The Holy Spirit plays a much more important role in our lives than I realized prior to wrestling with how Jesus led and what that meant for me as a parent. As I studied Jesus and how He handled issues in broken people’s lives it was challenging. Whether it was the woman at the well, the adulterous woman or the disciples wanting to know who was greatest among them, Jesus’ response was caring, kind and vastly different than how I responded or reacted as a parent. Read More →
Recently we have seen a growing emphasis on the Spirit in the Body of Christ. I know that talking about the Spirit can make some of us uneasy for a variety of reasons.
Even if this is the case, let me encourage you to read on as I believe the Spirit can make our role as parents more enjoyable.
Great faith-based parents are citizens of heaven. What it means to be a citizen of God’s holy nation is something we should ponder. Today the world and our nation may give us pause for concern. We face what appears to be more and more pressure to conform to the world’s narratives, ideas and beliefs.
Last week we explored how our faith and relationship with Jesus can help us escape the pressure and expectations we face today as parents. Escaping the pressure at bay is essential if we want to keep our kids’ hearts close to us and encourage a faith that lasts.
Great faith-based parents are able to Escape Pressure and Expectations.
This may be counter to what we have heard or believe. We have been told that high expectations lead to higher achievement.
Is this true when living under pressure and a list of expectations increases stress, decreases patience, and often leads to internal negativity? Pressure and Expectations can flow from within or be placed on us externally. When we face significant pressure from within we tend to be hard on ourselves and often end up feeling like we are consistently falling short. We may feel or believe we are either not good enough or even a failure. These deeply held internal feelings/beliefs cause us to be defensive, driven, or even withdrawn depending on the situation and our personalities. Any of these may lead to challenges in either our relationships or jobs.
Right now, when it comes to your children you may not see how “handle with love” can make for good results. Last week we explored why we need to focus on our kids’ progress rather than the destination or the desired outcome in their lives. As parents it is easy to slip into the mindset that we are the ones who need to change our kids. This mindset subtly focuses us on their behavior, poor decisions and shortcomings. This can lead to frustration on both sides and emotional distance growing between us and our children. As the distance grows I have founds kids’ behavior, their willingness to listen and help, diminishes which often becomes a vicious cycle.
Over 1,000 families signed up for our Influential Parenting Academy in just over four weeks. As a result I have been receiving more phone calls from parents related to their kids. Many of these calls come from parents who have finished the class and are about to begin the implementation process or have taken the first few steps of the implementation process. Read More →
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 →
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 →