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December 10, 2020 1:00 am
Have you ever struggled with how to talk with your child in a way that seems fitting for the moment? Join Dave and Ann Wilson, hosts of FamilyLife Today, as they speak with author, William Smith, about the balance of words in grace and discipline.
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When we have to correct our children what we say to them, matters William Smith says it's also important for them to know why it is their behavior needs to be different.
The same words can come out probably close to the same tone and be right and be wrong you not to speak to your mother that way because I'm in charge and I will not allow that you speak to your mother that way because that is not good for you that is not what the Lord is called you to and therefore it's not acceptable in my home.
I don't have control and authority outside the home and you have control authority inside the home. That's unacceptable. This is family life today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Payne. You can find us firstname.lastname@example.org as parents it is out of the abundance of the heart that our mouths speak what's in our hearts really does matter. Talk more about that today.
Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us. There been some times in conversation we've had her own family. Like today where I've gone oh I just got my toes stepped on. You know where a guest has said something and I just went hi yeah, I should've been doing that for a long time when a guest one time who said every time you haven't a discipline interaction with one of your kids where you have to correct them. He said, your goal should be that you walk away with them saying I want to know Jesus better than I thought laughing because that's that's a lofty goal that was never my goal was I want you fixed and I want to act in the way I think you need to act and I don't care what you think about Jesus right now and so working to try to give some help to moms and dads today who are in the midst of this and and before we do, we just want to turn the listers and say if this kind of help that you get every day from family life to Davis making a difference. We need to hear from you and I have heard I have several friends that are in their 20s or 30s and I'm thinking the couple girls that it just had kids, and they've told me like listening to the family life podcast has changed my parenting from near turning it on.
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And if you're able to do something this year. There are some folks who can't. So if you can do a little extra we'd ask you to do that because there are some folks who can't give this year the way they been able to give in again what you're giving to is is what will be talk about today how we can help moms and dads know how to more effectively raise their kids with the relationship intact as they grow yeah Bob. I can't wait to hear you introduce our guests will submit this with the left about we let first about the fact that if your name is Bill Smith you're here among tens of thousands of Bill Smith's in America right it's fun sometimes to Google my name just to see like how many hundreds of millions were up. Dave Wilson was pretty common that I think he beat us but when you modified to Will Smith, all of a sudden make reservations and say I'd like you. The names will Smith and just see if you get a better table. As result, I have not done that but I did have somebody commented on it.
At one point will Smith is joining us he's from the suburbs of Pennsylvania pastors and church just outside of Philadelphia. He is a counselor and an author. He's written a book on parenting with words of grace, never thought about discipline encounters with your kids and wanting them to love Jesus more as a result, in the moment. That's a struggle but I think that is part of grace had one person asked me how do you know when to give grace and how you know when to discipline that sin, dishonest question.
I thought about for some I said actually think grace is the umbrella under which discipline is discipline is an expression of grace to expression of love. Because the goal at the end of discipline is for my child to be better off than they were before hand write that point that is made in our video series. The art of parenting. The very same thing. It's not sometimes it's grace and sometimes it's law, it's always grace, but sometimes grace looks like I'm not gonna let you do the things that are to be destructive that I can harm you that are going on I know better and I'm in to protect you from yourself in the situation, God extends that kind of grace with us and I think it's a great point was you thinking. I know you you write about this in your book and you think about Proverbs 1821, which many people know is that pretty famous verse about the power the tongue, life and death are in the power of the tongue could almost be truth and grace in some way.
So how do you as a parent balance because it can't always be life words every word to our kids isn't always affirmation. Everyone swung again in a death word, but there are there are moments we need to correct and you need to discipline and you need to bring a hard truths to your kids so how do you balance trying to parent with words of grace that bounced the fine line between truth and grace of our life and death. What I see in Scripture.
Anytime you interrupt somebody if they're going off the cliff.
You're being gracious doesn't have to be harsh. It doesn't have to be loud, but it can be as simple hey stop what are you doing, what have you done in that moment you have disciplined you have said you may not continue I will interrupt you. And if your child ignores you, then you get a little stronger a little stronger and will stronger and most don't know, I'm really serious we are not going down this road but doesn't have to start that way. It's all a continuum of grace that says I am most interested in your best even if that inconveniences me also fun. I think we pray all agree with this. His parents definitely has a married spouse as if I'm speaking life on earth sort a regular basis, catching my kid doing something right and speaking life and do it and he hears that again not over the top and years and every day. You know like dad really think some amazing mom and then you have to speak yeah hey what are you doing you're going over the cliff. They'll receive a better right if there's a balance it's more leaning toward life. Yeah. Otherwise, what are you doing to your caricaturing who God is. So when you're interrupting your child from doing something wrong. You're speaking as God's representative to say no that's not the way that you were designed to live but if that's the only thing that you're saying that speaking is the serpent because your refusing to see the other part of who they are in and their giftedness. And so I think you have to have both not as a mechanism you not sort of strategizing okay if I say three things that are positive that I can get away with one that's not your saying no, as God's representative. I call out what is good in this world and I call out what is bad in this world and I invite you to move from where you are to where you need to be what is discipline and correction that is full of grace. How does that look different than discipline and correction that lacks grace so I think to be gracious. The primary beneficiary has to be the other person. The primary beneficiaries. Not me. I'm finally getting something off my chest that I've been home onto it's just been bubbling for weeks and months of RM to control your life for your to make my life better by following my rules exactly.
I'm sick to death of waiting up till whenever you come home and you just waltz in gracious discipline always has the other person's good best interests at that heart. The analogy here is that we discipline like God disciplines us, so he only speaks to us in those ways to correct us and curb us for our benefit.
He doesn't really getting anything out of his love. It is an the second part of that is, he initiates that I don't always go to him, saying, Lord, I'm just not really sure about ex-wives it know it's often bill your outline here and and something needs to change. And it's an offer of.
Here's a better world. Isn't this something that you would want we been talking so much about our words. What do our words reveal about us, you know, is there a time that we should start analyzing and listening to ourselves of what were saying. When we looking for, I think that you always have to analyze that by saying I am saying that parenting is exhausting.
There's no way to sugar coat that I looked at some by the other day and I said were talking about being the city on a hill shining know very brightly. Matthew chapter 5 sermon on the Mount, and I said the process of being. The light is a lot less engaging to us as Americans.
As the actual event. The light itself, but that's actually where our life is lived. It's lived in that process and so as I hear myself regularly speaking in certain kind of ways I need to go back and say what why is that is that because that really does reflect who the Lord is or does it reflect something else.
He tell a great story or book about I don't know what age your son was but one of them decided he didn't want to live with mom and dad anymore is going to move on and you give have these conversations that were going negative, and even didn't want to be in it tells a story, because I found that because you had to be introspective and say what's going on here. I think it's a normal experience right some of our kids are little bit more forceful in not enjoying the living under our friends and some of them are little more passive, but it comes out the same way. This one was a more passive you would say something to this child, and it would be ignored and be ignored. You have to make it into a fight in order to get it done and then the next day you'd have the same fight back again or there would just be the things that we have mutually agreed on, on how our family runs that were just not to this person's liking or you would have a conversation and you would get the think okay look, if you man up and disagree with me, instead of making me have to invite you to disagree with me. There's only so much of that that I really enjoy one of my huge idols is I don't care if you like me's need to respect me and so I think this one sort of understood that I found myself getting more more irritated, more upset as the days, weeks went on and the conversation my head changed and I could start hearing myself. The self talk that you sort of ruminate over to where you start to think things that you should not say. And sometimes you can control that you can walk away and after a while you start to think I need love my child think I don't even like them right now and that's really dangerous because in that moment, you're likely to say out loud. I don't like you. What I need to do in them and I need to understand what's going on in me and I need to have that sense of what is it that's controlling me because the love of the father is not.
Instead, what, what's going on here is the level of respect and it's I must be respected in my house for my sake, not for my child sake, and that's then sparks one of those conversations with the Lord. Okay, I'm out of line here. You need to wrestle with my own heart and and bring me back in line with where you are now again because were Americans.
We want to hear that that then magically changes everything and the spiritual life doesn't work that way, it changes me in my heart changes, but that doesn't this really change my child, but it does give me the resources to deal with his disrespect one more time in a way that does call him to something better without crushing them so coachable mom or a dad, how do we deal with the child's disrespect in a way that doesn't crush them or alienate them because bad. Every single parent. At least the teenagers has been to that point had right. I don't like you right now you been there so coat us and help us. So why do your children need to respect you.
Why do they need to honor you as a commandment about that from home from God. So it's an issue between God and them not an issue between you and them and if I make it an issue between me and them I'm out alignment at that point exactly because they were it was never given to you to require that from them that's required of them by the Lord. I think we just got counseled and that's right to counsel myself. This is something that I think I have to have in order to be okay today and apparently I don't now, Lord, how do I care more about them being in trouble with you than I am about their disrespect of me because I realized minute okay if they are willing to be this bold against me there actually that much more bold against the Lord that could have eternal consequences for them and at this moment I don't care about that I would be happy if they just smiled at me. So if a teenager is saying something and in your instinct is your uncle talk that way to your mother. You need to respect your mother do I say it that way or do I have the conversation with the teenager in the moment in a different way and that's where I think with the issue that is so critical is down what's inside because the same words can come out probably close to the same tone can be right time and be wrong you not to speak to your mother that way because I'm in charge and I will not allow that right yet to speak to your mother that way because that is not good for you that is not what the Lord is called you to and therefore it's not acceptable in my home. I don't have control and authority outside the home.
I do have control authority inside the home. That's unacceptable and the child who says well I'm not sure I believe in God. How do you handle at one at this moment you don't have to believe in God, but you do have to listen to what I'm saying and the tone makes a big difference. It does, it communicates whether I actually have your best interest at heart or whether I'm insisting on I'm bigger and stronger and tougher.
Right now, therefore, do what I told you to do this how hard it is. It really does take as being connected to the father in listening to the Holy Spirit continually otherwise recent say what we want and feel. And that's where I think parenting takes me to the end of myself more than anything else. Amen.
Because I realize really quickly. Man who's equal to this. I'm not and it's actually been very helpful to realize that I'm not simply apparent in my home, but I'm a child in a much better home with a much better father who's that much invested in me becoming the parent that I'm always supposed to have been you point out in your book the Jesus in Revelation, speaking to the church in Laodicea says I discipline those whom I love, I reprove and discipline. If our kids understand first of all, if they know that we do love them then the discipline is easier for them to to receive even in those moments I see. I was always afraid of. This is apparent I was afraid that if I was too strong in correcting or putting too many boundaries.
My kids were in a rebel. They were to say I've had enough of this odd. I'm just going to new completely out Marianne I would have the conversation often and she said you will probably never be to firm with the kids and she recognized and I will probably never be too emotionally expressive of my love for them right.
What when I think I'm being overboard and being firm I'm probably getting to where I need to be and she said, and when I think I'm being overboard in terms of expressing love and affection. I'm probably where I need to be. We just recognized our own tendencies in that regard. But if our kids know their loved even in those moments when they say I hate you I don't like living here or those things that that you're ruining my life kind of stuff they still know deep down mom and dad love me and even in those for moments before doing it right, but when I could try some way are we in in. That's where I think the response in that moment is so critical. One of our children really need to be able to express themselves and I could tell that there was something inside the really wanted but just didn't have the courage to say and in that moment my counsel to them was say it, just say and it was that I hate you.
I said good need to say that think you go upstairs and get ready for dinner. You can express yourself fully and I will respond with love. I'll still feed you because that's how my heavenly father you say response to him that mildly I did as unbelievable as that sounds, file, because in that moment.
That's what they needed and that would not of been helpful if I had responded to the escalation moment just lead to more escalation in think it is important because I did want to know what our kids were feeling. I wanted know what was going on in their hearts and their minds. And so I would draw that out and then we did have rules in place of how they would communicate it. Yes there now can call us names are there not to call their sibling names that they can express what they're feeling in a respectful manner, but they can be angry about it without breaking or going beyond our boundaries and I think that's so important. Again, the model here is not human parents to human children model is divine parent to human children and you recognize that God in the Psalms invites us to say all kinds of really bizarre stuff to him. Psalm 73 is wonderful in my mind where the psalmist starts talking about was Apsley futile to do what is right and you think God comes along and says that's good. I want you to spend a lot of time put that in verse put that in Scripture. I will make sure that that last for thousands and thousands of years. In fact, that's what I want my people to come and sing to me in worship on the Sabbath and you get the clips of the God who says, if that's what you're feeling, I want you to say it. I don't want you to pretend that I'm not interested and not involved, I don't care. That's okay with.
We sorta learn how then to talk to our heavenly father which she reshapes the way that we allow our kids to talk to us, not disrespectfully, not in a way that creates bigger tension. But that says no. This really is where I am and yet you know I think the most frustrating or one of the most frustrating things is apparent and it's it right there in the Psalm 73. Asaph says you know when I tried to understand all this. It was mindless. I can understand at the mean of the wicked prosper and I'm doing good and it's this seems like why waste my time in any says, until I entered the sanctuary of God. And so it's like he gets a totally different perspective in the frustrating thing about being a parent is. We know this and you said in the book.
And Jesus said it, the mouth is an overflow of the heart so we can correct our teenagers, we can say you can't speak this way we can correct their speech but we know we can't change their heart if the hard and change it just put in a little glue on the outside is not going to do anything and so that's out of our control were trying to get them to respect us or use respectful words but the other day if their hearts and change nothing is going to change right so that's how you do that mean you can't control that is apparent in that so helpful than for me to look in Scripture and realize that God does the same thing were preaching through the book of Jonah.
Now I love the book of Jonah because of how badly it ends. It's just in all of its rawness.
Here's this prophet who has in chapter 2. Experience the grace of God. He's got an incredible ministry hundred 20,000 person city has been repenting and he's angry and then just Apsley furious and God makes this attempt. This inroads first part chapter 4, to come near to the Jonah engine just blows more often want to have anything to do with this and God sets up the vine with the worm and all the rest of that to try to really reach his heart and the book ends with a question should not be concerned about that great city and you like well I don't know should you do not think don't get what was Jonah because I want to hear. As an American that Jonah repented and then you know everything was fine and God says nope because you have to learn how to ask the question two and realize God speaks without necessarily having the guarantee that his words will be received and accepted. He asks questions of King where's your brother after Zoe told him since crush injury during need to care that he comes back in and asks and asks, tells the story of the prodigal son which really ends with the older brother because it's really a question to the Pharisees, which is where's the gray skies do not experience this yourselves.
Do you want more and again that there's no resolution you want to know the older brother went back in the house and celebrate with younger brother, you don't get that God's telling you this is how my world is set up and I think this is glorious. Think Lord is good to get a little while to get on that same yeah you say that your kids may care to conversation. I think about that even our walk with God as having conversations with him that I was recalling an incident that happened to our boys when they were younger tests hitting each other complaining. I felt like I was constantly breaking up these fights with them until I got an inner room one day and I said son. Tell your brother what's wrong because you just keep keep hitting him. What is really wrong. Tell him with your words and what you're feeling and they already know there's boundaries, you can't say because you're donning your stupid so tell them what's in your heart, and he, I'm just not you. I feel like you're always mean to meet and so I said okay what you mean, what has he done it makes you feel like that mean see Frank nine and he said dear always making fun of me in front of all of our friends which I thought well that's pretty deep in Netscape and then he said that makes me feel like you don't like me or you're embarrassed about me something in my goodness this is really good so I say to the older son three years older when you have to say about that.
He said I which I thought it was funny and younger brother is crying it's not funny.
It hurts my feelings and so the older brother apologized and hugged each other.
I thought mean they have matured in being able to express themselves.
It brought a broken relationship ceiling and it was interesting just a few weeks ago we were with those two adult sons and they had another conversation very much like that one can hear the sirens are expressing their hearts what their feelings there hurt with one another. Did you think about this state that I thought still doing it and it's remarkable.
Yeah, actually, as I sat there is Lottie's little family conversations. He knows all is wonderful your vacation. You have a great time and were incidental were all going to talk about hurts and whatever. But as I watch those to communicate at the they are modeling how to do it well is a were honest they were polite they were graceful with their words and it was hard to know there were things that were hard hard to say to one another. I actually thought my wife trained him well is and was always training our boys in relationships. You know like your angry she wasn't sand quit being angry should be same as going on, let's figure this out why you think you're angry to be like what how many people never done that and I wash to do it with a six-year-old and nine-year-old and 15-year-old and now I watch these two men do it and we did the need to be there.
They were mature people using graceful words to speak truth one. I was beautiful but it takes time and it doesn't happen overnight because I think most the time I felt like I was failing does it takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. It's not flashy.
I mean, that's a beautiful story you don't always get those in it. There's plenty of stories you pry could tell where the one says this and then the other ones is like it okay, but the cumulative impact of let me help you understand this is the way God built the world and this is the way God built you and this is your place in this world you can't make up for that with a book you can make up with some kind of highly compressed counseling session which you did for years and years and years pays off. Yeah the thing I love that you're doing now billing you do in your book as you keep reminding us to go back to this is the father of our heavenly father with us and even with our kids is so easy to forget that is apparent especially in the chaos of the moment and you keep taking it back there its way. I would say go get the book and read it.
Gonna put you on ground-floor a foundation to help you do it well. The book is called parenting with words of grace. Building relationships with her children, one conversation at a time.
You can order William Smith's book on our email@example.com or call to order one 800, FL, today is our number again.
The title of the book parenting with words of grace order firstname.lastname@example.org or call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today to order your copy of the book and let me also encourage you if you have not been through the family life art of parenting video series. Make plans to get together with other parents. Maybe after the first of the year you can do this on Zoom you can do it socially distanced. However, it works for you, but this series is so helpful for moms and dads to go through the eight sessions in the art of parenting and build a game plan a strategy for how you're going to raise your kids. Find out more about the art of parenting when you go to our email@example.com and we talked about this a little earlier today wearing the final three weeks of 2020.
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