But, the truth is I've been SUCKING at it.
I've been sooo busy moping around lately. I may expand on that later... or I may spare you.
Today is a new day and I am thankful for the rain.
The clean water from heaven that brings life and growth to these shadowlands. The rain that washes me clean.
I do want to revisit the communication list that so inspired me and see if writing it again, expanding on it will make it sink in any deeper. You know what they say (who are "they" anyway?) ~ to remember something you must read it, write it, say it, and write it again... or something akin to that.
Here is my summarized version of each of the 8 types of communication that Mr. Tripp lists in his book, which he makes sure to note that this list is by no means an exhaustive list, only suggestive.
Encouragement: "designed to inspire and fill with hope and courage." Especially when our children experience failure in some area - self-control, anger, sin - and they know they are wrong. We can help them to understand the promises of God, our sin nature, and how to find courage, hope and inspiration from Him who draws near to the brokenhearted and contrite.
Correction: "gives your children insight into what is wrong and what may be done to correct the problem." We can teach them God's standards with correction and how to assess their behaviour against that standard. 2 Tim.3:16-17
Rebuke: "censures behaviour. Sometimes a child must experience your sense of alarm, shock and dismay at what he has done or said." Especially when dealing with what they say... saying they hate someone or wish death or injury upon someone. We would obviously respond with evident alarm and indignation! Following a rebuke would come instruction, encouragement, prayer.
Entreaty: "is earnest and intense... pleading, soliciting, urging... for the child to act in wisdom and faith." This is reserved for use in cases of great import. His example is talking to his sons about avoiding sexual sins and pornography.
Instruction: "is the process of providing a lesson, a precept, or information that will help your children to understand their world." I love what he says about teaching our children the Proverbs' characterization of the fool, the sluggard, the wise man, the mocker, helping them to develop discernment about life.
Warning: "puts us on guard regarding probable danger... is merciful speech, the equivalent of posting a sign informing motorists about a bridge that is out... Warning preserves... A warning is simply a statement that A leads to B. For example, laziness leads to slavery." We are teaching them the principle of sowing and reaping.
Teaching: " imparting knowledge, causing someone to know something... is often most powerfully done after a failure or problem." We MUST draw upon our knowledge of the Scripture to teach our children well. God help me!
Prayer: "an essential element of communication between the parent and the child... Understanding what they pray and how they pray is often a window into their souls." Likewise when our children hear us pray, they see our faith in God exemplified.
A quote from the next chapter is this: "You will never have the hearts of your children if you talk with them only when something has gone wrong."
God help me in all these areas of my communication. You are the only one who can!