Day 3: Uncommen Words of a Dad
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.