Before we can ask "When can `we`/`I` meet with 'them'?," we all must first evidence and practice the basic concepts of a Biblical relationship and appropriate communications behavior. We've included three Biblical examples, (Luther's sermon "The Fruits and signs of the Power of The WORD of God," "Christian Living in the Home" by Jay Adams and Building up One Another, by Gene Getz), of the attitudes, values and principles for a RIGHTEOUS meeting, for all, plus one secular example (Conjoint Family Therapy, by Virginia Satir)
Therefore, when it can be demonstrated that all individuals included in a meeting can practice and/or be corrected to practice these principles, we can hold a meeting that will be based on Love, fellowship and building Christ's body the Church, for all -- to the Glory of God!
The Fruits and Signs of the Power of The WORD of God
A truly Christian home is a place where sinners live; but it is also a place where the members of that home admit the fact and understand the problem, know what to do about it, and as a result grow by grace. Let us look in more detail at three significant differences that make all the difference in the world.
1. Christians admit their sins. Because they know the Bible says that no Christian is ever perfect in this life (cf. I John 1:8-10), Christians are able to acknowledge the fact and, in time, learn to anticipate and prepare for sin. They, of all persons, should never rely upon rationalizations, excuses, or blame shifting (although, of course, as sinners they sometimes do) to try to euphemize their sins. They do not have to cover up, for all Christians know that all Christians sin. There can be, therefore, a certain amount of openness, honesty, and relaxation about the relationships that Christians sustain to one another, especially in the home. I am by no means suggesting that we may be relaxed about sin; exactly not that. What I am trying to say, however, is that Christians do not need to spend anxious hours of futile endeavor trying to cover their tracks. They do not need to think up ways to deceive the fellow next door into thinking that they are sterling specimens of humanity. They may freely admit what they know is true: that they have failed to do the will of God. With the freedom to admit the truth comes the possibility of repentance, and with repentance they can expect forgiveness and help from God and from one another. Christians can progress rapidly out of sinful living patterns as a result. They can pour their time and energies into the endeavor to replace sinful patterns with Biblical patterns of life. Rather than wasting time minimizing or denying the fact of sin, Christians can concentrate on dealing with sin.
Parents certainly can take a lot of the unnecessary grief out of child raising when, as a matter of course (rather than becoming falsely shocked over the fact), they expect their children to do wrong things at home, at school, and in public. There is then no necessity to subject children to unusual and inappropriate discipline or to the excessive anger that sometimes grows out of embarrassment. Once parents are prepared to admit that the Biblical doctrine of original sin is true not only in theory, but is operative as well in the life of little Mary or Johnny, they can relax and deal with the problem appropriately (Biblically). Again, this does not mean that they will excuse or ignore sinful behavior in their children, or that they will be unconcerned about it as something inevitable and, therefore, about which nothing can be done. No, not that at all. Rather, they will acknowledge sin for what it is and will proceed to deal with it in a Biblical manner. All of which leads to the second difference:
2. Christians know what to do about their sins. Because they have the Bible as the standard of faith and practice, Christians not only know why problems occur in the home, but they know what to do about them. Thus the truly Christian home differs from the home next door in that it can use Biblical precepts and examples successfully to handle and recoup from every occurrence of sin. This, again, is a significant difference. The Bible not only contains directions about what to do when one or more members of the family fall into sin; it goes beyond this and shows what to do to assure that there will be no such future failure. Because this book largely is devoted to a consideration of many of the most common problems found in the Christian home, I will not enlarge upon this point here.
3. Christians progress out of their sins. Where there is spiritual life, there also will be spiritual growth. No Christian can remain the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. A fundamental presupposition of the Christian faith is that there will be growth out of sin into righteousness. Where there is Bible study, prayer, witness, and the fellowship of the saints, the Spirit of God will be at work to produce His fruit. That fruit is righteousness. This book deals also with many of the ways in which the Bible may be used preventively in Christian homes to avoid the trials and problems that the family next door must face simply because they have no such standard.
The Christian home, then, is a place where sinful persons face the problems of a sinful world. Yet, they face them together with God and His resources, which are all centered in Christ (cf. Col. 2:3). Sinners live in the Christian home, but the sinless Savior lives there too. That is what makes the difference!
1. When family members can complete transactions (interpersonal exchanges),
check, ask .
2. When they can interpret hostility.
3. When they can see how others see them.
4. When they can see how they see themselves.
5. When one members can tell another how he manifest himself.
6. When one member can tell another what he hopes, fears, and expects from him.
7. When they disagree.
8. When they can make choices.
9. When they can learn through practice.
10. When they can free themselves from harmful effects of past models.
11. When they can give a clear message, that is, be congruent in their behavior, with a minimum of hidden messages.
Be direct, using the first person I and following with statements or questions, which:
Be clear, by using questions and statements which reflect directness and the capacity to get knowledge of someone else's statements, directions, or intentions, in order to accomplish an outcome.
In short treatment is completed when everyone in the therapy setting can use the first person "I" followed by an active verb and ending with a direct object.
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