking at the usual age. Most diagnoses of failure
to thrive are made in infants and toddlers in the first few years of
life, a crucial period of physical and mental development. After
birth, a child's brain grows as much in the first year as it will
grow during the rest of the child's life. Poor nutrition during this
period can have permanent negative effects on a child's mental
development in some cases.
Non-organic causes of failure to thrive involve failure of the normal
cycle of maternal-child emotional interaction, or bonding if you
will. Because lack of emotional stimulation and feedback can
literally turn off the infant production of growth hormone, these
cases are often the most severe. Severe non-organic failure to thrive
is potentially fatal. Infant malnutrition develops as the baby
becomes progressively unable to digest and absorb nutrition and the
baby dies of starvation or overwhelming sepsis.
In the mid 20th century, the treatment of choice for a premature
infant was to "handle" them as little as possible. They were kept in
incubators except for very short periods of time to do actual care.
Many of these infants failed to thrive. It was later discovered
that when these infants were held often, they did thrive so the care
plan then included volunteers to hold them and to rock them several
hours a day. It made a huge difference.
There is something missing in the reports I included above. I
contend that these infants that failed to thrive felt...UNLOVED!
When they were held, when they were rocked, they knew they were loved
and they thrived.
Although Failure to Thrive is a term used for infants, I believe we
can see it throughout life in other areas. The following is not
from any text book...these are things that I see as a failure to
thrive in other areas. Actually, we can also see failure to thrive
as a failure to grow...a failure to mature.
Psychological Failure to Thrive
When a person is abused, often they can fail to thrive
psychologically and they will not have a normal mental development to
maturity. This could result in things like Bi-polar personality,
borderline personality or one of many other illnesses. This too stems
from feeling unloved. You see, if one is abused, there is hardly any
love there is there? The sad fact is that even when these people try
to grow, many reject them. Often when they do come to Christ and try
to get involved in a local church, they are ignored. It is easier to
do this then it is to learn about their needs. It is easier to pay
attention to those who can give more then they need. If we base our
caring, if we base our concern on what one can give back..we are in
James 2 says:
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord
of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in
goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say
unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand
thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this
world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised
to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and
draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are
convinced of the law as transgressors.
Emotional Failure to Thrive
I can see an emotional failure to thrive as being a result of not
being allowed to show any emotions. A great many men have it as a
result of always being told boys don't cry. As a result, we hide
sorrow although suppression this important emotion can cause a lot
of inward stress and it often causes others to think one is uncaring
in the midst of tragic events. The shortest verse in the Bible is
JESUS WEPT...and believe me...If HE can cry...why can't we?
Others are told that all touch is wrong and they do not learn to
show affection toward others, including their own children. This
results in some thinking any touch is a sexual invitation. If
someone holds their hand to show support, they see it as much more
and they either run from the situation, or they expect far more then
Girls are often taught to be a "victim" No matter what crime a woman
does, someone is there to tell how they could not help it because
they are a "victim" This in turn causes a failure to thrive in that
it prevents personal accountability and responsibility and they do
not mature because it is always someone else's fault.
We as Christians do that too. When we sin, don't we often say, "the
devil made me do it"? NO my friend, the devil can not make us do
anything. We may be tempted but according to 1 Corinthians 10:13:
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but
God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye
are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it."
Touch can be very therapeutic. It tells one that they are not a
leper and that they do not have cooties. It tells them that others
think they are important and that they do exist. Just as in those
premature infants, touch (appropriate) touch is very important to
our well being.
Touch...oh how precious to those that no one wants to go near. How
about that person that has not bathed in several days...you know the
one that we cross the street to avoid? Have you stopped to think
that there may be a reason for this? Maybe they are using all of
their energy to cope for one more day. Their failure to thrive may
be coming to an end. They could be days..or even hours from taking
their own life..BUT...YOU can make an eternal difference. I think of
the story of the boy on his way home from school carrying tons of
books when some bullies knock them out of his hand. Someone comes to
his aid and helps him with those books. As a result they become
friends and it is years later when they are graduating from college
that he learns this person was going to take his own life that
day..but his life was changed because ONE person cared. Let that one
person be YOU in someone's life today.
Don't tell them Jesus loves them
Till your ready to love them too
Till your heart breaks from the sorrow
And the pain they're going through.
With a life full of compassion
May we do what we must do.
But don't tell them Jesus loves them,
Till your ready, to love them too.
"I love you" Three simple words. Words of affirmation, but words
so often left unspoken, but words we all need so much. Dads, your
children need to hear it from you. Your sons need it to grow up to
be the man GOD wants them to be. Your daughters need to hear it to
realize not all men just want....sex. More important, our children
get their idea of what GOD is like from you. I ask you, what are
they learning? Husbands, your wife needs to hear you love them. Do
not think they should know it...tell them. They need your touch
several times a day. A hug, a gentle massage of the shoulders,
holding each others hand as you go for a walk and Listening...and
hearing one another!
Barbra Streisand had the right idea with "People"
People, people who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world
We're children needing other children
And yet letting our grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children
Social Failure to Thrive:
We live in a permissive society. If it feels good, we have a "right"
to do it. We hear "I have my rights" but we seldom hear anything
about" responsibility or accountability. Children are not taught
the value of money. My wife was at the store today and heard a
small child say she wanted this and she wanted that. When asked how
she was going to pay for it, she said "you will get it"
Our society has millions of people with that mentality now. They have
been taught that they are "entitled" to whatever they want. Many of
our affirmative actions have compounded this. Feminist demand it.
Anytime women are at a disadvantage in any area, they demand the
playing field be leveled. Odd is it not that they sure do not
demand it be level if men are at the disadvantage. There is so
much more we can say on this...but perhaps it would be best to write
a message on just this aspect alone so let's move on.
2 Thessalonians 3:9 tells us that if any do not work, neither let
them eat. (Of course this does not apply to those who can not work,
it applies to those who chose not to work) For those who are
Christians and can not work, you can also thrive by being a prayer
warrior for those in the heat of battle. Many also have people
coming to them that they can help teach so each person can feel
Spiritual Failure to Thrive:
Many of those that have trusted Christ fail to thrive, they fail to
mature. Most of the time it is not their fault. Actually, it is
seldom their fault. I have seen too many times that someone will
bring someone to the LORD and as soon as they do come to Jesus, we
move on and leave them on their own.
We would be very concerned if we say a teenager drinking formula and
eating Gerber's but we think nothing of Christians who do not even
know the basic reasons for why we believe. How often have you heard
someone say. "Oh I can not do that" and when asked why, the reply
is: "because my church does not allow it" WRONG reason my friend.
We need PERSONAL convictions and we need to be able to show chapter
and verse why we believe what we do. Rather then blaming it on "the
church" we need to be able to say "I do not feel that would bring
honor to my LORD" or "I do not want to cause a weaker person to
stumble so I chose not to do that"
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered,
seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought
to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the
first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have
need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth
milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a
babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full
age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to
discern both good and evil.
Much of the reason a new Christian fails to thrive is because a
mature Christian fails to do their job. Think of what would happen
if a new born was placed in a crib and left there for days. Oh we
can feed this new born once a week (On Sunday morning) and forget him
the rest of the week. Is this not what we do to new born
Christians? There is a reason becoming a Christian is called being
born again. We need to treat a new Christians as a new born but we
need to think in Spiritual terms. We need to feed them the Word of
God and teach them why we believe what we do. This is Scriptural my
friend. Most of us know Matthew 28:19 tells us to "Go ye therefore,
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" but do not stop there...go on to
the next verse: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end
of the world. Amen."
This is one of the reasons I do include scripture in these messages.
It is the reason many of our Sunday night chats focus on teaching why
we believe, why we need to forgive and why the worlds answer to abuse
Failure to thrive Spiritually. We all were dead spiritual but this
song tells us
I WAS LOST BUT YOU KNEW WHERE TO FIND ME
I WAS HUNGRY YOU WERE BREAD FOR MY SOUL
I WAS THIRSTY AND YOU GAVE LIVING WATER
YOU WERE MY SHELTER WHEN I HAD NO PLACE TO GO
Some may well be thinking that we do talk about JESUS a lot in
Shattered Men. There is a reason for this my friend.
Only Jesus can satisfy your soul
And only He can change your heart
And make you whole
He'll give you peace you never knew
Sweet love and joy and Heaven too
For only Jesus can satisfy your soul
If you could have the fame and fortune all the wealth you could
Yet you have not Christ within your living hear would be in vain
There'll come a time when death shall call you, riches can not help
So come to Jesus for He can satisfy
I will not tell you that all your problems will be solved. I will not
tell you your wife or husband will come back, or that you will get
your kids back but I will tell you that you will have peace beyond
all understanding. He will....satisfy your soul!
How to have eternal life
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month