Family Whispers

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“Be joyful always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Levity and lightheartedness are glue that holds family members together. Families willing to laugh at funny stories about growing up are sure to forge a strong bond for the tough times.

We heard about a mother who decided to hold her squirming toddler in her lap during his first Muppet movie. Midway through, they lost control of a large Pepsi and a box of buttered popcorn. The gooey mixture flowed over the child into the mother’s lap. Since the movie was almost over, she decided to sit it out. What she didn’t know was that she and her son were being cemented together. When the movie ended, they stood up… and the mother’s wraparound skirt stuck to the bottom of the toddler, came unraveled, and followed him up the aisle. She stood there clutching her slip and thanking the Lord she had taken time to put one on!

Another mother wrote us about a little miscommunication involving her preschooler: “Perhaps there should be a uniform word for ‘potty’ when children have to go to the bathroom. My three‐year‐old has been taught to refer to that act as a ‘whisper.’ Well, his grandfather came to visit us, and in the middle of the night my son came to his bed and said, ‘Grandpa, I have to whisper.’ Not wanting to awaken his wife, he said, ‘Okay. Whisper in my ear.’” So the little boy did.

The telling and retelling of funny moments like these can connect families for generations. God created us with a sense of humor for a reason. We believe that He wants us to use it.

Just between us…

  • Why do you think that God created us with an ability to laugh?
  • Do you remember any funny family stories from your childhood?
  • How can we preserve our family heritage through stories?

Lord, we’re grateful we can share funny times with our kids. Help us make them part of a grand story that will bind us together for years. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Love and Respect

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

Show proper respect to everyone. 1 Peter 2:17

Love is an important means to building a healthy self-concept in your children, but it is only half of the equation. Respect is equally vital—and it’s entirely possible to show one without the other. For example, when your son starts to speak to another adult, you may cut him off in midsentence and explain what he’s trying to say. Or you lecture your daughter before she leaves for a weekend at a friend’s house on how to avoid making a fool of herself.

A child is perfectly capable of understanding that he or she fails to measure up in the eyes of Mom or Dad. “Sure, they love me because they’re my parents. I can see that I’m important to them, but they’re not really proud of me as a person. I’m a disappointment to them.” The first step in building a sense of worth in your children is to be careful about what you say and do in their presence. Then, rather than focusing only on their problems, be sure to communicate your respect for them and the wise choices they do make. When the apostle Peter instructed believers to “show proper respect to everyone,” he certainly meant it to include the impressionable members of their own families. As you display an attitude of respect and love toward your children, you’ll establish a home in step with the heart of God.

Before you say good night…

Do you show your children respect as well as love? How?

Are you sometimes disrespectful to your kids? In what ways?

Which of your kids’ traits and accomplishments are worthy of your respect and praise?

Father, by the restraining power of Your own Spirit, keep us from damaging home and family with careless, critical words. Help us to focus on building up one another. We seek Your strength to accomplish this. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

DEVOTIONAL

LIVING HIS WIRD WEEKLYIsaiah 55:8-9 ERV: The LORD says, “My thoughts are not like yours.
Your ways are not like mine.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.

We have been designed, but God is the designer. We are creatures, but God is the creator. We are limited, but God is not limited by anything. We control some things, but God is in sovereign control of everything. We have some power, but God is all-powerful. We know some things, but God is all-knowing. God, in other words, is beyond us in every respect. There is a lot of mystery when it comes to God.

It’s true that God reveals things to us, including things about Himself, but He doesn’t reveal everything to us and, as a result, there are a lot of things we don’t know. Further, when God does reveal things about Himself, He does so in creaturely terms. He has to, since we are creatures. But when He does this there is still an element of mystery. God, for example, is revealed in the Bible as a “rock” (Deuteronomy 32:4,18), but we know He’s not a physical thing. We implicitly know that the words and concepts used in the Bible to refer to God—father, rock, shelter, strong tower, etc.—are figures of speech that never fully reveal the reality of God. God always seems to escape any attempts to categorize Him, limit Him, or put Him in a box.

The same is true with respect to God’s thoughts. Just when we think we have God figured out, He does something totally unexpected. We have to confess at those times that His thoughts are not like ours, that His thoughts are higher than ours. Our thoughts are not like His not only because we are sinful people and He is a Holy God, but also because we are limited creatures and He is the unlimited creator of all things.

At those times when what God is doing in our lives is hard to understand or figure out, we must trust Him. After all, His thoughts are not wrong thoughts; they are just higher thoughts. We must trust that “in everything God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

When it comes to God, trusting Him trumps understanding Him every time.