Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Nagging - How Effective is It?

In previous postings I suggested that nagging is not a spiritual gift. And it still isn’t, at least in any of the translations that I use. The following is from a Mort Fertel blog entitled “The Consequences of Nagging”.

Nagging doesn’t work. Especially not in the long run. Yet many people still nag their spouse. Women, especially, are often guilty of nagging their husbands. There are some serious negative consequences of nagging that can cause marital problems.

Women often nag their husbands because they feel that if they don’t, their husband won’t get things done. In reality, if you treat your husband like a child, he’ll likely act like one. If you treat him like an adult, and allow him to take on responsibility for his own behaviors, he’ll most likely act like a grown up.

Nagging doesn’t tend to yield results. How many times have you asked your spouse to do something repeatedly and the result was that the work got done and you both ended up feeling happy and satisfied? Probably not very often.
Nagging can actually decrease your spouse’s motivation. By the third time you ask him to do something, he’s less likely to want to do it. No one likes to be nagged.

Nagging can contribute to a lot of negative feelings. The person who is nagged often feels frustrated, angry, and resentful. The person doing the nagging often feels frustrated and exasperated. Although nagging may get something done in the short-term the negative consequences in the long-term can be a breakdown in the relationship.

Ask your spouse to do something and only ask once. Prepare yourself for the consequences of it not getting done. Depending on what it is, you might do it yourself or hire someone else to do it if it doesn’t get done. The other option is to allow for natural consequences of it not getting done. This may negatively impact your spouse but it might not. Ask yourself, how important is it for the job to get done? One year from now, will it make a big difference if it didn’t get done? If not, it may not be all that important after all. Find a time to have a conversation with your spouse when you are calm to share your feelings if you want to talk about it later.

Take the energy you’ll save when you stop nagging and devote it to offering positive reinforcement to your spouse. Compliment and praise your spouse. Increase your positive interactions and you’ll see that it increases your positive feelings and can improve the marriage.
The Bible speaks to wives in particular on this subject. Proverbs 21:19 says, “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” And in Ephesians 5:33 wives are commanded to respect their husbands. If it is the husband who is the nag the results are no better.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Teachable Moments for Kids

I recently read a blog entitled “Who’s Raising Your Kids?” It went on to say that TV, computers, social media, texting and cell phones could be dangerous to the health of your child. Why? Each of these media gives unfiltered messages that are shaping your child emotionally and in some ways physically.

As parents you have been given a gift from God. You will have a relatively brief time in which to help mold and shape your son or daughter into a person that will glorify God and who will fulfill His purpose for them.

Here is where my biases kick in. As parents many of us have done a very poor job, even though we may have tried to do our best. One of the most influential learning laboratories for children is to witness a God glorifying marriage. Such a marriage is based on a covenant, i.e. there are no exit strategies. This provides incredible security for a child who sees many of their friends being raised by one parent.

In a marriage that glorifies God children see two adults, who sacrifice for one another; who are affectionate; who pray together; who display a strong set of Christian values; and who handle conflict in a way that pleases the Lord. Such parents are quick to express their love for their child and to establish some firm boundaries. Such actions on the part of parents speak much louder than the cacophony of sound coming from our culture.

Finally and equally important the father is clearly the spiritual head of the household. A number of large churches nationally have come to the conclusion that the Church has failed families. Many parents rely on the church to train up their child spiritually, given one hour a week in Sunday school to accomplish this mission. Statistics reveal that children brought up this way are most likely to leave the church before graduating from college. In part this occurs because the child never understood what they believed and why. They were unable to defend their faith to peers and professors who belittle their beliefs.

Sadly few of us had fathers who were able to model this for us. Secondly, most men feel ill equipped to handle the spiritual the development of their children. Often the wife is better equipped and the husband feels threatened. Either find a church where they have adopted a “faith at home” philosophy such as those who embrace “HomePointe” or purchase many of the good study guides that are available. One for younger children is the Long Story Short book by Marty Machowski. It focuses on the Old Testament. The New Testament version will come out in the fall of 2012.

Life provides parents with many teachable moments – use them wisely.