Archive for September, 2012

When I was a kid I loved the puppet show in children’s church. Kids today aren’t easily impressed with puppets but amazingly there still is a ventriloquist in the church today!  Last week I had a long conversation with my ten-year old son, we were talking about how the enemy loves to imitate the voice of God! Proverbs 19:12 says, “A kings rage is like the roaring of a lion” and most people know that 1 Peter 5:8 says “the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”. What children need to know is the devil is imitating the voice of God’s anger. Even adult Christians and sometimes leaders of churches believe the lie that God is angry with disobedient children. Every religion in the world believes their god rewards obedience and is angry with disobedience, but Jesus tells the story of a prodigal son who was extremely disobedient and then only because he was hungry decided to return to His father. All was forgiven in the story without the child even asking (yes sons and daughters have this incredible favor). The wrath of God was poured out on His son Jesus on the cross and Jesus was forsaken so that His children would never be forsaken. Can’t believe in this kind of undeserved favor? Neither could the brother in the story of the prodigal son. The brother wouldn’t enter the house of his father to join in the party because he had worked so hard at being obedient and never saw this kind of favor! But then again, he never asked! Am I for my children being disobedient to God? Absolutely not, but I understand receiving God’s love and redemption gives them power against disobedience! Relationship is greater than the law in God’s eyes and He fulfilled the law through the cross. When He speaks, God always reminds His children who they are in Christ Jesus and their destiny, not their past.

How did Jesus empower the women caught in adultery to sin no more? He spoke no condemnation and then said go sin no more. Our children will never hear condemnation from God because they are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). They will however hear the enemy giving their best God impersonation and it is our job as parents to call a dummy a dummy!

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It happens often in many homes and I didn’t realize I was speaking a different language until the Lord opened my eyes to what I was doing.  How does a parent speak a different language than their own child, you might wonder? Gary Smalley, author of “The language of love“, says that there are five love languages a person or child receives love from. When I read the book nearly fifteen years ago, I was preparing to be married and wanted to be the best husband I could be and never dreamed of having to apply the languages to future children. If you haven’t heard of different love languages, I highly recommend reading Gary’s books. Here are the five that I still have to remember to speak on a daily basis:

Quality time is a love language that Gary touches first and actually is my number one love language. My oldest son, Graceson, shares this language with me and after hours of playing together outside, we can just walk back in the house and my son ask, “Dad let’s do something together”.

Encouraging words is the love language that my youngest son Zeal speaks. I purposely wrestle with him alone and tell him that not even the Incredible Hulk could break free from my hold. I make sure that he frees himself and during this, I pour out words of praise for his strength and determination! Also when I see him doing something noble or kind, I make sure to lift him up in front of his siblings.

Physical touch and closeness is my wife’s love language and includes things like hugs that are non-sexual, holding  hands and gentleness (all things I really struggled learning early in marriage).

Gift Giving is my daughter’s language. I often times will bring home a gift for Jocelyn that is small but greatly appreciated (Normally I will take her away from her brothers and make her feel it is our secret). At Christmas time she makes sure everyone she knows has some kind of gift from her (usually a homemade craft) and I know to make sure she receives more gifts (usually smaller) than her brothers!

Acts of Service is probably my wife’s second language (yes it is possible). Just washing the dishes or her car can make me a hero in her eyes!

One last thing, if you don’t know your child’s love language, then you probably are speaking your own. Are you constantly chasing your child down to give them hugs they do not want to receive? Are you constantly praising your child and get the “whatever” look? Are you never there to play but bring home gifts galore and the child is not happy? The bible says to “train up a child in the way that they (individually) should go” Proverbs 22:6. Every child is different and wonderfully made by God! Are you speaking the same language or a different love language than your child receives?

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Parents usually have that feeling that something died in their mouth early in the morning, so for us to remember to rush to our toothbrush is natural and easy! Kids on the other hand have to be constantly reminded because their body isn’t detoxing years of coffee and bad food into their breath.  Well in a effort for my kids to remember to brush their teeth twice a day (yes it is recommended three times a day but we only ask for twice) I couldnt explain the importance of brushing their teeth clearly enough until I came up with a comparison to help them realize how gross it is to not brush your teeth.  You are welcome to borrow this because it works and it gets them thinking. It’s simple but effective. When I ask did you remember to brush your teeth and the answer is no, then I reply “do you remember to wipe your behind when you go potty? ….. then you are old enough to remember to brush your teeth, both are exactly the same kind of gross to forget!”

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