Guiding a Family to Solve Conflict

We can resolve conflict in family by following the guidelines God models for us:

  • There is righteousness: Discuss and determine what is right, not who is right.
  • There is unrighteousness: Acknowledge what is wrong.
  • Someone has to repent: Apologize and return to what is righteous.
  • Someone has to forgive: Absorb the loss and restore the relationship.

When we let the peace of God reign, there will still be conflict, but now we have way to solve it.

Solving Conflict Within Marriage

In Ephesians 5:21-28, Paul gives a framework for marriage to work. This structure helps two people cooperate because Christ is ruling their life!

First they must let God’s peace rule in our hearts, then they are able to have a mutual respect and love for each other. Through this a married couple gains a better way of resolving conflict in marriage.

Solving Conflict Within Ourselves

Often, we over react to problems in life because we already have pressure within ourselves.

In this illustration, PK uses beachballs floating in water to show that a full beachball is much more difficult to keep down than a deflated beachball.

Here’s the point. In Colossians 3:8, Paul advises that we rid ourselves of anger, rage, etc.. (pressure) and surrender ourselves completely to Jesus. If Jesus rules us from the inside out, he removes the pressure within and any pressure we may bring into our marriages and families.


Solve Conflict

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Solve Conflict:

  1. Conflict Within
  2. Conflict In Marriage
  3. Conflict in Family
    • There is righteousness (right).
    • There is unrighteousness (wrong).
    • Someone has to repent (sorry & return to righteous).
    • Someone has to forgive (absorb loss & restore relationship).

Homework: As a couple or family, agree to solve conflict by God’s ABCD’s. Solve conflict when it comes, solve it direct, and honest. Repent and forgive and return to building solid.

Create a “Closed For Business” Sign For Your Family

Work is important, but it’s only one of the important things in life. We need to find a way to be “closed for business” for our families.

This means putting limits to work so you can do family and limits to family so you can do work.

Kevin and Marcia navigated this conflict in time between work and family by setting some rules:

  • Quitting: “closed for business” at certain times of the day.
  • Interruptions: no interruptions at work.
  • Phone: no business calls when at home.

These rules help keep both family and work important. When someone is “on”, they’re fully on. When someone is “off”, they’re fully off.

Solve Calendar

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Solve Calendar: Since Jesus is at the center; new things become sacred (holy set apart). Therefore, we should put the sacred things in our calendar. Otherwise, the ‘busy’ will crowd out the ‘important’.

4 Well Timed Lessons:

  1. Your worldview defines how you view time &use time.
  2. If it’s not in your calendar, it’s not sacred.
  3. Put sacred things in your calendar first.
  4. Create a “closed for business” sign for your family.


Plan Together: Nobody can solve every calendar problem all at once. But you can progressively build a solid future for your family by putting the Sacred (big rocks) in first. Sit down together as a couple and practice putting the Sacred (Big Rocks) in your calendar for next month. Then, live it. Along the way, figure out what pebble size commitments need to be planned. Even plan time to relax & recover. And if you have to shift a Sacred Rock, work it out until it’s back in.

Pray Together: “God our Father. Give us wisdom into our calendar to do what we can do. And do for us what we cannot do as you hold us together. In Jesus Name, Amen”.

Gumption is a Sacred Family Value

Gumption is the character to commit and complete. It’s the essence of self-leadership in requiring something of yourself without excuse.

Everything worthwhile is an uphill battle. Luckily, God has given us the necessary gifts, talents, and abilities to win. We only need to exercise gumption to get the better life God has invited us to.

And when we succeed, we celebrate!

Striving to be Authentic

In our families, we’re never going to be perfect, but we can strive to be authentic.

Being authentic means to have consistency between what we say we value and what we practice.

For example, when we say, “God is our sovereign source of life, and the one on whom we depend,” we need to live it. We can do this by finding our significance and security from God and not in others. When we trust others to fill the void, they will eventually fail. We need to look to God and lean on Him for emotional wholeness.

Valuing Family Togetherness

God designed families to stick together.

In marriage, we die to our single life in order to look forward to being together. This means that time together becomes the default, rather than time apart.

When Kevin and Marcia got married, their single lives had to die. They made “together” a sacred value in their family. Every effort has been made to form their family to be together as a default habit.

Build Sacred

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Build Sacred: Since Jesus is at the center; we set our hearts and minds on things above. New things become Sacred (holy set apart). We “die” to old things we once valued and value new things we once dismissed.

What is sacred in your family?

  • Togetherness
  • God First
  • Authenticity
  • Gumption
  • Bless Others

Homework: Define what is sacred in your family (5 to 7 things).

  • Ideas: Use today’s teaching; use the 10 commandments (Exodus 20); or use the “Value Exercise Cards” to start the conversation
  • Note: Perhaps what becomes “sacred” is distinct at different stages of life; dating, married, with young kids, with teenagers; empty nesters.

How Families Can Withstand Pressure

Two different families may come from the same mold, but we won’t know the difference between the two until pressure is applied; job, finance, emotional, psychological. Once the pressure comes there is no amount of skill or training that can compensate for being hollow – it all falls apart.

If families are built from the inside out, they can sustain pressure from the outside in.

Build Solid

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Build Solid:

  • Build a Christ centered family.
  • Learn to love and be loved.

Family Question: Is this a Christ Centered Solid Decision or a Self-Centered Hollow Decision?

How Many Souls are “Good Enough” for God?

Sometimes we get distracted in the activity of life and get wrapped up in a material world. This causes us to lose sight of the greatest good.

As Christians we should always re-engage our passion. Our true purpose is to continually reach out into the community of spiritually lost people.

From self-absorbed to self-sacrificing

What does it take to save a galaxy? You might think of mighty heroes with outrageous powers, or genius warriors with superior weapons. But chances are you wouldn’t think about a group of selfish miscreants made up of an orphan, a murderer, a raccoon, and a talking tree. Yet that’s exactly what Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy gives us. A ragtag group filled with flaws responsible for stopping a wickedly powerful enemy.

Now, like every movie in our At the Movies series, Guardians has a message that echoes the Bible. We see in the New Testament another group of ragtag misfits brought together by Jesus. We call them the Disciples, and they were very much like the Guardians. A mix of people from different backgrounds, brought together for a purpose greater than themselves. And like the Guardians, we see the disciples take a very specific journey.

Read more

How Can I Encourage My Older Parents to Get Into Church Community?

Parent/child relationships can be difficult to navigate when one is trying to convince the other to change a course of action, especially when the tables turn and an adult child is doing the persuading.

If your relationship with your parent is a good one, pray for an open door in which to share your concerns. The thing you can best help others with is what they can best hear from you. Pointing out how their faithful commitment to community when you were young was one of the kindest things they taught you, and that you’re still practicing that, might well be the key that reminds them of the importance of continued community. If not, however, pray that God will put someone in your parents’ path that they will listen to.

In the end, though, you have to let go of the things you can’t fix and trust that God will provide the results. God loves and cares for your parents more than you ever could.

When Should Our Kids Be on Social Media?

Kids model what they see, and the world of social media is a world of frenzy. There is no rational framework to guide a productive conversation online, so keeping them off social media until they are prepared to handle it is the best strategy.

We don’t need to send our kids out to fight battles adults can’t get right. Part of what is wrong with our society is we stir up divisions, just to keep our political power, with people who shouldn’t even be in the conversation. Unless your child has a gifting for debate and interaction, let your kid be a kid.

Should We Shield Our Kids From Our World’s Horrors?

As parents, we should have big conversations about big issues with our kids at the appropriate age. PK recommends starting those conversations around middle school if possible.

But when the world creeps in early, it’s important for us to answer our kids’ questions at their age level, without adding in details that would only confuse them. Use the Bible as the foundation for thinking, and teach your kids how to think instead of what to think.

The truth is we can’t shield our kids from the world’s horrors. But we can teach them how to think through those horrors in a godly way.

At What Point Do You Practice Tough Love to Your Kids at Home?

The earlier you win the battle of wills, the clearer it becomes for children that they are meant to be in submission to their parents. For some personalities, this gets easier with age. With others, it can be a constant battle. But remember, parenting wasn’t meant to be easy. Draw strength from the Lord, and focus on the end goal: independent, self-led adults.

How Do We Guard Our Kids But Also Let Them Engage in Culture?

As is true of so many questions centered around how to live in a world moving further away from God, perspective is key. If we see life and the world from God’s perspective and not the “me” perspective, the answer is clear.

Christ admonished us to live in the world, but not to be of the world. It’s impractical – impossible – to live isolated from others (from “the world”). Christ tells us to walk alongside our fellow beings, but to live a life that reflects Him and His teachings, on rooted in the Word. By doing this, we teach our children key, and often difficult, lessons about life. We teach them them to live alongside unbelievers, while living the life of a Believer. This shows others the love of Christ and reveals Him through our own lives.

Should Younger Children Read Every Detail Of The Bible?

Did you know the Bible is NOT rated PG?

That’s right, the Good Book contains a lot of passages that are best described as “for mature audiences only.” Whether it’s Judah and Tamar, Deborah and Sisera, or Abraham and Isaac, there are some passages in the Bible that aren’t appropriate for kids.

So how do you handle those passages as a parent? How do you talk to your kids about some of the more challenging parts of the Bible?

Let’s be honest: the best people to guide your child through the Scriptures is you. You know your child’s level of comprehension and maturity, and you know best how to communicate difficult concepts to him or her. If anyone has the ability to sit down with your son or daughter and discuss what’s in the Bible, it’s you.

Of course, that means you need to be reading the Bible yourself, studying the Word of God so you can correctly handle it when it comes to your children. Don’t shy away from this responsibility; embrace it, because it will only serve to deepen your relationship with your child.

But while your baby girl is still in her Moana jammies and your son still believes he’s Batman, there’s a simple approach to walking your kids through the Bible that PK recommends.

In fact, it’s the approach he took with his children.

First, don’t tell your kids everything you know—teach them what they need to know. As the parent, you are in charge, so leverage that to nurture your child’s faith. Teach them about God’s power, or His faithfulness, or His compassion, or His grace. Help them understand His desire to be in relationship with each one of His children. Show them places where God’s glory was made known to people and it changed their lives for the better.

In fact, until your kids can read, skip the parts of the Bible that kids are emotionally incapable of understanding. You don’t have to read Abraham and Isaac as a bedtime story, nor do you have to bring up Samson and Delilah right off the bat. There are plenty of stories, psalms, and teachings you can read that will help your child begin to understand God’s character.

This isn’t cherry picking – it’s approaching God’s Word as God Himself approaches us: with the progressive revelation of Him in all His goodness.

As your kids get older, you can begin to add in more challenging stories. Bring them along at their own pace, and never be ashamed to rely on your wisdom as a parent. You’ll eventually get tough questions, but never bring up what you can’t answer unless your kids bring it up first, and never answer them above their heads. Answer your child according to his or her comprehension.

Once they are old enough to ask the hard questions, you’ll have built a relationship that encourages them to ask those hard questions to you. And that’s something that every Christian parent should want.

So tonight, as you settle down at bedtime and prepare to read your lovely little one a story from God’s Word, don’t feel bad for skipping over the entire book of The Revelation.

After all, you have your pastor’s permission.

Do Babies And Children Go To Heaven?

At 12Stone we have a saying: “When the Bible is clear, we will be direct. When the Bible gives guidance, then we will guide. When the Bible is silent, then we’ll give an opinion.”

Because Scripture is not specific on the question of what happens to babies and young children when they die, what we’re about to discuss is based on Christian tradition more than the Bible.

As PK said during the Q&A, we believe that everyone is born in sin. This concept is often called Adamic sin, or original sin, or inherited depravity, and it means that every person comes into the world with a sin nature. We are going to do things that separate us from God.

Now, that’s easy to accept when it comes to adults. But when it comes to children?

Kids are innocent. There’s an old saying that no one has to teach a kid how to lie, and that’s true; it’s the sin nature all human beings possess. But what little kids don’t do is make a habit of lying or leverage falsehoods to defraud others. Those are skills acquired over time, as we get older and our hearts grow hardened.

When it comes to children, we believe there is an age of accountability – a point at which every person’s heart becomes aware of their sinfulness and the choice to disobey God. That age is different for every individual; some people reach it as early as kindergarten, while others reach it later.

We believe that until a child hits the age of accountability, the grace and covering of Jesus’ work on the cross covers over them, because the child can’t make a conscious choice about faith.

Always remember that God is more compassionate than we are. He created human beings and designed them to grow up, so He knows where the point of transition is for each one of us and how to mark that. That’s why 12Stone™ as a church is committed to kid’s ministry. We are passionate about helping children at an early age learn the Word of God, the Way of God, and how to walk with God.

But this isn’t just the church’s responsibility. In fact, the burden falls on parents to teach this, because God calls kids early and often to know Him. The more a child resists that calling, the more that child is responsible for how they respond to God.

When parents walk daily with their children, modeling a life lived for Jesus, the greater the chance those children will choose Jesus for themselves. And when that happens, no one should wonder about what will happen in Eternity.

Jesus answered that question once and for all.

How Do You Live Free From the Guilt of Sin?

There is a difference between felt guilt and guilt for before our Holy God.

We are guilty before God for our sin, and that’s the guilt that Jesus covers on the cross.

There is also a guilt that we feel for hurting someone we love, and when we sin against God, we hurt Him. He forgives us through Jesus and asks us to release that, but remorse does matter.

Remorse demonstrates the authenticity of our love for God that we have to release. If we didn’t have it, there’s something very wrong in the relationship.

The freedom that God provides is the freedom of the consequences of sin eternally. We never before God and through Jesus will carry the consequence of our sins. But on Earth, there are very real consequences in society. We aren’t free of consequences on Earth. This is the reason God says “Don’t sin.” We’re going to be free in Heaven, but the destruction will be felt on Earth. That often destroys marriages, families, finances, careers, futures, and emotional souls.