Archive - June, 2010

TRAINING: Goodbye to bullies, part 4

There is no better trainer than Jesus when it comes to bullies. Both as an example and as a teacher, he is without parallel. His Sermon on the Mount is considered the highest collection of ethical teachings in history. Why don’t we look at some of the things he recommends in that passage? We all could use some strategies when dealing with difficult people. Anger is a learned response. Humility and humor and confidence can also be learned and practiced, too. Continue Reading…

TRAINING: Goodbye to bullies, Part 3

“Instead of trying to prepare the road ahead for our children,
we ought to prepare our children for the road ahead.” Ellen Black
It is a faulty parent model that believes that we can smooth out all of life’s wrinkles for our children. It just won’t happen, because life is wrinkled. Difficulty is woven into the tapestry of life with purpose. Jesus said, “In the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer; I have overcome . . .” Jesus taught us a healthy and mature view of life. That is what we must teach our kids. 

Our kids will be teased about something. Why? We are all flawed. Our kids are flawed. Their friends are flawed. Our relatives, leaders, employers, employees, and neighbors are all flawed. We are flawed on the outside and on the inside. Welcome to humanity.

At the same time, we are amazing creatures, fearfully and wonderfully made. We think, communicate, laugh, write, compose, paint, build, plan, feel, and on and on. Psalm 82:6 actually calls us “gods, sons of the Most High.” We are made in God’s likeness.

If you read the Bible, you come to see these things about our lives:
1)    We are created to be like Jesus
2)    We all have imperfections
3)    Life will have difficulty (testing)

We must help our children get these three basic truths if they are going to be overcomers. Hebrews 2:10 states that Jesus was made perfect (complete) through suffering (testing). Our kids will be made more like Jesus through testing and difficulty.

When Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery, falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten, he still succeeded because the Lord was with him. At the right time, he became the second-in-command in Egypt. When his brothers appeared before him, he told them this, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” What an incredible perspective; the testing did not destroy him, but made him strong in God’s purpose.

To equip your kids to handle bullies or testing of any kind, begin with the Bible. Read them the stories straight from God’s word. Read about the overcomers like Joseph, Moses, Gideon, and David. The Bible tells it like it is. Don’t leave out the struggles that these men had.

To equip your kids to handle bullies or testing of any kind, discuss with them their imperfections. Help them become comfortable with how God has made them. If they have big ears, talk about it. If they have one green eye and one brown eye, discuss it with them. Help them see that God has made them unique in some ways, and that their value comes from being made to be like Him. Emphasize the heart, not the body.

To equip your kids to handle bullies or testing of any kind, prepare them to expect some difficulty. James said, “Do not be surprised when you encounter various trials.” That’s good advice for our kids.
Let’s prepare them for the road ahead with this attitude:

Bring it on. . . the testing. . .  I am made to overcome.

TRAINING: Say goodbye to bullies! Part 2

Matt walks into a room at the beginning of school. His head is tilted downward a little, he glances sideways to find a seat. If he makes eye contact with anyone, he immediately averts his gaze, looking somewhere else for a seat. He chooses a seat that he thinks is safe, and if possible, isolated. When he sits down, he keeps his gaze and posture forward, trying to size up the others in the room without them knowing it.

Jeff walks into a room at the beginning of school. His head is up, his eyes looking directly at the other people in the room. He pauses and sizes up the room, chooses a seat and heads directly toward it. On the way he speaks to one or two others with a smiling “Hey” or “Hi.” He sits, turns in his chair and introduces himself, “Hi, I’m Jeff. What’s your name?”

Which one of these two will become a target? Continue Reading…

TRAINING: Say goodbye to bullies! Part 1

Are we training our kids to be victims? Or are we training them to be “more than conquerors”?
I think we are training them to be victims far too often.

I have read that as much as 90% of “bullying” is words. Just words. All of us have been hurt by words somewhere along the way, but I dare say that we have allowed ourselves to be hurt by them more than we should. Continue Reading…