Parenting with Love (pt 1)

A rare voice from Heaven

Only twice in the New Testament does God the Father speak audibly to mankind; once at the baptism of Jesus and secondly on a mountain when Jesus was revealed in glory to Peter, James and John. All of the first 3 gospels record the events. Not to be disrespectful in any way, but I can’t help but picture the Father up there looking down, placing his thumbs behind His lapels, puffing out His chest and saying, “Datsa my Boy!” (I think that’s in an Italian translation!). And in each case he calls Jesus “my beloved son”. How do you think Jesus felt on hearing that? And could there be a more joyful, affirming sound to a son or daughter than hearing his or her father bragging about his love for them?

In this series we will delve into the most important topic, Love. When we are feeling loved we feel special, content and happy. When we are feeling rejected, we feel hurt, angry and withdrawn. Keeping a sense of love alive between family members is challenging given our pace of life. Activities and commitments pull us apart and create pressure on both parents and kids. Read More →

The Vital Nature of Transparency

The family that came for Revive’s family camp could not have anticipated the change that would begin with just one week of time, fun and transparency.  The importance of transparency cannot be overstated when it comes to family connection and togetherness.

Transparency is a delicate topic and can strike fear into the hearts of adults. Yet it is vital and must be encouraged, guarded and protected within our homes.  For me becoming transparent required pursuing healing in my own heart because prior to this there were just too many sensitive spots that led to pain that people could trigger in me without meaning anything. I had a strong sense that I needed to protect myself, which of course meant I could share little or nothing about my real life, thoughts or feelings. Unfortunately this is the position I find far too many kids in today with their parents and siblings.

Read More →

Essential T’s of Family Connection: Time (pt 4)

When Stephen Covey wrote his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” his second habit was “Begin with the End in View.” That applies to the first blog post in this 5-part series, being Together, or Togetherness. If our GOAL is togetherness we need to visualise more than simply physical proximity, which we can accomplish silently while driving to the store together in the car. Emotional closeness, mutual respect and support, openness to reason together; these and more contribute to a deeper and more broad togetherness experience.

But that type of togetherness must be established on the second T we described: Trust. Trust is the GROUNDWORK that allows us to strive towards greater togetherness in the first place. Without trust family members will hold each other “at arm’s length”, hesitant to really engage on any meaningful level, not wanting to expose themselves to something that might be misunderstood or devalued. Once there is a commitment to trust, and that can be a decision as well as an emotion, we can move towards togetherness.

Even when there is a goal of togetherness and a commitment to trust there must be a GATEWAY to reach the destination, and that we dealt with in part 3: Talk. Community begins  with communication in a healthy way, with a sense of safety, open minds and hearts, respect and positive interaction. Read More →

Essential T’s of Family Connection: Talk (pt 3)

One of the three pillars that lead from Trust to Togetherness:

One of the keys for family connection that builds a sense of togetherness is TALK, simple on its face, but complex in its execution. Our challenge as parents and grandparents is establishing a culture of communication that builds and encourages open communication and togetherness.  We desire to be together but pools of pain within, unsolved issues, and poor communication habits can rob us of what we truly desire. Read More →

Essential T’s of Family Connection: Trust (Pt 2)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart…“.  So begins Proverbs 3:5. And over a hundred times the Bible talks about trusting God. “Sure” you say, “God presents Himself, and is presented as totally trustworthy. He does not lie and is holy and without flaw. Trustworthiness flows out of His perfect character. So that means I can, and should, trust Him.”

But:

Trust is a tricky topic Read More →

Essential T’s of Family Connection (pt 1)

In the Book of Deuteronomy in the Bible God tells Moses “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deut. 6:5-7

Clearly God shares the importance of His instruction, but this exhortation also pictures a family where conversation and closeness occur. In verses 20 and 21 God says, “When your son asks you in time to come, What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you? Then you shall say …” Equally clear, then, is that curious questioning and trusted instruction are involved. Implied in these verses is that the family is to be a place where relationship is of utmost importance, both with God and with one another. Read More →

Prior to my journey of heart healing I had intellectually forgiven the sources of the stuffed issues and pain within me.  Yet without having turned and dealt with the harm within, it was not a full forgiveness. As the negative beliefs I had adopted came to the forefront and the sources of those beliefs were identified, it was clear that my forgiveness was incomplete.

I had to truly begin to heal within before I could truly forgive in such a manner that I did not seek to guard and protect myself from those I had intellectually forgiven.  Read More →

Given that our culture is not a culture of grieving it seems only natural that we would learn to stuff our feelings only to reach a point where our hearts shut down because of unresolved issues with our parents, others or things outside our control which lead to the amount of pain we carry inside. Read More →

Healing Our Hearts: That Difficult Look Inside (pt 3)

Growing up you may have kept a treasure box; a box where special things were kept: a shell from that beach vacation, a ticket stub from the first ball game your dad took you to, a picture of your best childhood friend? In short, any number of things that brought back happy memories. On the other hand, you may have a box of another kind, immaterial but just as real, acknowledged or suppressed, and often unconscious; a box deep in your heart that is opened just to put things into, then tightly sealed again. That is the more important box, the one where deep hurts, disappointments and negative beliefs are kept. Read More →

Healing Our Heart – A Trip Worth Taking (pt 2)

Healing the heart is not a science or a linear process but an inward journey of discovery, reflection, and emotional consciousness that leads to deep healing. It does, however, require a significant mental decision and commitment. Why? It takes time, personal transparency, and a willingness to discover the suppressed reality that lies within. This discovery process is not easy and often uncovers pain that we inherently like to avoid which is likely why we stuffed it originally. When pain accumulates, it causes us to deep six our hearts and shut them down, in effect sealing the hatch to the submarine to avoid the storm within. Read More →

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