FEBRUARY 17

A Dose of Truth

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.
EPHESIANS 4:15


I remember when Barbara and I were concerned with the way our teenage son was handling money. Every time we brought up the subject, he became angry. One evening, I invited our son to go jogging. As we ran, I talked about how he was handling money. When anger began to surface once again, we stopped running and I put my arm around him and said, "You know what? As long as I'm your parent, God has called me to work in your life to develop your character in conformity to the Scripture and to encourage you to become a Christlike person. And right now, I'm called to help you deal with this issue.

I just want you to know that your mom and I are together on this subject. We've talked about this. We believe you've got a problem with how you're handling money."

I hugged him again and said, "I don't want to whack you up the side of the head with this. I want to appeal to you and to the Holy Spirit that God has put within your heart for you to yield to God and learn what needs to happen in your life so that you become conformed to the image of Christ."

We started jogging again. After our run, I suggested that we get a glass of lemonade and finish our conversation. To my amazement, my son smiled and said, "You know, Dad, I think I'd like to have that glass of lemonade with you." It's important to speak the truth in love to our children, but we need to do it with love and compassion. That gives us the ability to appeal to them so that they ultimately learn to yield their wills to Jesus Christ.

DISCUSS
On what issues do your children need a dose of truth in love right now?

PRAY
Ask God to give you the right combination of exhortation and love in order to speak to the hearts of your children. 

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