This season of love, take a look at your family relationships. Forgive and love generously. Remember, as you choose to forgive, bless and do good, this does not mean you condone negative behavior, are minimizing hurt or denying problems. It means you have decided to follow the words of Christ and do what does not come naturally to most of us. Our model is Christ. He was despised, rejected, and abused. Yet, he had compassion and loved the unlovely. What a challenge!
As you encounter family members who are not always so loving, try these suggestions:
- Make attempts to resolve issues that have built up and caused resentment. Avoidance just leads to anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness.
- Remember the good moments in your relationship. Do not deny problems, but balance negatives with positives.
- Do something enjoyable together in order to build positive memories.
- Control your tongue. It has the power of life and death according to the Book of James.
- Pray for those who irritate you. Ask God to give you His heart when it comes to them.
- Love people as yourself.
- Consider the biblical principle—what you sow, you reap (Galatians 6:7).
- Forgive often and do not hold on to offense.
- God’s grace is a gift; offer it to others as well.
- Read I Corinthians 13 as a true reminder of love. Love is patient, kind, does not envy or boast, keeps no records of wrong, hopes and never fails. (v. 4-7)
Check for physical tension.
Do you have any of the physical signs of anxiety such as a racing or pounding heart, sweaty palms, difficulty breathing, stomach upset, frequent urination or diarrhea, muscle tension, headaches, fatigue or insomnia?
Be aware of your body and the physical sensations that creep in with stress, anxiety, fear and worry.
List your concerns—those things that bother you and could potentially become areas of worry. Ask yourself:
Is this a concern or has it turned in to a worry?
Is this concern something that is in or out of my control?
If in my control, what am I doing about this concern?
If not in my control, can I allow it to be without worrying?
Your goal is to empty this list.
Take your concerns to God. Meditate on Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Are you able to lay worry down at the foot of the cross? Or do you carry it with you?
Worry is released when we trust God and do not doubt.
NOTE: If you feel you have excessive worry to the point that it interferes with your every day living, consider seeing a mental health therapist trained in treating anxiety disorders. An evaluation can help determine if your worry has moved to anxiety. God wants us to live a worry free life, despite our circumstances. For more help, check out my book, Letting Go of Worry for strategies to be worry free.
Jesus knew the heartbreak of betrayal when he watched his beloved disciples turn against him. Judas gave Him over to his enemies for money. Peter denied Him for fear of retaliation. Those who loved Jesus also betrayed Him. Yet, Jesus in his mercy and grace chose to forgive. The betrayers didn’t deserve it, but that was the point. Grace gives what isn’t deserved. It’s not about being right. It’s about doing right!
Jesus could fight back. He could prove He was right. At his disposal were 10,000 angels ready to rescue Him from a death he did not deserve. He could call down an army, wipe out those who came against Him, and win an immediate victory. He could show them how right He was. He could get angry, call foul play, retaliate and seek revenge.
What did He ever do to deserve such treatment? Who could blame Him if he reacted this way? He could prove his point. Retaliation and vengeance were tempting. Jesus could flex those powerful spiritual muscles and take down the oppressors. He could rightly put people in their places and show them who was in charge. He could win the argument and be right.
No angels or armies were called from heaven. The decision to do right ended in dying alone. There He was, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, meaning the punishment that brought us peace was on Him. Because of his response, our reconciliation to God is now possible.
Jesus’ decision to forgo being right was made out of sacrificial love. Jesus gave up his right to be right.
Instead, He chose to do right.
What an incredible challenge. Do we choose to do right or do what we do because we are right?
Here we go again. Toddlers and Tiaras, Dance Moms and now Friday Night Tykes. Yes, one more installment in the reality TV genre that leaves the viewer wondering if entertainment involves watching children being screamed at with profanity, then humiliated and embarrassed in order to motivate them towards some parent’s idea of greatness.
When I watch these shows, I see adults bully and emotionally abuse kids. This is not entertaining, it is sad.
Friday Night Tykes moves the positive side of sports to the dark side. For example, kids are told to rip off the heads of their opponents, hurt them with intentional fouling, and go for the helmets (banned in the NFL). Keep in mind these are kids under the age of 10.
Yes playing sports can build self-esteem, leadership skills, coordination, fitness, and cooperation, but when the method of coaching involve humiliation and overly aggressive tactics, kids can be physically and psychologically harmed. The line is crossed.
Humiliation of a child when his/her sense of self is in a state of developement does little to build esteem. It has the opposite effect. And why would any parent want a bully as a role model for their child?
Speaking of parents, a mother of one of players put it this way in Episode 2, “When your kids look bad, you look bad.” How sad that the child is expected to meet his mother’s expectation of greatness to make her look good. What about his needs? When he fails to score, makes a mistake, will he be stressed, anxious and worried because he is making his mom or dad look bad? Do we really want to put this burden on a child? In therapy, this is a negative dynamic called parentification of children –children expected to meet the emotional needs of their parents. It’s the child’s needs we are to be meeting as parents.
And when you push a child too hard and force him to play beyond any enjoyment, you create rebellious, resentful, insecure kids who can become depressed and anxious. So parents, ask, is this what your child really wants to do? Is the way the child is being coached instilling the values and leadership skills you desire? Is your child being taught skills? And is your child so talented that you would push him at any cost? What will this do to your relationship with your child? Does he have to win your affection through high performance?
Coaches should also be held accountable. These are not mini adults they are whipping in to shape for a Superbowl. These are kids who can be psychologically damaged by their profanity, berating and shaming. Kids whose physical bodies are still growing and can be damaged by concussions and broken bones when too much aggression and unsafe practices are used.
Friday Night Tykes is not entertaining. It is pathetic and irresponsible.
In an age when bullying is center stage, why would we give bullies a stage?
Time to call a time-out! Better yet, turn off those Friday night lights.