Hi friends, I am busy helping my son move out, set up his new home, and with last-minute wedding preparations this week. I have asked my Compel Writing group leader Tondi Wheat to share some encouraging words with you this week. Compel Writer’s training program is a part of Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can find out more about Compel at Compel training. Without further ado, I welcome my friend, Tondi Wheat to By His Grace Blog today.
Three Reactions to Build Relationships
There are times where I would love to omit some scriptures out of my Bible; they’re just difficult to obey. I grew up when kids were to be seen and not heard, and continued that philosophy when I had my first child.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, “ James 1:19 NIV
During church was no exception to that rule. Toys were to be quiet if my daughter sat in the church service with me. She needed to be dressed for church, with her hair brushed well, and never was there any gum to be played. Gum was meant to be in the mouth; no bubbles and no playing with it. I usually would give her a warning, but after that, it was to be thrown away.
One Sunday morning, church was beginning. My daughter had already sat down by my bag, and I soon joined her. I noticed she was sitting very quietly, playing with something in her hand. My eyes became fixated on the item being stuck to her little four-year-old fingers.
I leaned down to her level and quietly said, “You need to put that in your mouth now. You know you are not to play with gum.”
“But mommy,” she begged as her sweet big blue eyes met my eyes gazing at her.
“Put it in your mouth now,” I said a little more sternly.
“But Mommy,” she pleaded as her sweet looking eyes now looked saddened.
“Now” I demanded.
She quickly put the gum in her mouth as I sat beside her; frustrated she didn’t obey the first time. I began to think about the whole situation. She usually was very obedient. “Why had she not listened and obeyed?”
I thought of the color of the gum and what kind it may have been. Then I wondered where she got it and who gave it to her. So, I asked, “Where did you get that gum?”
She replied, “I found it under the water fountain.”
“Get that out of your mouth,” I said as I took a piece of paper to wrap around it.
She was trying to tell me, but I was too quick to assume she was disobeying. I didn’t want to listen; I wanted her just to do as I said.
We can be so quick to react to a situation without knowing the full extent of the circumstances. When a child appears to have not obeyed; your spouse does something they know bothers you, or a colleague blatantly disrespects you, we have a decision as to how to react. How we react to a situation can build a relationship or build a wall in the relationship.
In James, we are told to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
Relationships will be stronger when you follow these steps in any situation.
Quick to Listen:
To be a good listener, give them your full attention. Stop what you are doing, and if possible look them in the eyes to ensure they know you are listening.
If you are on the phone and there’s a problem arising with your spouse or kids, if possible, get off the phone. Show them they are more important that the person on the phone.
Slow to Speak:
Just because you think you know what happened, doesn’t mean you need to share it first. Listen to the other person’s side of the story. Show them their words and feelings are important too.
Slow to Become Angry:
When you hear another perspective, it helps to understand another person. Building relationships are God’s focus. If we are angry, we are building a wall between relationships.
When we follow these steps, we may find: our perspective was incorrect; we have caused some feelings in the other person, and they are reacting, or the person is hurting and will lash out at anyone. We are only responsible for our reactions to their actions.
My daughter survived the germs shared by another, and I became a better parent and listener after that gum incident over 20 years ago. I may not always follow these steps, but when I do, it shows others: their words matter; I don’t know everything; and, they are important.
Listen to their side of the story; then speak, so you don’t become angry.
Tondi Wheat grew up in church, being a Pastor’s kid; although, she never fully grasped the concept of God’s love and grace until later in life. She has learned hard life lessons through a failed marriage, raising a daughter to adulthood, homeschooling, life changes, and remarriage. She loves doing life with her husband of 14 years, adult daughter, and two young sons. They reside in the country, outside a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. You can follow her on her facebook writer’s page: Tondi Wheat, writer.
I have seen a lot of really great pics on Pinterest about cool things to buy Dad for Father’s Day this year. Beard oil, a badger hair brush to lather up shaving cream, tools and various and sundry things made from leather. However, I think the thing that Dad wants most can’t be bought in any catalog or store. He doesn’t really want another tie or another set of tools. Okay, he may want a new putter or has his eye on the latest technological gadget, but I think the thing that dad really wants this year for Father’s Day is simple.
Appreciation – Dad doesn’t mind working hard all week providing for the family. Sure, he probably dreams of the day he retires, but a real father loves to provide for his family. In fact, Proverbs says A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children. Instead of going to the hardware store and looking for that perfect gift to buy Dad, may I suggest that what he really wants is to be appreciated? Tell him that you are thankful for his provision for your family, and for working hard to take care of you! He wants to feel appreciated, so tell him that he is doing a great job and that you are thankful for all he does for you.
Respect – Men desire to be respected by both their wives and their children. You can’t put a pricetag on honoring dad, and it means the world to a man to know that he is respected by his family. Value his advice and wisdom and listen to him. Esteem him, admire him, and revere him. Hold dad in high regard and let him know how you feel. Your words of respect can be life changing to a dad.
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. – Deuteronomy 5:16
Love – Finally, love him. Shower him with words of affirmation and kindness. Write him a note, make him a banner, or spend time with him doing the things that he enjoys doing. Make dad feel special and feel loved by making his favorite meal or taking him to his favorite restaurant for dinner.
Whatever you do this year for Father’s day whether you make or buy dad something, or you spend quality time together, just be sure to make sure he knows that he is loved, appreciated and respected.
Life can be so complicated and unpredictable. Today has been one of those days for me. My day started off with three MRIs: one for my brain, one for my neck and one for my back. My dear sweet husband took the morning off from work to hold my hand, comfort me, and pray for me because he knows that I am claustrophobic and that MRIs cause me great anxiety! Today was one of those days when I just needed my husband’s presence. As I went further into the MRI tube, he held my leg, and just knowing he was there brought me tremendous comfort. While sitting in the waiting room before my MRI and filling out my paperwork, I realized that today is February 13, my mom’s birthday. If my mom were still alive today, she would have turned 77!
We think we have to do something, but presence is a powerful action of its own. – Sarah Beckman
I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately. She died a few years ago after she was taken off of life support just days after Christmas. Family relations and emotions were all running high. Many friends called, texted and offered support. Whenever anyone offered to help I would simply ask for prayer. I would say that I was alright when in reality I wasn’t.
In trying times, people tend to say they are okay and don’t need anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I will never forget the loving kindness of a friend who offered to stop by the hospital to bring food, and she would not take no for an answer. Not only did she bring me food, but she also took the time to listen to me. We prayed, we sang, and she sat with me as the Lord called my mom home. Her presence at that moment in my life was powerful and it is a gift that I will forever cherish.
How do we walk alongside someone in the midst of trying circumstances?
There’s a unique opportunity to love our neighbor when they experience a time of trial in their life. – Sarah Beckman
We all experience difficult trials in life, and we know people close to us that suffer hardships. How do we love and care for others well in their crisis? The answer to this question is the purpose of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial. This must-read book is an invaluable resource for walking alongside those in need.
This book is filled with questions to consider. It offers practical ways to love people through the storms of life and will help you figure out the best way to respond to the individual’s needs. You will learn to know your place in relationship to the person in need, and what you should do accordingly. It will also give a good understanding of possible needs and how people may be feeling, including general guidelines to consider and questions to help prepare for the journey ahead.
Part 2 of the book is dedicated to taking action. Know when to go, and when to pray. When I went to the hospital to give birth to my son whose heart had stopped beating in my womb, my sweet friends wanted to come to the hospital. While having my friends at the hospital that day was a kind gesture, what I needed most was time to grieve alone with my family. There is a chapter dedicated to respecting the person’s journey and includes information on privacy and dignity, and other chapters offer specific help, including being present, showing love through food, listening well and much more.
Finally, the book concludes with chapters on special circumstances, including: messy situations, when faith isn’t shared, when you’ve been there, when someone is aging, and terminal illness. In the appendix, there are scriptures for loving your neighbor which are divided into categories and a list of websites, books, and other helpful resources like meal coordination and online fundraising.
For more information visit Sarah Beckman’s website.
A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.
I have one autographed copy of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial to give away!
From now until February 28th, leave a comment below with either a way that you have come alongside someone in need or how someone has blessed you in a difficult time, to be eligible to win. Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog post please share with a friend.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic week!
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