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Archive for the 'Communication' Category

The power of gentleness

Posted on October 8th, 2018 · Posted in Communication

Parents, how would you answer these questions: • Do you want your children to see you as someone they can trust? • Do you want your spouse to take comfort in just being with you? • Are you easy to talk to? • Is your family hesitant to talk you when they are hurting? • If someone in your family messes up or is in trouble are you the person that helps him feel secure and safe, the person that she knows will help make things right? • Do you.. read more

Three huge questions

Posted on October 5th, 2018 · Posted in Communication

  Another frustrating conversation!  Sometimes it seems that there is no way to have positive communication with your family. Here are three questions you should ask yourself about your communication with those you love. Your answers will provide insight into the areas where your conversations must grow in depth and in maturity so that God is honored and your family helped. First question: Do your spouse and your children have confidence that they will be able to say all that is on their heart without fear of your response? Is.. read more

Radiant Commands

Posted on September 28th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Have you heard comments like these from your children? “Do I have to?” “I had to that yesterday.” “I’m too tired.” “That’s not fair.” “I’ll do it later.” “Seriously?” “I don’t think so.” These are all responses from children to a parent’s request for obedience. Not exactly encouraging responses! There is one commonality in all of these responses: a disdain for obedience. The children giving these answers have little regard for their parent’s authority.  For these children, obedience is a curse and certainly not a blessing. One of the ways.. read more

Short answers

Posted on July 30th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Shaping Influences, Teenagers

You observe your teenager talking non-stop with friends. Then you think about the typical conversations that you have had with your son or daughter. Instead of a lively back and forth your attempts at conversation tend to collapse into strained monosyllables.: “Did you have a good day?” “Sort of.” “How was your test?” “Okay.” “Do you have homework?” “Maybe.” “Do you have plans this weekend?” “Not sure.” “Is anything bothering you?” “No.” “Did you clean your room?” “Not yet.” “I thought maybe we could talk later on.” “Why?” “What did.. read more

Be Quick to Listen

Posted on July 3rd, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Discipline

Jesus tells the story of a father and his two sons. The father asks his first son to go work in the vineyard. The first son responds with a defiant no. So, the father makes the same request of his other son. This son, in sharp contrast, respectfully says yes, he will go. On the surface of things, it appears one son is rebellious and one is obedient. This much is true, but not in the way it appears. In the story Jesus quickly adds that the first son changed.. read more

Questions: the window to your child’s heart

Posted on May 10th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Questions, questions, questions: just what every parent wants, more questions!  However, your children’s questions are an invaluable tool to help make you a better parent. The questions they ask provide you a window into their heart. Their questions tell you what is important in their world. Questions tell you if your child is sad or happy, what he values and what he doesn’t. Questions are huge! Moses anticipated that the law of God would be so rich and stimulating that it would bring questions from children (Deuteronomy 6:20-21). This is.. read more

Discipline and faith

Posted on April 20th, 2018 · Posted in Anger, Communication, Parenting, Wisdom

  Biblical discipline is an expression of God’s love and mercy to his children. As God lovingly, gracefully disciplines us, we as parents are to give this same warm discipline to our children. It is huge that you, as a parent, see discipline as something that is positive and not punitive. Discipline is not about retribution or getting even. Discipline has the goal of producing peace. Without that goal, discipline becomes a manipulative tool that will only provide separation with your children. It is just as huge that you administer.. read more

Fathers, fear, and self-interest

Posted on April 16th, 2018 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Discipline, Parenting

Men, our legacy since the fall is that we tend to either be indifferent or become angry at our children’s sin.  Both responses are dangerous and destructive. When it comes to relationships, men are often intimidated and become fearful, even if we may project the opposite emotions. The two most damaging male responses, indifference and anger, stem front the same root cause – fear and self-interest. We become indifferent in order to mask our fear of not knowing what we should do. We often become angry because we have lost.. read more

Is God mad at me?

Posted on April 13th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Gospel, Parenting, Wisdom

Do your kids think that God is only pleased with them if they obey? Do your kids think that the gospel means that they must be good so God will love them? Do your kids think that they must be good for you to like them, for you to love and delight in them? To answer these questions listen to the way your children talk about the gospel. You may be thinking that children seldom talk about the gospel. But actually, they do. Listen to your children talk. Listen to.. read more

You were born to fight

Posted on April 8th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Criticism_, Parenting

You were born to fight. James puts it this way: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” It is time to stop being surprised that you and the people you love are inclined to fight. This has been reality since the Garden. We all have a part of our brother Cain embedded in us. So the question is not why do you fight, but how can you stop fighting. Here is at least one answer: consider others, especially the ones.. read more

Enough Is Enough!

Posted on March 16th, 2018 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Parenting, Wisdom

Ephesians 4:31 & 32 are seldom used as parenting directives. This is unfortunate. There is a powerful dynamic of grace here to help shepherd your children towards Christ. Read these words slowly: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Because of the gospel grace shown to you, Paul is directing you to rid your thoughts and your speech of the angry words of.. read more

5 Proverbs to encourage parents

Posted on March 9th, 2018 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Parenting, Proverbs

Proverbs 16 has important direction for anyone in authority, especially parents. These insights help to establish authority and strengthen your parental authority. Here are some selected Proverbs from this chapter: Commit to the LORD whatever
 you do and your plans will succeed. (Verse 3) This is the starting point. The commitment indicated here is totally to the Lord Lord because of your love for him is the focus of life. This is not so much about achieving a single objective as it is about committing all of your life to.. read more

Discipline or punishment: do your children know the difference?

Posted on February 27th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Discipline, Gospel, Parenting

There is a huge difference between punishment and discipline. Since children are born wanting to go their own way, every parent engages in some form of correction. That correction will either take the form of punishment or discipline. Punishment is about retribution, payment for wrong doing. Punishment produces insecurity and fear. Biblical discipline on the other hand produces security and peace. The reason for the difference is that biblical discipline is motivated and controlled by love, the love of Christ. Only the love of Christ can remove punishment. As I.. read more

A grumpy son

Posted on February 18th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Mom just asked nine-year-old Ryan to watch his two younger sisters while she finished getting ready for company dinner. Ryan responds slowly. Instead of forcing the issue in a way that would certainly lead to discipline, mom calls Ryan over to the couch to sit with her. (Parenting is not an automated routine. In another instance, pursuing direct discipline might have been appropriate. Here mom is exercising wisdom as to how to best help Ryan where he is right now.) “Ryan, It is has been a hard day, huh?” “I.. read more

Are you a refuge for your teenager?

Posted on September 27th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Teenagers

When emotions are strong, words can hurt. This can be especially true of conflicts with teenagers. God wants you to look beyond the emotional upset. He wants you to do something more than be hurt by hard conversations. He wants you to listen and learn from what is behind the sharp exchanges. The following lyrics are from a song by Linkin Park, titled Numb. The video has over 655 million views on Youtube. That’s right, 655 MILLION views! The theme in the video is about a broken relationship between a.. read more

“‘I wanted my kids to know me”

Posted on September 20th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Steve Jobs revolutionized the way our culture communicates. Steve Jobs was a legend. However, there was one area Jobs recognized where he was lacking. He was a private man, even from his own children. “I wanted my kids to know me,” Jobs was quoted as saying by Pulitzer Prize nominee Walter Isaacson, when he asked the Apple co-founder why he authorized a tell-all biography after living a private, almost ascetic life. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did,”.. read more

When words won’t work

Posted on September 14th, 2017 · Posted in Communication

  We humans are people of words. God designed us to be that way. But as valuable as words are, the Bible tell us there is something beyond our words that must not be missed. Our words, our spirit, our actions, our faith must all point to a common life-giving thread: our relationships. Relationships are not sustained primarily through our words, they are sustained by the power God’s Spirit. The most important relationship is the one that makes all others possible. Knowing Jesus Christ is the one relationship that matters.. read more

Winning or loving

Posted on September 5th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Music, Ruling Desires, Uncategorized, Wisdom

When you have an argument you have a choice: you can win or you can love. The word “love” in this phrase seems awkward and out of place, doesn’t it? The conventional wording is you can win or you can lose. But as with other things in the Christian life, God’s ways are radically different than our own. The idea that an argument or discussion is about winning or losing is flawed at its core. God has called us to honor him with love and not be focused on winning.. read more

Pushing or Leading?

Posted on August 18th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Do your children feel led or pushed? Are you as a parent dominated by love or frustration? The two questions are tightly connected. Leading is born out of love and pushing is born out of frustration.  As parents we may tell our children that we demand obedience and speak sharply because we love them and only want the best for them. Most likely our children are not buying this explanation.  It feels to them as if they are being manipulated into doing what mom and dad want. But God has.. read more

More than words

Posted on August 16th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Solomon makes an important observation about your facial expressions. Yes, words matter. They must be used with skill and grace. But you have other significant ways that you communicate with your children. One of them is by your countenance. Positively or negatively, the look on your face makes a difference. Proverbs 16:15 describes it this way: In the light of a king’s face there is life,
 and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain. In countries ruled by kings, a king’s smile was a big deal… read more