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Archive for the 'Communication' Category

Do you listen well?

Posted on October 7th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Marriage, Parenting

You give your wife flowers and say you love her, but she remains distant. You apologize to your teenager for being angry and tell him you love him, but the barriers are still up. You give your middle-schooler an expensive birthday present with a note that says “I love you”, yet her smile is only half-hearted. Is the answer more flowers, a bigger and better present, a more sincere apology? Probably not. However, there is one thing you can do that will demonstrate the genuineness of your love. You can.. read more

Three questions

Posted on October 5th, 2016 · Posted in Communication

Here are three questions you should ask yourself about your communication with those you love. The way you answer these questions provides insight into the areas where your conversations must grow in depth and in maturity. 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 your family accustomed to being cut off or being corrected before they can finish speaking? Do you interrupt because you think you know what is.. read more

Words that bring life

Posted on September 27th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Criticism_

The wise man (including the wise child) is motivated by the fear of God and the pursuit of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 3:11-18).  This is an important lesson for children to grasp. For example, a little boy who craves praise may well grow into a husband who will be angry and disappointed when he is not constantly praised. He can easily be prone to self-pity. This can lead to a man who will be withdrawn, sullen, or even abusive.  Similarly, a young woman who lives for the praise of others, becomes.. read more

The Equinox: a time of color!

Posted on September 22nd, 2016 · Posted in Communication

Today, precisely at 10:21 a.m. EDT, the Sun will once again pass directly over the equator. If you live in Australia, today means that longer days and warm weather is on the way. If you live in North America, it is just the reverse, shorter days and cooling temperatures. The Lord announces the change of seasons with spectacular outbursts of color. Spring arrives with fresh greens and gorgeous, subtle pastels. Fall is arrives with bold splashes of yellows, reds and golds. The Lord delights in color. He specifically designed you.. read more

Communication Guidelines

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 · Posted in Communication

Communication is part of everyday life. Perhaps nothing else brings such a combination of joy and frustration than the way we communicate with each other. Here are some biblical guidelines to make your commutation more productive and effective. 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 others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts. From 1 Cor. 13:4-7 This passage.. read more

Avoiding the trap of social media

Posted on August 19th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Social Media

It is easy to get drawn into the negative side of social media. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some positive guidelines to avoid the negatives and thus benefit from your use of social media. Social media is like the rest of life, exercising wisdom is always essential. When you post: use good judgment, use biblical restraint, do avoid gossip, do speak only what is good and building, do show genuine care for others, remember many people you don’t know may read your words, and do.. read more

Drama and taking out the garbage

Posted on August 9th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Worldview

Your view of obedience controls how you give directions. Strange as it may seem, the way your garbage is taken out can reveal your functional understanding of obedience. The goal is to learn how to give holy, everyday directions that please God and bless your children. Let me begin by asking you two questions: Do you want your children to obey your directions and take out the garbage? You might be thinking, “That’s a strange question; of course I want my children to obey me.” That leads me to the.. read more

When your posts damage the gospel

Posted on August 1st, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Social Media

One of your friends just posted a less than complimentary comment about a politician. You reply back with a similar comment. This touches off a mini-flurry of comments and links that are all centered on the stupidity of anyone even thinking that there may be something good about this person. You sign off with a few emojis thinking it was a good exchange. Is there a problem here? Actually, there is. The problem comes when interactions on social media are viewed as private exchanges between you and the people you.. read more

Teenagers: listen first, talk later

Posted on July 2nd, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Teenagers

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 asks his other son the same question.  This son, in sharp contrast, respectfully says that he will do what his father asked. So, 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.. read more

Assuming the obvious: poor decision

Posted on June 22nd, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

  “Hey mom, Jeremy is upset.” “Okay Sarah, I’ll be right there.” Mom is thinking, “Here we go again.  Sarah is always making Jeremy upset. I can’t finish anything without somebody having an issue. I’ll get to it in a moment.” Here is another example:. “Dad, I’m really sorry I messed up and forgot to cut the grass. I’ll get to it right after lunch. Sorry dad.” Inside, dad is losing it. He is thinking, “When will this kid ever grow up and be responsible?” So in a frustrated voice.. read more

Three keys to make your instruction attractive

Posted on June 16th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Shaping Influences

Are you interested in having your children respond gratefully to your instruction? Most parents I know would answer with a tentative yes. Why tentative? Because most believe gratitude and instruction are polar opposites when it comes to instruction. Let’s see if we can change that. Here are three keys that go hand-in-hand with making your instruction a blessing: First: listen before you speak. To be a good listener you must be able to repeat the words you hear back to the speaker in such a way that he can affirm.. read more

The blessing of encouragement

Posted on May 31st, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

The Christian life is so much more than avoiding negative things. It is primarily about engaging in thoughts and activities that bring honor to God. Paul says your authority is to build up, to encourage your children. Here are two practical examples of doing this: Two young children are fussing and complaining. Negative response: “Why can’t you two just be quiet! Being noisy and fussy is a distraction to everybody in this house. I don’t want to hear any more unpleasantness, and I mean it! Do you understand?!?” Encouraging response:.. read more

Questions are a blessing!

Posted on May 26th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Young children ask questions. Be thankful. As a parent, you want to keep the questions coming. No doubt someone is saying, are you crazy, all I do is answer questions! If  you become exasperated with these questions, eventually they will diminish.  While this may bring short-term relief, it will also result in a diminished relationship with your children as they become move towards the teenage years. To illustrate: children ask tons of questions. Parents become increasingly frustrated and annoyed with the question barrage. As children grow older they realize their questions.. read more

Look to your heart, then to your mouth

Posted on May 25th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

f In training your children, it is important for you to understand what makes language inappropriate. If you focus only on what is wrong you will miss the mark of bringing honor to God. For example, you compile a list of words that are “bad.” In their place you have a list of words that are acceptable alternatives. For example, words like darn, shoot, heck and doggone it, are seen as acceptable alternatives to their similar sounding bad counterparts. So, when you can’t find your keys, instead of using an.. read more

Who is your enemy?

Posted on May 24th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Culture, Wisdom

You may think you know exactly who your enemy is. Your enemy is your unhappy spouse. Your enemy is your stubborn teenager. Your enemy is your ungrateful boss. Your enemy is your friend who said something you don’t like. Your enemy is the economy or the job market. Your enemy is your sickness. In short, you may think life is your enemy. You think you know who you enemy is. Christianity is about hand-to-hand combat. It is important that you identify exactly whom it is that you are fighting! You.. read more

Reasoning with temptation – not a good idea

Posted on May 11th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Teenagers

Being lonely is a dangerous. Being lonely and misunderstood is a train-wreck waiting to happen. It is huge that you take the time to know your children. Especially your teenagers. Here is an example of a young woman who was both lonely and misunderstood. Her problems didn’t start in college, but had roots in her younger teen years. She looked like she was doing well – but underneath she was lonely, wanting to be known. She wasn’t prepared for temptation that came from a “safe” place. This combination will allow.. read more

Personal Conflict

Posted on May 4th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Proverbs and the Gospel

The origin of many personal conflicts comes from the inability to distinguish between opinion and objective fact. If it is only your opinion, then ask God for the grace and humility to hear and understand the opinions of others. Maybe they have something of value you need to hear. If it is only your opinion don’t value your own worth so much that you are willing to cause relational damage just to make your point. A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinion. Proverbs.. read more

You just had to say it…

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 · Posted in Communication

Once again, someone in your life has offended you. Your frustration boils over. How many more times will you have to put up with being offended? So, you take matters into your own hands and let the offender know how you feel. You tell him just how annoyed and offended you are. You don’t care if he is your brother or your coworker, enough is enough. Afterwards, you think you feel vindicated, you think you feel better, you think you have stood up for your rights. But something is not.. read more

Who’s in charge?

Posted on April 27th, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Shaping Influences

Requiring exact, immediate, pleasant obedience is a huge blessing.  This establishes the parent’s God-given authority and helps children to see the value of honoring God’s authority. However, it is possible allow children to become the center of the home and allow them to assume command. So it is important to ask, “who’s in charge?” Here is an example, that borders on the absurd, of what happens when a child is in charge: Mom asks her almost six-year-old son, Justin, to open the front door to let some fresh air in.. read more

How to stop fighting and start loving

Posted on April 26th, 2016 · Posted in Anger, Communication

Fights come naturally, you were born to fight. It is time to stop being surprised that you and the people you love are inclined to fight. Since the Garden, we all have a part of 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 you are fighting with, as more important than yourself. That is always your first thought when you fight, right? You automatically consider the other person.. read more