Wisdom and Justice VS Lack of Wisdom and Injustice

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this …for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart…1 Kings 3:10-12
As a parent, I will be called upon to make a myriad of decisions. Should my child take certain classes? Should he or she do this afterschool activity or the other one? When do I push them toward an activity that they don’t want to do, but I think will be good for them? In the midst of difficult situations, when do I make them persevere and when do I allow them to quit? Do […]

Asking Life Questions Around the Holidays

The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. Proverbs 20:5.

The holidays are a great time to reconnect with our family.  One of the ways we can encourage our children to grow wise is to ask questions when they are in the presence of older and wiser people. Just a few questions can draw wisdom from a humble, self-effacing saint. Our American culture values the young and disparages the old. The church is not immune to this blindspot.

But what questions to ask? I recently stumbled upon a pdf that has a number of good questions to ask. I highly recommend you take a look at this pdf. Pick out one or two questions and use it around the holidays […]

Tedd Tripp on Communication: Waiting for the Right Time

In regular friendship relationships you would never jump your friend the moment you saw them do something you questioned the wisdom of, or thought was wrong. So long as his life was not endangered you would not pounce on him about everything you saw him do or heard him say. You would bide your time, waiting for the proper moment.

Do your teenagers need less consideration?

I have been embarrassed sometimes to be with the parents of teenagers and hear them reprimand their children over every little thought. You have no biblical obligation to censure your children for everything they do that is irritating to you. You must increasingly make room for your teenagers differing style and manner, holding correction for moral and ethical failures.

Shepherding a Child’s […]

Sinners Who Don’t Actually Sin?

I have observed a funny paradox – many sinners don’t actually sin.

What I mean is that on Sunday in church they have no problem admitting that they are a sinner that needs a Savior.

But during the week if someone brings up a short-coming and suggests that they: were angry, mishandled a situation, were unwilling to listen, were sarcastic, were thoughtless — then they are immediately defensive.

In others words, theoretically I am a sinner but functionally I don’t actually really sin.

Strange, isn’t it?

If we don’t want that deception in our lives, this article and this summary of it are foundational on giving and receiving criticism.

Questions for reflection include:

How do I typically react to correction?
What is my first response when someone says I’m wrong?
Do I tend to attack […]

Questions to Go Deeper with Our Children or Seekers

People collect many things: stamps, cars, tree ornaments. I like to collect questions. Whenever I find good questions I try and write them down so that I can use them in the appropriate situation.

I came across and old article in Leadership Magazine by Judson Poling in which he argues for answering questions of a seeker (or at least the initial question) with a question. That second question can reveal what is hidden and often what motivates the question. Often what we need to do is get to the heart of the questioner before we give an answer.

These questions below will help the person you are talking with think more deeply.  I think several of these are excellent questions for conversing with our older children as […]

What to Say to a Teenager in Crisis

The Journal of Biblical Counseling is a gift from the Lord to his church. The new journal is up online.  A new article by Paul Tripp is entitled What to Say to a Teenager in Crisis.

His points include:

1. Communication is possible.
2. Your teen’s “trouble” is your opportunity.
3. Your words are shaped by your heart.

What to do?
1. Do not personalize what is not personal.
Don’t turn a moment of ministry into a moment of anger.

2. Start with your heart.
Your teenage is not the only sinner in your home.

3. Speak wise words.
a. calm
b. keep the conversation going.
c. keep Jesus and the gospel central

4. Take the time it takes.
Don’t try and squeeze a one hundred dollar conversation into a ten cent moment.

5. Learn to handle the times you fail.

There […]

10 Pleasant Sentences That Can Defuse a Conflict

Lou Prioli has 20 pleasant sentences that can defuse a conflict. I have taken my top 10. Read the whole thing. Applicable for marriage, teens to parents. Pleasant words do promote understanding.

“I really appreciate your concern about this.”
“Am I hearing you right? Is this what you are saying?”
“Would you repeat that please?”
“I see this is important to you; therefore, it is to me.”
“Thank you for taking time to share this with me.”
“Do you have any suggestions as to what I could do to improve in this area?”
“How could I do (have done) that differently?”
“What, exactly, is it you see that I’m doing or saying wrong?”
“Thank you for bringing that to my attention.”
“I see that’s important […]

Positions and Interests

Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Conflict is a part of the human experience. Thanks to Adam and Eve’s sin there is going to be conflict at work, church, with our spouses, children and in-laws to name just a few. But some of this conflict can be mitigated if we understand the difference between positions and interests.

Most conflicts are over positions. Two parties answer the same question with very different opinions and conflict results. As a trivial example, a husband and wife might disagree over where to go out to eat. The husband wants to go to Wendy’s. The wife wants to go to Capriccio’s.  A disagreement ensues with one party winning and […]

How to Think About an Emerging Issue: Is Some Profanity OK?

It has become cool among Christians who are emerging adults to differentiate between words that take the name of the Lord and those that culture considers profane. The emerging view is that the latter is not forbidden by the Scripture.

How are to think about this?

John Piper recently used a word that would be considered coarse. He then publically expressed regret.  Tim Challies covers it here. He links to Wayne Grudem’s letter that Dr. Grudem wrote in response to Dr. Piper.

I reject the distinction of emerging adults that there are two different types of profane words: forbidden and acceptable. Why? Ephesians 4:29 says that no unwholesome talk is to come out of our mouths. The word is the word for garbage. A few verses later Paul […]

17 Teen Resolutions from John Piper

17 Teenage Resolutions in Honor of Mom and Dad

John Piper in A Godward Life, p 273-275

1. Resolved: I will obey your instructions and do what I know you expect of me, even when it is not mentioned. I will not force you into repeated reminders, which I sometimes call nagging.

2. Resolved: I will not grumble or complain when I do my chores but remember what a great thing it is to have a family, a home,clothes, food, running water, electric lights, and central heating in aworld where millions of teenagers have none of these.

3. Resolved: When I think your demands are unfair, I will move to do them first, and after showing an obedient attitude, I will ask if we can talk. Then I […]