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.
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.)
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!