How to Handle a Tricky Situation (dealing with children)

When Paul wrote to Philemon, he was addressing a difficult situation. Philemon’s slave had run away, found Paul, and was obviously baptized into Christ (Philemon 1:10-16). Paul sent the slave (Onesimus) back to Philemon with the letter. How did Paul handle this tricky situation?

1. He recalls all the good things they have in common in Christ. He mentions comfort and commends Philemon (Phil 1:7).

2. He expresses confidence in Christ that he has the right to command Philemon to do what is proper (Phil 1:8).

3. He instead calls upon Philemon for love’s sake (Phil 1:9). The word “appeal” is a good translation from “parakaleo,” to call to one’s side.

So, if you are dealing with a son or daughter, remember these three things:

1. Recall the good things.

2. Express confidence in your right to command.

3. Call them to your side, figuratively and literally, put your arm around them.

Rick Laing
Highland Village church of Christ
Austin, TX


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