We have a therapist in the family that we keep quite busy. My cousin, Dr. Rachel Matthews is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in individual, marriage and family counseling.
We always called her Cousin Rachel, but when she received her license, we started calling her Dr. Rachel. That stuck to her like day-old oatmeal and now she actually prefers to be called Dr. Rachel instead of Dr. Matthews. Since she has a lot of young clients, it seems to work well.
I have grown up listening to Dr. Rachel practice her speeches. She has delivered many speeches over the years, and lately, she has been invited to serve as the keynote speaker on several occasions. Her practice has grown tremendously, and by the positive feedback she receives, it is evident that she is helping a lot of people. I am very proud of her.
One of the speeches that stuck with me the most was the one that she gave a few years ago about the three cords. I could easily say that her speech touched me so much because it explained the importance of helping people, especially when she referred to Ecclesiastes 4:12 ďa threefold cord is not easily broken,Ē a passage Iíve read several times without realizing what it meant.
However, to be quite honest, I was interested in her choice of visual aids to emphasize her point. Dr. Rachel clearly explained the advantage of a threefold cord with a demonstration that we would not likely forget. She brought two bodybuilders on stage to stand at opposite ends of a rope and pull against it. After a few seconds, the rope popped. Then, she handed them a braided cord, which consisted of three cords braided together, making it much stronger. Again, the bodybuilders pulled their ends of the rope but the rope did not break. After a few minutes of loud grunting, the tug of war ended in a tie. I remember that demonstration like it was yesterday.
According to Dr. Rachel, the pulling of the cord represented the struggles and challenges that we face each day. Everyone has something in life that they are struggling with and it is hard to face those issues alone, without any support.
As the cord represented strength, there is also strength in a unified effort working toward a common goal. Although there are constant attacks against the family, there is power for those who stand strong, unified, and in support of one another.
As Dr. Rachel explained, the threefold cord symbolizes three things: 1) the individual, standing strong, yet vulnerable at times, 2) the family, a strong component with the potential to nourish and protect those within the family structure, and 3) great mentors, to provide the individual with encouragement and wisdom.
Looking at to todayís youth, there is a big need for more empowerment in the community to provide our youth with encouragement, positive association and mentorship. Dr. Rachel diligently works with the youth ministry to bring together the youth across the Charleston area to experience a positive environment.
Children from all over the area have been learning about the importance of taking care of themselves, being responsible for themselves and others, and providing effective leadership. The grades of those participating have soared and the parents have applauded Dr. Rachelís ministry.
It does indeed take a village to raise a child and when the parents are on board, it makes things so much easier for everyone.
Our young people struggle with so many things today, that it can be overwhelming, however, God gives them guidance in his Holy Word. As a three-fold cord is not easily broken, our youth are not easily broken when we give them a strong family unit and mentorship to allow them to discover how great they can truly become.
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