Summary: Being a responsible child (or adult) is a full-time job, a job that is much easier when we follow some relationship guidelines.

Four Principles for Raising Happy Parents

(These keys work for parents, too.)

I. Be Understanding

A. Parents feel responsible for you

B. Pressure from others (comparison) brings frustration

C. Rejection brings a mix of loneliness or pride

D. Guilt often results from teaching/living an imperfect example

II. Be Forgiving

A. “Until 70 times 7” (Matthew 18:22) works for our families too

B. Don’t develop a grudge against your kid’s natural bent or “childishness” (Hebrews 12:15)

C. Treat your children as people too

1. You don’t expect to be held accountable for everything

2. You expect to be praised for high standards, even if you fail

3. You expect to be praised now for past work

III. Honor Them

A. Remind them (and yourself) of what Mark Twain learned about his father…

B. Honoring involves more than obedience

1. Obedience

2. Cooperation

3. Assistance

C. As you honor, you will be honored (Galatians 6:7)

IV. Communicate

A. Talking is the key to communication

B. Watch for “attitude” displays (You always…)

C. Actively listen and answer questions

D. Be willing to admit wrongs (they will too)


Be a survivor, not a perfectionist. God knows our mistakes and loves us anyway. We too will know our family’s mistakes, and need to love them anyway.

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