Archives For words

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"You can't think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don't get why you aren't," Michelle Carter allegedly texted to Conrad Roy III.

It was the day he parked his truck outside a Fairhaven, Massachusetts Kmart and killed himself through carbon monoxide poisoning.

Those were words from a 17-year-old girl friend to an 18-year-old boyfriend!! What a terrible tragedy.

What can we as parents learn from this?

Something we already knew:

The power of words to influence…

…and the power of a wrong association.

As our kids are beginning this new school year and encountering new relationships, it is critical that we mentor them to wisely choose their associates and guard their hearts from deceptive and evil words.

Many questions remain in this particular case. But one thing is very clear. This young man should have walked away from this girl.

I have 2 tools to offer you today as we pray for all those involved in this case:

  1. Here are some great scriptures to use as you sit down and talk about this story with your own kids. 

Proverbs 7:6-27

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26

Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."   1 Corinthians 15:33


  1. Here are four of our posts on suicide:

Is Suicide the Parent’s Fault?

A Death Discussion with Your Kids

A Death Discussion with Your Kids, part 2

Suicide: Are We Missing the Point?

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Yesterday one of my kids suffered a real setback and disappointment.

As I watched him struggle through the pain, I wanted desperately to find a way to fix it. But....that was not to be.

Don't you just hate it when your kids are in pain? Wouldn't you join me in wishing that the problems in this fallen world would not touch those that we love?

As I was carefully selecting what I should say to ease his pain, it struck me the potential weight my words could carry.

Parents, we hold an amazing responsibility in stewarding over our children's young lives.

Our words can frame their world for success and hope....or cut them to failure and despair.

Sometimes in the "big events" like I experienced yesterday we are keenly aware of this power. But what about the everyday moments that are not so monumental?

Today, I am challenging myself to identify key phrases that are too dangerous to ever utter. Here are my first top 3 that come to mind:

3 Things We Should Never Say to Our Kids:

1. You always do…   Watch out for the absolute declarations. Our kids are still in process! God would never say that about us!

2. You never do...   This is a mirror image of number 1. And it is not helpful either!

3. Why can't you be more like your brother/sister?   Comparison is so deadly. Check out 2 Corinthians 10:12.

What would you add to this list?

I love this little article from John Trent that helps us replace those old, bad phrases with words of affirmation that can nourish our kids' hearts.

Image: bies “R is probably studying some insect again...”  via Flickr Creative Commons
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Personality clashes. Birth order strife. Jealousy. Selfishness.

Surely your children never display these types of problems.  Right? :)

It seems at our house that while summertime increases our quotient of family fun, it can also increase our quotient of family squabbles. So I figure that as the leader of these day-to-day family operations, it is my job to find ways to minimize our problems.

(Next week we are heading out for our week long family vacation. So, I am going to give this my best shot....and then I would welcome your ideas also!)

1. Balance Free Time with Structure

I love our more relaxed schedule. But it is easy for everyone to get their own individual plans going, and then selfishness sets in. Really, we all do much better with some structure that I communicate clearly early in the day... or even better, the night before.

2. Celebrate the Unique Personalities

My kids seem to take their lead from me. When I am affirming each of my children—even if I am not understanding their preferences very well—then the other children follow my lead better.

3. Ban Unwholesome Words; Require Words of Life

We needed the power of God's word working in our hearts. Ephesians 4:29 has been our memory verse for the last several weeks.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  (NIV)

I am pleased to report that this has helped tame the tongues and clearly identify the errors.

4.  Provide Tools

Interpersonal conflicts are a reality of life. I believe spending the time to help siblings learn to effectively resolve their conflicts is a good investment in my future grandchildren's lives. And, I often remind the "warring" parties that learning this skill now will prevent pain in marriage.

5.   Maintain Physical Health Habits

Sloppy eating habits + too many late nights + not enough fluids + too much heat = crankiness.

Sometimes we are caught in conflicts that are really just symptoms of irritation.

6.  Sudden Trip to Dairy Queen

Doug reminded me to include this one. Hey, with this many teens in one house, sometimes we just need to call a truce and provide some sweet distraction! :) 

Gratefully linked to:
Making your Home Sing Monday
Modest Mondays

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By Lisa Cherry

Venomous, hateful words are targeted at Christians regularly—words that are meant to immobilize and silence us. 

Your kids are witnessing this hostility too. Have you talked with them?

Perhaps you saw the post that went viral last week called “The one thing Christians should stop saying.” 

Even if you got in on the debate on this article, you may not have noted some of the comments it generated such as....

“There are so many things that christians should stop saying... One is that homosexuality is a "lifestyle." Another one is that the bible is god's word. Another one is that they know god's will. Another one is "love the sinner, hate the sin." Another one is that, if you can't prove the nonexistence of god, god exists. I think it would just be better if the christians stopped being christians and became responsible and well informed adults."

“Actually, Christians should stop saying a lot of things. They should consider getting their vocal cords removed, so that humanity may progress without their outdated ideals.”

Wow! How do those comments line up with the word "tolerance" ?

And what about the story of the Air Force Cadet who is in hot water for putting Galatians 2:20 on his white board on the front door of his dorm room?

Some are claiming they were "offended" by the scripture declaration.

You would think that an organization named “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” would defend a Christian’s right to express his/her faith. 

But Founder and Director Mikey Weinstein says  that the cadet’s actions “poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny, exceptionalism and supremacy …” 

He also compared the posting of the Bible verses to “racism.”

Is our world changing quickly or what?

I think it is very important that we help our kids prepare for the venom of hatred coming our way as we stand firm for Jesus Christ.

What can we do to help our kids? Here are 6 ideas:

1. Talk about the news frequently with your kids.  Help them to understand these types of expressions within the context of what Jesus promised us in John 15:18 

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.

2. Now is the time to read about heroes of the faith and watch videos about people who stood firm. Check out resources at YWAM publishing, or search on “Christian Heroes” at

3. Begin to pray for courage to stand as a family  Use scripture prayers, as God's word is our power!  See Joshua 1:9.

4. Provide a time of "debriefing" where your kids feel comfortable to share their most difficult moments.  They will feel most open to share after you as a parent share first.

5. Consider the increased persecution and pressure as an adventure....not a tragedy.  Obviously, we are not happy about it, but we have been called to the Kingdom for just such a time as this.

6. Begin to study our book and DVD curriculum called Not Open: Win the Invisible Spiritual Culture War.  Buy it here at our store.  Don’t miss chapter 14, which is...."I Will Hate and Be Hated"

What other practical ideas would you suggest as we see the days growing increasingly hostile?

Image: Stephen Poff "Visited Upon the Son"
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Gratefully linked to
Modest Mondays
Babies &  Beyond
Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday
List It {Tuesday}
Titus 2 Tuesday