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Faith and Honor

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 24, 2021 1:00 am

Faith and Honor

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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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 family's house and we spent a whole evening together. We ate, we laughed, we got to know each other and their kids. That sounds good to me.

Yeah. And we came home and I said, wow, I've loved being with them. It felt like they really honored one another.

What do you think I would mean by that? 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. You would mean they valued one another. They spoke words of affirmation and encouragement to one another. They like each other.

There's joy in their home. I don't know. I'm just guessing those are the things that I would think of. Yeah, but I wouldn't want it to be too squeaky clean because that's not realistic to me. I know that there's going to be flaws and kids are going to fight and all of that, but so there would be an authentic honoring of one another that's not perfect, but they're seeking Jesus in it.

Yeah. And so we've already talked about honors. This idea of to bless one another is 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 it be like if our kids felt that in their own home?

If we felt that as a mom and dad. And so we thought, okay, if we're 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 to say the most important thing you can 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 already talked about how we honor God and what that looks like.

Yeah. And again, we go back to Deuteronomy six, which is a pivotal foundational verse, really passage in the history of Israel and the history of our faith where 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's saying that to the parents.

So we talked previously about how that's where it starts. If it's not in us as mom and dad, if we're not honoring God first, it's hard for that to be part of our home and passed on. So we spent the whole last program talking about what's that 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 lie 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 Christ is saying, how do I 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-in-laws and six grandkids. But when they were in our home, let's talk about these. These are things that you really were a champion of. We created routines in different times of the day.

I really did take this verse from Deuteronomy and try to put it into practice. Like, how do we impress them on our children? First, we do talk about them when we sit at home. And so sitting, where do we do most of the sitting?

I mean, most of the time we would say watching TV. But another part that we sit is when we're eating together. I think eating meals together is a great, great place to pass on our faith, to 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, but we shot for four days a week that we sat down at a meal together.

And so what happens at that mealtime? Tell them what Ann Wilson always wanted to do at mealtime. And I need some credit for this because having three sons, this was not that easy to get everyone to talk at the dinner table. You meant four sons.

You're one of them. So true. And I would always get groaning by the time they got to be teenagers.

They're like, ugh. But we really did try to talk about, like, let's talk about, like, what was the highlight today? What went really well? And I've said this here before, but especially with guys and girls, to attach a feeling word with it, even little kids, it's really important for them to be able to express what they feel about something.

I think that's a really good practice to get into. And so also to hear, like, what was hard about today or did anything happen that you feel like, man, this didn't go very well. And then we would talk about it. Yeah.

And again, I mean, we sort of passed right over it. But in this culture and this speed and everybody's 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, you have to put it on the calendar. You have to say this matters. We're not going 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 that I've ever done over in Israel is to experience a Shabbat dinner, a Sabbath dinner with a Jewish family and experience the culture in which they truly honored one another. They would speak the word God's word over one another. They would bless one another. They would actually put their hand, the right hand of blessing on one another. The father or the mother, the father over the children.

I cried during it because it was so beautiful and it was such a place of honor and love. And then we come back and I was like, we are doing that every Sunday, you know, with our kids and our family. But our kids are longing for that for our parents to know them, to talk to them.

They might not express it, but they need it and long for it. And I tell you what now is empty nesters sitting there at that same table. And there's just you and me. Isn't it sad?

I mean, it's awesome that it's you and me, but it is sort of it's empty because there's nobody sitting around the table. And I'm glad that you made it a priority to say family dinner time is not going to be pushed off the calendar. So I remember even in high school when I was coaching high school football, all three of our sons played on that team. By the way, one of the reasons I wanted to coach is not just because I was a college football player.

I worked as a chaplain. The NFL 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 C.J.

Austin and Cody at different phases of their life. But you made it a priority even during football season when we didn't get home from practice till seven, eight o'clock. Dinner was going to be after we got home at nine o'clock at night, which sounds so late and so horrible, but it really became something that at least you and I look forward to it. And I really wanted to know what was going on in their lives. And that 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. And we also said no cell phones. Even back then, no phone on the wall. We didn't answer it. You know, as a pastor and there's emergencies come up, it's like we're not answering the phone. This is to honor one another, to say you are extremely valuable right now. The phone gets put away.

We're not even on the table. Put it away. When the boys had phones, put them away.

We're going to focus on one another during mealtime. And if your kids are little, it's a great practice to get into now. Like my friend put them in a basket. They just put them in a basket when they ate dinner. And when your kids are little, start it.

And if they're teenagers, you say, hey, you guys, we have a new practice. This mealtime is really important for us. So we're going to put our phones away.

You might have some pushback at first, but it'll pay off. OK, here's another one. So we got mealtime. Another chance to pass on your faith and pause and honor one another is bedtime.

Yeah. So talk about bedtime, even as like they were toddlers and then even as teenagers. It's interesting because we would read, I think, from the time they were two, probably younger.

But from the time they got into a little bed until the time, probably till high school, we read books together. Devotionals, classic literature. But we would also, here's the blessing. Put our hands on them at night, our 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.

That's the time when you hear a lot of what's going on in their hearts, what they're 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 like, I just want to 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. And I mean, when they're little, they're crawling on your head, even if you're trying to read the Bible or listen to a kid's devotional. But you want it to be squeaky clean and you want them to be all and they're just little kids are crawling all over. And I do remember this when when the boys became teenagers, there was a sense in me that it felt somewhat awkward to lay in bed with them. You know, like now it's men. They're not boys anymore.

I would love land. But as I got older and they became men, it's like, oh, this feels weird. But I tell you that bedtime still critical. Right.

Lay on the floor. Ask them about their day talk. It's like this this precious little moment that now that we're empty nesters, you realize it'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 their parents. Right.

Oh, yeah. And I would also encourage you have your kids pray out loud from the time they're little. Get them in the habit of just praying out loud because that builds their confidence in their prayer life. And so if they get older and someone says, hey, could you pray there? 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 you're in their bed talking to them, whatever. Don't be on your phones because it's really easy. Because it can feel really boring as they're talking about maybe something over and over again or, you know, they're so little and it might feel so trivial.

But to them, your undivided attention is really important. I remember years ago reading this book by Jean Lush. 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 girl's home and they watched over the girl's dormitory. So one night, Jean was putting her daughter to bed and she had heard of a rumor that there was going to be a breakout that night of 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. And 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, honey, what's wrong?

Just tell me what's happening. And her daughter kept hemming and hawing and Jean kept getting more and more frustrated. She just says, just tell me what's happening.

And 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 up. And Jean said, I laid there and thought, oh, Lord, this is so like me. I'm always moving ahead of her.

I'm always moving on to the next thing. 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 rest in your soul before I can open up my soul. And sure enough, as Jean was 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 dumb. And her daughter cried and cried about that. And Jean said, I almost lost that moment because I was so about getting on to the next thing. And man, that's easy to do as parents, isn't it?

Yeah, I know that. Now, looking back, you know, as a 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 that was one of 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, you know, bedtime, you know. And so I went to 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, putting them to bed. I think we said five days a week.

Yeah. And I just said, you know, if you want to meet at five in the morning, I'll meet. You want to meet at six in the morning, I'll meet. But in the evening, I need to be home.

And again, it wasn't every single night, but it was at least four, hopefully five nights a week in a really busy time of our lives. Churches growing. We're young.

The career is just sort of booming. I remember thinking, because I stood on the stage and said that on a Sunday, thinking they're going to applaud this decision. You know, I'm like saying, hey, family matters. My kids matter. They're the most important disciples that I'm pouring into are not the church. They're my sons. And I didn't mean they'd actually applaud, clap. But I thought they're going to come up and say, man, what a model for us, what a husband and a dad should do. I got complaints.

People are like, you're our pastor. You need to be available to us. We can't meet in the morning.

We can only meet at night. And I don't remember anybody, not one person saying way to go, way to put your family first. All I know. Dennis Rainey or Bob Lapine might have said that to you. Yeah, but they didn't because they 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 it perfectly. I'm so glad we seized that moment. I made that commitment to say I'm going to honor God first.

And if I'm going to 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've got like meal time. You know, you build these routines, you've got bedtime. Here's another one I watched you do drive time when you've got them in the car with you.

Oh, 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. It's easy to give your kids a device in the car because they're quiet and you know, it's so much easier. But man, this drive time is opportune time to one. Like if they're going to school, if you're driving them to school, ask them, how can I pray for you today? Do you have any tests, 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 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 we're happy, when we're sad, when we're angry, our kids realize I want that relationship with Jesus. So that time in the car is really, really important. I mean, I'm basically all we're trying to say is, man, if we're going to 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. And 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, guess how many weeks you have?

I don't know. With your child, you have 936 weeks. That sounds like forever.

But it's like, what if you just said, I'm going to seize this week? One of the things we talk about here many times, we don't need to get into it, but we decided Friday nights would be Wilson family night. Wilson party night.

You know, we sort of 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. We're going to protect this night to watch VHS movies. It tells you how long ago it was and just have a night with the family.

And again, you don't realize you only have 900 or so of those and then they're gone. And we made it fun, man. Oh, it was awesome. You know, it's not like, oh, it's family night. These kids are like, it's Friday, it's Wilson night. Like they could not wait to participate because we would do something fun that they would love. Besides watching a movie, we'd go swimming or we'd have a big snowball fight. We would do something that was fun.

And part of that's our personality. But man, they could not wait. And they're doing it with their own kids. And by the way, something you never think of when you're thinking of honoring your kids and passing on your faith is don't miss this weekly event as well.

A date night for your marriage. And again, it doesn't have to be every single week. But I tell you what, if you prioritize that and say to your kids, you know what? For a relationship to flourish, mom and dad need to go out and be alone. They get it.

At 9, 10, 15, 16 years old. And I was going to say, Dave, too, to not forget church. Oh, yeah. 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 covid, you can have a hesitancy to go back. I would say find a church that preaches God's word, that has great small groups and get plugged in. That is one of the greatest things you can do for your whole family. And one last thought as we wrap up this idea of what honor would look like in your home to honor God first, to honor each other and 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 and love God, but to take that love from God and literally love your neighbor. It could be a neighbor right next door. It 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? One of the things I've been doing lately is I take my niece, my great niece, actually. We have an adventure, we call it. And I do that with our grandkids, too, where we have an adventure. And part of the time is we're going to have a lot of fun and we're going to have a blast. But the other part is I pray before we go, Lord, lead us to someone we could love and see today and we could bless them.

And so we've done that by doing different things. Sometimes we've just said hi to people, people that wouldn't normally be talked to, maybe a homeless person. We'll give a homeless person money. And so we'll pray at the beginning of our adventure like, Lord, who needs this? Will you guide us and show us a person that would really be blessed by this? And so to have like a six year old with you and you're praying this, I said to her, let's find the person.

When you feel God's nudge of his spirit, like, let's really try to feel like, Lord, who could we bless this day? And I remember, you know, when the boys were little, we said we were going to mow literally our next door neighbor's yard. And she was an older woman.

Well, we did. We mowed every week and she complained because that was a job. But we tried to rake her leaves.

Oh, that's what it was. She used to sit at the front window and just yell at people for stepping on our yard. And she yelled at us for raking her leaves.

Wrong. Yeah. And again, it's like trying to show our boys that honor, you don't just honor people you like, you honor 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 us and blah, blah, blah. And she was a widowed woman who 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 it here before, but then, you know, a couple of years later, I hear this thud one day when I'm in the front yard. I look over and she had fallen in her garage.

That's what the thud was. I walk over and I literally pick her up and carry her into her house. First time I've ever been in because she wouldn't let anybody in her house put her on her couch. Long story short, when she sort of got herself back together, she looked at me now differently because I had helped her. Next thing I know, I'm down in her 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 Wilsons next door because we tried to honor God, each other and our neighbor. So what would you say to the family that wants to live this out? I would say it'd be cool to tell your kids, like, hey, this is what we're thinking. Or if maybe you're an empty nester and you're thinking, I don't know how this applies to me.

Oh, 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. There's so many different ways that we could honor God by loving other people. And I would just add, you know, we gave you a lot of ideas of how to pass your faith on to your kids.

I would say pick one or two and start today. The 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, as we've heard from Dave and Ann Wilson today, can be lived out in so many different ways in our home, in our family, in our neighborhood, our community, our 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've got in our Family Life Today Resource Center. If you'd like to explore the subject of honor further, go to familylifetoday.com to order a copy of the book, The Blessing, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY. Again, our website is familylifetoday.com, the number to call 1-800-358-6329.

That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life, and then 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 we're thinking about what we have to be thankful for. And of course, it's been a tough year for everyone, a tough year for our ministry.

But David Robbins, who's the president of Family Life, is here with us. And David, there is a lot that we have as a ministry to be thankful for. Yeah, I think of several things that I'm thankful for.

I mean, one, I just want to thank you for those of you who have contributed to Family Life with generosity over this year. You know, I was on a mentor call with Dennis Rainey, and as we were processing, you know, he was just reflecting going, you know, I never had a season in his 40 plus years of leadership where he had to 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 a whole arm of the ministry down for a season was something unique to navigate. The reality for us is God has sustained us. And I'm so grateful for the way God has sustained Family Life. And it's been largely through ministry partners like many of you who 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 that are facing more needs in their home, whether that's their marriage or whether that's with their kids and whether it's anxiety or depression or having to walk through different challenges that the last two years have brought. The opportunity amongst marriages and families are showing and you've helped ministry continue. Our homepage traffic has increased by over 10 percent. People coming on their own to find help for their marriage or family. Our podcast listening has increased 60 percent because people are wanting to finish a show with a here on radio and go finish it.

And people are looking for help. And we've been able to provide it for them because of your generosity. And then third, I'm grateful that we can still remember our back.

It took an 18 month break. And I'm so thankful that even though we're having to take precautions and and to make sure that we have a safe environment, they are back. And 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 we're at with his presence and that we get to be a part of family life of helping bring Jesus to meet people where they're at. Well, of course, we're thankful for those of you who are regular listeners 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 your end as well. And we hope you can join us again tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day here in the United States when we're going 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 a season. Dave Wilson will introduce us to some of the Detroit Lions teammates who were a part of that spiritual season. And we'll hear from them tomorrow. The Lions play tomorrow, so maybe before the game, you'll tune in and hear about what God did in the Lions locker room many years ago.

Hope you can do that. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We will see you back tomorrow 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 05:18:39 / 2023-07-18 05:30:48 / 12

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