In pastoral counseling over the past few weeks, I have found two things come up in conversation on multiple occasions. I will address each part in a "part 1" and "part 2" blog.
The second topic of conversation has been establishing non-negotiables. We've all heard "you've got to pick your battles." Unfortunately, many parents pick the wrong battles. Parents must establish the non-negotiables early. For example, my son knew that church attendance was a non-negotiable (unless he was sick). He knew we would never argue or debate this core value in our home. Some parents have erroneously taken "pick you battles" as a spur of the moment decision of "do I feel like debating right now?" Your core values should determine your battles.
Once you have identified your core-values and established your non-negotiables, those "battles" disappear. Why? Because your child understands these are not up for discussion. I often said to my son, "I don't argue with 12-year olds."
What happens when the child violates a core value of the home? The parent should remember three things...
1. Identify the offense: Lying
2. Clearly state the consequence: You will not be allowed to...
3. Clearly explain why the offense is a violation of your core values: Lying is contrary to the character of God. "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" Eph. 4:29. "The LORD detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy" Proverbs 12:22.
In pastoral counseling over the past few weeks, I have found two things come up in conversation on multiple occasions. I will address each in a "part 1" and "part 2" blog.
The first is the roles of parenting. Here is a snapshot of my notes:
0-2 Years (Parent Role: Cater)
2-10 Years (Parent Role: Control)
10-14 Years (Parent Role: Coach)
14-18 Years (Parent Role: Consultant)
18+ Years (Parent Role: Care)
It can be difficult for parents to move from one role to the next.
The maturity of your child will also be reflected in these roles. For example, your child may be 14-18, but has not matured enough to seek the advice of a consulting parent. Therefore, the parent continues as a coach. However, we (parents) must do all we can to help them mature. After all, no one wants to change the diaper of a 10-year-old.
Every pastor will tell you that ministry is hard work. Here is an encouraging word from "Experiencing God Day By Day" by Henry Blackaby.
"For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground" Isaiah 53:2a.
The coming of Jesus was like a tender plant in the midst of a parched ground. Parched ground offers little hope for survival; it is dry and too hardened to allow most plants to penetrate its crust. Yet Jesus was prophesied as a tender plant that would break through the hostile soil and overcome the dry and lifeless environment in order to bring life.
When Jesus was born, His people were hardened to God’s Word. There is no written record of God’s having spoken to His people for four hundred years. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had studied and memorized the Scriptures, but the words were lifeless to them. So hostile had they become to the truth that when God’s Son came to them, they killed Him. Nevertheless, despite the enmity of the people, Jesus brought life to all who believed in Him.
Jesus is capable of bringing life to any person, society, or culture no matter how hardened or hostile they have become to the gospel. Even the most calloused sinner will discover that Jesus knows how to penetrate the heart and bring life where there was only bitterness. The work of Jesus in a person’s life may seem fragile at first, but like the mustard seed, it will eventually grow into something strong.
As you pray for someone you care about, don’t be discouraged if this person has not responded to Jesus. Just as a tender plant finds a way to grow in a hard and unreceptive environment, so the love of Jesus has the ability to emerge in a life that seems completely unresponsive.
Dr. Chris Dortch has been in vocational ministry since 1993. His blog is aimed to "equip the saints for the work of ministry."