Category: Family

Q&A: I've observed that Christian parents aren't reinforcing the truth that women ought to dress modestly. Do you have an opinion?

Well I must confess that I sometimes have the same feeling when I simply walk around in public places and see young ladies or teenagers dressed in ways that are very provocative. I want to take this question as an opportunity to say to parents: Please understand the difference between males and females. Men are sexually attracted by sight and the way a woman dresses draws the attention of a man toward her or he simply sees her and respects her as a woman. How she dresses makes a huge difference in how he responds. So I hope parents will hear what we’re saying and will take this seriously and have honest conversations with their young daughters about this.

 

Pause to Pay Tribute

Next Monday is Memorial Day. Whatever our view of war, we pause to pay tribute to those who fought for freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice. How do we honor our fallen heroes?  First, by thanking God for their faithfulness and sacrifice. Second, if you know someone who died in service, why not thank their family? By phone, e-mail, letter, or in person express your appreciation.

Too often we forget the families of those who gave their lives seeking to protect our freedom. A word of appreciation from you might ease the grief that they feel on this Memorial Day. Knowing that you remember brings comfort. You might also place flowers on a grave or do some other memorial act that says, I remember and I’m grateful.

Respecting Our Parents

“Honor your father and your mother” is one of the Ten Commandments. It is not rescinded when we get married. We are told to ‘leave’ our parents but that does not mean that we stop honoring them. Our parents gave us life. We are deeply indebted to them.  Even if they were not the best of parents, we would not be here without them.

One way we honor parents is by keeping in touch—by phone, visits, or e-mails. Letting them know that we still love them and want them to be a part of our lives. Failure to communicate with parents is saying in effect, “I no longer care.” Honor means that we speak with kindness and respect. We look for things we can do for them, remembering what they have done for us.

Separating from Parents After Marriage

The scriptures say that when we get married we are to ‘leave’ our parents and ‘cleave’ to each other. What does this leaving and cleaving look like in daily life? It means that we no longer ‘lean’ on our parents but on each other. It means that we do not allow parents to dominate our lives. We show them respect by listening to their ideas or suggestions, but we make our own decisions.

We do not run to them with a list of our spouse’s failures. Parents are not in the best position to be our counselor. Leaving means that we seek to be financially independent from our parents as soon as possible. We are grateful for their contribution to our lives, but now we want to make our own way. Leaving means that we build upon the foundation they have given us.

A Change of Allegiance

For better and sometimes for worse, our parents and in-laws are a part of our lives. God designed it that way. We are told to honor our parents so that life will go well for us. We are also instructed to leave our parents when we get married. This ‘leaving’ means a change of allegiance. We must see ourselves as a new unit after marriage.

The husband is committed to his wife and she to him. However, ‘leaving’ does not mean that we abandon our parents. Rather, we are to honor them. The word honor means to show respect. It means treating parents with kindness and dignity. Leaving parents and honoring parents are both biblical commands.

Celebrate Peyton Giveaway Contest

To be their best, children need to feel loved. But if you and your child speak different love languages, your affection might get lost in translation, affecting the child’s attitude, behavior, and development. In my book for parents, The 5 Love Languages of Children (updated and revised, 2012), Dr. Ross Campbell and I help you to discover and speak your child’s love language and give you practical suggestions for learning how your children interpret love—creating a sense of security in which they can thrive.

This month marks the release of my debut children’s book, A Perfect Pet for Peyton. It’s an entertaining and playful story of five children who each, with the help of “Mr. Chapman” and the unique pets at his special emporium, discover their own personal love language. The story is designed to help kids and their parents learn together about how we give and receive love differently. I really think you’ll enjoy the fun illustrations too! Children and parents alike will experience firsthand the power of the love languages as they cuddle up and spend precious time together reading this book over and over again.

To celebrate the release of A Perfect Pet for Peyton, we are giving away 10 sets of books!

*UPDATE: This contest is now closed and the winners have been chosen. Please keep an eye out for future contests and giveaways!

Enter to win both books by leaving a comment at the end of this post. For extra entries, like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter and include that you did in a separate comment. Entries must be received by Monday, April 30, 2012 at midnight CST. Winners will be selected randomly and notified by email. To qualify, winners must reside within the U.S. or Canada.

» Note to iPhone Users
As an added bonus, a fun and interactive free app called “Peyton and Friends” is now available for iPhone which will enhance the in-book experience with A Perfect Pet for Peyton. Watch the characters in your book come alive with cutting edge AR (augmented reality) technology—something you have to see to believe. Help Peyton find perfect pets for his friends right in the room you are in using the camera function on your phone, test your pizza making skills against flying pepperoni, hear the talking parrot repeat everything you say, or help Mr. Chapman keep his pocket mouse from escaping with these four games your kids will love.

Q&A: Should we initiate communication with our adult daughter?

Question: Our adult daughter emailed us asking to stop all communication with her for 7 months. Should we try to reinstate communication or wait for her to contact us?

Answer: Well I don’t know what motivated your daughter to ask you to stop communicating. It may be she feels badgered by you. It may be that she feels you’re trying to control her life, and she’s trying to break away and be independent. But I think I would honor her request. In honoring it, you’re communicating to her, “You’re an adult, we respect you and we respect your decisions.” If you do that, chances are she may initiate communication again, you may do it on a different level—one where she may not feel badgered or controlled. Honoring your adult child’s wishes can be the first step in renewing your relationship.

Q&A: Should we initiate communication with our adult daughter?

Question: Our adult daughter emailed us asking to stop all communication with her for 7 months. Should we try to reinstate communication or wait for her to contact us?

Answer: Well I don’t know what motivated your daughter to ask you to stop communicating. It may be she feels badgered by you. It may be that she feels you’re trying to control her life, and she’s trying to break away and be independent. But I think I would honor her request. In honoring it, you’re communicating to her, “You’re an adult, we respect you and we respect your decisions.” If you do that, chances are she may initiate communication again, you may do it on a different level—one where she may not feel badgered or controlled. Honoring your adult child’s wishes can be the first step in renewing your relationship.

Identify Past Failures

Most of us will admit that we are NOT perfect.

From time to time we say and do things that are not loving, kind, or helpful. In a marriage these failures build into walls of separation. If you would like to remove past failures, you must first identify them.

Get pen and paper and then, ask God to bring to your mind, the ways you have hurt your spouse in the past. Now, go to your children individually and ask them to tell you times when they have seen you being unkind to your spouse. Get ready, because children can be brutally honest. Then ask the same question to close friends who have had opportunity to observe your behavior. This process can be painful, but it is the first step in dealing with past failures.

Q&A: What can I do if he won't apologize?

Question: Our son and daughter-in-law will not allow us to see the grandchildren. It stemmed from something my husband did last summer. He is not willing to apologize. What can I do?

Answer: That question makes me sad. I cannot imagine having no contact with my grandchildren. I am empathetic with this wife. I don’t know what happened, but if an apology would lift the barrier and he is unwilling to apologize, he needs help. I know he is not likely to go for help. So, I suggest you go for help. Tell him something like this: I love you too much to do nothing. I know that you do not want to deprive the grandchildren of their grand-father.

So, If you are not willing to apologize, then I’m going to see a counselor (or a pastor) and try to find help. I want you to go with me, but if not, then I’m going alone.” Then do it. This kind of tough love, may be what is needed to awaken him to reality. Life is too short to live with broken relationships. You might also give him my book, The Five languages of Apology, which gives real life illustrations of how an apology can restore relationships.

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