Here is the devotional:
James 1:19 – “This you know, my beloved brethren. Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger…”
Pardon me while I brag on my two sons for a minute. I have two Godly, talented, rockstar sons (Joshua and Noah), and I say that with all the objectivity I can muster. Two young men who didn’t go through that adolescence phase or that teenage angst timeframe. But, rather, showed interest in me and my wife even to the degree of wanting to work at our design company. Both will go full-time when they graduate college.
They are respectful, loving, kind, and just flat-out the best thing I ever did. Praise God!!!
I truly believe that is the result of the boundaries we set to help them understand what it takes to be a well-rounded, Christ-focused person with a heart for others. There were times when I had to deliver unpopular rules or verbal discipline that would hurt me much more than them, but it was very seldom. The bottom line was: I had to be the dad and not the friend. But there is a way of speaking truth to your children without leaving scars. Verbal abuse has zero tolerance in my world, and it’s how my wife and I have parented our children from day one. I can speak to my sons with authority without abusing them with hurtful words that destroy the communication between us.
Your children are often reaching out to you for instruction and advice in many different ways. Be open to hearing from them and speaking with them with love and not out of anger.
There are so many ways my sons make me proud, but when they come to me and say, “Dad, can I get your advice on something?”, I know I’ve developed a platform of communication that my sons can always feel safe on.
If your past has a negative influence on the way you communicate with your children, then it’s time you took it to God to change that. There are books upon books out there on learning how to communicate more effectively, but just like all change, it has to start with you.
Do you make time for your children other than just when you have to?
Would you consider yourself a parent or a friend? It’s hard to be both.
Do you spend time worshiping together?
Are you verbally abusive?
Sit down with your child over pizza, ice cream, or coffee, and listen twice as much as you talk. Give advice when they are open to hearing it, and let them know they can always come to you for support. Never, and I mean NEVER, say something that you will regret later. Words leave scars.
Here are the verses referenced:
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
James 1:19 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
Guess what men? Children are more than likely being lead by social media rather than their parents
Set time limits on social media accounts. And for the love of God filter what you children watch!
You have no idea how bad media is unless you are actually monitoring what they watch.
Parenting is not easy….at all. I think we make more mistakes than we care to admit.
Even in the communication department 😢
Often times we will say things in anger and then regret it as soon as we see our kids face. I did that to Erin once and her facial features broke my heart and I immediately apologized. Never did it again.
Both Erin and Brandon know they can come to me with anything. Brandon does way more than Erin lately. But hey she’s almost an adult now😮
Honest, biblical advice is always in the forefront.
I tell them what scripture says and then I will also give them my personal opinion. Then we discuss the issue.
It has been this way their whole life.
They know I will point to what God says about the scenario first. They respect that fact even if they do not necessarily agree with it.
When I had a car we had Father & Daughter night out. We usually ate sushi and talked about whatever was on her mind.
The same with Brandon though we went to the Chinese Buffet instead of just the sushi place.
I made it a weekly thing for both of them.
I never wanted either of them to feel that dad was not available!
It is hard to be both parent and friend to your child but it is possible.
It is all in how you handle the conversations!
They can talk to me like they would their best friend but they also know I will lay down the rules if need be!
See, I never had that growing up. Well…not with my dad that is. I had that with my mom.
Now both of them are responsible young people. Erin monitors herself on social media. Sometimes I will have to tell Brandon to turn that off.
The music they listen to nowadays is just filthy.
But how did they get to where they can come me with anything?
By me being honest and upfront! And watching the words I use. I never tear my children down even if they do things I disagree with.
There have been a few time where the thought of You have lost your freaking mind has popped into my head a time of two. When that happens I usually ask them to give me a minute to think before I answer.
How do you spend time in conversation with your children?
Can they come to you with their problems or do they seek counsel from another?