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The Call of a Parent

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2020 1:00 am

The Call of a Parent

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 2, 2020 1:00 am

Your children need guidance, and you are their guide. Adam Griffin, author of the book, "Family Discipleship," talks about a parent's call to intentionally teach their children what it means to love God and love others. This involves making spiritual deposits in the life of your kids whenever possible, whether you're doing family devotions, sitting around the dinner table, or taking a walk in the woods enjoying God's creation.

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raising Godly kids
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If your mom or dad what is job one for you is apparent.

Adam Griffin says the Bible gives us clear instruction.

We are to raise our kids in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is the general call of every Christian parent.

It's not just about having a well-behaved kid. Nor is it this shameful thing of having a misbehaving caterer kid who rejects alert our theology has room for all those versions including imperfect, discouraged, worn out and exhausted moms and dads.

How do we help them see the call to leave their family spiritually without saying hey here's another thing and not doing well. This is family life today. Our hosts are David and Wilson and Bob Lapine. You can find us online@familylifetoday.com. We've got some words of encouragement for you today and some practical coaching on how you can fulfill God's assignment to disciple your kids as you raise them. Adam Griffin joins us today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us were coming back to a subject that we visit somewhat regularly here and we should. It's what parents tell us they need help with, and in fact is we were producing the art of parenting video series. We were talking about how do you form character in a child's life. How do you help a child grow up with character and part of that is the spiritual disciplines that take place in your family and we talked to a number of our contributors to the art of parenting about the issue of family devotions and how they do that you were included in this. I thought we just should start by revisiting what people like Alister bag and Dave and Ann Wilson then Stephen Kendrick and Kevin DeYoung how they talked about family devotions in their family so you ready About three minute. You know, we say no character or not, my with family also and basically no preparation. You don't have to be seminary trained or anything but get some copies of God's word insane translation turn off the TV set on the couch together as a family and just pray God would you speak to us now and then open up the word of God and read a chapter of God's word out loud and just talk about it and then pray together as a family, for God to help you apply what you've learned and then for the events of the day is not rocket science, you're sitting there reading God's word talking about is very relaxed setting, but in doing so, we are prioritizing time with the Lord in time with each other and makes our relationship stronger. It breeds the education of the word of God in the lives of my children and it gives them a hunger to know the Lord more. We just have one or two points.

What you learn about God and what they learn about ourselves, statistical questions, you have to be a Bible scholar but just having them think about who God is and who we are in life who got to say we were sporadic we were sporadically consistent, our kids understood and we did our best, and it has been patchy along the way I like to have the time all over again.

I read some of the books and I drove.

Goodness gracious.

I was horrible and always had this idea that I often heard about in early years when their toddlers and we would have a family altar once a week we all come together and I would lead us in teaching Scripture and prayer in the wholly-owned kids would sit there fold their hands and listen. Is your vision actually tried it a few times and they were around the house and scream and yell at and I ended up throwing the Bible is like to work so something can do that and something do it at work didn't work for our family. We had devotionals with our kids when they were younger and they got older, we had to change how we went about that.

They became young adults and they moved out of the house. Now it's send a text group family text and sometimes we get to have a conversation around the text. Sometimes we don't just try to keep the Lord in front of we are like most families that we struggle. It's hard work to to have this family worship for this devotional time at the table because our our kids are running all over the place. I don't mean that figuratively I mean it literally running all over the place on things around things, so it is very easy for me to think of family worship times that have been less than ideal. I'm not sure I have any that have been ideal if not always, there are times where the kids get under my skin. I will Bible story today is haywire. Okay this is pregnant work word were done with it is worth it is worth it. I think my parents just methodically reading a passage of Scripture with us.

Nothing fancy at all but the impact of her years of just the Bible and prayer with mom and dad is immeasurable will get a great montage of voices talking about the importance of family worship. Worse once, I'm glad we're in there like you did work for us. We actually didn't get to finish deck as it did work in a different way.

That's right, it did. You know what were talking about today is not just family worship were really talking about a broader subject of family discipleship. The family times together around God's word is a part of that.

But there's much more to it than that. And the Adam Griffin is joining us to help us dive into this and welcome to family like today. Thanks for having me in bed be here. Adam is a pastor and an author lives in East Dallas, Texas has written actually cowrote you cowrote this book with Matt Chandler. That's right book on family discipleship and I have a sense in reading your book that this was a rhythm that you grew up with that family discipleship was something that you experienced as a child think yes it is different because every family is different so even though I had a version of it in my childhood. This is not a reiteration of that it's it's a total restart because I've got my kids you know my parents had me and I was mischievous, rambunctious, not wanting to listen to their it was much more ritualistic. I remember growing up was the Lord's prayer were praying it like this do this devotional book and I think there's a lot more flexibility and in the version that I'm getting the lead out it but you hearing Alister and Dave, Anand and Kevin DeYoung and all those guys you you've talked to parents who can tell you any number of stories about what it looks like in their house right absolutely and that's one of the advantages I think of cowriting this book instead of just coming from my perspective, you got Matt's perspective as a as a parent of teenagers in my perspective as a parent of elementary kids he's talking about taking his son up for breakfast and talking about football and in the Bible and girls and I'm talking about put my kids to bed at night and praying with them as an blessing them as putting the sleep and sing both of these are good examples of how we will shift and change as our kids get older and as we determine who are these kids. The Lord gave us an and what is the way the this kid is the one I'm dialing into an and pressing towards Lord tell us about your family, so I have three sons Oscar Gus and Theodore, their 87 and six right around there there birthdays are right around front desk Craig on that but I have three boys and my wife Chelsea.

She works full-time as a labor and delivery nurse. She works nights and so we both work full time and so we get to family discipleship together sometime.

She's leaning it when I'm out sometimes. I'm leaving when she's out, but my sons are just a joy they they share a room. They love each other right now were at that kind of golden age of parenting where it's not been an option to do family worship together is not an option to go to church and there that's just normal and ordinary for them that we read about together and did you come into marriage and parenting with the vision for this or did you have kids and go all we got to figure this out. That's a trick question. I feel like my background in student ministry is led led to my passion for this in kids. I spent so much time in one-on-one discipleship with teenagers that when I had my own sons now with my three sons. It's been a very easy and natural transition to say what will look like for me who discipled somebody young people cannot disciple my own kids. I spent time as a public school teacher, like the lead kids the Lord in the public school that were students of mine and similar.

Now I look at my own kids think men I've got all this time with them, get leverage the opportunities I have the conversations we have the time we have together in order to talk about the Lord and because I love them so much.

There's nothing I want for them more than to know Christ that led to this passion and it kinda coincided dovetailed with the gifts and the experience of the Lord are given me.

So as a youth pastor and as a teacher. Did you see things in the kids you were mentoring like okay I don't want to do that. I gently want to do that to me you saw families from over sure as they're bringing your church.

So what were the things that made you think okay I can't do that I can do this.

Anything jump off to have a great example would be Jen Wilkin who wrote the forward for this book who now writes great like people know Jen. I didn't know Jen.

I met her son when he was a freshman in high school and I was mentoring him and discipling him and his mom had written any books yet but when you met Matt Matt Wilkin. Her oldest son you thought Manus a godly young man.

This man been he's been parroted in a godly way and been discipled and then once you meet his parents. Like, of course, these people have been so intentional at raising him to follow the Lord. But then I'd also be kids whose parents did not know the Lord.

Her come to church on their own, or even against their parents wishes who come to the Lord. You look at the disadvantage they had were they didn't have a parent who was leading them, but they now met this God what is it gonna look like for the church to step in alongside that kid and disciple them in both of those experiences help me shape what I hope for my kids what I pray for my kids, and learning from other parents as well as knowing my God is bigger than any of my shortfalls is apparent in praying through those things as well. What would you say is the calling of a parent. I'm saying because you know when we became parent just like everybody in this room you feel this yeah I remember bringing our first born. CJ's 34 now put him in the crib after the come home from the hospital and just standing there looking down. I'm guessing a lot of moms and that have the same experience: I feel such responsibility now number one I didn't have a dad now I'm a dad I'm looking down there like just almost fear and reverence.

I have a responsibility in my equipped to do it.

What am I supposed to do. Talk about that.

There's a calling that a mom and dad have as you obviously have in your title family discipleship. But what's the calling. I think that's been the driving force behind even writing the book at all, as I felt like when when you get engaged. There's a thousand books you could read on engagement and on how are you ready to be married. And once you're married, there's a thousand books on marriage and the really really good and what comes to parenting books.

There's a lot of books that help with some of the stresses about making sleep choices for baby and making parenting choices for discipline parenting in a Christian manner. There's a lot of books like that out there that I had trouble finding something that went home again to be equipped to leave my home spiritually.

Like how my gonna take on what when you read the Bible. It's not all about discipline and it's not all about birth order, and it's not all about you know, sleep choices, but a lot of it is about tell this to your kids with the Lord is done in your life communicate to their kids, what with the Lord is done in the life of God's people. The call like you're saying that the literal called the vocation of every parent is to be a spiritual leader in their home like there's an opportunity for us to say this is some helpful language we use some helpful ways to think about it. To help you take kind of a mystery and demystify the idea of what is it mean to be a spiritual leader in my home and help it become something ordinary and accessible so this is the general call of every Christian parent and it's not just about having a well behaved kid and nor is it this shameful thing of having a misbehaving kid or a kid who rejects the Lord.

This is our theology has room for all those versions including imperfect, discouraged, worn out and exhausted moms and dads. How do we help them see the call to leave their family spiritually without saying, here's another thing and not doing well and some parents are feeling so overwhelmed they don't come from a spiritual or Christian background and so they have no idea what or why do you think I'm just speaking for because I talked a lot of women there thinking I want to do this. My husband is not on board. Else, but you're saying it's up call that God is as assigned S this task and you're right it is a legitimate problem that some of us have never been discipled. We don't find Scripture that to be a legitimate excuse not to disciple our kids right in the book we made provisions for that to understanding that every family is different. Some of them are single parents similar spiritual single parents sing my husband or my wife doesn't believe the same thing. So how can I spiritually leave this home some of our kids have disabilities or their blended families. It's like, how can we in this modern era. Think about our family in a way that's gonna demystify all the stuff that's so discouraging all the stuff that so exhausting all the stuff that leads to comparison and judgment and shaman and self harassment in that because it is such a significant deal and at the same time not minimize how important this is like it is a big deal. The Lord has entrusted to us a human life and asked us to raise it to know him.

I don't think like that day.

I'm standing there looking at CJ and is a newborn. I don't think I had my head yet.

Matthew 28 the great commission goatee said. Go therefore and make disciples. I had that as a pastor I suppose go out outside my home almost make disciples of men and women are church, but that's a call him in the most important disciple, a dad or mom will try to pour into is their own sons and daughters right yet is call it's right in front yeah the great commission and the great commandment stuck to love God, to love your neighbor and to make disciples everywhere. It starts in your own home made it easier sometimes out and said is easier to say at the end of this appointment. Your to go home versus your kids like to be together, they are going nowhere.

I'm going nowhere. But that's why the family dynamic. Both lends itself to helping our kids understand how can an imperfect person follow a perfect God, not how can my kids get more perfect parents, which is kind of what we trick ourselves into thinking okay family discipleship must be about me being perfect around my kids notes about helping your kids understand you're not perfect. You need to repent. You need a perfect got you rely on the gospel.

So how you can help your kids see that version of you not, how can you do this in a way that like you talked about that intro Bob where kids are just sitting down folding their hands and like the faces are glowing listening everything you're saying notes how does an imperfect family follow a perfect God and I wish I'd had somebody giving me that mentoring early on because I didn't grow up with an experience of any kind of family discipleship so I'm start in cold and I thought my job is to model what this looks like and let you see it in all its glory and never let you see it in any of its brokenness, because if you think mom and dad can't do it.

Maybe you'll go will nobody can do it. What I didn't recognize, as I was not discipling my kids to know how to deal with their own failures. So part of the message they were getting was when mom and dad seem to be able to have this all worked out. I don't.

I make mistakes. Mom and dad don't, I guess there's something different about mom and dad than me. That didn't happen in our kids knew that I messed up right. I mean, it's not that I was always perfect in front of them, but I remember a guest.

We had a family like today. Years ago who said most Christian parents are teaching their kids how to avoid sin and how to conceal soon, so stay away from this, don't do it.

If you do you get in trouble. That's the message so kids do stuff and I go I'm a get in trouble if they find out so you conceal and it he said we've got to teach our kids how to confess and repent yes and he said in the way you teach your kids how to confess and repent is you confess and repent in front of them is that they can see all that's what it looks like yeah one of the aspects we talk about this book is not just scheduling family devotions. It's being a legit believer around your kids and inviting them into that saying hey, this is where dad made a mistake and I need you to forgive me or when they make a mistake putting out a dad has done the same thing a million times. Isn't it good that our God is forgiving they can forgive us fully, freely and forever. They can both say, neither do I condemn you and go and sin no more. And we can operate out of that great trust in inordinate in a sense that's how you make disciples right yet because I were joking on at our parenting clip, but there was a real tension in our home when the boys are really little with and really wanting a family altar and she called it that family devotions like Barbara and Dan that I didn't know they had but we had this image that they sat on the fireplace. I'm not kidding this is it. And so we actually because I'm like I didn't have this. I didn't grope you know right now.

So how do we do this so she actually convinced me. Why don't you just take the sermon you preached on Sunday morning and give a mini version on Sunday night so we tried like that idea, good is a bad idea that works is why I care more about the people on Sunday morning that my own household so we did it.

We sat on. I can see it right on the fireplace. There were the boys when at 84567 years old and it was like boogers and gather and run around.

I got so frustrated like I thought it was going to be like in little halo above my head softly music and I didn't realize in that for and we tried a couple times is like that's what's gonna happen. There is little boys your neck and have them strapped in a seatbelt listening to this quiet little thing but so we learned or maybe I learned it's going to look different is not to look like that.

We still are called to make disciples. Figure out a different strategy.

I threw away the sermon thing and I think what ended up happening is it's an overflow of dad's life like you just said earlier it's like what got Sadie today what you struggle with today. How to get me you today what he was praying right now just you know what you think about have a moment in a month that what you would want if you were blind disciple, would you ask or would you say what I really need is somebody is to sit me down the fireplace maybe sit absolutely still and talk to me for an hour knowing that I want somebody to invest in my life to think about what is happening with me to really look me in the eye can be present up in the phone not be moving about, not just say will ensure the picking up enough as we go know you would want somebody to really show that they really cared.

And that's the operative we have in our own home and sometimes for some families that's gonna look like sit down. We got a lesson were in the walk-through for some families is gonna look like I just want to ask a bunch of questions about where you're at how you're doing. I sure pray for you and in a different stages. It can change for each family and for each kid and if we start to prioritize our plans over the people that the Lord put in a house that is can be frustrating yeah but if you look at the people. The Lord gave us and come up with a plan based on that. I think there's gonna be some fruit from what I think the thing that we realized he was bedtime is ideal for little kids because they don't want to go to sleep and willing to talk about anything and everything. At that point is that what you found absolutely right yet families that was a time for us can extend far into the night. My kids were and are asking really deep questions but part of it I know is they're trying to avoid maybe, but had to type some of the time, but I think will be surprising to hear this appearance all the time. You'll be surprised at what your kids picked up what they remember what they keyed in on when you thought they were just running around the house smashing things it might've been that moment that also the Lord used to convict the heart that I heard something or that it really clicked for them and that's where the Holy Spirit works and I'll add this in the teenage years.

Bedtime was critical to I mean you don't do it the same way Atlanta bed and roll around in it. You might be laying on the floor but there's that that moment it, nine, 10 o'clock at night. Homework done again ready right and as I understand how moments there. There are men now are women. Almost you know is 13, 14, 16, 17-year-olds, but man is if I laid on the floor and said boy I struggle with this today. And God met me here.

There were conversations that were sorta beautiful that I had a tendency is a man. Can I walk out the room and you know now is Grand Prairie like men, you're in a blink and are to be gone so sees those moments to help make disciples when that's exactly what were talking about in the book is saying. What are the cross, but your family already has because are already together. So how do you leverage that opportunity for the gospel with your drive him home from football practice.

You're not just gonna talk about the again you're gonna talk about maybe a proffer of the comes to mind based on what they said it is enough to be scheduled and prepared.

You just thinking about how can I try to help this kid understand my relationship with the Lord, and my desire for him to have one and whether it's putting your kids to bed at night when they're teenagers or might be when they get busted in the concealed sin that you talked about Bob and talking about just what grace the Lord has for us but will see the reality of the Scripture. When our sin causes devastation every parents can have that moment where they get the opportunity to be the one who demonstrates grace to their kids that I can still love you even now, and we have the opportunity in that because we've seen the Lord do that for us.

All of us have personal experience that if we know the Lord. There is a word that just keeps coming back over and over again any time we talk about this subject that I think the key word and the word is intentionality its moms and dads who are purposeful with this as an objective if you say all all all do that. Like when the moment is right well that's a good approach, but you have to be intentional to be looking for those right moments. You can't just hope it's going to kind of naturally emerge. You have to be thinking when and how. And this is important, and do I have opportunities during the day and looking to seize those moments for spiritual deposits in the lives of your kids and what you've done for us with the book family discipleship is to help us think through that and I like these categories, the times the moments in the milestones and how we can be intentional with all of that. In fact, we want to make your book available to any family like today Lister who would like to get a copy. If you're able is a list or to make a donation to support the ongoing work of family life today will send you Adams book as a thank you gift. It's cowritten by Adam and pastor Matt Chandler again. The book is called family discipleship. It's our thank you gift to you when you go online@familylifetoa.com and make an online donation or when you call one 800 FL today to donate over the phone. Your donations are what make family like today possible for you and for others who are joining us in your city and all around the world. We got folks were listening not only on this local radio station, but their listing on the web through our brand-new mobile app which, if you haven't downloaded it yet. Go to the app store on your device and just type in family life as a word.

The point is you make family life to a possible or all who are listening when you make a donation and if you can make a donation today ask for your copy of Adams book family discipleship. Would love to send it out to you. You can donate online@familylifetoa.com or you can call one 800 FL today to donate and thanks in advance for your support of this ministry. We really appreciate you not tomorrow. Morgan continued to talk about practical ways we can do a better job as parents connecting spiritually with our kids. Adam Griffin is going to join us again tomorrow.

Hope you can join us as well. I don't think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Lapine see you back next time for another edition of family life today.

Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas crew ministry help for today hope tomorrow


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