Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

How to Have the Family You’ve Always Wanted – Part 7

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The Number One Key to Peace in Your Home

Be quick to forgive. Easier said than done until you realize the incredibly high price of a grudge.  Failure to forgive has destroyed more marriages, families, interpersonal relationships, and lives than any other single poor life-choice. Unforgiveness is a personal prison you sentence yourself to, and the good news is you are the only one who has the key to let yourself out.

For our family, holding a grudge against anyone for anything was not an option. This policy was one of the biggest keys to harmony and peace in our family. We called it keeping “short accounts.”

Forgiveness has nothing to do with how we feel, it is a choice we make. It’s not an emotional decision, it’s a heart choice.  Sometimes we have to make it, and make it, and make it, as many times as it takes until it sticks. Your choice will bring you the life-changing freedom that only true forgiveness can bring, if you stay consistent in making good choices in the thoughts you keep and the ones you discard.  Then you train your kids by your example.

We taught our kids that when they realized they did something unkind to one another, they needed to immediately go to the person involved and ask their forgiveness.  We taught them to say, “I was wrong for ________, will you forgive me?”  And hopefully the response would come back, “I forgive you.”   Remember, there is creative power in our words.  Important: once we forgave, we never brought it up again.  Just like Jesus.

We all lived by, when you blow it, man up and own it.  Ask forgiveness quickly so bitterness and unforgiveness never have the chance to take root.  “I was wrong, but you . . . “ just didn’t get it.  That was blaming – not owning in our household.  Any time you put a “but” in a sentence, you can forget anything that came before it.

Are you in a self-imposed prison of unforgiveness?  Now you have the key, use it and set yourself free.  Your example also holds the key to keeping your family free of this plague as well.

Posted in Parenting

The Truth About Lies

Green Fence and Blue SkyModeling integrity at every level is critical to your parenting arsenal.  As a Children’s Pastor, I found that the besetting sin of most children was lying.  They will look you right in the eye and lie and not even blink an eye.  In our post Christian culture, it has become acceptable and normal to pepper our conversations with “white lies,” stretched truthfulness, and outright bold faced lies.

Have you ever told your kids to tell someone you’re not there when they called you at an inconvenient time?  You just taught your kids that it’s okay to lie if it keeps you from being inconvenienced.

How about those special family traditions like the man in the red suit?  Dare we?  Do your traditions include the jolly fat guy or the furry deliverer of eggs?  I know for many these are almost sacred traditions.  Would you be offended if I said these are not just harmless fairy tales?  I have nothing personally against either Santa or the Easter Bunny, but I do have a concern when we teach them to our children as “truth.”  The truth is, you’re telling them a lie.  Have you ever looked at it from your child’s perspective?  If you would deceive them about Santa and the Easter Bunny, in your child’s mind might you be deceiving them about a man who died 2,000 years ago to take away their sins?

As Christians, we are to rightly divide the word of truth.  If our children can’t trust our word, who can they trust?  I remember how devastated and betrayed I felt when I found out the Easter Bunny and Santa were mere myths.  I was crushed.  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to be honest with them on the front end, spare them the heartbreak of finding out the truth, and retain your integrity in their sight?

We always had fun with our kids on these holidays without loss of our integrity. We hid eggs, we had gifts, we had it all  . . . except the myth. Plus, we pointed them to Jesus in all things.  Remember the real significance of these holidays, a holy God left his throne in heaven to take the punishment that we deserved, and offered us the gift of eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and the honor of becoming the son or daughter of the King of Kings.  What fairytale could possibly surpass that?  Don’t settle for a shallow shadow when you can have the real thing.

The bottom line is as in all areas of parenting it all starts in the mirror.  You model the standard you want your kids to hit and hopefully exceed.  There may be areas where you need to ask your family’s forgiveness for your lack of truthfulness.

Green Fence and Blue Sky