Summer Book Club: Ditching the Attitude

I hope you’re enjoying and learning from Family: How to Love Yours (and Help Them Like You Back) as you read a chapter every week with me this summer. (And if you’re on the fence, it’s still not too late to join us! Just follow the book link above to snag your copy.)

This week in chapter four, “Ditching the Attitude,” we discovered that the eye roll really is an art form (wink) and the real reason we have trouble respecting our parents. Ready for another vlog?

In this chapter, I challenge us to think about why ditching our attitudes to honor our parents matters so much. Let’s take a look:

I think God cares so much about kids honoring their parents because it’s our training ground.

Honoring our parents is the way we learn to honor God Himself.

Think about it. God spent four commandments telling His people to honor Him. But a child isn’t born into the world automatically knowing how to do that. In fact, our sin nature makes the opposite true: We’re born rebels. Because we’re broken, fallen people, we have to learn how to honor. We have to practice submission. We have to train in the fine art of respecting authority. Left to ourselves, we don’t want to bend our selfish will to anyone or anything.

Enter our parents: the perfect scenario for learning how to honor people even when we don’t understand their reasons, agree with their methods, or appreciate their consequences.

Especially then.

If we can get a handle on those skills while under our parents’ roofs, we’ll have inadvertently learned how to honor, submit to, and respect God’s authority, even when we don’t understand, agree with, or appreciate His methods (p. 61–62).

My Attitude Troubleshooting List

So what about when your attitude isn’t very honoring . . . at all? Here are my four practical tips for checking your attitude. (You can find more detailed explanations for each of these tips on pages 67–71 in the book.)

1. Check your heart.

Ask, Do I really respect my parents right now, or does my attitude reek of sewage in my heart?

2. Imagine your body language on someone else.

Ask, If my best friend gave me nonverbal cues like this, how would I feel?

3. Listen to your voice.

Use your phone to record a conversation with your parents. Play it back, and listen objectively to how you sound. Are you representing yourself the way you want to come across?

4. Ask your parents for feedback.

Ask your parents to explain ways they think your attitude needs to change. Remember to listen graciously and with a big dose of humility! (p. 71–72)

(These excerpts are taken from pages 61–62, 71–72 of Family: How to Love Them (and Help Them Like You Back) by Jessie Minassian Copyright © 2017. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

Let’s Discuss!

I can’t wait to hear your answers to this week’s application question in the comments: What circumstances and topics tend to spark a bad attitude in you? (This one’s going to be fun!)

This next week we’re chugging right along into chapter five, “Earning Trust (and Gaining Freedom).” I’ll see you again next Monday for another installment of our Summer Book Club!

Here’s another chance to win your own copy of Family: How to Love Yours (and Help Them Like You Back) by Jessie Minassian! Log on to the giveaway widget below, and answer the application question in the comments!

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About Author

Jessie Minassian

Jessie Minassian is a speaker, blogger, and the author of ten books and Bible studies, including Crushed, Unashamed, and Backwards Beauty. She is the "resident big sis" at LifeLoveandGod.com, a Q&A website for teen girls. Her work for teens and their parents has been featured internationally through outlets such as Focus on the Family, Parenting Today’s Teens, She Reads Truth, Axis, Revive Our Hearts and YouthWorker Journal. She and her husband live and serve at Hume Lake Christian Camps in California, and have two daughters.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • hannah

    I tend to get an attitude when i’m asked to do something that I don’t want to do.

    • This has always been a hard one for me too, Hannah! 😉 Grateful for God’s grace as I work to do better at this.

  • T

    I guess it would be over respecting my brother….. i guess I would say it’s hard to… when I don’t agree with something he’s doing…. I’ve had to look at it this way! I’m lucky!(I know I’m also crazy for saying this😲) but a lot of girls go without a brother/ dad to learn to respect…. and when they are older they won’t have as much “practice” respecting their man! Or most importantly God! It will be something totally new to them! But for me I’m “practicing ” now for my future man😉! And most importantly God! So yes! I’m lucky! And God is helping me not flare up or get upset about minor things…. it’s been hard! I’ll admit that! But I’ve seen some change and I’m hoping to see more! Thanks for the post again! May God bless your day!❤❤

    • T

      P.s. yes my parents and i do have talks about this subject sometimes…..

    • Great perspective, T! Thanks for joining the conversation.

  • Rachel Lee

    topics that tend to bring out my bad attitude is when my parents talk about my future like what career field i should go into or what collage i should attend!

  • Annie

    This is rather hard to admit…I can have a bad attitude if I’m asked to do something I don’t want to do! I can also have a bad attitude if my sister does something that I think isn’t right or proper! Funny how that works ;P

  • Hannah B

    This seems to be a common problem, when I’m asked to do something I don’t want to do.. or if someone is irritated at someone else and takes it out on me . That riles me up bad.

  • Jewels

    I have a bad attitude too often. When my sibling annoys me, when my parents ask me to do something I don’t really want to do, when I feel really tired and hot.

  • Nicole

    I get a bad attitude when my parents or sister makes assumptions about my intentions which were never there. Another thing that frequently bothers me is if I feel they are being unreasonable. I have a strong sense of thinking everything should be as fair as possible, but then I have to remind myself that life is rarely fair.

  • Hannah

    I have a bad attitude when I’m babysitting my siblings they do not obey me, even though mom and tell them that I’m in charge when their gone. And I have a bad attitude in many other circumstances.😓

    • hannah

      I feel the same i’m the oldest of five

      • T

        Older sister of 6….i have a older brother but he works so I watch kids….. I love watching kids! It’s hard for me too! My siblings get told the same thing! It helps to have a talk with your parents about it then lay out a plan… for instance lately if they do something they shouldn’t disobey/ disrespect they have to sit with a book until they get permission to get up if they don’t listen then Dad is told and he takes care of it! They will learn! It feels like they won’t believe me! I’ve been doing it for almost 6 years now!

  • Sunny1602

    I’d say often in our home a common problem would be that my parents tend to reflect toward my siblings to not respect me as the oldest child because they believe I become too overbearing toward my younger siblings. That is a problem especially when I am babysitting them because then I feel as I have no place or authority as the oldest child when I need them to do something. I do believe though that God is working in my life to set a good example for them to follow and He has also helped me cool my quick temper and reflect His image through my actions. Thank you for this awesome post!

  • Erika

    Number three on the list sounds like a good idea. That way you can really hear what you sound like :-O I’ll have to try it

    • You’ll have to update us if you do—let us know how it goes! 😉

  • Lex

    So, what would be the difference between just having a bad attitude and an argument with your parents? Just because they’re your parents doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself under certain situations.

    • Hey, Lex! True, there’s a place for expressing how you’re feeling or explaining that you feel you’ve been wronged. And even then, our goal should be to say our piece with humility and grace, having a good attitude. (NOT that I do this perfectly! Ha! But a good attitude is the goal.)

  • Tere

    I have a bad attitude when my parents don’t give me a clear answer right on the spot. I’d rather they say no than leave me guessing if yes or no.

  • Sherri1223

    One of the things that triggers my bad attitude is when someone tells me to do something but I’m in the middle of doing something else.

  • MidnightCity

    Thank you so much for this article! I tend to get a bad attitude when my issues with depression are brought up.

  • Thanks for all the honesty in this discussion. Man, I can relate to so much of what you shared! Praying for each of us today, that we wouldn’t just see the problem, but run hard after obedience to God by doing something ABOUT our attitudes. xo!

  • Leslie

    who won the book last week?

    • T

      Somebody by the name if Annie….. sorry I’m not a LYWB writer or anything but wanted to give the answer so you knew!

      • Leslie

        thanks