God’s Amazing Design for the Parent-Child Relationship | Colossians 3:20-21

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. – John C. Maxwell

Talking about parenting

Becky and I on a retreat in Northern California

Recently, my wife, Becky and I took a much needed retreat to Northern California with some friends to talk about life, marriage, leadership, and parenting. I talk alot about the need for retreat… and it was time to practice what I preach.

As a parent, and a leader in youth ministry development, I see a real need for encouragement from God’s Word on how to pursue God’s design for the parent-child relationship. The Apostle Paul offers some simple but life-changing instruction in Colossians that is probably drawn from his understanding of Exodus 20:12 which is the a commandment directed specifically toward the parent-child relationship: God instructs children:

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”(Exodus 20:12 )

This is the one commandment that is coupled with a direct blessing. All of the commandments are equally important, yet for some reason God adds a special blessing and motivation for following this commandment. Why? I think it is probably because FAMILY is the foundation of society. If we get this wrong, society will erode at break-neck speed. If we get the Parent-Child relationship wrong, patterns will get established that could govern the rest of our lives… and effect all of those other institutions God has ordained.

Good Relationships (in a Sinful World) Require Conflict Resolution Skills – Joshua 22

Conflict Resolution

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine

Have you have had what you thought was a really great idea that in the end went horribly wrong? I share a story of one of my personal examples in the link below to my recent sermon on conflict resolution… Joshua 22 is a profound story that shows how three tribes of Israel had what they thought was a “Great Idea” but because of lack of communication, a colossal conflict was started amongst the other 9 the tribes of Israel.

Conflict resolution is not just a skill for counselors. If we want good relationships in a sinful world, we all have to learn how to resolve conflict. I recently taught on conflict resolution and thought I’d pass the link for you to listen along.

What You Will Learn about Conflict Resolution Skills By Listening to this Sermon:

  • The incredible context behind an epic conflict that almost began a civil war among Israel (Joshua 22)
  • Joshua 22 gives us a formula for conflict resolution that lawyers and professional peace-makers still use today.
  • An easy memory tool called, “CHESS” that you can use to diffuse and resolve conflicts successfully
      1. C: Who are the characters/people involved in the conflict?
      2. H: Historical relationships (what is the history behind the relationships in the conflict?
      3. E:  What is the flow of the Events to see where the problem arose?
      4. S: Sides (There are always two side’s of the story … if you want to be a peacemaker and relationship builder you need to realize there is always two sides to a story).
      5. S: State the problem clearly.  Joshua clearly states the problem and resources to resolve the problem. He the relevant issues, what made the problem blow up, etc. Then Joshua explained what resources the people had to deal with the problem to resolve the conflict (they had the Law of Moses, and the authority of the priests to look into the matter). [1]
  • How, “Conflict + Resolution = Intimacy”
  • How the Church today can re-learn conflict resolution skills to advance the Gospel more effectively


You may also enjoy another recent sermon from “Joshua 7: Achan’s Sin | the Human Story”

Please pass this post along to a friend who might benefit from it. Thanks!

[1] The case-writing principles developed in this post were inspired by the following case-study tool for missiology: 7 Steps to Making a Case Study into a Learning Tool

If Jesus isn’t Who He said He was, the World has No Hope | 10 Reasons

I recently had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with a young man in a foreign country who grew up in a family that taught that the way to God is only through believing the message of a different book than the Bible. After sharing the Gospel with him for a couple of hours I pleaded with him to take my Bible read the story of Jesus for himself to see how different his story is from this other religious book.

Jesus brings hope

Although he listened intently to everything that I told him about Jesus and seemed to want to believe it… he would not accept my Bible because he said that his father would disown him or kill him if he came home with it. This is where my mind went: