Communication

234 posts

Slow Down and Listen

Foolish responses without listening will make your children disinterested in speaking with you. They will take their conversations somewhere else where they can be heard. If your children are saying “You never listen to me,” it is because they feel you never listen to them. Slow down and listen. There is a perceptive insight in Proverbs 20:5: “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” There is more depth in your children than you might imagine. Drawing those deep waters out requires patience and great skill. It also requires being sensitive to the right moment. There are times when children are talkative and times when you cannot pry anything from them […]

Discipline: Communication and Prayer

Dialogue One of the most destructive aspects of ungodly discipline and correction is the lack of godly dialogue. God has wonderfully provided all the apparatus for meaningful communication with one another. Yet the most life shaping opportunities parents have in their children’s lives are often one-sided. Monologue is not godly communication. Long speeches that try to strong-arm our children with arguments, threats, warnings, and predictions will not change their hearts. It will harden their hearts. All of our conversation with our children should afford them an opportunity to respond—not as peers, but as children interacting with the direction and instruction of parents. We should encourage children to respectfully respond in conversation to help us understand how they are feeling, thinking, […]

Loving Messy People: Speaking Correction

Genuine love requires speaking words of correction. But I’m afraid that one of the main reasons we’re so apprehensive about offering correction is because we’ve so rarely seen it connected to genuine love. Correction without love is cold, harsh, judgmental, and often cruel. We’ve all experienced this kind of correction before, and it hurts. Correction without love comes from seeing ourselves as somehow different from those we’re correcting. We stand with God in judgment of the pitiful sinner standing in front of us… Our correct place is not next to God looking down in judgment on sinners. We belong standing side by side with our fellow sinners before a perfectly righteous and overwhelmingly gracious God. As we stand side by […]

Loving Messy People: Speaking Affirmation

Biblical affirmation isn’t what usually comes to mind when we think of speaking the truth in love. We tend to think of correction, teaching, exhortation, or rebuke. If someone is headed in the right direction, why would they need truth spoken to them? If they’re already on the right path, what is there to say? But Scripture models for us (and personal experience confirms) that affirmation is a powerful tool in helping others become more like Jesus. I believe one of the main reasons affirmation gets a bad rap is because our culture has come to affirm everything, whether it’s true or not. We tell every kid that they were great on the baseball field. We tell every employee that […]

Love Is Not Disappointed 

If you love biblically, then your love for others will not be diminished by their failures. When love is all about you, bad things happen. Love must be defined by God, specifically by the work of his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit tells us that we know what love is by how Jesus loved (1 John 3:16). By looking at Christ we see that love is other-centered and God-centered, not me-centered.  This means radical rethinking regarding the nature of love. Love is not about what makes you feel good or happy. Love is dying to your wants, your desires, your dreams. Only by loving Jesus first can anyone experience this sort of love. Thus, genuine love is not consistent with […]

Does Your Authority Display Wisdom from Above?

The concept of authority has fallen on hard times. Even Christians become almost apologetic if they exercise authority. The culture around us has made authority to arbitrary and a necessary evil. However,  authority is God’s way of caring for the universe and for your family. He ordained authority to be a blessing to all people. In the Bible, God provides the way that authority is to be administered.  Yes, authority is to be clear, firm, and direct. But it must be much more than that. More importantly, authority is to be administered with biblical wisdom and care. If authority is to be faithful to God it should demonstrate these seven qualities as given in James 3:17: Pure Peaceable Gentle Open […]

Thought Habits of a Healthy Heart

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 your thoughts in a way that surpasses human understanding and frees you from the tyranny worry and fear. Paul describes how your thoughts guard your heart by bringing God’s peace […]

Healthy Everyday Talk

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 some of them: Check your Heart Attitude:  Consider others more important than yourself. (Philippians 2:3-5) Let love be in control:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not dishonor […]

Self-Protection: A Destructive Response

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 to do. The defensive, natural response is to tell your teenager how wrong she is and telling her that her disrespect is the problem. Your teenager responds by thinking you […]

Instruction: Blessing or Curse?

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 instruction do well. Understanding is like a fountain of freshwater to those who are thirsty. Instruction flows from wise lips and is to be desired. This description of loving understanding […]