By Jennifer Davis Rash
The Alabama Baptist
My attempt at a gentle teaching moment for a child I’m close to but who is not my actual child wasn’t met with appreciation.
I certainly never intended to overstep. I care deeply about a large number of kiddos in my life, this one included, and think a lot about ways I can assist their parents in developing the good parts of their character.
But the parent took my offering as indictment rather than assistance in what I know is already being taught in the home.
Obviously I have no experience as a parent and don’t claim to have any advice for raising children.
I merely recall how many times I clung to every word and piece of advice offered by extended family members, mentors, teachers, coaches, church leaders, public figures and other such heroes in my life growing up while thinking my parents didn’t have a clue.
Obviously, I discovered how wrong I was about my parents’ level of wisdom once I moved into adulthood myself. And the older I get the more I appreciate the advice, direction and concern my parents provided and continue to provide.
Still it is the rare child who discovers during his or her childhood the value of listening to parents who truly have their best interest in mind and are striving to follow God as they fulfill their role.
And because of that built-in reaction to resist and stake our independence, we need a collective force to help us grow into what we hope would be considered responsible adults.
It’s certainly an extra load none of us have to add to our already overpacked schedules but I’ve found it fulfilling to watch a young person grow and mature, sometimes knowing I had the privilege of contributing to his or her development.
Of course, it can be discouraging at moments as well, like when they refuse to listen to anyone with rational intentions or when they take full credit for something that someone else actually taught them.
I’m guessing parents deal with that scenario on a daily basis.
And, if I’m honest, I can see how another person attempting to share life lessons with a child could upset a parent.
As long as the advice being shared or actions being modeled are in sync with the parents’ comfort level, I’m sure they would normally welcome the reinforcements.
But in a day when criticism is tossed about so freely and flippantly, it is possible the ones who take offense are often times misreading simple acts of love and kindness as veiled judgmental stabs. But then again, it really is hard to tell these days.
I’ve found myself in several day-to-day situations (nothing to do with children) defending a straight-up answer to a question or simple request for assistance in a certain area as being exactly what I outlined. The accusers claimed that what I was saying could not be as simple as I said, that there had to be a hidden agenda.
It hurts a bit when the person saying this to you is someone you thought knew your heart, but it has made me realize the unfortunate degree of how much we as family members, friends, co-workers and believers in general have built walls because of past hurts.
And it inspires me to keep fighting to share God’s love and light, and to remember I desperately need His guidance and strength — and the support of fellow believers — to push through the darkness.
Rashional Extras – Good news for difficult times
By Pastor Scott Slayton
Chelsea Village Baptist Church, Chelsea
When difficult times come along, is your first instinct to remember the goodness of God and rest in Him or to allow panic mode to set in?
I’ve experienced several difficult trials recently and have noticed I allow myself to get in the habit of thinking more about the difficulty of my trials than of the overwhelming grace of my God. I listen to my fears, my anxiety and my frustrations before I listen to the good news of the gospel.
In falling into these patterns, I have had to revisit some of the most important advice I have ever heard. In his book “Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures,” Martyn Lloyd-Jones says:
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. … Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, ‘Self, listen for a moment.’”
Lloyd-Jones offers sound wisdom here. We listen to ourselves as our fears, doubts and worries shout at us. … Our circumstances may be difficult, even insurmountable, but we have good news to preach to ourselves that will change the way we respond to difficult circumstances.
The passage I most often go to in tough times is Romans 8:28–39.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This is an excerpt from Slayton’s blog One Degree to Another. To read the full post, visit scottslayton.net.
Any time a family goes through a time of major transition, there is the potential for disunity, disharmony and disruption. The way a church family prevents any of that is by practicing the relational principles laid down for us in Scripture.
There, in God’s Word, we are called to bear with one another, to be patient with one another, to be kind and compassionate toward one another, to be gracious and merciful to one another and, above all, to love one another. We are commanded to reconcile any grievances we have with each other and to practice the art (and hard work) of forgiveness and restoration.
When we do have differences that arise or when we feel that we’ve been wronged, we are to speak to one another honestly and lovingly, seeking not just to air our grievances — and certainly not to seek revenge — but rather to bring our relationships back into godly, righteous working order.
Pastor Scott Guffin
Liberty Park Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills
“For those of you who have walked away and have become a prodigal, come on home. God’s ‘hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear’ (Isa. 59:1). If you can’t hope in your God, where do you think you will find hope? Come home and bring your broken heart so you can let God’s healing mercy restore you.
“God is bigger than your pain, greater than your anger and His love and forgiveness are more extravagant than you can imagine. Giving back to His control what you never could have controlled yourself will give you back your peace. Come on home.”
Rita Aiken Moritz
Author, “So You Love a Prodigal”
“Did you know that love has a price? It’s called grief. You never have to have a broken heart. How? Just don’t love anything.”
From “The Sender: A story about when right words make all
the difference” by Kevin Elko and Bill Beausay
From LinkedIn …
We control our time. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming others for inefficiency.
Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries
Forgiveness isn’t easy. We’ve all been hurt by someone else. But we can’t be healthy if we don’t forgive.
Intentional leadership is deliberate, purposeful and willful. http://ow.ly/yQEL30du00z
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