Before you speak, there are three things in your life that tell people whether they should listen to what you have to say or disregard you entirely:
Your walk with God;
If your walk with God is a struggle, or you are in rebellion...
If your marriage is poor and you and your spouse do not get along...
If your children have rebelled against your teachings and do not follow the Lord...
Then people will sense the disconnect between what you are saying with your mouth and what your life is saying, and not pay attention.
Leaders will argue that their walk with God, their marriage and their children are all in their private life and are not anybody's business. But that is never true. People know what is happening in those three areas by watching you, your reactions, your body language, your spouse and his/her reactions to you, your children's lives and your children's reactions to you. By looking at those things, they already know...
We can get caught up with work, ministry, other people, other people's children and forget to foster that close relationship with our own.
But here's the truth: if you lose the relationship with your own children then your credibility in life, especially in ministry, is shot.
What do we all want? We want our children to follow the Lord and impact others for Christ. But for that to happen, we must be there for them. They must trust and confide in us as they navigate the waters of growing up and trying to understand what it is to have faith in Christ.
So here are three things you DON'T want to do when you talk with them.