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Fulfilling the Longing for Belonging

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2021 2:00 am

Fulfilling the Longing for Belonging

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 19, 2021 2:00 am

Do you struggle with being honest about your weaknesses? Join hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on FamilyLife Today as they talk with author, Sharon Hersh, about the freedom of walking in the identity God has for us.

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Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

Most of us keep a big part of our lives hidden secret. We don't want others to know what's really going on in our thoughts, or even in our D Sharon Hirsch says that's a strategy that will fail will harm your mere image and your team more than living secret life any my children will never write a book saying my mom was perfect but I pray again that they will write about my mom, this is family life today roasts are David and Wilson and Bob Payne find us how can we have the confidence and the courage to live authentic, transparent, honest lives to talk more about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us were talking about how how messed up all of today when we are this week.

Where were you exploring this reality that all of us are flawed, unprocessed wounds, you and and damage and trauma and that I'm not trying to get into a whole bunch of psychological jargon here, but it's the reality of our lives that all of us have dysfunctions. I remember my mom years ago and she was watching afternoon talk shows. She was in her 80s at the time and she goes what's all this talk about dysfunctional family that is in every family a dysfunctional family.

I said I think you know more than your peers. Your let Nandu their mom, you're so so you would say you have dysfunctions my people can look at you. Dennis Rainey think those guys are perfect all late night math all of us have dysfunctions and it is not easy document. It's it's easy to try and cover it. Who was Doug, but I like to talk about your just never turn it inside my mind and want to sort a covered up and it comes out of this whole route of selfishness) or talking with our friend Sharon Hirsch about this this week sure and welcome back. Thank you. Sharon is an author, she's a speaker she's a counselor. She is a longtime friend.

She's been a guest on family life today. A number of times. She's just written a book called belonging, and we been talking this week about how all of us long to belong and how some of that fuels the dysfunction in us.

I'm I'm wondering you were a straight a student. Well, except that one be.

We got be in about what was that what was inside and that be in science was was like you felt like you were a scarf I still remember it really do. Wow, what was it that kind of drive to be the model person I am trying what what belonging were you looking for in the 10th grade when you decided to try marijuana with that boy who from the D to the mayor.

This is a straight a person who was a your boyfriend or you want to think that I was babysitting which the story is so hilarious when we think about it because you the marijuana smoking babysitter.

That was the first time I never smoked.

I didn't realize that had such a distinct smell and you know that people that I babysit for my parents. And so what was boyfriend who said you want to try this one is even at that stage in my life is as you said, belonging to belong and I have looked for it in the wrong places throughout my life.

Even as a 16-year-old, and unfortunately it did not result in belonging and resulted in my parents being so mad at me and being grounded for. I don't remember how, and it sounds like. Also, when you tried to belong in achieving you didn't. It was not feel a sense of belonging and said this is what I know at age 61.

There is not an anything to make me feel like Avalon and by their identity secretly or overtly in performance realities. I have learned it's like chasing the wind.

And that's what of course the book of Ecclesiastes tells us that when we are thinking we can find something out there outside of outside of God to our performance through addiction to buying things on Amazon to proving or protecting ourselves into looking that we will end up sitting in just feeling like there's not enough I can do. Years later, as a parent you had to be on the other side of the story with your kids experimenting with stuff in high school did you grounded for life like your parents did you handle it differently, you know, I really did think that my kids, who certainly saw my failures and flies in relationships and parenting in my struggle with addiction I thought when they won't go there and did you talk about it openly with them. Yes, and thinking that would help. I think my kids would say today I have a 3233-year-old and my son would say. I looked at your life and decided that if I was going to do anything. At least I'd be honest. Notice he didn't say I wouldn't do what you do but I do respect his decision that he would be honest because he saw how false I was.

And my daughter would say she looked at my life and said okay that's the way to go.

Don't tell anyone, well, don't be on which from the garden of Eden. If you get that. I mean, do you ever wonder what would have happened if when God met Adam and Eve in the morning and they ate that fruit that they thought would give them a sense of belonging in this world if they would have shown up and said we blew it. It didn't work were sorry forgiven, yes, but what did they did they had and I believe that hiding from God and one another is the greatest flaw and causes us the most pain is also why do we do it. I mean, you knew this gives in at 30 or 40 years old, not the didn't take you 61 years now. It hasn't taken me all say how old I am thinking of a 60+ years. We know this at some point in our 20s or 30s I've stood on stage and preached this and yet there's still this this belonging longing that I can search in all the wrong places you did. We all have in some sense why we keep going down roads we know what I can to lead us where we want to go think there are two paths to answer that question.

First is that most of us did not live a life of wanting to just God and other people and ourselves that Jesus said if you want to send out the gospel. If you want to sum up my teachings. It begins with love God with all your heart, mind and soul and then love your neighbor as you love yourself. Most of us who have an ethic that we don't want to get caught in that it's it it at the heart of its because we love ourselves so much photo are, we are so afraid that if someone really knew what they would best walk away from a worse hate ourselves hate us and and I'm thinking about people who are listing or going well.

I got like a friend said to me, this was sick seven years ago we were talking about his life and his life was in crisis.

He made a lot of bad decisions. We were kind of probing at some of this and he looked at me and he said there stuff in my life. You and nobody will ever know anything about and I let it go. At the time, but what that said to me, is there such a deep sense of shame and he thinks the only way I can cope with this shame is by making sure management and nobody ever knows that's not a winning strategy for the shame that you're trying to manage is just to say I will bury this alone and not let anybody know and then I'll make it. It'll eat you alive from the inside wanted it well and yet Bob most of us believe that yeah that if you really knew me. Sharon Hirsch and I think this book belonging has been a great risk for me because I have told stories that I've never told publicly and that have carried me to this place that I don't want to live in anymore. It's not a place of freedom I love. Let me know and said he said that the hardness of God, which is something we can fail when we tell the truth about our life. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of man because his compulsion is our liberation and I know I have been compelled to tell the truth about my life because I want to be free, so the person is listing you say that and saying like my friend there stuff about my wife that nobody will ever know about, husband, kids, if if I knew if this came out, I would be destroyed. I could not go out the next day into the sunlight for fear.

Everyone would be looking at me I'm going.

Oh you're that person you would so it would so become a part of my identity that I I could not couldn't be in public anymore. What would you say that person the last time I did treatment and I've done it a few times from alcoholism was in 2009 and I woke up in the hospital with the elders and my pastor surrounding my bed. If you want to experience that your lowest point know it will not. My lowest point, but it was a come to Jesus moment and they escorted me when I was released from the hospital to treatment and I thought my life is over. I thought my ministry was over and no one would believe me. And then over the 30 days they are first father had a put a limit on my visitors because everyone from my church came to visit me and really coming to help you understand where and when a nine I think that's a lie.

The enemy tells us that if people knew about you think that hate you when really what I have discovered SS people know the truth about my life. They want me more, which is so surprising to me and my dear pastor came to visit me and I said to him you know I just don't know why I am this way why I and the vulnerable afraid relapsing center and he said Sharon that's what we love and I did not believe him that since that time I have come to believe not only is that what people want in relationship. Now we don't just stay in the mock because that's not helpful to anyone but it is saying you know what I need help I need people in my life.

The pastor of my church has a key to my house. I need people that can come in at any moment and what ever they find me believe that they want to be there to help me to support me. I know this program is about marriage and family and I want to say that nothing will harm your marriage and your parenting more than living a secret life and it is we are open about our struggles appropriately at times in our children's life and any my children will never write a book, say my mom was perfect but I pray daily that they will write a book that says my mom needed Jesus was interesting as you tell your story again when I read your book and Mike the 20 books I read about a DUI by the author in chapter 1, you talk about honesty. He reminded me that I wonder if you resemble the same thing a man I knew was an acquaintance worked in the organization that I work with the with the Detroit Lions as their chaplain had a secret drinking problem and he was very high up in the organization he had controlled it for years. I read one day in the paper he pulled over the night before DUI drunk spent the night in jail front page of the Detroit newspaper and he's a guy never came to my Bible study or my chapel service for the team but we knew each other so I got his number from.

I didn't have his phone number but I got it and just text him and said read what happened last night. If you ever need to talk, you know what I do love to be available five minutes later I get a text, right now Starbucks boom boom boom meeting gives his life to Christ now and part of his story is worst best night of my life were snide because I spent the night in jail. My wife and kids are at home reading and hearing about this. It's a public unit of the vessel moment, because what you said.

Now my secret is no longer secret rifles. No, the truth and I don't have to hide anymore and he's totally turned his whole life around it on their consequences of sleep, but it was finally, he was able to realize I belong in a community of people and I can wear a mask anymore. I am because you reached out to Dan and his worst moment and were concerned about his stats on the field about about his real life as a therapist I work with many families and I know parents are longing for their children to tell the truth about their social media use and what they see on social media and the temptations they face around every corner at school and what they're believing about and if we are living a story of do better, try harder prove that you belong to me what you are saying to this guy is you belong and you don't have to prove anything. Which probably was the most refreshing news to a professional athlete that he could get some Sharon.

What does that look like his parents are listening to thinking well how do I communicate that and yet I don't want my kids to be on the social media sites or I don't want my kids to do the certain things.

How do we talk to him in a way that they will be honest and yet we are trying to be their parents to. I wish I had the answer. And yet, what I will say is that kids absorb what's going on at home and self. The energy of your home which it was for way too many years in my life is performance. They will either jump on board and perform their way into loneliness, disconnection and distance from God or they will say forget I can't make it.

I can't perform I can't keep the standard and Simon to do everything to react against my parents and I can say is that I have learned the hard way that being honest about my ability to sometimes cope with life to know the answers and to not be as Bob talked about earlier that older brother.

Out in the field saying done everything right and so why am I not getting what I deserve.

But to be honest about my life to show and I especially say this to parents of adult children which I hate to give you the bad news, but that is the hardest season of parenting to show up to be seen and to not have an agenda opens the door to the gospel, which is what we want to offer his parents like this is some heavy stuff, allowing people to really see us well and then there are people who are listening to this and they're going I don't know what universe you know what I I tried to get honest. I mean I took a step by halfstep and set on will be open about this, let's say porn. I shared this porn problem or what if you had an affair, and it's a secret and I'm gonna dump this will be worse for my spouse or I tried.

I shared a little bit and everybody moved away from me that I moved toward me on this all started talking about me and pretty soon I was out of the church so so people going to share about. I hear you about God like to be honest and live in that world, but it's not my World War II I do well. I think that is a reality, whether it's with our children who are experts at using what ever we say against but unfortunately sometimes the church is to and so all I can say to you is I cannot guarantee that your children will bow down on their knees and say, oh, thank you mom for telling me that now I'm never going to go that direction, because that is not been experience in my life, my kids have had to find their own way and I am grateful and humbled that I'm the one they call when they're in a mass because they know I've been in a mass and with regard to the church are people at large to sometimes to point fingers and charge and that is painful. I'm not denying it does happen, but what I have learned in this sound ironic to say is that what Jesus said is true that the truth will set you free.

So the question is do I want to be in the inner circle which quite honestly, I have wanted a great deal of my life or do I want to be free.

Nothing to prove nothing to protect knowing that Jesus left me, not for when I do that because of who he has and that the more I fail, and confess my flaws, and as my kids say admit that I am totally uncool them more I draw close to him. I realize that's kind of an esoteric reality that we want to feel close to the people in our church and we want everyone to like us and we want our kids to respect us and we want our spouses to think that we are the best thing on earth.

And yet that is fleeting. There is one reality that I have learned at this stage in my life that is solid and that is who I am in Christ and when I live out of that pipe upon I can be with anyone, even my kids who are not necessarily walking with God. We can talk about things because I am rooted in something that is not me that's interesting when you say that because that manger belonging is not depended on something out here yes actually depended on something vertical and understood inside. It's a identity in Christ. That's that's the secret. We don't get because we try to find her belonging here certain group. Certain acceptance from the right people at the right time, and it never seems to satisfy it's like well I got it or I didn't get it in the it is an external it's actually spiritually an internal so you're saying it's identity in Christ, son or daughter of the king. It is, and I think we all love the truth. That's why were drawn to the gospel that God lives no matter what state we orient Rian, but the hardest part of the gospel to live out is that we live, and I hate this makes the word's he has loved us and I can say am just a beginner. There I am really learning to interior eyes that he loves me on my worst day in my stake he loves me when I lie and when I tell the truth he loves me when I am caught in addiction. And when I am living in freedom.

He loves me when my kids sit in the front row of the church and he lets me when they tell me they don't believe in God, and he wants me to pass. He is left me. You've inspired me to be the person that your son or daughter calls or somebody is pullover. Do you are in your church calls I wanted them to think I want to call days because you as well because they sense in me. He's honest and is authentic and I know he's got weaknesses just like I do, as he hasn't hidden those and yet there's also a power in a forgiveness of sin is life that supernatural.

They're both there, so I'm know that if I call him all be accepted and loved, but also be pulled to the to the gospel shots and I will want him to call me. I want my sons, a comb, exactly, are they thinking of me. I don't think so and inspires me to say I want to be that man that I want our listeners to say I want to be that man. I want one woman and you think that is the goal in marriage. I mean, my marriage fell apart 20 years ago, but I think that is where marriage is often wasted in these days don't you want to be the spouse that your husband or wife could call you no matter what. Not because there cannot love everything you dead but because they want to look half as they have been laughed and I would say our ability to love others is wrapped up in our ability to receive God's love rose that if you are having a hard time loving others the way you address that is you go back to meditating on and believing God's love for you and bathing in that and drinking it in so you can pour it out to others. You don't try to conjure up in your so why need to be more this way or that way. No you go back and you you experience God's love for you through the power of the spirit lives in an and then let it just kind of care you it will pour out of you at our church we so you as I say, here's the cycle drink and pour out drink and pour out you can't pour out what you don't drink them first so you start by drinking him but them. It should just gush out. You don't have to turn on a spigot. It should just overflow over the top because it's there.

That's what belonging is all about present.

Yes, thank you for your honesty, your transparency, thanks for the book it's going to help a lot of people see you again good to be with you now. We have copies of Sharon's book belonging available. Our family talk to the resource center again. The subtitle of the book, finding the way back to one another.

You can order the book from or you can call to order one 800, FL, today is the number in the title insurance book is belonging order it on my the family life to or call to order at 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life than the word today with your family life. We are proponents of extended community.

We think there is real value in married couples being connected to other married couples and David Robbins, the person family life is here with us to talk a bit about that the thanks Bob growth so often happens in the context of community and over the past few years we have two small group resources that we develop from people that you really trust if you listen to family life to be a there's the vertical mirrored small group that features Dave and Ann Wilson and there's her most recent love like you mean it. Small group were Bob Levine walks us through first Corinthians 13. Of course we have mainstays that truly hundreds of thousands of people have gone through like art of marriage and art of parenting. I heard from Sean in Pennsylvania who has listened to family life today and gone to several weekends remember, but he recently sent me an email just how much getting that close community to grow with matters to him in any shared we recently taught the art of marriage curriculum to a couple of churches and we most recently talk vertical mirrored curriculum. This past fall, with nearly 40 couples and it was an amazing response and Shawn went on to say I want to share this to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to use your gifts to strengthen and build up the church. The enemy is attacking from many directions. Sean says our time is short on this earth to serve and worship our Lord and King John, I could not agree with you more. Thank you for the challenge. Each one of us continues to grow in Christ and as we grow we get the opportunity to bring others into that growth. Also take a step of faith. Someone is out there looking for someone to invite them into community.

Maybe you're the person that gather some neighbors or gathers a few couples that are in your sphere of influence and walk through a marriage study today.

That of course we got information on a website of about those studies that you mentioned. So go to the website to find out more and connect with some other couples. Been a while since we've had good meaningful connections, and maybe were starting to feel like we can do some of that more safely now. Thank you, David. We hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend and I hope you can join us back on Monday.

Especially if you're a grumpy person. Okay, if you're grouchy if you're negative Monday tune in because we want to talk about how you deal with negativity and if you are that person you probably know who you are and you should listen, and if you wonder if you're that person just ask your spouse and they will tell you, but join us Monday when Nicole Phillips joins us to talk about the negativity remedy.

Hope you can be here for that. I want to thank our engineer today.

Keith Lynch got some extra help this week from Bruce Goff and of course our entire broadcast production team was involved in this program on behalf of our hosts David M. Wilson and Bob Payne have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday for another edition of family life today. Family life to the production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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