“War of Words” is the best book on Christian communication, and today AMBrewster discusses the book and helps equip Christian parents to sanctify their Family Talk.
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Today’s show is all about Family Talk. And though I normally save this for the end, I want to share it right away today.
Cara was one of Truth.Love.Parent.’s first Patrons, and she’s been working hard for quite some time to become an intentional, premeditated parent. So, in honor of her earnest desire to be a mom and wife who pleases the Lord in her Family Talk by speaking the words of Christ, Cara would like to dedicate this episode to her husband Jason, nine year old daughter, Ella, eight year old son, Zach and five year old daughter, Adalynn.
If you’d be interested in becoming a Patron, dedicating an episode, or even desire to be an anonymous blessing, please click the “5 Ways to Support TLP” link in the description.
Okay, so I’ve been wanting to talk about today’s topic for a long time.
It’s an amazing resource, and it’s written by one of my favorite authors. Back in episode 52 I introduced you to Paul David Tripp and his unequaled book entitled “Parenting.”
If you have not yet read that book, you need to get it. I love this book so much and believe it to be an amazing resource that, next year as part of our parent homework, I plan to have all the parents who send their sons to Victory Academy read the book.
Well, Paul David Tripp has been one of my favorite authors for a long time — way before “Parenting” came out. I really enjoyed “What Were You Expecting?” That’s a great read for couples.
But the book that revolutionized my world had nothing to do with parenting or marriage. It didn’t have anything to do with the family, and yet it had everything to do with one of the most important activities in the family . . . communication.
The book is called “War of Words.”
Now, before I tell you why this book will be so helpful to your family, let me tell you how I used to use this book.
Of course I read it, and — at the time — it was one of the few books I immediately re-read. But then I found myself heading up the speech program at Schaumburg Christian School.
I taught all the things you’d expect from a high school speech class and more. We covered public speaking, improvisation, interpretation, and acting. But I also created a new category of speech and taught it every year for about four years. I called it “Sanctification Speech.”
Having studied communication for years — including the collegiate level — I realized I had never once had a class that devoted any significant time to how God expects us to speak.
But then came “War of Words,” and I have never — never — found a book on Christian communication that can rival it other than the Bible. I’d love to find such a book, and if you have a suggestion you can sent it to TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com.
So, I took a couple months of my speech class to teach Sanctification Speech and used “War of Words” as the textbook.
I don’t know if any of my students remember that or benefitted from it as much as I, but after years of reading and teaching that book, I believe the Lord used it in significant ways to change how I communicated.
And it is this wonderful book that I present to you today.
But, just one more thing before we get into the nitty-gritty of the book.
I am desperately passionate about Christ-honoring Family Talk. My life and ministry have thrown open the shutters on the dismal state of communication — not only in the world — but in the Christian community and sub-cultures.
That’s why we talk about it so much on this show.
In episode 29 we discuss “Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically.”
For episode 38 I created “The Communication House.” It’s a tool to help your family speak in a way that pleases the Lord. Thank you to the many listeners who have shared with me how helpful that tool has been to you.
In episode 39 I introduced another communication tool I had created called “Revolving Priorities.”
Episode 41 was all about “Applying Truth to Our Children’s Lives” and dealt largely with how that Truth is communicated.
Episode 44 wrapped up our Anti-Terrorism series with a number of practical examples for communicating with our kids.
Episode 48 tackles whether yelling is ever appropriate.
Episode 50 shared “Five Ways Disagreeing Children are Valuable.”
Episode 51 taught us all “How to Rightly Debate [Our Children]”
In episode 90, “How to Be a Truth/Love Parent,” we discussed the balance between communicating God’s Word in a loving way.
In episode 93 Jessica Mair joined me to discuss “Tackling Tattling.” Of course, none of us have that problem in our houses. Yeah, right.
Episode 96 was called “Why Do Your Children Do What They Do?” and it included that answer to the question why do they say what they say.
Natasha Crain joined me for episode 105 to discuss her book, “Talking with Your Kids about God.”
In episodes 115-116 I rolled out another tool I created called “Speed Parenting,” that provided workable ways to parent when it feels like there’s not enough time to deal with an issue. And it all came down to how we communicated.
In episode 144, we answered “Why "Why" Is More Important Than “What" | asking the right questions to reveal the wrong heart.”
And I have three more episodes all about Family Talk planned for this season alone. They’re called, “How to Handle ‘I don't know,’” “Concrete Family Talk,” and “Teach Your Children to Admonish Each Other.”
Like I said, this topic is extremely important for all of our families, and that’s because communication is important to God.
And with that, let’s do a flyover of the 13 chapters of the “War of Words” and see just some of the ways this book can help us out in our life and parenting.
I just made the observation that communication is important to God. But I don’t think we quite understand just how important it is.
Chapter 1 of the “War of Words” teaches us a truth that should have been obvious, but one that I had never considered — God didn’t have to create speech. Yet, in His divine perfection and wisdom, God knew that the single best way for us to communicate with each other was to use verbal speech.
Of course, I’m not removing the importance of written communication or sign-language. Sign-language is a result of the fall, and it’s wonderful. In fact, I’m fluent in it. But that’s not how God intended us to talk.
And written communication is also super important because without it we wouldn’t have the Bible.
But we have to realize that for thousands of years all we had was verbal communication. And God planned it that way.
The book also teaches us that people speak because God speaks. He didn’t merely make up this form of communication, He was the first to speak. He spoke all creation into existence.
And this means that words have value. They were created to interpret. That’s their most important job.
I wish we could just take the time to talk through the whole book, but we musts move on. Suffice it to say, that first chapter revolutionized my understanding of speech and raised its importance in my mind.
Your words matter. Every. Single. One.
In chapter 2 we learn that “when Satan spoke, he changed everything about communication.”
When Satan spoke, for the first time ever, “the authority of God was challenged.”
For the first time, “we see an interpretation of life different from God’s.”
When Satan spoke, it was “the first time a lie was spoken.”
And after mankind heeded Satan’s speech, it was the first time we hear “people speaking against one another.”
How much of that kind of communication happens in your home? How much of your Family Talk challenges the authority of God or interprets life differently than He does? How much of the communication in your house is made up of lies, half-truths, deception, and manipulation? How many people in your home speak against the others?
It’s a sad reality that the average Family Talk has more in common with the way Satan talks than the way God talks.
And chapter 3 teaches us that this is due to the fact that we have a tendency to forget that our real problem with communication has nothing to do with technique or theories, but is a spiritual problem.
And because it’s a spiritual problem, we need a spiritual solution. This is partly why John introduces Jesus to us as “the Word” in the first chapter of his book.
Paul Tripp makes the observation that, “[Jesus] would not have come into our world if our struggle were primarily a struggle of flesh and blood.”
And then he gives us four dynamic words used to describe the resources Christ gives us to address our Family Talk: hope, riches, power, and rule. And each of those four ideas is necessary if we’re going to tackle our communication problems.
Chapter 4 is very similar to our Merest Christianity study. The author tells us that what we speak is directly related to what we want.
This desire then battles for control until it becomes a demand.
But then we express that demand as a need which sets up our expectations.
Of course, we all know that expectation unfulfilled leads to disappointment and eventually leads to us punishing the ones who disappointed us.
That chapter beautifully dug down to the root of our family’s sinful communication.
And then chapter 5 starts providing more detail into the only way our Family Talk can change.
Paul says, “Only when I submit to the rule of God, who has a perfect plan and it in complete control, will I begin to live and speak as he has purposed.”
So, he argues that in order to speak correctly, we must understand God’s sovereignty.
God has an unchallenged rule of this universe. He rules over all things for the church. He rules over the specific details of our lives. He rules over every aspect of our salvation, and He rules over relationships for my sanctification.
With that glorious reality laid before us, how can our communication not be affected?
However, chapter 6 submits that “many of us follow the King for all the wrong reasons.”
And we do so because one of the lies of this world is that “physical things are permanent.”
The second lie is that “physical bread is the only bread.” That’s an amazing concept we need to understand.
The third lie is that “life is found in physical bread.”
And Paul Tripp makes these two observations:
Then chapter 7 lays out God’s mission for our mouths. And this is going to remind you of the 5th Parent series, which — in addition to the Merest Christianity series — is the most important truth for Christian parents to grasp.
Paul Tripp says it this way: “We need to speak with an understanding that we are God’s ambassadors.”
He goes on to say that, “we have been called to represent the King in a way that incarnates Him.”
In order to do that, “we need to speak out of a clear understanding of the King’s mission.”
We also “need to speak with an understanding of the King’s methods.”
And — very much like the Family Love study we just finished, Paul Tripp reminds us that the apostle Paul tells us that we should be compelled by the love of Christ.
Chapter 8 then lays out a number of practical steps that will help us see real change in our Family Talk.
Here are some of the steps.
This is a powerful and uber-practical chapter.
Then, believe it or not, chapter 9 gets even more specific in its application where he lays out the model for biblical confrontation.
I’m not going to spoil this chapter for you. I really want you to read this whole book, but let me ask you, have you ever had to confront your kids or your spouse? Do your children even try to confront each other?
Well, we’re going to talk about this last one in our upcoming episode called “Teach Your Children to Admonish Each Other.”
But I think we all understand how beneficial this chapter can be.
Chapter 10 then broadens back out a little more to draw our minds to the fact that God’s promises are both a comfort and a call.
Paul Tripp makes the observation that, “we must never think of ourselves as objects of His covenantal love without also thinking of ourselves as conduits of that love to others.”
And he spends the chapter teaching us that, “Our life needs to be a ministry.”
Chapter 11 then drills back down to discuss the steps of repentance.
Repentance isn’t merely saying you’re sorry or asking for forgiveness. Repentance is what we want for us and our kids. Repentance is change.
That’s why the author walks us through a biblical understanding of repentance and equips us to actually do it.
Chapter 12 deals with winning the war of words and gives us hope and six more strategies for winning that war.
And then Paul David Tripp ends “War of Words” in chapter 13 by teaching us how to choose the right words.
He discusses how to choose words of truth, words of love, words of restraint, words of grace, and words of forgiveness.
And not only does this book cover all this amazing information and more from a biblical perspective, it has questions and projects at the end of each chapter to further your study.
Make this goal to read “War of Words” before the end of the year.
Listen, I get absolutely nothing for promoting this book. God simply used it to crack open my understanding of communication and begin the work of sanctifying my speech.
And I want nothing more than for Him to do the same for you and your family.
Please click the link below to be taken to TruthLoveParent.com. There you’ll find some more information about this amazing book and discover links if you’re interested in purchasing it.
And please share this episode with your friends on social media and by word of mouth. This resource is so precious, how could we not want to tell our friends about it.
Now, I don’t have any episode notes for you today. Since I quoted so much of the book, reproducing that in written form would have been disrespectful to Mr. Tripp.
But don’t worry, when you get the book, you’ll have plenty more.
On our next episode we’ll be discussing “Children and Pets | maturity through responsibility.” Whether you have pets in your home or not, I encourage you to join us because it may change the way you look at pets.
And if your Family Talk is so caustic and toxic that you have no idea what to do, please write us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com.
There is hope for all of our Family Talk, but we’ll only find the answers in God and His word.
So, we’ll see you next time when we search God’s Word for the truth your family needs today.
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