Communication

243 posts

Pleasant Words, Healing Words

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. Parents have to relinquish their pride and embrace the path of humility. God’s remedy to heal the evil that plagues your children is not anger, intimidation, control, or force of […]

Shepherding a Child's Heart

What the Incarnation Teaches About 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. He is tired and hungry at Jacob’s well in John 4. He weeps at Lazarus’ tomb. Hebrews 2 says he suffered when he was tempted. Jesus can look at the […]

From the Archive: Helping a Grumpy Eight-Year-Old

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?” Mom realizes Ryan is struggling. So, instead of forcing the issue in a way that would certainly lead to discipline, she takes a minute and calls Ryan over to the couch to sit with […]

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 and yours. Here is what Jesus says: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own […]

A Conversation With a Teenager

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 shouldn’t talk to me like that!” Josh: “Why? I am not being disrespectful or mad, I just asked you a question.” Mom: “You just shouldn’t. Look I have to take […]

The Process: From Complaining to Slavery

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 sin and unhappiness. If the  focus is only on his wrong and unhelpful actions, it will miss reaching his heart and actually encourage him towards  even deeper struggles and sins […]

The Power Of Gentleness

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 sometimes get angry and hurt when those close to you don’t seek your help? If these questions created some uneasiness and tension as you read them, God does have a […]

Radiant Commands

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 children come to this conclusion is because obedience has presented to them as a means to get a reward. However, biblical obedience is not something used to gain a reward.  […]

Short Answers

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 you think of the sermon?” “It was okay.” “Why are you so hard to talk to?” “Aw, mom.” You attempt to support your teenager with a well-intended comment of encouragement […]

Be Quick To Listen

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 his mind and actually did as he was asked. The other son never went to the vineyard. After telling this story, Jesus asked his listeners which son did what his […]