4 Strategies for Loving the Children & Parents
There are all types and ages of folks gravitating to Home Church or Fellowship groups. For parents, it is a welcome relief to find a group that is accepting of children. However, some would find the presence of children in Bible study meetings a huge distraction and struggle with it. Loving the children in home church can be a struggle for some.
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However, as HRM and Home Fellowships and churches mature, we are all beginning to recognize that each and every one of us needs to stretch and grow and accept that everything can’t be our way.
Some Tips for Loving the Children in Home Church
Conflicts between parents and children have gone on since time began. Within days of a child learning to talk, it seems they have likewise learned how to say ‘no.’ And they say it often in regard to everything from bedtime to eating their vegetables.
What’s even more maddening is when they fight you on things you know they do want, like a trip to the park. It begins to seem as though children exist to be contrary.
Add in when these are not your children and it can really stretch even the most patient adult.
Below is a list of four strategies that will help you get along and learn to love and serve the children in your home church. These techniques work equally well whether you’re dealing with a toddler or a teenager.
Don’t get sucked into the tension of the moment
Conflict with children very quickly escalates. One demand becomes another until it seems to become a maelstrom that you can no longer think and you may be tempted to lash out at the child or the parent.
At that moment you need to step back and take some time away. Take a deep breath. Find your calm. Pray for the situation, including the parents.
“A home church sermon can look very different from a traditional church service. The intimate environment affords the opportunity for discussion and questions.”Cornerstones for Parents
Maybe it’s time to let someone else watch the kids while you suggest the parents step outside and take a walk. Whatever the case, you’re going to have to let your own emotions steady out before trying to help the parents to calm theirs.
Become an active listener, to the children and parents in your home church
When a child is upset about something, before assuming they’re wrong, ask them to explain why they’re upset. Then listen to their answer. Ask questions. Clarify. And then repeat back to them what you thought you heard them say. It might be they have a legitimate concern. Or it might be they’ve misunderstood the situation completely. Either way, you’re now in a better position to help find a resolution to the situation.
If it is a situation that does not involve your directly, stay out of it, unless you have the love and strength to come alongside the parent and help them.
Empower the Children in Your Home Group
Allow them to make some of their own decisions. For example, don’t try to control teens or younger children. Show love and respect to them and trust they will make good decisions.
Be encouraged when you notice a teen acting independently after all the goal is to raise adults, right?
The more you can love and show respect to the teens, parents, and children in your home church, the more likely they are to listen when you come to them with a suggestion or genuine concern. That is learning how to pick your battles, saving the conflicts for the things that matter.
Stop the Cycle of Frustration
If you’re getting frustrated with the same issues over and over, then it’s time to change your response. Decide in advance a new course of action – and then put it into practice the next time the situation comes up. For example, you might try engaging the child lovingly in helping to find a solution to the problem.
You don’t have to live in dread of disruptions or other issues with the children in your home church. What you do need, is to learn how to take your heart response under your control when frustrations occur.
Remember, it’s up to you to decide how you want to react to these situations. By staying calm and practicing these steps and you’ll soon find the road back to a peaceful resolution with the children in your home church, regardless of their age.The Israel Bible Daily Inspirations