As church leaders and youth & family leaders, one of the most important things we can do for our families is to help them with their communication at home. As kids grow up, communicating with them at a heart level can become challenging. Communication is vital to a healthy relationship. We need to make sure that we are talking through important issues and guiding our children through the turbulent waters of young adulthood.
We often divide families when they walk in the door of our churches. We have parenting classes and teen devos. We see the need to meet individual needs. We see the need for teens to have a place they can call their own. These are critical needs to meet but we must also find ways to get them together, in the same room, interacting. When we disciple a married couple, we sit together. We need to hear both sides of the story. We need the complete picture. The same is true in teen’s homes. We need to communicate with both together. We need to facilitate and train them to have spiritual communication.
In our ministries in Chicago and Johannesburg, we have had monthly teen & teen parent devotionals. We get the families to come together, sit together, and learn together. We typically start off the time with an activity they can do as a family. It may be a game, a project, a survey, or a competition. We believe in active participation! Our devos are typically very interactive. In the first devo we did with the teens and parents in the Northwest Region in Joburg (where Beth and I are at) we talked about “Building a Spiritual Household”. We showed a number of video clips where teens and parents were communicating sinfully. After each video clip we stopped and asked the questions, “How did the parent sin against the teen?” and “How did the teen sin against the parent?” This always prompts great discussion! After identifying how teens and parents can sin against each other we talked about apologies, repentance, and forgiveness. God gives us the tools to constantly work through sin at home. This is the real hope in Christian homes!
This weekend is our second time together. We are going to devote this devotional to “Family Communication.” Our hope is to teach principles and practicals that help teens and parents communicate at a heart level.
Hopefully this sparks some ideas. Try to find ways to build healthy communication in your family’s homes!
Dave Pocta for ICOC HotNews