There are many ways we build walls in our families. A wall is anything that prevents us from connecting and enjoying each other.
A wall can destroy interaction between parent and child. It can eat away at a marriage. God offers the ultimate means of tearing down walls.
This Type A lady is excited to bring you a CHECKLIST of ways you can tear down walls (or prevent them from happening!) in your family. Special thanks to Gayla Fields, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, for her input into this handy list!
___1. The wall of “busy”ness.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
As families, many of us are overbooked and overscheduled. Society pressures parents to sign their children up for everything, from gymnastics to soccer, dance to t-ball.
God points out we don’t have to follow society.
Counselor Gayla Fields says children need “down time,” as do parents. She recommends limiting the number of activities.
“If you find yourself running every night of the week, you are involved in too much.” She noted children need a routine and home time with a healthy dinner and regular bedtime.
If we’re too busy, we don’t talk. We miss opportunities to sit together, eat dinner together or even have a family game night. Don’t build a wall of busyness in your life.
___2. The wall of unforgiveness.
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.…
— Matthew 18:21-22
Unforgiveness may be common when one person hurts the other and forgiveness never comes. We must choose to forgive to avoid the wall. If Jesus can forgive, so can we…with His help.
The hurt party may not admit it, but he or she holds a silent grudge against her mate. It surfaces at different points and true one-ness as a couple cannot happen.
Forgiveness is giving up your right to hurt back. It is a very freeing thing.
___3. The wall of disrespect.
“Use helpful words…the kind that builds others up.”
— Ephesians 4:29-32
We live in a time where respect is seldom displayed. Watch any television program and you will hear snide, sarcastic communication between husbands and wives and children and their parents. Respect is hard to find these days.
Respect is a choice. Bad habits of disrespectful communication can be broken when we decide to make an effort to speak with a positive tone and message.
Praise your mate and children. Point out their good qualities and decisions. Don’t nag and don’t always point out their mistakes.
Don’t let teasing control your communication. What may be harmless jokes to one person may be devastating degradation to another. Know your mate and your children. Don’t hurt them with teasing.
Understanding how your child is uniquely wired will go a long way to knowing how to lead, discipline and coach him or her.
Some kids love a crowd. Others what quiet and solitude. Some want to lead. Others want to follow.
Birth order may have something to do with this. Dr. Kevin Leman points out: First borns tend to outperform, be organized and have a tremendous sense of duty. Middlers may be quiet and withdrawn, usually opposite their older siblings. Youngest fight for their position and are often more challenging and questioning.
Observe how your child interacts with others. What’s important to your child? How does he or she spend her free time?
Remember that each child in your family is different, even close sisters or brothers. Treatment will have to vary with the personalities. Remember to “Train a child up in the way he should go” (Prov 22:6) but that training depends upon his or her BENT.
Tear down the walls that separate us in our marriages and families….you’ll be glad you did!