"I'm really glad Dad spoke to me about that; I really needed his help." "Mom, thanks for caring enough to keep me out of trouble."
The purpose of biblical authority is encourage and build up (2 Corinthians 13:10). But sometimes our children are last ones to recognize this. Here are three principles to help make the exercise of your authority a blessing to your children.
First: Listen well so that you can speak well.
Commit yourself to be a skilled, aggressive listener. Your goal is to be able to repeat the words you hear back to your children in such a way that they can affirm that you really do understand them. You don't always have to agree, but you must always understand. This attentiveness shows respect for your children and honor for your Lord. It also indicates that you view your authority as an opportunity to be a servant. Answering quickly, without fully understanding the intentions of your children shows a lack of love and respect. Proverbs 18:13 and Ephesians 4:29 teach that you must listen well in order to speak things that will benefit your children.