Participants: John Lomacang (Host), Carol Zarska
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000370
00:01 ¤ ¤
00:29 Hello friends and welcome to 3ABNs Issues and Answers. My
00:33 name is John Lomacang. It's always good to have you tune in
00:36 especially when the program is as good as this one's going to
00:40 be on Family Communications. I'm so glad that Carol Zarska is
00:44 here today to open our minds to find out how we can better our
00:48 communication not only as husbands and wives but how to
00:51 talk to our children, children how to talk to your parents and
00:55 then how to build a bond that will last and strengthen your
00:58 family as the years roll by. Carol thank you so much for
01:02 being here. Thank you for inviting me.
01:04 I just really enjoy, we've had a chance to visit before and I've
01:07 always appreciated that, but I enjoy topics such as this
01:12 because we do need strong families.
01:13 Yes, it's such a need today. So many families are breaking apart
01:17 If somebody's watching this program that may not have met
01:20 you before just kind of give us an overview of who you are and
01:23 where you're from and maybe what you do.
01:24 Well I've been a family counselor and a speaker since
01:30 1984. I joined in that year with American Cassette Ministries at
01:36 that time, now American Christian Ministries and have
01:40 traveled around the world speaking and giving seminars and
01:44 so forth. But I in later years have been doing a lot more
01:49 counseling and it's really exciting to see the things that
01:53 God is showing us today about how to be better parents,
01:58 better friends, better husbands and wives. There's a lot of
02:03 information that's coming out today even in science about how
02:07 we are created differently and how to relate so that there's
02:11 going to be happiness instead of suffering and anger and
02:15 resentment toward each other.
02:17 Having the experience you've had as a wife married for 50 years
02:22 (that's right) and that is a milestone in patience and
02:28 learning loving. Yes it is. It has been quite a
02:31 journey but very exciting.
02:34 I would say if you wake up tomorrow morning as husband and
02:39 wife and you feel that there's nothing new to focus on or not
02:43 another platform to take your relationship to then
02:46 relationships tend to start dying from that point on.
02:48 Mmm. That's so true. God created us in his image which means that
02:54 there is no limit to the expansion that we can have
02:57 forever, even in eternity.
02:59 I like that, in the image of God because with the Lord there's
03:01 no beginning and
03:03 there's no end, so why would the Lord create something that has
03:06 a definite end to it? I like that. I'm going to use that one.
03:09 I haven't used that before. Thank you for that tidbit.
03:11 Yes it's exciting to be a child of God.
03:14 And I'm talking about family counseling. That is one dynamic
03:17 that is so amazing. Because if there are just four individuals,
03:22 the mother, father, son and daughter, those are four minds.
03:26 The minds of the children are often the result of what they
03:30 see in parents, the parents are the result of what they saw in
03:34 their parents and so on and so forth. But how do we better and
03:38 enhance our family communication?
03:42 Well my favorite text to begin this discussion is found in
03:51 Ephesians 4 and that whole chapter is about unity that the
04:00 Lord wants us to have and so it starts out... Be completely
04:07 humble and gentle. Verse 2 be patient bearing with one another
04:13 in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit
04:18 through the bond of peace. That in itself sets the tone for this
04:22 whole chapter. And of course it's not just for families only
04:26 it's for church members, neighbors or friends or whatever
04:30 that God wants us to be because that's what he is. He is three
04:34 in one and he would like for us to be like that too. We can be
04:39 one with one another and yet retain our individuality and
04:41 that's the hard part. So I want to skip quickly to verses 29 and
04:49 on, a little further than that but I want to start with 29
04:54 because this in one verse actually incorporates what I
05:00 feel can help us to grow in our relationships in such a way that
05:06 it transcends anything that we've been doing in the past.
05:11 OK. It says do not let any unwholesome talk, I'm using the
05:16 NIV by the way, come out of your mouths but only what is
05:21 helpful for building others up according to their needs that
05:25 it may benefit those who listen. Now there's a lot more that we
05:29 can read on, but I want to just examine that for what it says.
05:33 If we live just that one verse we would never have another
05:37 problem with other people.
05:39 It would be revolutionary.
05:40 It would be and that should be our goal. So it says do not let
05:45 any, that's zero, unwholesome talk come out of your mouths.
05:50 Unwholesome means that's it not helpful for the other person and
05:54 we do this all the time. Of course we feel generally if
05:58 there's going to be an argument ensuing that it's the other
06:02 person that's the problem and we blame them.
06:05 Oh that is so good Carol. I'm just excited about this because
06:10 what you're saying is you're validating some of the view
06:15 points that I've had in the sense that as a family we are
06:19 not the problem but we have a problem. You suggest that in
06:24 order to resolve the problem you don't get rid of the family, NO,
06:27 but you work on the problem collectively.
06:29 Some people do, a lot of people do just decide this is not the
06:33 person I want to live with and so they split and of course
06:38 children are abused and are always blamed. In many families
06:43 it's the children that are yelled at and called all kinds
06:48 of names and so forth. This is so satanic because in doing this
06:54 we're taking on the actual character of the evil one for he
06:59 is the accuser of the brethren and we become accusers. We're
07:04 taking on something that's not from God, it's from the evil one
07:08 and we don't even know we're doing this. It's so common to
07:11 hear criticism. We even get together like say at potluck
07:15 after church and we talk about other people or each other or
07:20 whatever. We talk about our husbands if they're not there to
07:24 hear it, or our kids if they're not there to hear it or
07:27 whatever and this seems to be just our fare, but it should
07:30 never to said not only to each other but to the person that
07:34 we're talking about.
07:35 You know the thought that just came to my mind is we take pot
07:36 shots at pot luck.
07:41 Yes it's true and I think it's rather sad.
07:45 So if you would analyze it, and I like that verse the way it
07:49 reads in the NIV, verse 29 in Ephesians 4. It is in essence
07:53 saying so whatever comes out of your mouth, if I'm hearing you
07:57 correctly, becomes a seed of destruction when it's negative.
08:02 But a seed of beauty when it's positive. But it's a seed
08:06 nonetheless. It's seed and it will sprout. It
08:10 will grow. Then thinking about a little further on here, any
08:15 unwholesome talk but only... notice the superlatives that
08:18 Paul is using here. Of course, the Holy Spirit is impressing
08:23 him to do that. The superlative of no unwholesome talk, only
08:29 what is helpful for building others up. Only. How many times
08:35 do we even know how to build others up? In order to do that
08:40 we would have to follow the instruction here that continues,
08:45 which is according to their needs. If we don't know the need
08:49 of the person we're not going to know how to build them up
08:53 and so often we're strangers. A lot of people are strangers in
08:58 their own home. They have done studies to count the minutes, or
09:02 maybe hours if we're lucky that family members spend together in
09:06 one week and it's unbelievable because we're running here and
09:11 there and when we are home we may be watching television and
09:15 doing other things. Do we really know the need of that other
09:18 person so that we can build them up. And then it says that it may
09:23 benefit those who listen. So if we just take that one text and
09:27 really live it by the power of the Holy Spirit our whole
09:31 families, our lives would be changed.
09:33 When I combine both of the translations, I have the New
09:37 King James version, reads that we may benefit those... Read
09:42 that verse again, that it may benefit. And it says that it may
09:46 benefit those who listen. Our words should benefit those who
09:50 listen. And I like what it says, that it
09:52 may impart grace to the hearer.
09:55 Yes that's wonderful. What is benefit? It's grace and
09:58 we're imparting to the one we're talking to the grace that God
10:01 is imparting to us when we ask him Lord, we're praying to you.
10:05 We want his grace and others want our grace.
10:08 Oh absolutely. And how reticent we are to give grace when we
10:13 think someone has done something wrong. I remember a mother
10:18 saying to me who was very critical of her son, he was an
10:23 adult, and she say if I don't tell him, who will? Oooo.
10:27 And this is a Christian person, a very dedicated Christian
10:32 person. Sometimes Christians are even more like that perhaps
10:36 because we're trying to make sure that we shake them up so
10:40 that they're going to be able to be saved or whatever we think
10:44 that we're doing for them. We can be so critical sometimes.
10:49 The think that I have been learning more and more and I
10:54 believe that it's more and more in society in general and that
10:59 is how do you build other people up? What kind of verbiage is
11:03 going to do that? I'm going to use two illustrations of
11:08 children. There was a story years ago that I read in a
11:14 magazine about a female psychiatrist or at least, I
11:20 don't remember exactly but at least a counselor, and the
11:25 father brought his little girl to this counselor. I would say
11:31 the little girl was about five, no more than five. To my
11:38 recollection there was probably a divorce so that the mother was
11:42 not available or maybe even death of the mother. I don't
11:46 know. But as this father brought the little child and left it for
11:52 some reason with the counselor and then he left. Well the
11:56 little girl just threw a fit. She was crying, she was
12:00 inconsolable and so the psychiatrist was trying to get
12:05 get her to stop crying so that they could go on their way. She
12:09 would not stop crying and the psychiatrist said everything
12:13 she knew to do and nothing worked. So finally she said to
12:17 her it's really sad isn't it that your daddy isn't here and
12:22 your mommy isn't here and you feel left and alone don't you?
12:27 And the little girl climbed up in her lap and fell asleep. You
12:32 see we don't even know what the needs are. We're trying to
12:36 correct behavior. We're trying to stop something that we think
12:41 is wrong or something that is irritating to us. But we need to
12:46 be able to know the heart of another person and enter into
12:50 that because that's what Jesus does for us. He entered into the
12:54 very heart of humanity. He took upon himself our feelings and
12:58 our infirmities so that he would know what we feel like so that
13:02 he can sympathize with us and that's why we love him. That's
13:06 why we're drawn to him because we know he cares and he
13:10 understands even though he's the God of the universe he loves us
13:14 and if we could love people like that things would change. One
13:19 more story: My daughter Karen is going back to school. She has
13:23 about a year, a little over a year, to finish her education
13:28 at Columbia Union College in early childhood development.
13:33 As a part of her curriculum she has to work in a day care center
13:38 and so she gets to take care of children around two to four.
13:43 There's this one little boy that she has been telling me about,
13:49 this is very recent. His name is Noah and he is three years old.
13:57 He is a total basket case a lot of times. His mother is in the
14:02 throws of a divorce with the father so Noah is with his dad
14:07 part of the time and his mom part of the time. They have not
14:12 finished the divorce yet so it's a very new thing. Now mother has
14:16 to work, Noah has to stay at the day care center and he doesn't
14:20 like it. He's only three years old but he throws a fit. He
14:23 kicks the teacher. He grabs from the children and anything bad
14:26 that he can think of to do he does and sometimes they call the
14:29 mother and say come and get your child, we can't do anything. The
14:32 day care center people said this is the worst child they've
14:37 ever had. So my daughter loves children and so she had been
14:42 working with Noah and she will tell him you know Jesus loves
14:46 you so much and talks to him about his feelings and so forth
14:51 and one day just last week Karen said that Noah was
14:56 throwing a fit, so one of the other teachers said why don't
14:59 you take Noah and see if you can do anything with him. Noah ran
15:03 into another room where there were tables where they would eat
15:06 He got under the table and lay on his back and he put his feet
15:10 up and he was pushing the table up and down, banging up and down
15:16 and rattling things and just a mess. So Karen didn't know what
15:20 to do so she prayed and the Lord impressed her what to so. She
15:25 lay down on the floor with Noah right beside of him and she
15:30 said Noah you must be hurting because your daddy isn't with
15:35 you anymore much and your mommy is working and you can't be with
15:39 mommy and daddy the way you could and you must be really
15:43 hurting inside. He stopped banging the chair, the table,
15:47 and he listened and she said you know Jesus really loves you and
15:54 he understands you're hurting. Noah said my heart is broken.
16:00 He's three year old. My heart is broken and you know he
16:05 didn't give another bit of trouble that whole day. That to
16:10 me is this kind of talk that we should enter into the feelings
16:15 of other people for healing so that we're not just saying well
16:19 we think you ought to do this and why don't you do that and
16:23 how come you did that. We just have all kinds of suggestions
16:28 that we think are so good. But if we could listen with a heart
16:33 of love knowing that person and pray that God will help us to
16:37 whether it's our husbands our our children or the next door
16:41 neighbor or somebody that calls us on the phone and really care.
16:45 I believe that we would see a total transformation instead of
16:50 the bickering and so forth that so often happens among people.
16:55 I'm just soaking this in because you're speaking the language
17:00 that is often unheard. You're communicating the thoughts of
17:05 people that are sometimes communicating in behavior, in
17:10 frustration, in anger. They're acting it out. We look at the
17:15 action and we so often forget that that's just a symptom of a
17:20 deeper problem. Yeah exactly. You know the only way I could
17:24 illustrate this is sometimes we put too much oil in an engine.
17:29 It's going to bubble out. It's going to impact the function of
17:33 the engine. In some cases, if you fill it up till the oil is
17:37 pouring out you can blow the engine. Sometimes people are so
17:42 filled up so that they're about to pour out that this internal
17:47 combustion that's happening all the time and we see that when in
17:51 fact it's either a deficit, not enough affection, or too much of
17:56 the wrong affection. Right. And children and adults today in
18:00 families if we understand that we'll change our approach and
18:04 stop addressing just the symptom and start saying to the person
18:08 tell me how you feel, what's bothering you?
18:11 If Noah as a three-year-old child never having any training
18:16 could express himself when he got loved how much could we do
18:20 that with our own families as they get used to mom and dad who
18:25 really care, or husband and wife, or friend to friend that
18:29 you know that person cares enough to really listen to your
18:33 heart and help. Jesus said that out of the heart
18:36 proceed the issues of life. Right. That's another way to
18:40 look at that. The heart is often not heard. I was talking to
18:45 couples just recently. I said so often we get sidetracked by what
18:50 we hear. Some men get locked into the details. You know we're
18:55 very left brain, right brain. We're very analytical and
18:57 compartmental and we'll say to our wives well I know what you
19:02 said but do you want a black purse or a blue purse or is your
19:05 black shoe hurting you or your blue shoe hurting you? Is it the
19:08 one you bought last week or the week before last? We getting
19:11 caught in the details and the wife is in essence saying my
19:14 foot is hurting, that's the bottom line. I don't care when
19:18 it was bought, what happened, my foot's hurting. Okay. My wife
19:20 and I had that experience coming back from the airport. We were
19:23 rushing our suit cases into the car and she took hers out and
19:27 just in a hurrying moment the suitcase ripped the top of her
19:31 shoe bow off and her focal point was oh I can't go to the airport
19:36 like this. It's awful, it's flapping back and forth and I
19:39 heard right away and the frustration was not so much that
19:42 the shoe was uncomfortable, that she didn't like it any longer,
19:45 but she says I can't present myself in public this way. So
19:48 my quick response was after a counseling seminar, do you have
19:52 another pair with you, how can we resolve this? She said I have
19:55 another pair in the suitcase. So what I asked was how could we
19:58 resolve this rather than telling her how to resolve it.
20:01 That's good, right. That way you don't come over parent/child.
20:05 You come over friend to friend, caring friend to friend. There's
20:10 something in here goes right along with that in verse 30
20:13 where it says and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom
20:17 you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31-Get rid of all
20:21 bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, along with
20:23 every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another
20:27 forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. So he
20:29 goes back with the grace again. That's what's we're really
20:32 wanting. But isn't it interesting to see that when we
20:37 talk about wanting the feeling of the Holy Spirit and yet it
20:43 says here that when we're not kind to each other we grieve the
20:47 Holy Spirit, the very Holy Spirit that we want to be filled
20:52 by is the Holy Spirit we're grieving because the Holy Spirit
20:56 is hurting when we're hurting another person. That's a child
20:59 of the Holy Spirit just as we would hurt if we heard someone
21:03 saying nasty things to our child so the Holy Spirit is grieved
21:07 when we do this to each other. I don't see how the Holy Spirit
21:10 can stand it, you know, really, because there's so much pain
21:14 in the world today. I was talking to a Christian, not a
21:18 Seventh-day Adventist, but a Christian woman on the phone,
21:22 she was counseling with me, and they had a fairly decent
21:26 marriage but she said well maybe she could learn some more and I
21:30 was talking to her about this and being careful not to be
21:33 critical ever, ever, of her husband. We weren't talking
21:37 about children at that time. And she said will the other day I
21:41 said to my husband, he said something and I said to him well
21:45 that was a stupid thing to do. She said was there something
21:50 wrong with that? And I said Um-huh. I didn't want to jump on
21:55 it but it just shows how easy it is for us to not even realize
22:00 that we're hurting the other person. This was a Christian
22:03 woman, goes to church every Sunday and still didn't know
22:06 that to say that was unkind.
22:09 You know, sometimes we communicate how we are
22:12 communicated to. There are some homes that are dysfunctional and
22:17 one of the things that frustrates me more than anything
22:20 else in the family circle is when I hear people say a child
22:25 should be seen and not heard. Oh yes. And the reason I'm
22:29 saying that is because I was raised somewhat that way. You
22:33 don't butt into adults' conversation which children
22:37 shouldn't but if they come in and say mom, dad, if that's the
22:40 time to teach them how to butt in properly and respectfully.
22:44 You say well say excuse me. That's better than saying look
22:48 go in the corner, I don't want to hear you. Shut up, go in your
22:51 room and when I'm done I'll see you.
22:52 Right, right I hear that a lot.
22:55 And they grow up hasn't it done damage? Tell me about that.
22:58 A great deal of damage. What that tells the person is you are
23:02 not valuable. You're input is not valuable, your feelings are
23:05 not valuable and it's a type of rejection and there isn't any
23:10 more painful experience that a human being can have besides
23:14 rejection. That is the worst, rejection or a sense of
23:17 rejection and we do this all the time. We can do it in little
23:21 ways. We don't think we're being rejecting but it feels that way
23:24 to the other person and that's why this text says that it
23:27 should be building them up for their edification according to
23:31 their needs and we need to know one another well enough to know
23:34 what the other person's needs are.
23:36 Instead of cutting them off, instead of saying, look I'm the
23:40 father, I say it, you do it or I'm the mother I set the
23:43 standards, you don't question it What happens is I've seen adults
23:46 grow up in situations where they are now adults in an office
23:51 setting or adults in society and they feel that they have no
23:55 boundaries. They can't even establish boundaries because
23:59 their parents had so belittled them that they feel they don't
24:02 matter and they will go so far as saying my voice doesn't
24:05 really count. Well because that's the only
24:08 thing they know and they learned it at home. I have a wonderful
24:13 quotation here from the Spirit of Prophecy, Ellen White's
24:18 writings, that speaks to that in such a special way that I'd just
24:23 like to share that. This is found in Isaiah where God is
24:35 talking about the Elijah message that is to come to
24:39 prepare the way for Jesus' coming. And of course we know
24:45 that that the first Elijah was John the Baptist. I think this
24:51 is so appropriate for us today in preparation for Jesus' second
24:56 coming in our families and the repair that God wants to do.
25:00 This in Isaiah 62. It says, Pass through the gates, pass through
25:06 the gates, and of course I always think about the gates of
25:09 praise because we're talking about sanctuary language here,
25:13 because the gates of praise are where people come to worship God
25:19 and it says pass through the gates, prepare the way for the
25:22 people, build up, build up the highway, and remember those are
25:27 the very words of Ephesians 4:29, to build them up. And it
25:32 says remove the stones, raise a banner for the nations. There
25:36 are stones in people's lives that we may have put there or
25:40 somebody has put there, stones that are stones of stumbling,
25:44 stones that cause a stony heart for the person and they can't
25:48 really receive God and Jesus because there's no pathway that
25:53 is clear enough for them and they can stumble over these
25:57 stones that we have put in there That's my introduction here to
26:04 something that is in the writings of Ellen White. She
26:08 says the reason why there are so many hard-hearted men and
26:13 women in our world is that true affection has been regarded as
26:18 a weakness and has been discouraged and repressed.
26:21 The better part of the nature of persons of this class is
26:25 perverted and dwarfed in childhood and unless rays of
26:29 divine light can melt away their coldness and hard-hearted
26:33 selfishness the happiness of such is buried forever. We can
26:38 do something about that. We can be the way to open up those
26:43 hearts. We can do things to remove the stones by saying you
26:48 aren't invaluable, you aren't a bad person. You may have had
26:51 something bad happen to you but Jesus loves you just like a
26:56 little Noah. Jesus loves you Noah and it took away the pain
27:00 he was having for the moment at least and for that afternoon.
27:05 So we can be that kind of people that will help the Holy Spirit
27:09 to be able to fill people's lives that may never be able to
27:13 be saved unless we're there doing that.
27:15 So in essence for the family, mother, father, sister, brother,
27:19 however many siblings there may be the answer to reconciliation
27:24 is building them up but understanding their needs. Yes.
27:27 And in learning how to communicate in such a way that
27:31 whatever your words are make sure that they're positive so
27:34 when the seed is planted whatsoever a person sows they
27:37 will reap and reap the rewards of the blessings that God has in
27:40 store for them. Right. And we can learn how to
27:43 do this. You know, people say to me well I don't know how to do
27:46 that. Well, I don't either but we can learn.
27:50 Well friends as you see here there's always a blessing in
27:52 learning to follow the Christ that we love. May today be the
27:55 day that you yield your life to him.