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Archive for the 'Communication' Category

Three things love is not!

Posted on January 18th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Wisdom

I Corinthians 13:5 shows three patterns that are the enemy of truly loving your children. These patterns will bring anger, frustration and brokenness. They are also connected; one leads to the other. Let’s look at each one: Love is not self-seeking It is foolish to assume that what pleases you and what pleases God are one and the same. For example, do you want a house that is quiet and orderly? Why? Because that is pleasant to you? Or do you want a house full of energy and exuberance? Again,.. read more

Your teenager is caught in the tug-of-war of life

Posted on January 9th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Teenagers

It is important not to miss the struggles your teenager faces each day. She is often functioning without immediate and constant parental supervision. New and sometimes dangerous influences enter his life. This is the scary part. It is no secret that sex, drugs, pornography, bullying and gambling have all made their way into the teenage world. So what can you do to shepherd your teenager without giving them a lie detector test each afternoon and attaching a body cam and GPS to them? Here is one answer: Become an epic.. read more

Frustration or patience?

Posted on January 8th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Have you ever said something like this to your kids? “Sorry I was upset. You know that I love you, but I am just so frustrated right now!” The words, “I love you,” are buried in the middle of this defense of an angry outburst. They are familiar words. But familiar words often lose their impact and may become background noise to your children. More is needed than just words, than saying “I love you.” Real, tangible actions must accompany the words of love. I Corinthians 13 says that love.. read more

Who is in control, your teenager or God?

Posted on December 29th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Teenagers

What causes stress with your teenager? The easy answer is that if your teenager was more respectful, if he would just do half of the things you asked, if she would actually listen, if you mattered half as much as the phone, things would not be so stressful. Of course there are some things that you need to work on, but the bottom line is your teenager specializes in making life difficult. The problem here is the assumption that the teenager is in control. Everything is dependent upon the teenager.. read more

Adorning your children

Posted on December 8th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Holidays, Parenting, Wisdom

Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. Your kids know all of this without your ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well. What does this have.. read more

Pleasant words and Christ

Posted on November 15th, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Gospel, Prayer

Somehow the idea of pleasant words combined with discipline or instruction seems a little strange. 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 happen? Proverbs 16:20-24 provides a guide for how to make your instruction valuable. Solomon stresses the obvious, but neglected value of instruction. Those who pay attention to instruction.. read more

Listen to your children, instead of yourself!

Posted on October 12th, 2016 · Posted in Communication

“Hey mom, Jeremy is upset.” “Okay Sarah, I’ll be right there.” The real story here is what mom is saying to herself. “Here we go again.  Sarah is always making Jeremy upset. I can’t finish anything without somebody having an issue.” “Dad, I’m really sorry I messed up and forgot to cut the grass. I’ll get to it right after lunch. Sorry dad.” “Aaron, when is this pattern going to change? You need to start being responsible. Don’t make promises you can’t keep!” What dad is thinking: “I can’t believe.. read more

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