10 Quotes From “Start With The Heart”

Kathy Koch has given parents, teachers, and anyone who works with younger children, and excellent resource to improve your relationship with your kiddos and empower them to greater success. Check out my full book review of Start With The Heart by clicking here. 

“For your children to want what you want for them, for changes to occur, and for improvements to remain, your hearts must be intertwined. Your motivational power and influence over their obedience comes out of the love you have for each other.” [see Proverbs 23:26] 

“Affirm your children when they do use the character qualities you’re emphasizing and correct them when they don’t. … Specifically, look for gratitude and joy. The lack of one or both of these emotions causes children (and adults) to use character qualities inconsistently.” 

“Here is my list of understandings that can secure children’s hearts and increase your influence so you’ll be able to motivate them to be responsible, brave, and so much more.

  • Parent by faith
  • Parent with grace and mercy
  • Forgive quickly and often
  • Ask to be forgiven quickly and often
  • Tell your children you are confident in God
  • Prioritize children, not their behavior
  • You can dislike what children do while you still like and love them
  • Be who you want your children to be
  • Raise the children you were given, not the children you wish you had
  • Remember needs and wants are different
  • Listen when children are little if you want them to talk with you when they’re older
  • When children have a problem, remember they are not the problem
  • Teach children to fail well
  • Prioritize progress, not perfection” 

“Children are even more susceptible to the influences around them. We should have and model solid character so our behavior, attitudes, and decisions glorify God. We should also prioritize our character so we don’t lead a child astray. Making every effort to use these qualities ourselves matters. And, of course, apologizing when we don’t is key to maintaining a positive relationship.” 

“The desire to develop self-control is birthed in self-respect. Self-control makes it possible to use other character qualities successfully.” 

“Do we choose to see our children’s circumstances and respond appropriately? Although consistency is usually appropriate when raising and motivating children, if we don’t have compassion and individualize our reactions and decisions when it’s appropriate, why would our children? Modeling this character quality matters tremendously.” 

“Initiative: Children may never develop this quality if you remind them of everything they must do. Rather, it’s birthed when you help them grow in appropriate independence. … Is it possible that your children may not be motivated as you’d like because you rescue them to early, too often? … I know you value the things you worked hard for. Don’t rob children of that same satisfaction. Allow them to persevere.” 

“Prayer is a powerful tool—use it! Your personal and specific prayers for your children communicate your deep love for them and your dependence on God. Your prayers are a significant way your children learn who you hope they’ll be and what you hope they’ll do. Pray they’ll develop a heart for Christ. Model and teach what they need for their heart to be transformed into His likeness. This will change their character and, therefore, their motivation and motives, too.” 

“Just making statements like these can be empowering:

  • I need to take off arguing and put on first-time obedience.
  • I need to take off bullying and put on kindness.
  • I need to take off distractions and put on focus.
  • I need to take off ‘I don’t want to’ and put on ‘do it anyway.’” 

“This might surprise you, but all children are motivated. … It doesn’t help to ask, ‘How do I get my kids motivated?’ Rather, we need to ask, ‘How can I redirect their motivation?’” 

Stay tuned: more quotes coming soon…

10 Quotes From “Legacy Leadership”

I just finished an outstanding reading plan on YouVersion called Legacy Leadership by Dr. J. Lee Whittington. For anyone interested in the biblical concept of servant-leadership, I highly recommend you check out this reading plan.

Here are a few quotes I especially liked…

“Legacy Leadership is a process of intentional influence that takes place in the context of a relationship.”

“There is a recurring pattern of affirmation and exhortation in Paul’s leadership. He provided a dynamic balance between challenging his followers to grow and acknowledging their progress. He was affirming, but never content.”

“There is a growing trend to attack, criticize, and resent anyone who has talent or achievements that sets them apart from others. This tendency extends to those who resent the efforts of leaders who challenge the status quo. Opponents of change initiatives often attempt to marginalize leaders by attacking their character and questioning their motives. If the messenger is flawed, then the message and vision they offer cannot be trusted. As disappointing as it is, these challenges come with the territory of leadership.

“If I am to lead with integrity, I must always confront my own lack of integrity. This demands a willingness to constantly reflect on my motives and the courage to confront my own hypocrisy. It also requires me to allow myself the discomfort of inviting the scrutiny of both the Lord and others who care enough to confront me about my motives, my attitudes, and my behavior.”

“The most effective leaders are able to exert influence without asserting their formal authority. … Paul deliberately chose to forego the legitimate, reward, and coercive power inherent in his position. Instead, he leaned into another base of power: referent power. Referent power is based on respect and admiration. When this is present, the followers identify with and want to emulate their leader. This power base does not come from the leader’s position or control of resources. Rather, it is based on the leader’s character and integrity. Referent power is based on who the leader is.”

“Legacy Leaders do not lead from a distance. They imitate Jesus who said, ‘I am among you as one who serves’ (Luke 22:27). They are comfortable sharing their lives with their followers.”

“The best relationships between a leader and their followers are those that are characterized by a great deal of mutual trust and shared information. The responsibility for creating this type of relationship rests squarely on the shoulders of the leader.”

“Authentic leaders have a seamless link between their values and their actions. But the congruence between values and attitudes is just the starting point for authentic leadership.  From the perspective of scripture, a leader’s attitudes and actions must be anchored to God’s standards. When a leader’s enacted values are in congruence with their espoused values, and those espoused values are in turn anchored to God’s principles, the leader had moral authority.”

“It’s easy to critique the authenticity of others.  But, if we are really serious about developing our own authenticity, we must focus on ourselves. I read this statement several years ago: ‘If we are to be people of integrity, we must constantly confront our lack of integrity.’”

“Legacy Leaders embrace the principles of servant-leadership and understand that the conscious choice to lead comes after the desire to serve. This inclination is not natural. It must be energized by continuous reliance on the empowering presence of God’s Spirit.”

10 Quotes From “The Furious Longing Of God”

Furious Longing Of GodI love the way Brennan Manning writes! It’s so gut-level real. His words both convict me and encourage me to go deeper into God’s love. You can read my full book review of The Furious Longing Of God by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I especially appreciated.

“The God I’ve come to know by sheer grace, the Jesus I met in the grounds of my own self, has furiously loved me regardless of my state—grace or disgrace. And why? For His love is never, never, never based on our performance, never conditioned by our moods—of elation or depression. The furious love of God knows no shadow of alteration or change. It is reliable. And always tender.”

“The foundation of the furious longing of God is the Father who is the originating Lover, the Son who is the full self-expression of that Love, and the Spirit who is the original and inexhaustible activity of that Love, drawing the created universe into itself.”

“Pagan philosophers such as Aristotle arrived at the existence of God via human reason and referred to Him in vague, impersonal terms: the uncaused cause, the immovable mover. The prophets of Israel revealed the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in a warmer, more compassionate manner. But only Jesus revealed to an astonished Jewish community that God is truly Father.” 

“The degree of Abba’s love for me is in direct proportion to His love for Jesus. For example, I can love the mailman with twenty percent and my best friend with ninety percent. But with God, there is no division, no more and no less. God loves me as much as He loves Jesus. Wow!”

“First, if we continue to picture God as a small-minded bookkeeper, a niggling customs officer rifling through our moral suitcase, as a policeman with a club who is going to bat us over the head every time we stumble and fall, or as a whimsical, capricious, and cantankerous thief who delights in raining on our parade and stealing our joy, we flatly deny what John writes in his first letter (4:16)—‘God is love.’ In human beings, love is a quality, a high-prized virtue; in God, love is His identity. Secondly, if we continue to view ourselves as moral lepers and spiritual failures, if our lives are shadowed by low self-esteem, shame, remorse, unhealthy guilt, and self-hatred, we reject the teaching of Jesus and cling to our negative self-image.”

“Healing becomes the opportunity to pass off to another human being what I have received from the Lord Jesus; namely His unconditional acceptance of me as I am, not as I should be. He loves me whether in a state of grace or disgrace, whether I live up to the lofty expectations of His gospel or I don’t. He comes to me where I live and loves me as I am.”

“To affirm a person is to see the good in them that they cannot see in themselves and to repeat it in spite of appearances to the contrary.”

“Jesus said the world is going to recognize you as His by only one sign: the way you are with one another on the street every day. You are going to leave people feeling a little better or a little worse. You’re going to affirm them or deprive them, but there’ll be no neutral exchange.”

“The question is not can we heal? The question, the only question, is will we let the healing power of the risen Jesus flow through us to reach and touch others, so that they may dream and fight and bear and run where the brave dare not go?” 

“How is it then that we’ve come to imagine that Christianity consists primarily in what we do for God? How has this come to be the good news of Jesus? Is the kingdom that He proclaimed to be nothing more than a community of men and women who go to church on Sunday, take an annual spiritual retreat, read their Bibles every now and then, vigorously oppose abortion, don’t watch x-rated movies, never use vulgar language, smile a lot, hold doors open for people, root for the favorite team, and get along with everybody? Is that why Jesus went through the bleak and bloody horror of Calvary? Is that why He emerged in shattering glory from the tomb? Is that why He poured out His Holy Spirit on the church? To make nicer men and women with better morals? The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creations. Not to make people with better morals, but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love.”

15 Tips To Give Healthy Praise To Our Kids

12 Huge MistakesOne of the parental mistakes Tim Elmore highlights in his newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid is praising the wrong things. He writes—

“We live in a world of hyperbole. We think we must exaggerate to be heard. So we use words like awesome or excellent when our kids have done merely what is expected of them. We offer huge praise for minimal effort. As our children grow older, matching the affirmation with the effort becomes especially important. Not too little, but not too much. This is how trust is built, and it’s why kids continue to listen to their parents during teen years.” 

Dr. Elmore is not saying that we shouldn’t praise our kids, but that we should do it more intelligently, by making sure we are praising the right things. He offers this list for healthy, profitable praise for kids:

  1. Praise them for effort, not for their intelligence or beauty. 
  2. Reward character virtues (such as honesty) more than performance. 
  3. Teach them to enjoy the process as much as the product. 
  4. Make sure the size and content of your praise matches their effort. 
  5. Be sure your affirmation is sincere, thoughtful, and genuine. 
  6. Empower them by helping them own a personal set of values to live by. 
  7. Identify and affirm unique features that differentiate your kids. 
  8. Provide experiences for them to discover and build their primary strengths. 
  9. Furnish a platform for them to serve others using their strengths and gifts. 
  10. Tell them you enjoy watching them perform regardless of the outcome. 
  11. The younger they are, the more immediate your feedback for them must be. 
  12. Equip them to take risks and learned that failure is okay as long as they tried. 
  13. Build a secure home for them but one that does not revolve around them. 
  14. When in doubt, always praise what is in their control. 
  15. Clarify your unconditional love for them regardless of their performance.

If you would like to read my full book review of 12 Huge Mistakes, click here.

To read some other quotes I shared from this book, click here.

12 Quotes From “12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid”

12 Huge MistakesI highlighted a lot in Tim Elmore’s newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid … a lot! This is book that every parent (or grandparent) should read because it’s never too late to invest the best in our (grand)children. You can read my full book review of this must-read book by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I highlighted in this book.

“I believe we have under-challenged kids with meaningful work to accomplish. We have overwhelmed them with tests, recitals, and practices, and kids report being stressed-out by these activities. But they are essentially virtual activities. Adults often don’t give significant work to students—work that is relevant to life and could actually improve the world if the kids rose to the challenge. We just don’t have many expectations of our kids today.” 

“Every parent and teacher wants to see their kids succeed in school, in sports, and in life, but making it impossible to fail isn’t the answer. Removing failure, in fact, is a terrific way to stunt maturity. … As parents, we’ve given them lots of possessions but not much perspective. As educators, we’ve given them plenty of schools but not plenty of skills. As coaches, we’ve taught them how to win games but not how to win in life. As youth workers, we provide lots of explanations but not enough experiences. As employers, we’ve mentored them in profit and loss but haven’t shown them how to profit from loss.”

“Truth be told, when kids have heard they are excellent without working hard or truly adding value to a team, the praise rings hollow to them. Our affirmation must match their performance.”  

“When people—especially young people—know they are free to try something and fail, their performance usually improves. It brings out the best in them. But if they are preoccupied with trying not to fail, they become paralyzed:

  • Failure can create resilience.
  • Failure can force us to evaluate.
  • Failure can motivate us to better performance.
  • Failure prompts creativity and discovery.
  • Failure can develop maturity.”

“Our constant caving begins to foster a constant craving in them. They want clarity. With boundaries unclear, they need more direct attention from Mom or Dad. Unwittingly, we actually breed insecurity and instability in our kids. This may sound strange, but consistency may be your best friend as a parent because it aids in your authority and in your child’s development.” 

“Removing the consequences takes one of two roads. We either excuse their behavior and remove negative outcomes, or we actually step in and pay the consequence for them. When we do this, we frequently relieve the stress. We bring immediate peace to the situation, so we get addicted to this pattern. Unfortunately, we don’t see the long-term problems we are causing. Removing the consequences from our children’s lives brings short-term tranquility but long-term trouble.”

“‘You can do anything you want.’ I recognize why we say this, but as our kids grow older, we must help them to see what we really meant. … We really meant, if they set their mind to do something, they’ll be amazed at what they can pull off. The catch is, it needs to be something with in their gift area. They cannot simply make up a dream or copy a friend’s dream and call it theirs. Dreams should be attached to strengths.” 

“We have created a world of conveniences, filled with smart phones, microwaves, Internet shopping, and online banking. The subtle message is that struggles are to be avoided. We want as much convenience as possible. In fact, we feel entitled to it. But we failed to see that when we remove the struggles from our children’s lives, we begin to render them helpless. They don’t have the opportunity to develop the life skills they’ll need later on. Further, when we step in to control their levels of struggle, they don’t learn how to be in control or under control themselves. In fact, all they learn is how to be controlled.”

“Ironically, the things young people want to avoid are necessary for them to mature authentically. Slow, hard, boring, risky, laborious… these are the very challenges that prepare me to become a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good employee, a good employer. Many life skills that once naturally developed in us now atrophy in today’s culture. So we must be far more intentional about leading our kids into opportunities to build these skills.” 

“When we affirm looks or clothing—external matters instead of internal virtues—kids values become skewed. Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated. Without realizing it, we are reinforcing cosmetic features—usually features that are not in their control. … We should be doing just the opposite. We must affirm effort and behavior, which are in their control, instead of characteristics that are out of their control. If we do this, we begin to foster a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.”

“We mistake hurtful with harmful. Many times, hurting helps us. In fact, removing the hurt may be harmful. … When we hurt, we can learn important truths about ourselves and about others, truth that will be beneficial later in our lives. … We confuse disturbance with damage. We hate being disturbed. Our days are so full, we often hope and pray we won’t face any unexpected disturbances as we pursue our goals. The fact is, however, that on our way to those goals, we fall into unhealthy ruts. Interruptions force us out of those ruts. Interruptions are not damaging at all. They are the very items that save us from our tunnel vision. We need to be disturbed from time to time. Interruptions are wake-up calls that rouse us from our apathy or complacency.” 

“I know you think kids are tired of you talking about the good old days. But I’ve found most kids love hearing stories of how we adults struggled to learn the same life skills when we were young. It’s all part of growing up.”

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