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.
Dr. Chris Dortch has been in vocational ministry since 1993. His blog is aimed to "equip the saints for the work of ministry."