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Archive for the 'Communication' Category

Thought Habits of a Healthy Heart

Posted on August 20th, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Peace, Peace, Wisdom, Worry

What you think shapes who you are. Worry or peace are the fruit of your thoughts. God makes a big deal about how and what you think. What you think determines your level of anxiety as well as your level of contentment and peace. Your thoughts are both the expression of your heart and the gateway to your heart. Your thoughts direct you to joy or to fear. Your thoughts produce worry or peace, not your circumstances. Your thoughts will lead you to God’s peace. In return, God’s peace will guard.. read more

Healthy Everyday Talk

Posted on August 15th, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Wisdom

Verbal communication is part of everyday life. Perhaps nothing else brings such a combination of joy and frustration than the way we talk with each other.  James expresses it the way: With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way. The Holy Spirit has provided tools and directives to keep your talk both healthy and holy. Here are.. read more

Self-Protection: A Destructive Response

Posted on August 12th, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Wisdom

When someone is unkind or attacks you, especially someone close to you, your first response is likely self-protection. If it is, things will go from bad to worse. The best way to protect yourself make sure you are honoring God with your response. For example, your 14-year-old says: “All you care about is your stupid rules! You care about your rules more than you do about me! Thanks a lot for not caring.” You feel hurt, disrespected and defensive. Your child is unable to appreciate the good you are trying.. read more

Instruction: Blessing or Curse?

Posted on August 10th, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Godward Orientation, Parenting, Proverbs and the Gospel

Most memories of being corrected don’t evoke happy or pleasant thoughts. Often correction means stern or harsh warnings, even when given with the best of intentions. However, in the Proverbs instruction is to be received as precious jewelry, something to be worn with honor. How does this disconnect happen? Why is something that is intended for good and blessing become the equivalent of a curse? Proverbs 16:20-24 provides a guide for how to make instruction valuable. Solomon stresses the obvious, but neglected value of instruction. Those who pay attention to.. read more

Gratitude or Impurity

Posted on July 31st, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Gratitude, Parenting

Gratitude or impurity—you can have one but not both!  The language of the heart and mouth is an indication of the direction of the heart. People whose speech is dominated by a thankful spirit are often people who are grateful for the mercy extended to them by God.  However, impure, profane speech reflects just the opposite of gratitude.  This kind of talk frequently indicates an angry heart and movement towards the impure and profane. For example, the Ephesians had woven impure speech into the life of the church to the.. read more

Pleasant Words, Healing Words

Posted on July 30th, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Proverbs and the Gospel, Wisdom

There is a prescription available that will improve the physical and spiritual health of your family.  This prescription is what the Proverbs call “pleasant words” or “gracious speech.” The Holy Spirit says this kind of talk will bring spiritual and physical health to your family. Failure to use this medicine as directed may result in frustrated parents, children who resist instruction, drained emotions, as well as the physical and spiritual exhaustion for the entire family. Yes, pleasant words are that important! However, there is a heavy cost for this prescription… read more

Shepherding a Child's Heart

What the Incarnation Teaches About Parenting

Posted on July 23rd, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Notes From Tedd Tripp, Parenting

The incarnation is a good model for interaction with your children. God could have remained off in heaven. He could have spoken through cloud and thunder like He did in Exodus 19. But what does God do in the incarnation? He comes to dwell with us. He takes on human flesh like your flesh. He takes on a fully human psychology like yours. He accepts the limitations of being a man on earth; he can only be in one place at a time. He experiences all the things we experience… read more

Positive Instruction that Adorns

Posted on May 21st, 2019 · Posted in Anger, Communication, Parenting

  Instruction or manipulation: Eight-year-old Ryan is having a hard day. Several things he has wanted to do haven’t happened. Now a thunderstorm has wiped out playing with his friends outside.  He feels he has every justification to be grumpy. Then Mom says this: “Ryan, I need your help right now in getting ready for company tonight. Would you watch your sisters for me?” “Mom! This isn’t fair. All day things have not been fair. And now you want me to watch Sarah and Michelle?  Can’t I have a break?”.. read more

Specks & Planks

Jesus was the most extraordinary communicator in all of human history. He was the ultimate guide for bringing truth to everyday life.  So it is not surprising that his craft as a carpenter provided rich illustrations for his teaching.  Specks of sawdust were part of his life. He used words with the skill and grace of the ultimate master woodworker. His crafted vivid word pictures that connected his hearers to everyday life. Thus, in Luke’s gospel, he uses the common elements of his carpenter’s life to connect to my life.. read more

A conversation with a teenager

Posted on February 26th, 2019 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Parenting, Teenagers

Mom: “Stop bothering your sister.” Josh: “Why?” Mom: “Because it upsets her.” Josh: “Good, she needs to be upset. It’s what she does to me!” Mom: “God says you should be nice to her.” Josh: “Well, then, you should tell her to try being nice. It’s not like I am hurting her or anything.” Mom: “But that is not how it works. You should do what God wants no matter how your sister responds.”  Josh: “So, what do I do when you get mad and yell at me?” Josh: “You.. read more

The Process: From Complaining to Slavery

Posted on January 30th, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Counseling and Discipleship, Discipline

Fourteen-year-old Louis is moody. He constantly complains any time he is not absorbed in his screens. His parents fear for the things he might be viewing when no one is watching. It seems like it has been weeks since anyone has seen him smile. How did this happen? What needs to happen? The immediate, expected response is to demand his screens from him and require him to stop being so grumpy and moody. This plan may attain some temporary relief. But it will not address the real reason for his.. read more

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