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November 24, 2021 1:00 am
How do you pass your faith to your kids? Dave and Ann Wilson describe what impact you'll have on your children if you set the example of honoring those around you.
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So let's say our family went to another families house and we spent the whole evening together.
We ate we laughed, we got to know each other and their kids. Sounds good to me and we came home and I said I loved being with them. It felt like they really honored one another what you think it would mean welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson Dave Wilson then you can find this affair we live today.com or on our family life is family life today you would me the valued one another. They spoke words of affirmation and encouragement to one another. They like each other. There is joy in their home. What are all just guessing those are things that I would think of yeah but I wouldn't want to be too squeaky clean because that's not realistic to me.
I know that there's any flaws in kids are in a fight in all of that so there'd be an authentic honoring of one another. It's not perfect, but they're seeking Jesus and yeah and so we've Artie talked about honors this idea to bless one another's to bend the knee, which means when you bow before someone you're saying I'm in the presence of someone extremely valuable.
What would be like if our kids felt that in her own home. If we felt that as a mom and dad and so we thought okay if were going to create honor in our home.
We have three aspects honor God. Honor one another. Honor our neighbor, which is really the commandment Jesus gave us a most important thing you do is honor God first and then honor one another and honor your neighbor so today let's talk about what's it look like to honor one another because we've Artie talked about how we honor God and that looks like yeah and again we go back to Deuteronomy 6 which is a pivotal foundational verse really passage in the history of Israel in the history of our faith were it's written in verse four hero 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 saying that to the parent. So we talked previously about how that's were starts of is not in us. His mom and dad for not honoring God first. It's hard for that to be part of our home and passed on so he spent the whole last program talk about what's it look like for us to honor God first. Then he goes on to talk about impressing this verse, five, six and seven says impress them. The commandments of God on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road and when you live down and when you get up and so it's on mom and dad to honor God first, but then to honor one another. In other words, I think every parent. That's a follower of crisis and how to why pass on my faith to my kids and so let's talk about that.
We have tried to create different routines over the years, you know, we have three grown sons now with daughter laws and six grandkids, but when they were in our home was talk about these. These are things that you really were a champion of creative routines and different times of the day. I really did take this verse from Deuteronomy and try to put it into practice. I casually impress them on our children first. We do talk about him when we sit at home and cell sitting where do we do mostly sitting in the most the time we would say watching TV. But another part that we set is when were eating together. I think eating meals together is a great, great place to pass on our faith speak, love and hope to one another and also just to find out what is going on in your life right now and so mealtime was really really important to us and because our kids were super active. We didn't do it every single night that we shot for four days a week that we sat down at a meal together and so apposite that mealtime tell him what he and Wilson always want to do it that mealtime I need some credit for this, because having three sons. This was not that easy to get everyone to talk the dinner table you meant for sons. You're one of them so I would always get groaning. By the time they get to be teenagers. I like but we really did try to talk about like to start about like what was the highlight today went went really well and I said this here before, but especially with guys and girls to attach a feeling word with that. Even little kids. It's really important for them to build express what they feel about something. I think that's a really good practice to get into and so also here like what was hard about today or did anything happen if you like me and this didn't go very well and then we would talk about it yet and again I mean we've sorted passed right over.
But in this culture and the speed and her buddies involved in so many things and we hurry hurry hurry to sit down as a family and have a meal has to be scheduled. I mean yet the put it on the calendar you have to say this matters were not to say yes to everything because we have to say no to things so that we can sit down as a family and have a meal together right yeah one of my favorite things I've ever done over and Israel is to experience a Shabbat dinner Sabbath dinner with a Jewish family and experience the culture in which they truly honored one another they would speak the word got bored over one another. The last one another. They would actually put their hand, the right hand of blessing.
On one another, the father of the mother. The father over the children. I cried during it because it was so beautiful it was such a place of honor and love and did we come back as I said that you know with our kids in our family, our kids are longing for that for our parents to know them to talk to them. They may not express it, but they need it on for that.
I tell you what now is empty-nesters sitting there at the same table and there's just mu me as awesome as you and me, but it is sort it's empty because there's nobody sitting around the table and I am glad that you made it a priority say family dinner time is not going to be pushed off the counter so I remember even in high school when I was coaching high school football all three of our sons played on that team and by the way, one of the reasons I wanted the coaches not just because I was a college football player right, you know works as a chaplain in a fellow is like this is a way for me to be with my boys doing what they're doing so obviously I love the football part of it, but I was really there to be with CJ Austin and Cody different phases of their life, but you made it a priority.
Even during football season when we get home from practice 07 8 o'clock. Yeah, dinner was going to be after we got home at 9 o'clock at night when this sounds so late and so horrible that it really became something that at least you and I look forward to that and I really wanted to know what was going on in their lives, and it would also mean they'd have to have a big snack after school but I think that's really important just to make it a priority so you said no cell phones, even back then. No phone on the wall.
We didn't answer it and it was a pastor and there's emergencies come up, it's like were not answer the phone.
This is to honor one another to say you are extremely valuable right now. The phone gets put away were not even on the table put it away when the boys headphones put them away were to focus on one another during mealtime. If your kids are little it's a great practice to get into now like my friend put them in a basket and just put them in a basket and ate dinner and when your kids are little started and if there teenagers you say hey guys, we have a new practice. This mealtime is really important for us to learn to put our phones away. You might have some pushback at first, but it'll pay off.
Okay, here's another one so we got mealtime another chance to pass on your faith and pause and honor one another's bedtime so talk about bedtime. Even as like they were toddlers and that even as teenagers and it's interesting because we would read. I think from the time they were to probably younger that from the time they got into a little bad until the time probably till high school we read books together, devotionals, classic literature but we went also. Here's the blessing put our hands on them at night right hand.
That hand of blessing and honor and we would pray over them every single night because they don't want to go to sleep. At the time when you hear a lot of what's going on in their hearts, but their fearful of what they're worried about what they're thinking and man we would either lay on the floor just lay in the bed with them and you guys it's so hard when your kids are little, because you just I just want I just want to go and have some time to myself.
You long for that, but I would really encourage you to take advantage of that time when they still want you there to talk to that I'm in winter little or crawl on your head.
Even if you're trying to read the Bible or listen to kids devotional what you wanted to be squeaky clean and you want them to be all and there just little kids are crawling all over and I do remember this when when the boys became teenagers. There is a sense of me that it felt somewhat awkward to lay in bed with them like now it's men are not boys anymore. I love Landon, but as I got older and became minutes like us feels weird but I tell you that bedtime still critical right lay on the floor ask about their day. Talk.
It's like this. This precious little moment that now that were empty-nesters, you realize that's going to be gone before you know it, and in some ways they said it was sort of their favorite times with us as her parents right yeah I would also encourage you have your kids pray out loud from the time their little get them in the habit of displaying out loud because that builds their confidence in their prayer life.
And so if they get older and someone says hey could you pray that you know they don't freak out because they've never done that before. It just becomes a habit. And it's a it's a habit and it's natural to be praying out loud and I would say this to parents as your in their bed talking to them, whatever. Don't be on your phones because it's really easy as it can feel really boring is they're talking about maybe something over and over again, or another so little and it might feel so trivial, but to then your undivided attention is really important. I remember years ago reading this book by Jean Lesh.
She wrote a book called mothers and sons, and in it she talked about this experience that she had with her daughter. She and her husband actually worked at a girls home and they watched over the girls dormitory. So one night Jean was putting her daughter to bed and she had heard of a rumor that there was can it be a breakout that night. Some of the girls and so she was on alert, thinking they could be breaking out. I need to get out of this room I need to find out what's happening in her little daughter was nine years old and she was saying good night but she felt like something was on her daughter's mind and she was in a rush so she said what's wrong just tell me what's happening in her daughter Kenny Holling and Jean kept getting more and more frustrated. She just just tell me what's happening in her daughter said this mom I can't talk to you when you're like this, I need you to lie down in your soul first before I can open and Jean said I laid there and thought this is so like me I'm always moving ahead of her. I'm always moving on to the next and I need to settle down my soul and how articulate of a nine-year-old to be able to say I need you to resting your soul because before I can open up my soul and sure enough, as Jean with in the bed with her little girl. The little girl ended up saying that she was teased that day by her teacher and the teacher had told her that she was done and her daughter cried and cried about that and Jean said I almost lost that moment because I was so about getting onto the next thing. And man that's easy to do as parents is yeah I know that now looking back, it also grandparent a decision I made when the boys were really little and in the moment. I didn't realize how important it was but now I look back and think those are the best decisions I made was when you said to me when the boys were just three, four years old when I asked you when do you need me the most to help morning or evening and you said evening yeah bedtime.
You know, and so I went to the our church that we just started and I said no more evening meetings with me. I need to be home in the evening with my wife and with my boys put them to bed as five days a week and I just said you know if you want to meet at five in the morning. I'll meet you and me at six in the morning. I'll meet.
But in the evening I need to be home. I get one every single night but it was at least four, hopefully five nights a week in a really busy time of our lives. Churches grow when were young, the careers just sort of booming. I remember thinking because I stood on the stage and said that on a Sunday, thinking there and applaud this decision. You know I'm like saying hey family matters. My kids matters are the most important disciples that I'm born into are not the church there. My sons, I did mean they'd actually applaud Clapp, but I thought there and come up say man when a model for us. What a husband and a dad should do. I got complaints people like your pastor you need to be available to us we can meet in the morning.
We can only be a night I don't remember anybody not 1 Person Saying Way to go way to put your family first. All I know it's rainy about looking mighty said that to you.
Yeah, they didn't because I didn't even know but all I know is now looking back you know you blink and they're off to college or they're out of the house and now they're married and I'm so glad again. We didn't do a perfectly I'm so glad we sees that moment I made that commitment to say on that honor God first and if I would honor my family. It has to be a priority on my calendar and it was so easy to get pulled away and other things. So you've got, you know you got like mealtime know you build these routines you got bedtime. Here's another one I watch you do drive time when you've got him in the car with you all. Yeah what I say is we have a captured audience in the car. This is the opportunity and I think it's really easy, and we all know this is easy to give your kids a device in the car because they're quiet and you know it's so much easier. This drivetime is an opportune time to one like if you're going to school. If you're driving them to school asked them how can I pray for you today give any test anything you worried about anything that I can be praying for you during the day.
Even so, you can pray out loud and I've said this so many times before, but from the time I put my kids in infant seats. I prayed out loud with them in the car. I think it's a great practice for them to see that God is not a God of Sundays. He's just about going to church.
He's a relational God who wants a relationship with him.
And so as we model talking to God what that looks like when were happy when were sad when were angry.
Our kids realize. I want that relationship with Jesus, so that time in the car is really really important that I am basically all try to save them for you honor God first and then honor one another and pass on our faith. There's moments every day.
And here's the thing. There's moments every week. I don't think a lot of us as parents understand from birth to age 18. Again, I don't know if they're leaving the home at 18 or 17 or 19 or 20. But if you just take from birth to 18 get some a which you have with your child. You have 936 weeks.
That sounds like forever but it's like what if you just set on the seas this week while things we talked about her many times we only need to get into it but we decided Friday nights would be Wilson family night Wilson party night you know we sort out created a routine and I don't think we miss very many Friday nights where we didn't miss Wilson family night. It was like this is a night to honor our family and say nothing else gets on the calendar working to protect this night to watch VHS movies hello go was just have a night with the family and then again you don't realize you only have a 900 or so of those and then they're gone and we made it fine man was also now it's not like oh it's family night.
He's kids like they could not wait to participate because we would do something fun. They would love beside watching a movie.
We go swimming, are we having snowball fight. We would do something that was fun and part of that's our personality, but man they could not wait and they are doing it with their own kids and by the way, some you never think of when you're sick of honoring your kids and pass it on your faces. Don't miss this weekly event as well. A date night for your marriage again. It doesn't have to be. Every single week. But I tell you what if you prioritize that and say your kids you know what for a relationship to flourish. Mom and dad need to go out and be alone. They get, nine, 10, 15, 16 years old and say day to you to not forget church boy like Hebrews says do not neglect, gathering together and I think it's really easy today to not go to church and people, especially after cultivated can have a hesitancy to go back. I would say find a church that preaches God's word has great small groups and get plugged in. That is one of the greatest things you can do for your whole family there.
One last thought as we wrap up this idea of what honor would look like in your home to honor God. First, honor each other in your family, and then finally to honor your neighbor yeah I mean he calls us as a family and as individuals to not just love one another in love God, but to take that love from God that literally love your neighbor could be a neighbor next door could be a stranger you meet. Who becomes your neighbor because you're in relationship with them, but it's like, what would it look like to model for our kids to love your neighbor when things I've been doing lately is I take my niece my great-niece. Actually, we have an indenture we call it and I do that with our grandkids to where we have an adventure and part of the time is working. Have a lot of fun for you. Have a blast at the other parties. I pray before we got the Lord lead us to someone we could love and see today and we can bless them and so we've done that by doing different things.
Sometimes we just said hi to people. People that wouldn't normally be talk to maybe a homeless person will given homeless person money and so will pray at the beginning of our adventure like Lord who needs this when you guide us and show us a person that would really be blessed by this and said I had like a six year old with you and your praying this I said let's find the person when you feel God's knowledge of his spirit. Let's really try to feel like Lord, who can we bless this day I remember you doing the boys were little we said we're going to mow literally. Our next-door neighbor's yard and she was an older woman but we did weed mode every week and she complain because I was a job but we tried to break her knee so that's what I was, yes, used to sit at the front window and just yell at people for step in our yard her and she yelled at us for regular leaf song yeah and again it's like trying to shore boys that honor you don't just honor people you like younger people that are hard to like you know it was like they were like why would we go over and help her. She's so mean to send bond.
She was a widow woman who knows what her whole story was but it was like you know God calls us to honor him to honor one another and honor. Even people that are hard to honor and then I think I've said here before, but then you know a couple years later I hear this thought. One day when I'm in the front yard.
I look over and she had fallen in her garage. That's with the thought was. I walk over and I literally pick her up and carried her into her house. First time ever been into.
She would let a Wearhouse put her on her couch. Long story short when she sort a got herself back together.
She looked at me now differently because I'd helped her. Next thing I know I'm down in the basement looking at her husband's work space that had never been touched since he died.
So it was like this beautiful moment like you know she did feel loved by the Wilson's next door because we try to honor God, each other and our neighbor.
So what would you say to the family that was to live this out. I would say be cool to tell your kids hi Kate this is what were thinking or if nadir and empty-nesters in your thinking. I don't know how this applies me all man. Can I just say there are so many parents of young kids that are longing for grandparents to come help because their parents are out of town so many different ways that we can honor God by letting other people and I would just add you know we give you lot ideas how to pass your faith on your kids. I would say pick one or two and start today Bible calls each one of us to live as honorable people. People who are worthy of receiving honor, but also people who honor others.
It's a biblical theme and it's something that is we've heard from David and Wilson today can be lived out in so many different ways in our home and our family, our neighborhood or community or church thinking about practical ways we can express value and honor and worth to others is a good exercise, especially here during Thanksgiving week. So I hope you'll take some time today and think practically about how you can live this out in your family. Dave referenced a book that was helpful for him a book called the blessing, giving the gift of unconditional love and acceptance and it's a book we got in our family like today resource Center if you'd like to explore the subject of honor. Further, go to family life today.com to order a copy of the book the blessing or call one 800 FL today and our website is family life today.com, the number to call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today.
I know for most of us. The thing that is looming large on our calendar this week is Thanksgiving celebration with the family whatever plans you have made for the holiday. This is a season at family life where were thinking about what we have to be thankful for the course. It's been a tough year for everyone. Tough year for our ministry, but David Robbins was the person family life is here with us and David. There is a lot that we have is a ministry to be thankful for you I think of several things that I'm thankful for me and one I just want to thank you for those of you who have contributed to family life with generosity over this year. You know Zona Mentor call with Dennis Rainey as we were processing the he was just reflecting going you know I've never had a season in his 40+ years of leadership where he had the completely shut down an area of the ministry because of a pandemic. There were times like a recession, less people came but yet to have to shut the whole arm of the ministry down for a season was something unique to navigate the reality for us as God has sustained us. I'm so grateful for the way got a sustained family life and it's been largely through ministry partners like many of you have given generously.
Thank you so much for helping us continue to live out the mission because secondly I think about the number of people in that are facing more needs in their home, whether that's their marriage, whether that's with their kids and whether's anxiety or depression or or having to walk through different challenges at the last two years have brought the opportunity amongst marriages and families are showing and you help ministry continue our homepage traffic has increased by over 10% people coming on their own to find help for their marriage or family are podcast listening has increased 60% because people are wanting to finish a show with I hear on radio and go finish it and people are looking for help, and we been able to provide it for them because of your generosity in the third.
I'm grateful that we can to remember back. It took an 18 month break and I'm so thankful that even though were having to take precautions and then to make sure that we have a safe environment. They are back in God is producing so much fruit, helping meet couples where they're at because it has been a challenging time. So that's a lot. Yet ultimately I'm just grateful that God keeps meeting us where were at with his presence and that we get to be a part of family life of helping bring Jesus to meet people where the rat when the courts were thankful for those of you who are regular posters to family life today and those of you who support this ministry financially. Thank you for your partnership with us through the year and thank you for remembering family life as we approach year-end as well and we hope you can join us again tomorrow on Thanksgiving day here in the United States when working to hear about an unusual spiritual awakening that took place. This was a number of years ago in a pro football locker room over the course of the season. They Wilson will introduce us to some of the Detroit Lions teammates who were a part of that spiritual season and will hear from them tomorrow. Wines play tomorrow so maybe before the game will tune in and hear about what God did in the lion's locker room many years ago.
Hope you can do that on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson on bottle cream. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most