Keepin’ Things Real: Parenting - 7 ways to lead your family (Part 5)November 24, 2010
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13
"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people." Philemon 1:7
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" 1 Thes. 5:11
One of the things we have found in our own parenting is that in the midst of raising kids it is easy to focus on what they ARE DOING WRONG so much that we loose sight of what they are doing RIGHT! (This is true of marriage as well. As we have said hundreds of times in our marriage conferences, a spouses may do 80-90 % of things right, but what do we focus on...the 10-20% they do wrong. And just like marriage, if all you feel is criticism, condemnation and judgement, you usually feel like a failure, defeated and unmotivated.) This is why as Parent Leaders we must also be PARENT ENCOURAGERS.
The Scripture references for today remind us of the power and purpose of encouragement ... First, we should encourage DAILY. All of us need encouragement and we need it daily. If it's been days, weeks or (God forbid) longer since you have encouraged your spouse or your kids, then today, take a moment and call forth the good you see in them. A kind word, a tender compliment, a smile and a hug can go a long way in actually relieving some tension and making someone's day. Did you also see the danger of never encouraging others? People who never get encouraged are in danger of having a hardened heart.
Second, encouragement is refreshing to the soul. Some versions of Philemon 1:7 use the word "COMFORT". It carries with it the idea of allowing others to rest, exhale and recover in order to gain strength. When Parents rarely encourage their children, (or spouses fail to encourage one another) it will actually cause them to be emotionally tired and internally restless. This is why Paul warns us to not exasperate our kids...and a lack of encouragement will do exactly that.
Lastly, Parent Encouragers actually end up being Parent PARTNERS in the transformation of their kids. The Greek word in both the Hebrews and 1 Thessalonians passage is "parakaleō"... which means to call to one's side, strengthen, exhort, instruct and teach. We love the thought of "to call to one's side" because it is a picture of partnership and having someone along side of you in the journey. How awesome is that for marriage and how awesome is that for parenting?
And don't miss this...this is also the same Greek word used to describe the Holy Spirit which is our comforter, our guide and our partner who calls us to HIS side and comes along side us as we change and grow into who Christ wants us to be... after all, isn't this what we really are to do as parents ... to strengthen, exhort, instruct, teach, discipline, convict, comfort and literally come along side our kids and help them walk in truth as we mold and train them in righteousness ... ultimatelybecoming who Christ wants them to be?
So today, the take-away is this...in the midst of dealing with all the issues we face as Parents...the training, the disciplining, the time-outs, the grounding, don't loose sight of how to encourage them in the process ... go back and read the other blogs on parenting (Parent Defenders, Parent Feeders, Parent Overcomers and Parent Disciplinarians) and then keep it all in balance as you raise Children who do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, with the right kind of heart.
Dale and Jena
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