Our daughter, our 'baby' turned 40 yrs. of age this week!
Kristin La Moyne was born in Norman, Oklahoma while I was serving as Campus Minister at the University of Oklahoma.
We had returned from Korea with our three sons and had been in Norman about 3 yrs. when she was born.
What a joy she was then...and is now, as a Health Studies Prof. at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.
She was only a baby when we moved to the Bay Area of California to pastor Foothill Baptist Church in Los Altos. We had a son in grade school, one in Junior High and one in High School. I was asked to be the PTA President at Grant Grade School near where I pastored. I felt that our emphasis for that year should be on family and especially 'communication'.
It was important then.....and even moreseo now, with TV and other 'gadgets' that can hinder the process.
This website paper is a 'gleaning' of helpful things that I felt were important then and hope that it can help you...and your's now.
I used I Corinthians 13 as a basis and the Golden Rule is always 'golden':
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
This works in families...and will work 'anywhere'!
However, much communication is like Ma and Pa who were sitting on the back porch of their home.
Pa looked at Ma and said, "Ma, I'm proud of you!" and she, being hard of hearing said, "Well, I'm tired of you too, Pa!"
Don't ever be too tired to take precious time, to communicate and make sure that people HEAR and UNDERSTAND what you're saying!
Phyllis McGenley said:
"Sticks and stones are hard on bones; aimed with angry art,
Words can sting like anything, but silence breaks the heart!"
Robert Frost said:
"We guess at one another"
No one likes to 'guessed at', but it does take good communication for it not to happen!
"We holler at one another across seas of misunderstanding."
Scientists tell us:
"What distinguishes us from animals, is our ability to use symbols....which is the ability to communicate."
In other words, if we stop communicating, we act like animals, growling and fighting for 'my space'
The Bible emphasizes that 'we were created in the image of God' to communicate with God and to communicate with others!
God communicates with us via the Bible, the Holy Spirit, Prayer and the presence of Jesus in our lives.
He expects us in turn, to communicate with love and words, not with hate and grunts!
The Apostle Paul emphasized love and to communicate each day and to:
'Not let the sun go down on your wrath'. (Eph.4:26) For more on this, read Ephesians 4, 5 & 6.
SOME BASICS TO GOOD COMMUNICATIONS:
In one of his plays, T. S. Elliott wrote:
"Lavenia says to her husband, Edward, 'The most infuriating thing about you, has always been your placid assumption that I wasn't worth the trouble of understanding!"
Don't EVER (by life..or..by lip) lower another person's self-esteem and respect!!!
Empathy: That which puts you (at least in your thoughts) in the other person's shoes.
The Indian Proverb says:
"Don't criticize me until you have walked a mile in my moccasins!"
I also feel that this attitude and action patterns our Lord's attitudes and action!
3) SINCERE CONCERN FOR THE OTHER PERSON'S HAPPINESS, SECURITY AND SELF RESPECT
I think that the Pharisees were surprised when they asked Jesus, 'Who is my neighbor?' for their idea of 'neighbor' was limited. Jesus gives the story of the 'Good Samaritan' (Luke 10:25-37) of unlimited love, even if it costs!
It DOES cost to care....at home...the office...school or 'wherever'....even while waiting in a long line at the store or while in traffic!
4) CASUAL CONVERSATION
We 'teach much' by casual conversation.
'Familiarity breeds contempt' is not so in the home!
We need to REALLY know each other and take the time.
When home, we need to BE home!
When all in the home, BE all there! When listening, really BE listening!
Many of the killings in schools seemed to be by 'quiet students' who seemingly did not have adequate communication in the home and elsewhere.
One said, "I never had an adult to talk to...or one who would really listen!"
My wife is so good at giving undivided attention to our children and gr'children...or anyone with whom she is talking. While in school, she was known as 'a good listener' and that trait is still there (even to her own detriment sometimes, as I've watched her 'listen' when I knew that she really did not have the physical strength to do so!)
So much learning is CAUGHT.....not TAUGHT.
Love must be practiced and become a habit.
'Believe' and 'Behave' are two parts of the same coin. Consistency is the key!
The highest compliment is the 'compliment of imitation'!
Through your children, you can serve again. I call it 'the immortality of influence'. (Hebrews 11:4)
There is no adequate substitute for Dad or Mom. However as we know, there are instances where this is not possible and God can (and has) helped to work out the situation for the good of everyone.
Also, no substitute for integrity, faith, hope and true love.
Nothing should take the place of family togetherness and play.
Interestingly, our children say that one of their most favorite memories, was when I would come home from the office, lie down on the floor in our front room and play like I was Gulliver's Giant, trying to catch them as they would run by me. Later on as they grew older, basketball in the backyard was the most favorite family time and it seems to be true even now whenever they come home, along with our 5 grandchildren.
Shifting ideals and wrong role models are a big problem today. There is nothing more valuable than children who have really been loved through great communication.
Jim Elliott (martyred while serving as a missionary in Ecuador) said,
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, for that which he cannot lose."
His wife, Elizabeth, continued to serve after his death and has written several books, including 'Love Has A Price Tag'. In this book, she says:
"The love needed knows no limit to it's endurance, no end to it's trust, no fading of it's hope; it can outlast ANYthing!"
It is good to have the things that money can buy, but make sure that you do not lose the things that money can NOT buy!
It's better to have something to live FOR....than much to live ON!
Houses are not homes! Money is not security! Gadgets cannot bring happiness!
The disease which threatens the family and other relationships is the 'reservation of affectual commitment'.
Love your spouse, children, fellow workers....and let them KNOW.....TELL THEM SO!
One of the things that impressed us during our years in Hawaii, was the genuine love shown via warm hugs.
Though my Dad was not Hawaiian, he had their 'aloha spirit' as he never failed to bear-hug us 4 sons and was very demonstrative in his love toward my Mom.
Some may say, 'Well, it's a cultural thing...not to show love and emotion'.
Where in the Bible does it say to 'follow culture' and not Christ??
8) LOVE SUMS IT UP
Of course, I'm speaking of Christ-like kind of love.
It must be motivated by the Holy Spirit and using the Word of God as a 'Recipe Book for Love'.
In giving 'love' to your children, gr'children and others, make sure that you also give them Jesus!
The home must be a place of understanding, love, fellowship and warmth...or....they will seek it elsewhere!
I've always said that 'people will join the warmest thing that they can find' and sometimes that has been drugs...or a cult.
Next to the home, I have always felt that the church should be the 'warmest place' where people can find love, understanding and acceptance.
Love is so patient and so kind
Love never boils with jealousy
It never boasts, is never puffed with pride,
It does not act with rudeness, or insists upon it's rights...
It never gets provoked, it never harbors evil thoughts,
Is never glad when wrong is done,
But always glad when truth prevails.
It bears up under anything,
It exercises faith in everything,
It keeps up hope in everything,
It gives us power to endure in anything,
REAL LOVE never fails!
In closing, America paid homage to Rosa Parks this week.
She taught us a great deal about 'non-verbal communication' when she helped to 'break the bonds of segregation'.
Without saying a word, Rosa Parks by her actions, accomplished MUCH and is revered by MANY!
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