Peace on the Home Front
Turmoil in the home, especially between husband and wife, but also between parents and children, peculiarly resembles disputes and wars between leaders and nations.
The unresolved conflicts and damage occur as two parties struggle to get their own way. How can the situation improve?
One key change that parents can effect is to stop reacting to their children impulsively when they are disruptive but rather discipline them as God's agents on their behalf. Then, both children AND parents are accountable to the same source, God. Likewise, couples that cease from power struggle for control over their spouse, but rather submit to God together, will find that "controlling" is no longer an issue. Peace on earth will come only when people seek God's control, not their own.
The “Just Listen”
My daughter just came to me with a conflict between her and another sibling. I had already heard the information from a third party and cut her off since I thought I had found a just solution.
Wrong! I stressed out my daughter because I did not take the time, no matter how boring the repetition would have been to me, to RECEIVE her side of the story. I know it is "better to give than receive," but sometimes receiving what our friend, child, or spouse has to say is worth much—not just hearing and reacting, but really taking it in so the other knows we understand. The Bible uses the word "receive" (identical with "take" sometimes) for receiving a partner in marriage (Matthew 1:24) or for receiving Christ at salvation (John 1:12). It must be pretty important.
My daughter?—she forgave me.
To you fathers, "family first" should not be just an empty slogan. During one of our devotions, my wife shared from Romans 12:2 not to conform to this world. This world does not honor a father who is not a prestigious politician, an awesome athlete, a glorious golden boy on the big screen, a brilliant breakthrough brain head, or a titanic tycoon. Someone who is willing to help change the diapers is just spare change.
A husband and dad who takes the romantic, educational, spiritual, business, and recreational initiative in the family is not recognized by the world's "in crowd.” Never!...Never!...Never!...let even ministry and the lost get in the way of your family-first perspective. To quote what has probably by now become a family cliché of ours, "Your ministry IS your family."
Quality Time v. Quantity Time
What’s more important for the kids: Quality time or Quantity time? For a busy two-income household with overtime hours, the question becomes particularly relevant. It seems the obvious answer is quality time, because isn’t it more important to connect on a deep level with our kids than just to spend a lot of time together? Can’t I just schedule in special time to make quality moments with my young one? Well, quite simply, no!
Sure, we can hit a quality time now and then on a schedule. But generally, quality time emerges from the context of quantity time, the desire to be around our kids enough hours of the day or week that when the opening occurs, we are there. For a mother, it is not putting her career first, but her family. Uh, actually, it’s the same for the dad. We might not win as many professional awards this way, but, on our death bed, we probably won’t regret the hours away from the office we spent with our kids: Right?
A proverb saying, "a wise man will hear and increase learning" has been Rick's counseling slogan since the start of his practice 27 years ago. It suggests that God meets a person who listens regardless of gender, ethnicity or creed.