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Tuesday: Communication — 9 Comments

  1. If you do not realise it when you start out, the family is a long-term commitment. And communication is an integral part of maintaining that commitment. It's easy when kids are little and they adore you, but little kids grow into big kids and big kids grow into teenagers. If you have ever had teenagers, you will know what I mean. Communication stops dead in its tracks. All the scripture quotes about training and modelling the love of Jesus, takes a back seat when a teenager, who was perfectly rational 2 minutes ago, disagrees with you, yells, “I hate you!” and stomps off to their room and slams the door. Does that really happen in a Christian home? Well, it has happened in our house a number of times so you can point the finger if you like and say I should have read “The Adventist Home” and “Counsels to Parents and Teachers, and Students” more carefully in preparation. But I think it has happened to most parents sooner or later, so I am certain I have company.

    I remember a visit to my PhD supervisor’s home when we used to meet at his house for our research meetings, He used to have some ding-dong rows with his eldest son who was a teenager at the time. I was there one day, and my supervisor’s sister was visiting. Father and son had a blazing row ending with door-slam. My supervisor calmed down and looked at his sister and said, “I never fought with my father like that did I?”. His sister just smiled sweetly and said, “You have selective memory loss! You had some awful rows that could be heard down the end of the street!”

    I mention this because sometimes we have this picture of a perfect Christian home where never a cross word is said, and everybody smiles and is polite even when disagreeing. It’s a myth! Teenagers stretch their wings and they are not careful about where they push. Recognising what is happening and recovering from it by keeping the communication going is what it is all about.

    I have to say that I do not have all the answers. I know that I did and said some horrible things to my parents in my teenage years, but looking back on it, even at my worst, they still communicated their love for me. More than anything else I knew they understood and still loved me. Communicating love to teenagers through their rebellious years is one of the hardest tasks there is. Many will exercise their free-choice in ways that you will not like, but continuing loving them is the best communication we have. I hope I am still communicating that love to my children and grandchildren.

  2. How do we help our children develop a relationship with the LORD?
    Showing them that the Bible is Jesus way of talking to us and praying is how we talk to Him.

    Reading and discussing the events in the Bible they can learn of His loving character, hearing the parents thanking the LORD for His blessings and telling Him of their experiences and asking Him for guidance and help, they will discover He is a personal friend as well as Saviour. They will desire to have Him as their friend as well.

  3. We communicate a whole lot more than just words to anyone we interact with. Some of those things are:

    * how we value them as a person
    * the values our life is based upon
    * the 'type' of God we serve.

    When it comes to communication, everything we do (or don't do) every moment of every day screams volumes. Unless we live in a permanent isolation bubble, we can't not communicate to others.

    The lesson does well to hilight how much we 'daily' need divine guidance and empowerment to communicate that which is beneficial to others.

    • Hi Phil - love your 'fit-it-in-a-nut-shell' communication style. It took me a several paragraphs to express the same thought. 🙂

  4. One of the saddest and perhaps the most offense of all communication breakdowns, in my opinion, is silence. When the conversations stop. Physical presence is replaced by withdrawal and isolation. Conversations between family members stop. There are families that have not spoken to one another for years! Since we do not possess mental telepathy, speech is very important. It is important in and out of the family, but perhaps mostly the silence between us humans and God, when prayer stops.Family worship stops. Bible reading stops. When despair, anger, and other negative emotions eat away at us, silently.
    I, too enjoy C.S. Lewis' work, although I lean toward his allegories. One of them is Out of the Silent Planet... a planet where amid all their communications with one another for good or bad, the inhabitants do not communicate with 'God'. Silence, for me, is to be avoided and remedied.

  5. Looking back over my time of formal education, it appears that my memory focuses more on the teacher then on what was taught – that’s interesting; the class I remember best is the one I enjoyed most – geography and history; it brought the rest of the world into the small corner where I lived. I still remember the personality of teachers who taught us and how it affected me emotionally.
    Based on my scrutiny of the ‘human’ quality of the person who taught me, I preferred learning by 'experience based on choice' over classroom learning. 8 years of basic education plus 2 years of trade school training was sufficient to start my life; based on my preferred way of learning, I am still learning and enjoying it more and more!! Being very detail-oriented, my observation skill’s ability to 'see' complexity is the channel through which I ‘learn’, and God’s Holy Spirit is doing the filtering and classification of the information ‘observed’.

    I agree with the lesson writer: “Also crucial to the whole process is the building of a relationship.” This, in my opinion, is the most important aspect to establish a successful teaching/learning environment.
    Expecting ‘high standards’ to be present in the teaching/learning environment, often solicits ‘problems’. *Receiving attention* should not be taken for granted by the person holding a position of influence. A person in position of authority certainly 'deserves' attention, though it is to THEIR advantage if they establish this ‘power to influence’ wisely.
    Creating an environment of companionship with a friendly, inclusive and accepting demeanor goes a long way toward keeping the channels of communication open.

    We all are teachers and learners and are well advised to always hold within us the disposition of respect and other-focused love, establishing therewith the kind of environment to be able to carefully observe the needs of others.
    I hold that in ideal communication, learning and teaching takes place in both; teacher and student learn and teach simultaneously when complete communication takes place - formatting instruction based on observation and learning by ability to absorb information.
    Eph.4:13-15 - When I met Jesus, my unconditional willingness to listen and learn from Him took a great load of my shoulder; it is such a great joy to be able to trust Him explicitly as the source of ultimate truth and wisdom and pass this on to others.

    As it regards my fellow man, my willingness to ‘listen’ is still very much tied to the quality of the personality which ‘authority’ is vested in. The ones who engage me with a friendly, inclusive demeanor receive my attention and communication/collaboration takes place; the others are tolerated up to a certain point and, if the communication-environment does not improve, I have learned the skill to kindly disengage.

  6. And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! Prov 5:13

    Communication in the home.
    It is a sad thing to stop communicating with our Heavenly Father. How do one exist without communicating with him? Not praying, reading the bible, no worshiping at home, not teaching the children to love the Lord with all their hearts, soul, strength and mind. In the bible parents have a specific way of communicating the law to the children. To hear, observe and do when they sit, lay, rise up, stand and walk by the way. Bind the law everywhere they walk in their homes and in the yard/surroundings.
    Communication helps to develop relationships. Many families do not communicate, as a result, their relationship is not where it is. Dealing with young children is different from dealing with grown up, we need different strategies.

    Solution to effective communication- Parents needs to start communicating with their children at an early age to start a relationship. Not only communicate when the children needs something of a material nature but in totality.

    What I have done- As a parent, a mother, an aunt, I must say that I am not perfect but I tried to have a relationship whether it worked or not. From a young age and the children went to school, I used to check their books to see what they did in school. I cant remember if I ever sent them to church, I always took them when they were young. As they got older, they took themselves. All clothing and everything were prepared for the sabbath by them. I laid the foundation for them by introducing them to Jesus, as they got older they have to love the Lord for themselves.

  7. God designed us for communion. We all have 2 eyes, 2 ears, and only 1 mouth. So it would seem that communication is mostly found by watching and listening, and less by talking.(?)

    What we say, will be outweighed by what we do. We cannot successfully communicate what we are not, but will be very effective with what we are, regardless of what we might say. And never forget that our little ones also have 2 eyes and 2 ears!


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