Archives For relationships

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Lee Strobel is raising an important question. Take a quick look at this article and see what you think:

New Poll Reveals a Generational Gap in Relationships with Fathers and Struggles With Faith: Are They Connected?

We could read this report and feel overwhelming discouragement. But I would encourage another response.

Perhaps strengthening our fathers in their roles can have major impact on the faith decline of our kids' generation!

Perhaps mending broken relationships can have eternal implications.

Perhaps it is not too late!

For some of us reading this post, we will want to hug our husbands and do all we can to help them succeed in their God given role.

But for others of us, we are starkly aware of the father pain or father absence that is already hindering our children's lives.

We will need the Lord's intervention to make up what man cannot easily fix. (And our God is able to do just that!)

Today will you join me in prayer? As we continue to ask God to heal our land, let’s also ask him to heal our dads.

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I love it when science proves God's word is true. Even in the area of relationships.

One of our frontline moms sent me this article today: (Thanks, Gretchen!)

Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits

It is absolutely fantastic. Kindness and generosity are the secrets to lasting love.

Please read this article for yourself and then send it on to your children. This is the kind of training material we need to get to them before they're married!

Here is a list of scriptures that backs up why these researchers found this to be true:

Colossians 3:12   Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Proverbs 3:3  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Ephesians 5:28  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:33  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Proverbs 27:15–16  A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.

Proverbs 22:9  A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.

Proverbs 11:24-25  One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Luke 6:38  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Lisa

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Related post:   Covenant: Romance and Marriage God’s Way

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Trust between a parent and child is critical.

Without it the whole relationship is compromised and challenged.

Kids and teens generally want their parents to trust them. They seem to recognize instinctively trust's power to control their lives.

As parents, we want our kids to be promoted into new levels of responsibility and freedom.

But we are very quick to recognize that trust is the only real pathway to freedom.

When our children make errors, trust is injured and consequence result.

Sometimes the level of trust violation is so deep that serious changes must occur.

Kids who are found with drugs, or who sneak out the bedroom window alter their own destinies.

But we as their parents are never to give up on them....even if they have greatly disappointed us by their foolish choices.

Here are 8 possible things to say when trust has been violated:

1. Trust has been injured, but trust can be rebuilt.

2. Trust is injured in an instant, but can be rebuilt over periods of time.

3. Though the trust aspect of our relationship has been damaged by your actions....the love aspect of our relationship is 100% intact and sure.

4. I love you too much to allow you to hurt yourself like that again therefore we will need to make this adjustment in our family policies:_____________

5. When I am convinced of your sincere repentance (not just your sorrow that you got caught), we will begin down the road to restoration.

6. I believe the Lord will restore what has been loss here if we will give Him the opportunity to work in our hearts.

7. In this family, promotion comes when trust is earned. If you want promotion, you must choose the pathway of trustworthy, right choices.

8. I am anticipating you will make some errors along the way to growing up. I am sure we can agree that this was a significant error. But I believe in the man/woman God is calling you to become. I have already seen the potential in you! We will get past this with God's help.

Parents, do not be too quick to restore privileges that have been lost because of trust violations. Give your kids the gift of integrity. They may not thank you on the spot! (In fact, they may wail and cry!)

But later on, they will respect your wise parenting...and maybe even come back to thank you!

Lisa

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Related posts:
“Don’t You Trust Me to Drive?”
“You Don’t Trust Me”…Responding to Teens on Internet Use

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Will My Kids Ever Get Along?

I remember asking myself that question a few times over the years when I had certain personalities or certain stages that just did not mix well.

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Now, I don’t want to paint a picture that there was constant war. But still, when they were younger, I definitely wondered! But now...I am pleased to report that our older kids are emerging from all the drama as best friends!

Yeah Jesus!

But since I still have several to emerge out of the "formative years," I thought I would review for myself (and anyone else who wants to read) what were some of the best keys of how we got from slightly annoying sibling to friend.

Here goes...

1. Begin with the end in mind.

Settle in your heart that you intend to parent your kids toward interdependent relationships. Not separation.

2. Have a long term view.

When I saw Hannah and Lucas together this past weekend ministering together at a Not Open Conference we were hosting in Richmond, I was so blessed!

But when I saw the picture of them skating together afterwards, I thought of some of my others in the future. Could they get there also??????   What if it takes just a few more patient years?

3. Cast a vision with your words.

I remember telling my kids: you will most likely not have your childhood friends with you very long… but your siblings you will have for a lifetime. Honor them. See them as your lifelong assets.

4. Never allow conflict to go unresolved.

Hurt feelings and arguments are inevitable. But bitterness and separation are not. Teach your kids the skills of conflict resolution while they are young, and you have set them up to have friends - and spouses! - for life!

5. Avoid the dangers of comparison.

Each of my children is gifted, though none of them in exactly the same way! Let your kids experience your unqualified acceptance and praise, and then watch them learn to resolve their own natural tendencies of jealousy.

6. Avoid the "make everything equal" temptation.

If our kids feel our anxiety that every purchase, every privilege, and every interaction must be balanced for fairness, we live a life of constantly comparing and leveling the registers. Instead, show your kids that you will meet needs as they come, and they can trust that when one kid benefits one day...their turn comes another day.

7. Provide abundant opportunities for family fun.

There is no doubt in my mind that the long car rides on vacation, the goofy movie nights, and the laughter around the dinner table build more than just good memories!

8. Labor together on the same team.

Our kids serve Jesus side by side…

at outreach dinners for the impoverished…
in the children's church class…
outside the youth gym.

They learn to trust each other in the trenches of Christian service with an eternal value. And teammates stick together.

9. Let kids share bedrooms.

I can't say this one was easy. But as I look back, making siblings (of the same gender) in our house roommates has given them a lasting special bond as friends.

10. Teach them to sow into each other’s lives.

We do Christmas gifts and birthday gifts between sibs even when some people do not have much money! It is the thought and the investment that counts!

11. Pray.

Make it a matter of prayer for wisdom and creativity to lead your children to friendship. It will be one of the greatest joys of your life!

Someday this mom will be old and sooooo glad my kids are friends!

Lisa

Gratefully linked to: Good Morning Mondays   Modest Mondays  Mom2Mom

Related posts:

Sibling Wars: 6 Tips to a Summertime Ceasefire

Who is Setting Your Home’s Atmosphere?

A Cure for Self-Centeredness

A Cure for Self-Centeredness

Lisa Cherry —  December 18, 2014

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My husband got home from a business appointment excited to tell me a story.

He had stopped by a client's office to drop off some paper work when the man uncharacteristically invited him to sit down and chat.

Suddenly, Doug was invited into the secret world of this man's past as the stories of his family's joys, needs, and wounds began pouring out of his middle-aged heart.

Doug, I am still believing our family can recover what we have lost. It has been a rough road, eventhough mom and dad gave all nine of us a good foundation with God in our pastor's family home. But....I can look back and point to where some things went wrong. One of the big things that caused us to drift is when we quit giving each other Christmas presents....

That last statement got Doug's attention.

At our house for the last several weeks the kids have been very busy buying and wrapping Christmas presents for each other. That is no small job when you have a lot of siblings...not to mention nieces and nephews!

I have watched all the hoopla and wondered if we should cut the process down and "draw names." But every year I make the same conclusion: leave them alone. What they are doing is important.

This is the time of the year that they go out of the way to sow into each person's life personally.

They do extra chores, save up from odd jobs and then shop for the perfect gift that will bring joy to their sibling.

Some of them make their treasures. Some of them have even been known to "regift." And everyone knows that very few items in our mound of presents were bought at anything less than bargain clearance. But that is fine. It is not the size or expense that matters. It is the thought and the expression of care.

Perhaps this man's observation is correct. I remember the years that we "swapped token gifts" with an extended family grouping...a tin of popcorn or a box of candy or cookies was an annual tradition.

But then one year we agreed to stop the exchange. And somehow as I crossed them off my annual Christmas gift list, something unfortunate happened. I crossed them out of my remembrance. I didn't mean to; life just got busy and we began to drift.

It seems that is the way with relationships. They never stay still. They are always moving...either closer or more distant.

So while we are completing our holiday plans, maybe we should all ponder this man's wise observation. It seems biblical to me. Giving is what our Lord did best! Celebrating the ones we love is worth our focus and thought.

I am asking myself some questions today....

Who has God placed in my life that I need to nurture and invest in? Who would find my expression of love a blessing (even if the treasure is small and non-valuable by the world's standards)? How can I encourage my own family to discover the joy of giving as they step out of the bondage of coveting?

I'll leave you with this verse to meditate on:

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35

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