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Honor God First

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2021 1:00 am

Honor God First

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 23, 2021 1:00 am

What do your family values look like? Dave and Ann Wilson talk about honoring God first, so that we might then honor others.

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So every family has priorities, like even like a vibe or an atmosphere in their home, in their home. Yeah, everyone. And so it's interesting to think, okay, what is the vibe or what matters to the Wilson home?

Like what are their values? Yeah, what do we live for? Yeah. 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. Do you remember when we asked our kids? I remember when I asked them. By the way, this is a great way to find out if you have like kids that are middle school or teenagers. Even elementary school kids could answer this, like a first grader could answer this. Yeah, you asked them. Yeah.

And this was pretty common for me. I would ask our kids, I just was always curious, like, oh, I wonder what they think. I wonder what they think about this topic, or the day that I asked them, I thought, I want my friends in my accountability group to ask their kids the same question.

Here's the question. What do you think is important to the Wilson family? Like, what are our values?

What do you feel like this is what we live for? And what were we thinking they were gonna say? I want them to say Jesus, like, I want to say, oh, man, we're focused on the lost.

We want to disciple people. That's what I'm thinking. Oh, yeah, they're gonna say it. And the scary thing is they answered it pretty quickly.

Wasn't like horribly. And here is the answer. Sports. That is embarrassing. I'm blaming you for that.

I was just gonna say that's your fault. I don't know where they got that idea. Yeah. So why do you think they said that? Actually, I mean, we have three sons, they were all in sports. And I think time wise, that was taking most of our time, you know, we'd go from one event to the other event. But after they asked that question, I remember being in bed that night, thinking, we need to change that. Like this, we need to change that.

And I don't want to force an answer upon them. But our kids usually have a vibe of like, this is what we do. And obviously, some of that was, you know, their dad was the chaplain for an NFL football team, a really good NFL football team, Detroit Lions. So I think some of that was that, you know, the fact that I was around the sports world a lot. And maybe you love it, you're playing sports all the time.

I was just gonna say, maybe I played a little too much sports. And then, like you said, they were involved from like peewee football and baseball and basketball all the way up through high school. And they said some other things, too. They said, Well, not just sports. And so they had some good answers as well. I think one of the things that they did talk about Jesus, and they talked about having fun.

That was a priority. Well, I mean, I think it's a great question for every family to ask. What do you think we're about? And even more importantly, what do we want to be about?

Exactly. What do we want to be about? What were we hoping to create in terms of, you're an atmosphere mom, you try to create a culture.

We as moms create that, whether we know it or not, we create an atmosphere in our home. The question is, what is it? So what did you want? I wanted Jesus to be a part of everything that we did, not in a legalistic way, but in a relationship way that we're about him. We talk about him, and we want people to know him. God's word. I think that was really important to us.

And most of that is caught rather than taught. Yeah. And so one of the things we thought we'd talk about today is a word that when we were first married, we heard a teacher named Gary Smalley, who wrote a book called The Blessing.

Ever? Yeah. I mean, back in the 80s, he wrote a book with John Trent called The Blessing, where he looked at what was the blessing that a Hebrew father would give to his firstborn, and he walked through the elements of that. And there was a term in that book that we've never forgotten called honor. And so we wanted honor, to honor God, to honor each other and our family, and even to honor our neighbors. We're hoping that's what our kids would say. This family is about honoring God and honoring others, which is the most important commandment.

When Jesus was asked, Rabbi, of all the commandments, which is the most important, he literally quoted Deuteronomy 6, and he said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and he added and love your neighbors yourself. So that was sort of our bar. It's like, man, if our home could be a home that honored God and honored each other and honored others, that would be an aroma.

That would be a mission worth hitting. And I'm just going to say in our culture today, that's something that's missing, it feels like. We misunderstand one another. I feel like we have a hard time hearing others, let alone honoring them. So let's talk about this.

How can we do it? Well, I'm going to read you from Smalley's book, The Blessing of How We Described Honor, and then let's talk about how we applied that or tried to apply that in our own home. He said, The first idea contained in the Hebrew word for bless is that of bowing the knee. Bowing before someone is a graphic picture of valuing that person.

I thought this was just insightful. He says, Most Americans have never actually seen one person bow before another, but in biblical times and in many cultures today, you bow before someone of great value, a king, a queen, a prophet, someone considered important and of high worth. When you bless someone, you are really saying, quote, I choose to treat you as someone incredibly valuable in my life. Of course, we say bless the Lord.

We're saying that as well. Lord, you are incredibly valuable. You are worthy of our bowing, our knee before you. And along with this first picture comes a second biblical word picture. The word for bless and a similar word for honor also carries the idea of adding weight or value to someone.

Literally, it's a picture of adding coins to a scale. And Molly ends by saying this. Let's put these two pictures together now to gain a sharper focus on what it means to bless or honor someone. You are basically saying you are of such great value to me.

I choose to add to your life. Oh, man, when you look at that sort of definition of honor, I'll never forget. And again, this was almost 40 years ago when we heard this teaching. It's this idea of honor is to bow the knee. And again, in our culture, we don't walk around bowing the knee, but it's to attach high value to another person. And we actually do that in our culture. We call a judge the honorable judge. And it's not something that we attach to somebody because we love them or even like them.

It's a position. And so they get honor. And so it's this sense of I mean, obviously, we don't literally walk around bending the knee, you know, bowing.

But think about this. I'll never forget Smolley saying this is like when you honor someone, when you bend the knee, when you attach value to somebody, it's almost like your jaw drops. It's like you're, you know, I'm in the presence of somebody extremely valuable. So that's just a normal reaction. Your jaw drops and you sort of have this, you know, sense, right? Yeah, you know, my picture is of a wedding day. And because of our wedding, but also seeing our three sons get married, they each had that posture. And also their expression on their face of the jaw drop like you are amazing.

You could just see the love and honor and even blessing oozing out of them. But then you get married and you start to see your spouse's flaws and you see the weaknesses. And so sometimes it's hard to bend the knee and to honor someone. Well, essentially, when you propose, usually you bend the knee. You get down on one knee.

It would be interesting to think of a marriage being attaching high value every day, which we don't often do. I'll never forget. I was at our church and I just finished a sermon and we had some Detroit Lion players come that day because we were sort of talking about what we do in our Bible study. And after the sermon, this guy walks up to me and as he's walking up to me, he literally gasped right as he got up to me like, and I was like, wow, this dude thinks like I'm really important. I mean, I looked at him like, why are you like acting? You're saying this didn't happen at church?

Never happened. But, you know, I felt like, wow, he sees me and he gets close and he's like, oh, and then I turn around and standing behind me is Golden Tate. One of our football players was standing behind me. He wasn't he wasn't showing honor to me. He was literally his jaw dropped.

He gasped because he considers an NFL player highly valuable. And we do that in our culture. We value certain positions and different people, celebrities, which is ridiculous in some ways.

But we do it. But anyway, the whole idea of what would it look like in our homes if we honored God, our family members and our neighbor the same way. So that was one of the things we tried to do in our home.

So let's talk about this. How did we honor God in our home? What would you say we did? I think the most important thing was that we have always and still do. We honor him with the sacrifice of our lives. I'm thinking of Romans 12, one and two, that we really have laid our lives on the altar of him to say, God, I give you everything. And I think our kids have heard us say it. I think they've heard us pray it. And so that's the first thing.

And I would even ask our listeners, have you done that? Have you surrendered everything in your life to him? Yeah. I mean, the first priority in life is honor God before even your spouse, before your kids, before anything in your life.

It's like he is number one. I mean, that's what going vertical and vertical marriage is about is the priority of setting God as the one that gets our highest honor. I'm not sure I could honor you that well if I did not honor God first, because he gives me the ability to see you through his eyes. Yeah.

And we've talked about it many times here. But Deuteronomy six is a picture of what honor looks like. He says, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. And he's writing that to parents. And so I think as parents and as a husband and wife, it's that that's where we start.

It's like we can't pass this on to our kids if we don't first possess it. So I know in our home, starting the first day we got married, we said a routine, which we were doing even before we got married, is saying the first thing I'm going to do every day is sit with God. I'm going to I'm going to dig into his word and start there. Talk about that, that practice in your own life. Well, I was thinking about when we first got married and we both, you know, have these great times with God and then we had kids. And I was thinking, I don't even know how to do this anymore. But I do remember thinking, I'm just going to have to figure out what this looks like with little kids all around me.

And our kids got up pretty early and I'm not a morning person, so it was hard for me to get up in the morning. But when they were little, what I would end up doing is like, hey, guys, I'm going to have my time with Jesus now. And so I'd have my Bible out and sometimes I would even read it out loud. And I gave them little notebooks themselves. They should scribble in or play.

And I didn't get the time that I wanted that I used to get that I have now. But I think it's good for our kids to see that that's a regular rhythm in our lives, that that time with God is important. And now I think all my kids know and they've seen my Bible on the table because I go through it every year.

And man, that is my sustenance is my food. It's what gets me through every day is God's word. I know when I came to Christ in college, that was the first thing my discipler, my mentor taught me was daily time in the word.

I remember him saying to me, who really I didn't grow up much in the church, but he says a man of God is a man of God's word. And so it's been a daily discipline of my life to spend time in his word. Another part for me that helps me honor God is worship music.

Me too. Either listening to it or, you know, me, I'm going to grab my guitar and sing it. I remember during Covid, I was up in my little studio and I grabbed my guitar and I'm singing, Bless the Lord, O my soul, which means honor the Lord.

Psalm 103. And you come running up the stairs like, oh, is this what we're doing right now? Are we singing?

Let's do this. I mean, there's nobody else in the house. I was sort of having my private little time with God.

And, you know, you come running in there and we start singing. And again, it's that foundation that I think as husbands and wives and often as moms and dads, we push that aside, not because we don't want to do it, but our life gets so hectic. It's like it's written in pencil on our calendar rather than pen.

Like the kids or the schedules can become so urgent that we miss the most important. You know, what I've been a little bit convicted of lately is that it tells you on your phone, on my phone, it tells me how much screen time I've had for the week. Is anyone else depressed by that number when they see it? If you haven't checked, you need to check it because, you know, it'll say like seven hours. I'm thinking, what if I spent seven hours with God or just in a day?

You know, what would that look like? Mine only says four hours. Yours says seven hours.

Yours says 20. Well, here's the thing. I read the Bible often on YouVersion on my phone. So all those hours are I'm in the Word. Oh, no.

That's what I'm doing. No, I wish it was that. But you do do that. And I think today we have some really easy tools to make it easier to listen to the Word. Even if you're driving, you can listen to the Word in your car.

Yeah. And, you know, we've talked about this before. But when our oldest son, CJ, was born, I started that Friday fast to pray all day and fast from food on Fridays for the boys and their wives and their grandkids. And even that routine is a way to say every week, I honor God first. I bend the knee to say you, God, are the most valuable person and relationship in my whole life. And I think I would just say to a dad listening right now, that is the way to lead and walk with God.

It's got to show up on your calendar. Oh, there's one more thing that you do that I really like. You have always been really good at memorizing scripture.

I think you've started doing it in college. So did I. I just don't remember it the way you do. But I remember our boys always saying, Dad knows so much scripture because you had it memorized. I could tell they thought that was amazing. And I used to say, oh, yeah, he knows so much. And they were kind of impressed by that. But I love that you memorized that.

And I did, too. But you could memorize it way quicker than I could. But I think that's important to have God's word on our hearts. I've often felt like and I've even asked NFL players, like, what would happen if you didn't know the playbook? And every guy looks at me like I'm cut.

I'm cut that day. You know, if I walked into a meeting or walked into a season and I didn't know a play call, I didn't know what my responsibility was because I hadn't studied my book. They just look at you like, oh, this is what every NFL player, any athlete in any sport has to know. You have to know the playbook or you can't be in the game.

You won't be on this team anymore. And I thought, man, if we're going to honor God with our lives and we don't know his word, that's it's greater than a playbook. It's more than a playbook. But it is his word that reveals who he is, who we are and what he's called us to do. And so memorizing that is an extension of I am going to honor him first and then live that out.

It's one thing to be hearers of the word and others to be doers. I've shared on here before, but remember the story of when one of my sons was asked about his faith, what I had done to stoke that in him, like, hey, what did your dad do to create that fire that we see in you? And long story short, I don't need to go into the details, but hearing him say the only thing I remember my dad doing is he lived it. When I was thinking he'd remember Bible studies or trips we took, all he did was say I watched him be a man of God. I thought that's what our kids are looking for.

They are watching us 24-7. Again, it's not a legalistic thing to say I'm going to get in the word every morning because I have to. It's because I have to. I want to. If I have to get up early before the kids are up at 4 a.m., I'm kidding, maybe 5 a.m., I'm going to get up early. I'm going to do whatever it takes to make sure my connection with God is saying you are the most valuable person relationship in my life.

And let me just add a quick little footnote to this. I've had a lot of women ask me what can I do to get my husband to be more spiritually hungry or spend time in the Word or disciple our children. I can't tell you how often I have women coming up and asking me those questions. I can tell you it doesn't work. It doesn't work when you compare your husband to someone else. Oh, you never did that. I did it all the time.

Or when you slide a book over to them. Oh, you never did that. I'm telling you all the things not to do because I did them. But I think for you to pray, let his walk be his walk, but model. You're not modeling for him to do it because you're doing it as a form of manipulation. But just love Jesus.

Talk to him about it. He hears every prayer that you are praying. And I would say as a husband who's married to you who did that, your walk with God inspired me. Your critique and putting a book by the toilet because you know I'd sit there and read it. Because you didn't. Never worked.

It didn't inspire at all. But man, when I walk in the kitchen and see you on the deck on your knees with your hands up praising God, when I walk through and see you outlining again in your one-year Bible, it just made me go. Does that mean I can read the Bible out loud to you when I want? You do it every time you get in the car. You did it yesterday. We're driving here. I did it this morning. Yeah, this morning.

That's what it was. Like she's going to read her one-year Bible out loud. You love to do that. But I mean I would just say to the wives listening that's like that is motivating to us as men to watch your walk with God, not in a condemning way, but in an inspiring way, inspires us. How would you encourage men? Do you think that's important?

I know for me and every man I know we want to do better in this area. But the bottom line is I need His power. I need His presence. I need His peace.

And the only way you get that is to meet with Him, honor Him first, bend the knee first to God. And that will create an atmosphere of honor in your home. It starts with Mom and Dad.

For me, it starts with me. And if it's not happening in me, good luck that it's going to flow into the family. But if it is happening in me, there's a great chance that it's going to flow and create an environment and a home of honor. What would it be like if the neighbor kids came over to our home because they couldn't even explain why. They just felt honored. They felt valuable. They felt seen. That's what honored us. I think it's where our homes become a magnet to everyone walks in that they feel loved.

They feel seen. They feel heard and they feel honored. I'm thinking that maybe some of us need to post in our home Romans 1210, which says, Outdo one another in showing honor.

I mean, how would our homes be different if that was the goal? If as parents and as siblings, we and our children were working to outdo one another in showing honor to each other. It's such a powerful concept that Dave and Ann Wilson have been talking about today. And Dave mentioned a book called The Blessing, giving the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. It's a book we've got in our Family Life Today Resource Center. You might want to consider this as a book to read together as a family or as moms and dads to think about how you can bless your children and how honor can be more a part of your family dynamic. Go to familylifetoday.com for more information on the book, The Blessing. You can order it from us online at familylifetoday.com or call to order at 1-800-FL-TODAY.

That's 1-800-358-6329, 1-800-F as in family, L as in life. And then the word today. You know, I'm thinking about all of the special days that are happening in the next week. I mean, Thanksgiving is this week. And then for a lot of shoppers, Black Friday is a big day. And I think isn't Saturday, Small Business Saturday, where you support that?

And then Monday is Cyber Monday. And next Tuesday is Giving Tuesday, where you take a few minutes and think about ministries, organizations that have had a meaningful impact in your life, and you make a donation. Well, here at Family Life, we want to make it easy for you to do your Giving Tuesday giving now. Family Life is one of those ministries or organizations that God has used in your life, and you've been thinking about a Giving Tuesday gift. You can actually make your Giving Tuesday gift today. Whatever donation you make today is going to count toward the Giving Tuesday total. In addition, whatever donation you make today is going to be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to a matching gift that's been made available to us by some friends of this ministry. And we'll say thank you for your donation by sending you a copy of Dane Ortlund's new devotional from the Book of Psalms, 150 daily devotions from the Book of Psalms.

The devotional is called In the Lord I Take Refuge. And along with that, we'll send you a deck of playing cards. Each playing card has a conversation starter on it so that while you're playing cards, you can also spark some creative conversation as a family. So if you'd like to do your Giving Tuesday giving now, go to familylifetoday.com. You can give online.

Call 1-800-FL-TODAY to donate. Again, your gift will be matched. We'll send you the devotional book and the playing cards as our way of saying thank you. We want you to know we are thankful for you, and we look forward to hearing from you. Now, tomorrow, Dave and Ann Wilson are going to talk about how honor in a home is a lot like a thermostat. It really sets the emotional temperature of our homes. They'll continue the conversation about honor tomorrow. Hope you can be with us for that. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We'll see you next time 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 / 2023-07-18 15:40:02 / 2023-07-18 15:50:31 / 10

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