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Building Family Priorities

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 5, 2021 2:00 am

Building Family Priorities

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 5, 2021 2:00 am

What kind of priorities should we have for our families? Dave Wilson highlights the importance of "honor" in our homes and how it affects every area of our lives.

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OK, I'm going to give you a date and then I want you to give me words of what you felt. OK. 2007. I don't like these games.

Chicago, Illinois, dropping Austin off at college. Go. Sad. Tears. Crying. Excited. Scary.

Scary. Looking in the rear view mirror and seeing downtown Chicago like, what are we doing right now? Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson.

And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today.

So dropping Austin off at college. Launching our son into the future. I was feeling like, how can we be at this point? Because it felt like when they were little, especially toddlers, every day seemed like a million years. And now I felt like we're done.

And the question was, was it enough? Did you feel any of that? I remember thinking all the older parents when we were young in our 30s and late 30s would say you're going to blink and they're going to be graduating high school. And that made me mad because like, oh, my days are so long. Every day feels like 10,000 hours and minutes and years.

You fall into bed every night, exhausted. You've been yelling at each other and the kids. And it felt like forever. And they kept saying you're going to blink and they're going to be gone. And then when you're dropping one of your sons or daughters off at college, it's like, they're right. Where did the time go?

Yeah. And you think, was it enough? Did I do enough?

Did I do the right things? And I like where we're going today because in this message that you give at our church, you get into what it means to be a family. And the first part of this, you talked about honoring. You talked about family and God's family and what that looks like. And now today we're going to get into some more practical things. And I think every family has to decide is what are we going to be about?

What are the Wilsons going to be about? What is your family going to be about? And in this message, I tried to say, OK, the ideal family is impossible. We're going to live in a real family.

So how do we get to become the family we want to become? And we decided long ago, this word honor, which already developed in part one, is the way we want to live. Honor God. Honor each other. And our family. And then honor our neighbor.

And I've already given you the outline of where this message is going to go. But it's like, man, if we could value others with honor, it would be the home we dreamed of. And I think it'd be a home that became a magnet. People would want to be a part of a family that honors. It's not about necessarily always doing it perfectly.

I don't know. But you're just kind of aiming at what God says a family could be. Yeah, we need a target. And the word honor is a pretty good target. So I hope families will listen and say, OK, let's hit that target. Think about this word honor.

Think about this. You don't even have to like someone to honor him. Because some of you are like, I'm not going to honor him.

I don't even like him. You don't have to. We honor positions. When a judge walks in the courtroom, they say, please stand for the honorable judge. What's that all about? I don't even know that judge.

I don't know if I like that judge. Doesn't matter. They have a position to honor. We stand.

Other cultures kneel. Think about that in your family. I don't necessarily have to agree or even love or even like all the people in this room. But I am going to show them honor because of their value. Think about that with me.

Think about this. I'll never forget Gary Smalley saying this. He says, when you honor somebody that's really valuable, he says, not only do you sort of bend the knee, and again, not literally, but you bend the knee in your reverence for them, but your jaw drops. Because when somebody is really valuable, walks in front of you, go, you ever done that? You know, some pro athlete walked in here or somebody that you really respect as an artist, a musician, a movie star, which is crazy that we honor these people.

It's just crazy we do that. And yet we don't honor God, but they walk in here and these people, it's like, that's what we do. What would happen?

You get this? What would happen if the people in your home, your sons, your daughters, your spouse, your parents, your grandparents, your neighbors felt like, oh, they're like, I don't even know what happens. But when I'm in their home, I feel so loved. So like they, they respect me.

They don't even know how to explain it. But they're feeling honored, blessed by us. Because we're doing this in a sense in our life.

That's what I hope the homes become homes of honor. Now, here's all I want to talk about. And I'm, I got to do this very quickly. And believe me, last service and was here. So I made her come up and do this with me.

Too bad for you. She's not here. But I'll tell you what she said. Okay, because here's what we try to do in our home. And I'm just saying, this is the Wilson home.

I'm not saying, Cody's right here. He can tell you, we did not do this perfectly or sometimes we didn't even come close. But our goal was, and you got to have a goal for your home. And some of you are young parents with young kids.

And some of you are like me yesterday and yesterday. You got to know what is it we're trying to do in our home. And I'm saying this, what if you build a home, a family around honor?

Three areas and you know where you're going to go. First priority in our family that we tried to instill in our legacy, big word. First priority is honor who? Honor God. Second priority honor one another in the family.

Third priority, honor your neighbors. That's it. That was our whole goal. And it was something we had to think about every week.

Think about this. If you're a parent and you just had a baby, I don't know if you've ever studied this, but from zero birth to age 18, you know how many weeks you got? 18 years, you got 936 weeks.

I would challenge you to do what we try to do, break it into weeks. And trust me on this, they're going to be gone like this. I know you don't think that if you're a young parent, because I'd hear older parents tell me that like, no, they're not. They're never leaving. They're snot. There's poop. They fall over.

You're going to blink and they're going to be gone. So you got 936 weeks. What if you decide to say, I'm going to break these into weeks and have a plan for each week to help my son or daughter honor God as we do?

And let me just say this before I talk about some routines. And this is really important. Your kids' parents are going to catch your faith more than they're going to get your faith. In other words, faith is caught more than taught.

If it isn't real in you, it probably has a hard time getting real in them. If they hear you talking about they should have a walk with God, they should be a man or woman of the Word, they should do this, and they never see Mom and Dad do this, it's empty words. They're going to follow the way you walk, not the way you point.

You hear me? If it's not an overflow, I'll tell you what, one of the fascinating studies of youth ministry is these kids come to our youth groups, they get fired up, they go on retreats. The ones that the faith sticks with them into adulthood, guess what?

Of all the things like what works, what works, you know what works. That's why Ann and I are so passionate about family, is when they go home to a family that is living out the things they heard when they were at church, those stick. When they go home to a family that doesn't see any of that, it often doesn't stick. So if you're going to ask or try and model in your family to honor God, I'm telling you, I'm not shaming you, I'm just saying, what about you honoring God? Have they ever seen you, like caught you in a private moment in the Word of God? Have they ever opened the door and you're in your office and you're on your knees with your hands up in the air, screaming?

What the songs we just sang, do they ever catch that, like wow, it's real, or is it just words? And so what we try to do, and again, Ann was here last year, just walking through and I don't have time, but we try to create routines, scheduled routines that fit into these weeks that we have with our three sons at the time. And it was basically, you know, I wrote them down, there's books written on this, and we just tried to live this out, but one of the routines was create routines where you can seize the meal time.

If you're sitting down at dinner at a meal time, seize that moment, create something. I remember one of the things Ann did, Cody can tell you this better than I could, but she'd say, okay boys, let's talk about your day. You got to talk about your day with a feeling word. They're like, what? What do you mean a feeling word? I'm like, what do you mean a feeling word?

She's like, I'm trying to draw emotions out. That was seasoned moments about their life and about God at meal time. Meal time is critical time. By the way, the studies that I've seen, it's really, University of Michigan did one years ago that said, if you want your child to turn out like this kind of a stable adult, what is the key denominator that gets the kind of adults you want? You know what it was?

Four meal times a week together as a family. What? It wasn't their education? Nope.

Wasn't the sports they ran? Nope. It was, do you ever sit down as a family and say, this matters more than all this other stuff that the culture is saying? You got to do this, you got to do this. Are you sitting down as a family and talking about each other and talking about your relationship with God?

How about this? You got to seize bedtime. Seize bedtime.

Laying in bed with your kids, reading Bible stories, listening to Bible stories, talking about the Word of God, talking about your struggles in life, when they're little toddlers and when they're older. And some of you don't know this, but when we started Kensington, 1990, that was Anne and my 10-year anniversary. You guys know about the 10-year, right? If you read Vertical Marriage, chapter one and two are about the 10-year anniversary, 1990, when she said, I've lost my feelings for you.

That's the year we started Kensington. And so I realized she is not getting my time, and I have three little boys at home, and I'm not there at night when she's putting them to bed, seizing bedtime to pray with them and read Scripture with them. I'm gone.

And here's the thing. Steve Andrews was in trouble in his marriage as well, and we're starting this church. So both of us asked our wives, if you could pick morning or evening, when do you need us here the most? They both said evening. And so we stood in front of Kensington, a small church at the time, and we both said, hey, we need to be home with our families at night, putting our little boys to bed and helping our wives. If you want to meet with us, we're not going to be available to you in the evening, only in the mornings.

4 a.m., 5 a.m., 6 a.m., schedule appointments, we'll meet with you, but not in the evening. I can tell you, 29 years later, it was worth it being there when he was 3 and 4 and 5. And he probably didn't even remember it, but I do. And I blinked, and now I have a legacy. And again, not perfectly. But I remember Austin, my middle son, right before his wedding night, spent his last night in our house, and we got on our knees right in front of his bed, and Ann said to him, Austin, what are you going to miss most as you get married? And he didn't blink, he goes this, praying every night with you guys when he was 4, 5, 15, 18. It is so critical to honor God and create an atmosphere of bending the knee and showing value to the most important person ever. And again, if you're not doing it, it's going to be hard for them to catch it.

It's simply an overflow. I mean, I have all kinds of things in here. You know, leverage your drive time.

Ann was just the best. They're driving to school and she's praying out loud. They should hear you praying.

Like, here's how it looks like to talk with God. That gets caught. I mean, one of the other things I wrote down is, man, you need to intentionally choose a date night. You think I got to be with my kids all the time.

No, you don't. One of the best things you can do is hand your kids, you listen to me, Jenna and Cody, hand your kids to your grandparents and go out on a date. You need to pour in.

How many times have we said that to you guys already? They're young parents who said, give us price, go away for two or three hours. And it's hard for young parents to do that.

It's like, this is my pride and joys, my precious. I'm not going to give it to a bald guy who they don't think can do anything. We've raised a few. We know what we're doing. So it's like, get somebody, get out. You're saying to your kids, date and marriage is really important.

What are you doing? You're honoring your marriage. It's very valuable. Your mom is really valuable. She's actually more valuable than you because when you guys leave, she'll still be here. And so I'm going to honor her first, second to God. So that's the whole first point. Okay, second one. So you honor God first, secondly is what?

Do you remember what I said? Each other. And I'm talking specifically at home. And here's, it's a simple point. Here's the thing. When your kids, when your extended family, maybe your step kids walk in your home, what do they feel? Do they feel they're valued? Because I'll tell you something, everywhere else they go, they're told they're not valued. People are chopping them down at school.

Why? Because they want to feel significant. So it makes them feel significant to cut them down. Where in their world do they walk in a place and the second as their foot goes in the door, they feel like, I'm so glad I'm here because here they appreciate me. They see me. They respect me. They love me.

Is that the atmosphere of your home? And one of the ways we tried to really do that is through our tongue. What are we saying to our boys? What are we saying to them? Let me tell you, every parent should know this. Your boys need to know what? They have what it takes.

It's at the core of their DNA. Do I have what it takes? Do I have what it takes? Everywhere they go, probably they're being told no. Are they hearing from mom and dad or mom or dad or step mom or whoever? Are they hearing, you got what it takes, son? I see greatness in you. You've got it.

Girls need to know what? They're loved and cherished as they are. You hear me? As they are. Not if this beauty or hit this intellectual.

No, no, no. Just as you are. Why you're made in the image of God. You're a Wilson. You are valued.

They should feel this every day. Like mom and dad, they honor each other. Brother and sister, we had rules in our home. You're not allowed to use names. You're not allowed to talk down to one another. Now, we didn't do that perfectly, but that was the standards.

That isn't allowed. The tongue is very important. We're trying to teach and model show honor to one another. Ann said last service, I forgot this one time. CJ, our oldest son, was talking about a buddy of his and Ann made this comment. She goes, oh, so he's one of those bad kids who smokes pot? My oldest son is so insightful.

I think he's like 16. He goes, oh, so he's a bad kid, mom, because he smokes pot? And she's like, oh, no, I didn't mean that. He goes, actually, he's a really good kid, mom.

He's just trying to find his way. And it just reminded her, show honor to all people, no matter what struggle they may be going through, but especially your own children. Do they feel honored in their own home? Now, I know some of you are like, yeah, but I got to speak the truth. I got to tell them how they've missed it. And yes, you do.

Yes, you do. That's an important part of being an adult and a parent. You have to honor them by speaking the truth at times. Let me tell you something.

You know this. If you're always speaking negative, negative, negative, and then you bring another negative, it doesn't land. But if you're speaking positive, life, affirmation, respect, because you're seeing stuff in them, nobody's saying to them, you're great, you're great, you're amazing, you've got an amazing future, I love you, I see you, I cherish you. And then you bring truth, they will receive it much better if you're never doing it. You hear me? That's what honor looks like.

They feel this almost all the time. You're awesome. You're incredible. I can tell you story after story of my wife doing that with these guys, and I'm thinking they're remembering this, like, honor, honor, honor. Okay, so the first one, honor God. Second one, honor each other.

And final, honor your neighbor. What's that mean? It's really big picture.

I don't have time to develop this, a whole other series. But God didn't institute your family just for you to be self-focused and be all about you. He instituted your family. Here's the big picture. Your family is a vehicle God instituted to take the gospel through you and your legacy and your generations to the world.

You get it? It's much bigger than you. It's not even about you. It's about you impacting the world through what God does through the parents. We're a first-generation Christian family. My parents weren't Christians and we're the starters of a new legacy. And here's the next generation. They got to continue.

That's God's design is to have children that are not just children, but Godly legacy to impact the world. Well, let me just close with this because the beauty of the family. And again, it is so hard and so messed up.

And sometimes some of you are sitting here like, man, you've been so hurt by your family that you can't even think about how you would honor your family. A woman came up to me right at the front door in between after the first service. And she said, I just got to say this to you. And I'm like, what?

I'm like, oh, no. You know, when they say it like that, I hear comes a critique. And she goes, 12 years ago, you shared a message about family. And it had some of the similar idea of honoring your family. And she said, I was sitting there thinking, I have grown up in the worst family ever. She's in tears, saying to me, every day of my life, my dad said, you're no good every day. And you're up there saying you need to honor your family. She says, you made one comment I've never forgotten.

And I think it saved my life. I go, what did I say? She said, one of the ways you can honor a family that's been really difficult is you need to choose to forgive that family. And she goes, that day I said, OK, I'm going to start that journey. And she has since forgiven. She goes, it freed me from the past to the present and now as a mom to a new legacy.

So some of you, that might be the way to start, the way to bend the knee. And again, you can't do this without the power of God is to ask God, God, give me the power to honor somebody that doesn't deserve it. You don't love them.

You don't even like them. It doesn't matter. Honor is. I'm going to honor them and break free to a new future. We've been listening today and Dave, you gave this sermon back in 2019 and you ended in a place that's like, oh, man, this is hard because you ended with forgiveness.

Yeah. The amazing thing is I didn't plan to end there. This woman came up to me after the first service. We do three services on Sunday and I don't even remember the message she's referring to years before.

But I do know this. I had to do the same thing to my biological family. Forgive my dad for leaving. Forgive my mom. I mean, we all have things in our family that are not perfect, that are hurtful, and we have to make a choice to forgive.

And if we don't, it's very difficult to change the legacy for our family. Like now that we're parents, I don't think we could have raised our boys the way we did. Again, not perfectly, but if I had never broken free from the bitterness and resentment I had toward my parents, I would have never been able to be the dad that my kids needed. Well, I remember what you were like before you forgave them. You had an anger.

You don't want to bring that up. You had anger issues. Like there was a bitterness to you every time the name of your family would come up and you struggled with that. And I would see you now, and because of your forgiveness, you have been set free.

And now you're free to continue a new legacy instead of continuing an old legacy that was kind of, it just was a really hard legacy. Yeah. And I know that there are families, there are husbands, there are wives, moms and dads listening right now, maybe children that are carrying what I carried.

Yeah. And they feel like my family, if you knew what happened to me, you would realize they don't deserve to be forgiven. And they don't. And you and I don't deserve to be forgiven either by Jesus. And we are. It's an amazing gift that we are forgiven. And as forgiven people, we have a choice to forgive people.

And I mean, the biggest place to start and maybe the hardest is to start with your family. I mean, that wound is deep. I mean, we said it earlier, it's emotional. And I know because I've felt it, but I also know I'm free because I forgave my dad. Yeah. And you can see that freedom.

And let me add this. I think many of us need to receive the forgiveness that Jesus offers us because maybe we've done things that we've injured our family. We've hurt our kids.

We've hurt our spouse. And I think we're plagued with this shame and self-hatred. And Jesus set us free and has forgiven us. And we need to receive that forgiveness and let ourselves go free.

Yeah. And I would maybe add this. If this message has touched your life, maybe there's somebody else that needs to hear it as well. So, it's one of those that you could send them the link and let God work in their family as well. Because at the end of the day, if we could live out what today was all about, honor. Honor God first, honor your family or your spouse second, and then honor others. I'm telling you, you're going to produce a family that others want to be around. Not perfect.

Oh no, not perfect. But man, honor is a magnet. It draws people to you and they want to know how you can honor and how you can live in forgiveness. And you get to point them to the author, which is God himself. As Dave was talking about sharing a link of this message with others, I was thinking about people I know who would benefit from hearing what Dave and Ann shared today. And we've got the link he was talking about on our website at familylifetoday.com. In fact, Family Life Today is available on demand as a podcast. If you're a regular podcast listener, spread the word about Family Life Today to other people you know who might benefit from hearing this program. And one of the best things you can do for us is to leave feedback about the podcast. It helps spread the word.

So podcast listeners, do that if you will. If you want to share the link for today's program with somebody, go to familylifetoday.com and the link is available there. You'll also find information about Dave and Ann's books, which are called Vertical Marriage and No Perfect Parents. These are wonderful books about marriage and parenting that you can read for yourself or pass along as gifts to others. You can order the books from us online at familylifetoday.com or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to get a copy of the book. Again, the website is familylifetoday.com.

The number to call if you'd like to order either of the books from the Wilsons is 1-800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. Now, we have got a big weekend happening here at Family Life. We've got thousands of couples who will be joining us for a weekend to remember Getaway in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Irving, Texas, just outside Dallas, in Monterey, California, South Padre Island in Texas, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Estes Park, Colorado. David Robbins, who's the president of Family Life, is here with me today. And David, these weekends away for couples are so transformative, so revolutionary in the lives of all of the couples who attend. We know the challenges that have been on marriages through this pandemic, and we're seeing weekends to remember produce a ton of fruit of God meeting people in their time of need and in wedges they fill in their own personal lives with their spouse. And I just want to take a moment, as Bob said, to ask you to pray. This is a spiritual work. You know, we can present God's timeless truth, but God is the one that allows hearts to be soft in order to receive what he wants to do in a couple's life. And so would you take a moment right now and pray that God would work mightily in the truly thousands of people that are coming to these getaways this weekend?

Would you ask that God would meet people and show them their need for Jesus and to work mightily and meeting them in their time of need? Well, and if you'd like to find out more about our weekend to remember marriage getaways, go to our website family life today dot com. The information is available there. And to those of you who support the Ministry of Family Life, you're the ones who make these getaways possible for other couples. So thank you for your investment in their lives and in their marriages. We are grateful and we appreciate you. And we hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend. We hope you can join us on Monday when we're going to talk about some of the issues that are pressing against the faith of our teenagers and our young adults. Rebecca McLaughlin is going to join us to talk about answers to the questions about faith and life that most young people are grappling with today. And we hope you can be here for that conversation. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. Have a great weekend. We'll see you back Monday for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-27 07:42:15 / 2023-07-27 07:54:00 / 12

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