Communication

230 posts

You Were Born To Fight

You were born to fight. James puts it this way: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” It is time to stop being surprised that you and the people you love are inclined to fight. This has been reality since the Garden. We all have a part of our brother 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 are fighting, right?  Well, not really!  The reason this sounds awkward and uncomfortable […]

Enough Is Enough!

Ephesians 4:31 & 32 are seldom used as parenting directives. This is unfortunate. There is a powerful dynamic of grace here to help shepherd your children towards Christ. Read these words slowly: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Because of the gospel grace shown to you, Paul is directing you to rid your thoughts and your speech of the angry words of relational combat. The deceitfulness of our flesh entices us to justify our anger. So when a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a friend wrongs or hurts you, you feel […]

5 Proverbs To Encourage Parents

Proverbs 16 has important direction for anyone in authority, especially parents. These insights help to establish authority and strengthen your parental authority. Here are some selected Proverbs from this chapter: Commit to the LORD whatever
 you do and your plans will succeed. (Verse 3) This is the starting point. The commitment indicated here is totally to the Lord Lord because of your love for him is the focus of life. This is not so much about achieving a single objective as it is about committing all of your life to honor God. In parenting, this means a commitment to use God’s methods to accomplish God’s purpose. Authority without this commitment to God is destructive! Honest scales and balances are from […]

Discipline Or Punishment: Do Your Children Know the Difference?

There is a huge difference between punishment and discipline. Since children are born wanting to go their own way, every parent engages in some form of correction. That correction will either take the form of punishment or discipline. Punishment is about retribution, payment for wrong doing. Punishment produces insecurity and fear. Biblical discipline on the other hand produces security and peace. The reason for the difference is that biblical discipline is motivated and controlled by love, the love of Christ. Only the love of Christ can remove punishment. As I John 4:18 says, the perfect love of Christ drives out fear, and replaces it with the blessing of the gospel. Thus, if your correction is not directly connected to the […]

Are you a refuge for your teenager?

When emotions are strong, words can hurt. This can be especially true of conflicts with teenagers. God wants you to look beyond the emotional upset. He wants you to do something more than be hurt by hard conversations. He wants you to listen and learn from what is behind the sharp exchanges. The following lyrics are from a song by Linkin Park, titled Numb. The video has over 655 million views on Youtube. That’s right, 655 MILLION views! The theme in the video is about a broken relationship between a mother and her daughter. The daughter, like way too many daughters, is a self-injurer. Read the lyrics slowly, these are the thoughts of an angry, hurting teenager, perhaps even your […]

“I wanted my kids to know me”

Steve Jobs revolutionized the way our culture communicates. Steve Jobs was a legend. However, there was one area Jobs recognized where he was lacking. He was a private man, even from his own children. “I wanted my kids to know me,” Jobs was quoted as saying by Pulitzer Prize nominee Walter Isaacson, when he asked the Apple co-founder why he authorized a tell-all biography after living a private, almost ascetic life. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did,” Jobs told Isaacson in their final interview at Jobs’ home in Palo Alto, California. Millions have benefited from Jobs’ creativity while his own children had to wait for his biography […]

When Words Won’t Work

We humans are people of words. God designed us to be that way. But as valuable as words are, the Bible tell us there is something beyond our words that must not be missed. Our words, our spirit, our actions, our faith must all point to a common life-giving thread: our relationships. Relationships are not sustained primarily through our words, they are sustained by the power God’s Spirit. The most important relationship is the one that makes all others possible. Knowing Jesus Christ is the one relationship that matters above all else. James teaches us how destructive words can be. Insensitive words are like sparks that can ignite a roaring fire. If your words have been hurtful to others simply […]

Winning Or Loving

When you have an argument you have a choice: you can win or you can love. The word “love” in this phrase seems awkward and out of place, doesn’t it? The conventional wording is you can win or you can lose. But as with other things in the Christian life, God’s ways are radically different than our own. The idea that an argument or discussion is about winning or losing is flawed at its core. God has called us to honor him with love and not be focused on winning or losing arguments. What a novel thought! Instead of winning arguments the Holy Spirit calls you to love, that is to be patient, not be rude or self-seeking, not to […]

God's Great Plan

Pushing or Leading?

Do your children feel led or pushed? Are you as a parent dominated by love or frustration? The two questions are tightly connected. Leading is born out of love and pushing is born out of frustration.  As parents we may tell our children that we demand obedience and speak sharply because we love them and only want the best for them. Most likely our children are not buying this explanation.  It feels to them as if they are being manipulated into doing what mom and dad want. But God has better way. Proverbs 16:20-21 calls it pleasant words. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. 21 The wise in heart are called […]

More Than Words

Solomon makes an important observation about your facial expressions. Yes, words matter. They must be used with skill and grace. But you have other significant ways that you communicate with your children. One of them is by your countenance. Positively or negatively, the look on your face makes a difference. Proverbs 16:15 describes it this way: In the light of a king’s face there is life,
 and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain. In countries ruled by kings, a king’s smile was a big deal. A king had absolute authority. He literally had the power of life and death. So, the smile of the king was a welcome sight to his subjects. In Israel if […]