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January 11, 2021 1:00 am
As we make disciples and reach across the oceans, are we also reaching across the dinner table? On FamilyLife Today, join hosts Dave and Ann Wilson as they talk with Chap Bettis (BETT-iss), author of the book "The Disciple-Making Parent," on fulfilling the Great Commission through our own children.
Show Notes and Resources
Find out more from Chap Bettis's book The Disciple-Making Parent. http://thedisciplemakingparent.com
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Bettis's spiritual journey is a journey that he has learned over the years is not a typical for me.
I would say I came to faith as a young child, but I became convinced in my college years and one of the seminars. All asked people to an original and few profess Christ that a young age group in a Christian now keep your hands up if you would say I had a later time when my faith became my own and 98% of the hands stay up. This is family life today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine can find us online. The family life today.com how can we as parents help our children on their journey as they move from a commitment to Christ to being convinced of the gospel will talk more with Bettis about that today and welcome to family life today.
Thanks for joining us. You guys have a new book coming up pretty quickly on parenting right media, and outputs are called no perfect parents and the why the publisher for you to write that one. If we didn't have that title and tell the publisher read the manuscript funny it was gonna be vertical parenting, you know, I, like vertical as a result of vertical marriage and then they read it and said you know you guys can talk about how you're not very perfect so we think it's no perfect parents and actually that was about and because I know that when you're working on the book did you stop and think.
Is there a verse that is kind of the parenting verse. I mean, I know most people, when you think what the parenting verse they think. Deuteronomy 6 is where you go for parenting on its it's a great). Tamerlane usually is on the one you pick. Well it's in there. Yeah, you know, of course, because it's really a great vision and very practical, but really it was based on the idea that most of us as parents really never decide what we're shooting for. When we try to raise and so someone 27.
You know arrows that we launch with a mission and so the big idea.
The book is okay what your bull's-eye so we just copied it from the art of parenting like arrows exactly we have got friend joining us on family life today. Chap Bettis Welcome. Thank you very much for having chap is the author of a book called the disciple making parent and what were have this conversation in part because as I read your book you you say the Northstar for parenting is a verse that I was very familiar with.
I thought I don't know that I ever thought of as a parenting verse, but sure enough it is, what's the verse of Matthew 28, 18 to 20.
The great commission to go and make disciples for someone we met when we read that that's what I told Dave when we were reading your books and your material I sent was seated he was actually very you already mentioned this to you but she said that over and over and over while he put this in our book lately that I'm seriously very great job there was excellent and very helpful and excited to talk about so help parents get a picture of the great some people know what the great commission is to explain that and why is that a parenting passage. Well I think every parent remembers when they saw their first child.
You know you the day that your first child is born you. You hold him or her in your arms and by the way, I know you're going to keep going but don't miss this moment because you wrote about in your book when you were driving home. I think talk about that. Well I'm getting teared up down just thinking about that again because there is such a feeling of helplessness God is giving you this helpless baby responsibility that you have in your thinking. Lord, how do I do this and I remember driving home and I think what happened was clashing of the feelings of responsibility with what I know from the Scriptures, and often it seems like it's easy to keep parenting what we think of parenting and what we know about the Bible separate but when you put that together. God is not just giving you the baby is giving you an eternal soul to influence and then you can so you say okay what actually is best and I got I think parenting raises those ultimate questions because good parents want to give their kids the best but what what is the best and that brings you back to all. It's the gospel.
I this is an eternal soul as I will does the Scripture have anything to say about that. And of course yes it does. Because Jesus tells us that we are the great commission is to go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything that he's commanded and so it really that's actually a fulfillment of back in Genesis where God's desire is to fill the earth with glory bearers and so rightly our churches send missionaries across the oceans and churches reach out across the streets, but we also need to reach out across the dining room table that that's that's really the most important thing that this this person, the God has blessed us with for a few years and and is parents of adult children. We know it's very few, but this is a great privilege I love what you said you said you haven't just created baby but a person who will live forever in heaven or forever in hell I that's what we need to remember, but we get a little bit lost. Yeah I was going to say the disciple making mission of apparent you've been a pastor. I've been a pastor Bob's a pastor, I lost that sometimes I had it in my mind as a pastor I'm making disciples at my church.
That's what I'm called to do and I come home and forget the outcome.
Just a dad and just a husband's. I don't know I'm supposed to make disciples.
Did you ever lose that we lose that you lose that all the time in term and that's why that's why say it's the Northstar because you get off track and we all we all doing a different women's different forces push to soften her own heart. You know, fears of anything. Parents wrestling with fear you're raising your kids and suddenly your friends child is taken dance or violent in your get the slope catching your stomach like all is my child falling behind and certainly there's nothing wrong. Those are all good things but I need to remember where my focus inward my focusing on and so yeah you get your get off track off the tonic time.
God is gracious is not about being the perfect parent to go back to your book but but yet to say this.
This is the Northstar.
This is where my heart is.
This is what I'm what I'm aiming for the others. A great quote in your book you say something like no one can be the perfect parent. But there are thousands of ways to be a good parent exam that I thought that's exactly right. And if we could just focus on okay. My goal today is to be a good parent and one of those thousands of ways, rather than come under the crushing weight of being the perfect parent which has you guys say there is no perfect parent and no perfect kids right so it did. This process of disciple making. I think it's important we say to parents. You can't make what you aren't, you have to first be a disciple before you can make a disciple you have to first be one of those committed to following the Lord before you can show others how to follow the Lord rush. What's interesting that that in the New Testament the word Christians only use three times, and disciples used 269 is owed. Disciple was a much more common way for followers of Jesus to refer to themselves in a disciple is a learner someone who is following a master and following his teaching. Following his way of life and so in a pulses imitate me as I imitate Christ and arch our children are going to imitate us some modeling is actually really the most important key of any spiritual leadership in our children when they're young they're imitating us when they're older. As you know teenagers that are evaluating us large, are we living the faith. And that's that's the most important things. In fact, Paul was able to say to Timothy talk about the faith that lived in his mother and grandmother. Second Timothy 15 and that was that should be encouraging because we know for those imperfect families as all buyers are Timothy's father was not a believer so this is not does not cookie baking little hum House on the Prairie home that Timothy's growing up in, and yet he is walking with the Lord and in use by the Lord is Paul's son in the faith, so that that should encourage us. Do we have a living faith.
That's the that our kids are saying that not playing church, but but actually we have a living walk with the Lord tenant.
It is somewhat scary to because they're going to copy us good and bad underwent Abhisit Nana stoplight with three, three little boys are all husbands and dads now, but they were.
I think CJ my oldest might've been five cell 53 and maybe one right answer was sit there in on the forget it and white so vivid because it's your decades ago, but CJ hits the power window button he was in the front seat and you know goes down any of any spits out the window and it goes back up any just one of the things I look over I go CJ what are you doing your spit out the window because you did.
I know I don't and I look in the mirror both heads are going yes you yes you do that.
I'm like oh my goodness they are copying. Hopefully you know the good as well as the bad. But it hit me right then and there.
They're going to do what I do know matter what I say yeah I can say whatever I want there and walked away. I walk in Utah about making disciples. It's Bob's question. Am I a disciple worth walking behind. We were driving down the street one day our son James was in the car seat in the back. I think he was just learning to talk a year and 1/2 or two years old and I'm driving Marion's in the passenger seat and I'm on the main street and somebody pulls up on the side street like is going to come out and I didn't know if they saw me so I just tapped the horn to let them know I was or just a little beep, beep, and from the back. I hear my almost 2-year-old son site jerk and I turned around and looked at him like her to the at least us. I look like you don't know what he said look at Marianne whose head is in her hands. He said were to get that because I said it once, but that's that's the point were making our kids will obey what we tell them but they will become who we are and so we forgot to be disciple making parents. We have to be committed followers of Christ, which does not mean we have to be perfect.
This is one of the things I fell into. I thought okay so I must always model perfection, unrighteousness, or I'm a mess of my kids. No part what you have to model is what you do when you blow it and what repentance looks like right yeah and that's grace we meet we need grace and that's what our kids need to realize that the Christian faith is not this perfection.
I thought that the hypocrisy so hypocrisy when the do studies and find out why young people walk away from the faith is hypocrisy. But I don't think hypocrisy is what you're talking about being an imperfect parent a thing imperfect parent and not caring you don't you don't care, and so you're just you have the secret sending your home.
They know it. Nobody else in the church knows it and you're not working on it, as opposed to so hear your analogy is saying jerk or whatever you say okay I need to work on this. I need to grow in holiness so that my kids see a living faith and they see me growing and you say to your kids that he blew it yeah mommy messed up and I and I've asked Jesus to forgive me and I need to ask you to forgive me, so that they get a picture of. Here's what happens when you blow it. I remember when our kids were in our home. I would had this thought like what am I thinking about all the time in my head because what I'm thinking about is but can come out of my mouth since I started and it's really what is discipling me you know my watching stuff on TV and I taught you know what's filling my mind and I realize when I'm not in the word and I'm not in fellowship when I'm out with my friends talking that Jesus that's not on my mind and so I became this, I became really need to fill my mind with God's word with good things because that's this can flow out of my mouth it Scripture and so is a good evaluation high-tech that Jesus much today and I talked about a guy doing my life today that would just come to this good check signing talked about in an offer days in our kids. They see all of that likely he said about teenagers there evaluating us terrible. I do the same to you yesterday and highlighting everything thing.
In fact, tell us a little of your journey because I think yours your spiritual story is probably pretty typical for church kids. The question is what are they do when they get into young adulthood. But until you tell your story well I grew up in a church going home and faithful parents and we were attended church and youth group and believe I'd made a genuine profession of faith when I was around eight and so I believe God change my heart at that point. Having said that though I I also had in the high school years. Haven't had a number of questions. So for me, there were intellectual questions how do I know God exists. I distinctly remember sitting the sanctuary of the church, I do. Even though this is all true, how you know you can trust the Scripture how even how do we know they can make it up.
You know that.
Is there evidence for Jesus outside of the Gospels, and so how very is probably 10th grade, 10th, 11th grade, but I've heard actually is. We talk about this just the need of apologetics.
Even's junior high kids wondering why is there suffering and these questions like that so and I never asked no one ever offered and said you might be having questions but I never asked. I certainly don't blame anyone but it was when I went to college believe and not a secular college that I started questioning and finding answers through the college, fellowship, and in apologetic books no way believed by Paul little Josh McDowell just a huge influence as well and say yeah actually takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian that the New Testament documents are incredibly reliable. The most reliable ancient document there in it and ended up along the way. Really recommitting myself to the Lord and to say yes yes this is a quote Christianity. If true, is of ultimate importance of his not troops of no importance. The only thing it's not is moderately important cellular BN RBL but don't just play the game and be lukewarm and I actually believe since then the Lord showed me. Secondly, 314, I believe this pattern is very typical for those who grow up in the Christian faith.
So if you listen to maybe 314 Paul says to Timothy asked for you, continue in what you learned and became convinced of and for me, I would say I learned faith I came to faith as a young child, but I became convinced in my college years and when all the seminars all asked people to an original and if you profess Christ at a young age to your group in a Christian home and then now keep your hands up if you would have if you would say I had a later time when my faith became my own and 98% of the hands stay up and so I think for me as a disciple maker to realize, oh I'm so excited that my seven-year-old made a profession of faith. I'm really excited about that. But now the temptation is to say, okay, now let's go pursue all the unit education. All these other things we got that we got the Christian thing done and to say no, actually, even as my good child is going to church or whatever.
There have questions. And it really there will be a time when they need to become convinced, whether sometimes is through trials. Sometimes it's it's through intellectual questioning. But were there saying yeah I'm all in. Yeah. And I think what you're saying is so true.
I picked up a book when I was a young dad called the dangers of growing up in a Christian home and I picked it up because I didn't grow up in a Christian home, but now in leading one, so I thought what is one of the dangers and I don't remember much from the book, but I do remember that point was you have to as a parent let go in there there faith test has to become theirs, not yours because it can be your parents their parents for quite a while. At some point they gotta become convinced and make it theirs and couple weeks ago we had this interesting incident take place in our home. I went to help my son, who trains receivers. He was a college and NFL receiver for short time, so has his ministry really training high school kids, and he has dad come throw on the thrower because I was a quarterback back in the day so I come and throw to the skit so were going to train this one kid at the certain school I get a text from my son, were going to be in a different school.
There's people on the on the thing, so goes over school and calls me as his hand and bring Bryce my sons who just hasn't it had spent that night on a whim that he is happy to spend nine I said hey I said loved being a football field and can bring them over and so he said what we were here, but don't go there, go here.
So I get over there and he says don't park in this parking lot parking. The center park just a helper. It's going be a lot closer and we don't know the details because they end up playing out in the story get done get home and beat me home. She was hand found a wallet in the parking lot where you had me park.
I got a knowing part gatherers up anyway when the spotlight it's a college student has run a college and finally she has all the money laying in are on our kitchen table clock you went to this kids while I was reason while at the thought. Oh, there's $250. There is a couple credit cards and so I thought I finding on social media. I did, I Colin and I said hey are you looking for your mind tells me thinking, looking all morning. Did you find it, I given our address they come and get it. We've got it so I'm in the family room watching college football. I hear her give some kid our address. I come in the kitchen I go, why did you give a stranger or address. You don't do that meeting the gas station where my right above your head like that.
I'd find a happy medium next to you know dingdong he's at the front door get I'm in the family room watching football and I hear him go and Wilson and then he says, is Dave here like what so I get up and he's in the kitchen. Can I come in and talk to you guys. By the way.
One important fact before he got there when I come out the SATA and why are you telling her address. She has chocolate chip cookies for him on the kitchen counter.
What you do is a gift of hospitality now, you said you been praying and I just had this sense you know you think this you Holy Spirit I had this sense is going to be a significant moment in this kids tells me got in this in my group would go back and watch God football he shows up walks in our kitchen.
He's pretty emotional.
Really nice kid. By now a senior in college getting ready graduate sort of really soft and I'm watching this and like okay what's going on so I said as I do what what is happening right now and he goes I can't believe I'm standing in your kitchen I go to your church have been at your church since I was a baby had been there. My entire life.
My parents took me there of work to Christian camps have had this great faith journey. And I've lost my faith because I just six months ago I said this is my parents faith. It's not mine. He literally use those words and he goes, I just recently started praying God, I need a sign that your real that you see me that you you care about me that your real it's not in the lies I say my daddy said I'm done just looks at us, he goes this is the sign and he looks he goes all in, I'm going all in.
And of course I will get it in like she's right as I got these cookies because I like this could be a significant moment and it was interesting. We laid hands on and we prayed for hand we social distance laid hands on the mass out there that as we were praying it was sweet because only done I look a very day.
We all have tears in her eyes and Dave Townley said to Lindsay like to me you my why cyclic use. Your crying because I don't cry much and where standard is doors get ready to leave and what hit me in that moment was liquid God did with a lost wallet and he doesn't know all the situations of how she ended up in that parking spot at that school. It was supposed be totally different but just hit me look like I did to bring a lost wallet and my wife together to touch a kid that's a young man that needs to make his face to Sony when you said I thought that was it out. I watched it now. Who knows where that's going to go but it was this moment when somebody son Eddie Texas later.
By the way, and said, hey, if you didn't remember this but Dave you married my parents 27 years ago while so I did their wedding. And here was it was that moment where 20-year-old young man says it's no longer my parents face I've got own this something in there maybe some moms and dads who are to pray tonight that their child loses her wallet Syria and it's it's not a bad prayer to pray that God would do something dramatic in the life of a son or a daughter who is questioning who is wondering who has lapsed, who's in that moment of doubt or sometimes in a moment where the lure of the culture looks brighter and shinier than the gospel looks and kids in high school and college young adults are are drifting for a variety of reasons on his parents prayer is one of the main things we can do in just that God would you do something amazing like that in my child's life and it's so encouraging bad or not just discipling our kids alone that is walking alongside.
As he's cheering for our kids. He's cheering for us and just a good reminder that we can always talk to him about our kids because he cares more than we do, and the goal is disciple making that's that's what we gotta keep in front of us. Your job is to go therefore and make disciples of your children and first become a disciple had tried to teach them to observe all that God has commanded Fred know that God's going to do it for you and with you and through you chaps book is a book that we think every parent ought to read, and in fact Is making available the audiobook for family life today listers this week for free so if you like audiobooks or if you want access for free to the content we been talking about today go to family life today.com you'll find the information there on how you can download the audiobook, the disciple making parent if you'd like to order the. The paper book that's available on our website as well go to family life today.com. If you only questions call us at one 800 FL today while you're on our website. Check out the art of parenting video series family life's resource designed to help couples get together and develop that as a couple a strategic plan for raising each of your children information about the art of parenting can be firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call if you have any questions, 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today and I think all of us as we look toward this new year are looking with the expectation with hope were were looking for, 20, 21 to be a better year than 2020 was for many of us and from all of us here at family life. We just want to say thank you to those of you who in the in the closing days of 2020 rallied and made contributions to help support the ongoing work of this ministry. We are grateful for your partnership with us in the gospel you are making practical biblical help and hope for marriages and families available 24 hours a day seven days a week through the resources of family life. Every time you give, that's what you're helping to support so we appreciate you. Thanks for your support of the ministry and we look forward to 20, 21, and what God is going to do through your investment in this ministry this year and we hope you can join us again tomorrow as working to continue to talk about how we as parents make disciples of the next generation, particularly our own children. Let us will be back with us again. We hope to be back as well. I don't think our engineer today.
Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David Amason and Bob Payne see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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