This segment continues our "Summer of Intentionality" series on NBC's KC Live TV Show. We are going through every letter in the alphabet and looking at the ways we can be intentional parents. So far we've covered A - Availability, B - Boundaries and C - Consequences. This week week look at D -Direction, E -Encouragement and F -Forgiveness).
D - Direction
Everyone needs direction. If left to ourselves, we will end up in a ditch – pretty much every time. For instance, my car, if left to itself, will constantly veer to the right if I don’t course correct. I need to take it into the shop and fix the alignment.
We need to realize that our kids need constant alignment fixes when it comes to direction.
Here’s something that has helped me make personal direction-decisions as well as giving direction-decisions to people who come to me for counsel.
It comes from Andy Stanley’s book “The Best Question Ever” which says, “Based on my past experiences, my current situation and my future hopes, goals and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do?”
This is a great question to continually ask your kids (it’s also a great question to ask yourself).
E - Encouragement
As parents, we need to be CEO’s in our kid’s lives – Chief Encouragement Officers.
There are two kinds of encouragement that I want to talk about today.
1. General Encouragement
We all know and need these types of encouragements throughout the day. The Bible says in 1 Thess. 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”
We can make blanket statements in our homes that set the encouragement temperature:
· You’re going to have a great day.
· I love you.
· Kelley home: “If I lined up all of the 6 or 8 year olds in the whole world, I would pick you every time.”
· I believe in you.
· We’re so blessed to have you as children.
2. Specific Encouragement
We all can relate to getting general encouragement when we really wanted specific encouragement (it’s no fun). We need to practice the art of giving them immediate and competent encouragement towards a specific thing they just did or something that they’re going to do.
· Catch them doing something good.
o “I noticed that you held the door for the older couple at the restaurant…”
o “Thank you for waiting until everyone got their food to eat…”
o “I saw that you gave someone else your seat and you sat in the back…”
· Allow them to use your borrowed courage. (When we encourage them in advance of something that they are fearful of doing, but we know that they have it inside of them to do.)
F - Forgiveness
I’ve been on this show talking about the importance of forgiveness, but today I want to take it from the perspective of parents modeling forgiveness for their kids.
For instance, when I lose my temper with my kids and say something I shouldn’t, do my kids experience their dad coming to them and asking for forgiveness?
Or when my wife and I get into an argument (no, pastors and pastor’s wives don’t argue, we have “moments of intense fellowship), do we circle back to them and ask for forgiveness for what they just witnessed?
Or, when someone hurts us at work and we start to vent about it at home, do our kids experience us as parents working through the process of forgiving that person at work?
As parents, maybe the reason why our kids hold onto grudges and bitterness too long is because that’s all they’ve seen modeled over the years and they are just copying mom and dad.
And as an NFL Chaplain and follower of Jesus, I’m reminded that the only way we can fully and freely forgive is to recognize that we have been forgiven much through Christ. Our of His great love and forgiveness towards us, we can live out of the overflow and model forgiveness in our homes.