Pages Menu
TwitterFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in Generational | 2 comments

How to Make Your Parents Better

How to Make Your Parents Better

make your parents betterCould your parents use some work?  Years ago I had a friend stay with me for a few months in my DC home. He moved to the area because he and his girlfriend were taking their relationship to the next level. He wanted to be close so they could spend more time together growing as a couple and she worked in the DC area. As their relationship progressed, it was important to them that they involve her father in the process. The problem was that she didn’t have the best relationship with her dad. He hadn’t been the best role model for her, was rarely present and they didn’t share the same values.

My friend’s girlfriend wasn’t sure how it would all turn out, but they agreed together to involve him in their relationship. He reported, “When we set to honor her dad by including him in our relationship, at first he was very abrasive, but in the long run, it was extremely healing for both.” Not only did their relationship improve, but the demand on him to step into this role pulled the best out of him and helped him become a better father. Now this couple is married with kids and they enjoy a fulfilling relationship with her father.

I’m noticing – even as a young parent – when my need for honor is met, it pulls the best out of me. When my daughter asks me questions about God and relationships and her heart is wide-open to learn from me, I get serious about what I say. I don’t take it lightly. I know that my words are shaping the belief system of another person. It’s a big responsibility. Many times I have to analyze my own motives and beliefs to make sure I’m giving the best response.

I think this is a universal response of healthy parenting. While dishonor may cause a wounded parent to exert control and irrational behavior toward a child, honor will often cause them to take a new posture. When a child communicates that they value their parents and they want to learn from them and have their input into their lives, parents will rise to the challenge. They’ll start weighing their own motivations and thought processes, searching for jewels of wisdom to pull from their own journey. Dishonor may cause parents to live defensively about the choices they’ve made, but honor will cause them to examine their choices and help their children make better ones (tweet this). When the relationship is no longer about parents fishing for their own need of honor to be met – when they are secure that they are valued – the weight of that position will drive them to be the best parents (role-models, advisers, confidants) they can be.

In what ways could your parents be better? How do you think honor could help?

Read More

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Generational | 0 comments

I Have Something My Father Doesn’t Have

I Have Something My Father Doesn’t Have

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????My dad lost his father to a heart-attack when my dad was just 18 years old.  The childhood memories that he has are the only guiding force of experience that his father was able to leave him.  He didn’t have his father to talk to him about how to be married or how to raise children, how to manage finances, be a responsible citizen or a successful businessman.  He learned the value of that input because it wasn’t always there for him.  If you were my father, how would you go about raising your children?  I’d expect you’d try and teach them as much as you could from your own experience while you were still with them.

Imagine your surprise to find your child doesn’t look to you for input and wants to learn everything for himself.  That can be hurtful for a parent, but really it’s the child who misses out!  I think about how happy my father still is to teach me everything he knows about, well, everything!.  He’s delighted to teach me all the skills he’s learned.  Honoring my father positions me to benefit from a whole life that is before me.  I’m lucky my father is still with me through these years of my life.  Accessing and learning from my parents’ experience can set me up for success far beyond what I could hope to do on my own.

4 Insights from the Voice of Experience: (Click to Tweet)

1.)   Successes: Chances are your parents have done something right along the way.  They made a good choice that paid off.  They avoided some disaster that others fell into.  Maybe they discovered a perspective on life that has kept them happy or made them prosperous.  Honor will help you learn from their success.

2.)   Failures: Even if your parents have never made a good choice, they still have a world of experience to offer you.  Trust me, they know where they’ve screwed up.  And I bet they don’t want you to take the same path!  Honor will help pull out of them the lessons they’ve learned from their failures.

3.)   Knowledge: Wouldn’t it be a shame if every generation had to learn everything for itself?  We would have to discover every invention and insight into our world all over again every generation.  While that may seem ridiculous, it’s often the approach we take toward our parents.  Honor, however, will help us build on the foundation of knowledge they’ve already established.

4.)   YOU: That’s right!  Nobody has had more experience with you than your parents.  Sometimes you need to step outside of yourself to understand why you are the way you are.  Parents see things about you that you don’t comprehend on you own.  Honor will open up this well of experience and help you understand the greatest mystery of all…yourself!

How have you benefited from your parents’ experience?

Read More

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Generational | 3 comments

How do I Honor my non-Christian parents?

How do I Honor my non-Christian parents?

Thoughtful man in the living roomI was speaking on honor at an event a few weeks ago when I noticed a young lady quietly weeping during the message.  It was obvious something was heavy on her heart, so I talked to her about it when the event was over.  She really wanted to experience the benefits of an honoring relationship with her parents, but was having a difficult time reconciling that with the fact that they didn’t share her Christian beliefs.

If honor means to place value on another person, how do you value the input and ideas of people who don’t share your beliefs or system of values?

The Bible doesn’t put any qualifications on the commandment to honor parents.  It doesn’t say you’re exempt if your parents are imperfect, unbelievers or even abusive.  All it says is that if you will practice honor, it will go well with you.  In fact, Peter shows us that honor (in marriage) can actually help win people over to your system of values:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1

I’m not saying it’s easy.  But, here are some suggestions to help you honor people who don’t share your values:

1.) Seek out advice.  It’s true – you may not be able to use everything they say, but it doesn’t have to stop you from asking.  Just taking the time to ask for input on decisions you’re making communicates a lot of value to the person you want to honor.

2.) Really try to understand that advice.  Even if you disagree, don’t just assume their advice is coming from a poor system of values.  Dig a little deeper.  Try to understand their perspective.  The goal isn’t to agree.  The goal is to understand.

3.) Compare and contrast points of view in open dialogue.  After taking time to truly understand their point of view, talk about how your view of the situation is different.  Take time and care with this step.  Give them a chance to understand you and offer critique of your perspective.

4.) Leave an open door for further input.  In many cases it’s OK not to act on the advice of people who offer a different set of values.  If you want to honor that person, though, don’t slam the door on them.  Purpose to value and weigh their input in future decisions.  It’s not the easy road…but it will add so much value to your life.

If this post has interested you, you may also enjoy “My parents are controlling. What should I do?” which gives more perspective on how to honor when not obeying.

How about you.  Have you ever faced a parent or someone with opposing values that you wanted to honor?  How did you handle it?

 

Read More

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in Generational | 2 comments

Remember when your parents knew everything?

Remember when your parents knew everything?

iStock_000008985845XSmallIt’s like we go through cycles in how we see our parents.  For so long – as young children – we think they know EVERYTHING. Then one day they neither understand or know ANYTHING.  Then, years later, it turns out they DID know everything!

4 Insights from the Voice of Experience: (CLICK TO TWEET)

1.)   Successes:  Chances are your parents have done something right along the way.  They made a good choice that paid off.  They avoided some disaster that others fell into.  Maybe they discovered a perspective on life that has kept them happy or made them prosperous.  Honor will help you learn from their success.

2.)   Failures:  Even if your parents have never made a good choice, they still have a world of experience to offer you.  Trust me, they know where they’ve screwed up.  And I bet they don’t want you to take the same path!  Honor will help pull out of them the lessons they’ve learned from their failures.

3.)   Knowledge:  Wouldn’t it be a shame if every generation had to learn everything for itself?  We would have to discover every invention and insight into our world all over again every generation.  While that may seem ridiculous, it’s often the approach we take toward our parents.  Honor, however, will help us build on the foundation of knowledge they’ve already established.

4.)   YOU:  That’s right!  Nobody has had more experience with you than your parents.  Sometimes you need to step outside of yourself to understand why you are the way you are.  Parents see things about you that you don’t comprehend on you own.  Honor will open up this well of experience and help you understand the greatest mystery of all…yourself!

What treasures of knowledge and wisdom have you found in your relationship with your parents?

Read More

Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Generational | 4 comments

Should Every Generation Start From Scratch?

Should Every Generation Start From Scratch?

I think I’ve always held a pretty good external appearance of honor toward my parents and other figures of authority.  Growing up, I learned quickly how to say and do the right things.  My mom still tells me she never considered me to be dishonoring.  But I know in my heart that I’ve struggled over the years with believing that I know best about pretty much everything.  You may not think it’s possible, but I’ve even approached spirituality with a strong undertow of dishonor.

My parents are some of the most God-fearing people I know.  They’ve committed to live holy lives that honor God.  They’ve been faithful to each other and to raising a God-fearing family.  They’ve served in their church my entire life, supporting the work that God is doing there.  They’ve stood against empty religion and sought to share the genuine life-changing relationship that God has given them with others.  They use their gifts and their talents to help others find a deeper more meaningful relationship with God.  But, if you had run into me the summer before I went to college and asked me about my parents, you would have thought that I was being raised by faithless, compromising, religious wannabes who didn’t know the first thing about a real relationship with God.  In the midst of true revival in my own life, I stopped looking to my parents as sources of guidance and wisdom.  Over the years, I’ve realized that in many areas I was not benefiting from their input, but charting my own course.

Our culture celebrates the value of independence and self-reliance.  It’s almost perceived a weakness to seek out advice and support from others, especially your parents.  We make fun of children who live at home past high-school and we write-off the successes of those who build on the platforms and wealth they’ve inherited.  Faith, knowledge, wealth, wisdom…there have been times where anything that I didn’t come by on my own, I didn’t consider valuable.  A real man would have provided for himself!  Maybe you can relate.  I still struggle to place the same value on what I can learn from my parents, teachers and from my pastor as what I can come up with on my own.  The truth, though, is that we shouldn’t be starting from scratch with every generation.  I appreciate the confidence that comes from nurturing independence in children, but I’m also learning the importance of making sure we value the people God has given us to learn from.

What have you gained from your parents or other mentors?  How much value is it to you?

Read More