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Jeff Norris: Powerful Parenting

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2022 11:00 pm

Jeff Norris: Powerful Parenting

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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September 22, 2022 11:00 pm

Powerful parenting might not look like you think! Author Jeff Norris reveals habits to let go of self-reliance and embrace Jesus' call to depend on God.


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I'll ask you this, and I think I know because you wrote a book on it but different answer. Now what you think the most important thing a parent can do.

Christian parent fees, hoping and dreaming and praying. Here she erase radical followers of Christ and his children. Family life today, but will help you pursue the relationship matters most in Wilson and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find this@familylifetoday.com for on the family life that this is family life today.

I mean we all say okay we all know the pain. But seriously, pray that the other thing is you live it in front of them. I didn't realize how big that is, until we had teenagers because they're basically saying I really don't care what you say. I'm watching what you do that, I'd say that's the most important because when you are radically following and loving Jesus. They can't help but notice that, and not in a way, if you're doing that you understand the grace that God has put on your life you understand what it means to love people. If you're being a Pharisee and a fair being super legalistic. Your kids will totally not by but if you're living a life like Christ and in no means do we do that perfectly at all like we failed miserably. But we told our kids. You guys for failing or not doing very well, but even that honesty seem to help, but would you say well on the matter what I think.

I think we want to just northwest of the studio where the restrooms perimeter church open the way to Georgia Jeff welcome back. Thank you, thank you for your good reason I'm asking usually a book called rooted your lifestyle. Radical dependence of red. It's great book you've got kids get teenage kids how many kids you have will for 19 almost 1513 and 10. Okay teenagers in the thick of it, where in the thick of it thought those in question to you.

I agree with that. I think live in. It is huge, but you're right in it. Right now we know we have grandkids now, so we've gone through that season you wrote a book about radical dependence on Christ for yourself, but as you are live in Adam being a parent to set a normal thing for this, and this is your classic suck it up to the host for you guys do not look like you're old enough to drink. So you have to tell you I want to know your secret is to keep you know, here's what I would say about parenting. It's you newsletter it is so hard. It is so hard. I felt the need. A lot of times to feel like I have to give right answers to church members because you sit in the seat you know your senior pastors must have answers to suffering to tell church members and friends, and whoever you know like I don't know. I know some things and there's a lot that I don't know. Here's what I do know I do know that I agree with and we have to live it out. We have to pray we have to be dependent upon the Lord to do what only he can do to keep the pope, the founder of our church that are followed as senior pastor, he a great phrase that he used all the time, which was attempt something so great for God that is doomed to fail unless God began, it I love you and we use it is our church motto and I think that describes parenting really well attempt something so great for God is doomed to fail us got a lot of days feel like that I'm trying to raise these children to glorify you raise them and administer Lord and I feel like I'm messing it up at every turn. I don't know how to deal with the situation or that situation.

Sometimes my wife and I are in agreement on how to handle the situation and I think she's handling it wrong. She thinks I'm handling it wrong and what we do, Lord, and unless you show up.

Our kids are going to fall apart, which is not true. It's all in the grace of God.

That's how you feel.

I've often said that I probably hopefully, Lord willing. I'm a better dad than I think I am in my mind, but I've often said that if I've done anything right in front of my kids is that I've been faithful to repent, you know, what have you done right.

Love to hear what you think you've done wrong or you want. Just tell us what your wife is done wrong and what she's done right, one that would be confessor repent or apologize or of course I have it on that perfectly by any means, but I feel like okay in front of my kids have prayed with them and and they've heard me say many times over. Father forgive me, forgive me for the way I just raise my voice forgive me of how jump to conclusions.

Forgive me how to believe the best and my daughter in the situation. Forgive me of how lost my temper or whatever it may be anything out loud in front of your kids yes yes and and then secondarily that's first and foremost is the prayers of repentance with my kids to the Lord and then admissions or repentance to my wife, apologizing to Rachel in front of them so young. I'm really sorry I got a really overreacted there and not doing it for my kids.

But if there in the room not telling them to go go when you told your mom that you need to hear your dad admit I was wrong that's hard thing for everyone to do for work for the reason Minton struggle with that. Even more traditionally at least think I'm the worst and and so would just mean that is so huge. There's so much that in doing that breaks down walls of hostility that can exist within the home. There's a great book that I read many years ago by Dave Harvey: center said in the hope of the whole principal. The overarching principle of the book is marriages to sinners coming together and if they can come together under the mindset and heart set that I'm the biggest sinner in our marriage and I need Jesus more than you do, then that's the foundational part our beginning of a healthy marriage where we can together say how can we can we run Jesus together because as I really need him to see my insufficiencies in the weaknesses everyday now as it comes to parenting, though, how are we leaving our kids to see the all sufficiency of Christ in our lives there for you to say I want to be radically dependent upon him, that are our kids seeing that. Are they seeing us be radically dependent upon him.

One of the things it really damages our children over the generations is that they have watched parents who are a part of the church, but not dependent upon the Lord and and so they naturally their amine are our kids are that they can pick up on things they they are very discerning and so they very naturally pick up on the hypocrisy and so I would rather parent out of weakness. Showing my dependence upon the Lord, then out of giving a mirage to my kids that I have it together. I think for our kids to watch us to something that to them. Looks like that's done yeah why would you do that. That feels really risky and thinking about going about a step of faith and not done any. I'm thinking given way we pledge the high amount of money to tied to our church with a capital campaign that we were running. Dave came to me one day and said here's what I feel like God, saying, and I like that would be done that would not be frugal, and I said, but let me pray about how to remember market for teenagers at the time and we brought them in on this and they were the equivalent of one year of college tuition for one year of our regular tired and so remember one son said that anything makes sense given that amount of money like we know either, but we feel called to Jeff and so when I went to Dave and said prayed about it.

I feel like it's the same amount that you said. And so it was by faith we it was a radical dependence upon God because we had kids in college so that felt really absolutely responsible and yet I think I kids were watching.

I think they're all sitting back is teenagers like all this is to be interesting like writing that God does. If he does anything or this is just our parents being silly. About two years will always happen will say this is OIA. You do this you get this, but it was couple years later, her son gets a full ride to play college football and to this day. By the way, he still counts me as if they still only money you know I get your freak out about the last seven years after, but it was a moment were our kids could watch and go while again that that an A+ B always equal see. But God did provide in a unique way. Watch mom and Debbie radically dependent. We had another son.

He calls eschatology because it can't manage data moving in his new apartment and I'm talking to the landlord and I'm saying Amber Manchester and he has your name sounds familiar.

Do you have anything to do with Kensington church. My dad helped found the church is one of the founders and egos how I gave my life to Jesus church.

I want you to not have to pay rent this year of free rent apartment for you and you know I love that I love everything about that and I agree with your week.

We often count stories like that with God is always return what we invest in terms of a formula sacrifice and be radically dependent. Yet we we say that, and rightfully so because were so careful with the prosperity also right we don't want people thinking that God the genie in the bottle and you know this cosmic you know grandfather this is ready. We do need to press into the reality that when we are radically dependent upon him. He takes care of us he meets us where we need be met now. Sometimes that's with tangible means, but it's always with more of him. Yeah, it's always with more film satisfying us in the deepest ways in providing for us in every way. Sometimes those provisions are different than we would've what we would've ever asked for but is still his provision. I think with with radical dependence and that whole mindset of being rooted and radical dependence is, it has to be so very Jesus centered and cross entered because what you see him being who is Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh who came to give himself up to be so very radically dependent upon the father I the father one I can do nothing apart from the father. If we want to begin to get a definition of what is dependence upon the Lord we stared Jesus.

We stared him. We watched him in his relationship with the father. So you're saying because I hear you say it's gotta be Jesus centered cross entered part of me is like. Of course, what else could be, but it could very easily be radical dependence on my career.

Just my bank account my money. Yeah, you name it I've ever you're saying yeah and I'm even say in this. Absolutely. That didn't even think about it this way we can make anything selfish and self-centered about us here listening to David and Wilson with Jeff Noris on family life to hear more in just a minute. The first, I want you to hear what one listener said about a recent family life to a episode. She said it was refreshing and a gift. The conversation that the Wilson's had at the end of the podcast was so real and personal, and I needed that today. I pray other couples hear this today and let it bless their life like it has mine, that's just awesome when you support family life to a your blessing. Other families with that same encouragement if that's exciting to you right now you can donate securely@familylifetodate.com NSR thanks when you give today will send you a copy of Michael Melissa Kruger's book 5 things to pray for your spouse, you can get your copy when you give it family life to a.com or by calling 800-358-6329 that's one 800 is in family L as in life, and then the word today. Right now, back to David and with Jeff Noris and how as humans we can make just about anything, all about us even dependence on God so we can become radically dependent for the sake of just being dependent and feeling the what feels like religious progression because I'm being sacrificial. So in other words, at the heart of being radically dependent in in in the book of talk about being being radically dependent in sacrificing himself.

The file will there's all kinds of world religions that are centered on sacrifice and self-denial that aren't centered on Jesus. Oh yeah and and so is it just a list be sacrificial and and deny self with that's it then go be a monk be Buddhist to do that you can be good all kinds of things you can do obese sacrificial.

That's why say it has to be so very Jesus centered and cross entered because it's it's not just that we can feel better about herself. He looked at me and be sacrificial.

I feel really religious because I'm doing it and God must be happy with me because of how sacrificial and being all the sudden that's a very self-centered way of being dependent sacrificial if that makes sense for his self-sacrifice in a self-denial so that I get more of Jesus, so that in my emptiness he feels me up to my weakness.

He makes me strong. That is his power at work in me that it's doomed to failure unless God be in it you know it's it's that kind of Christ centered us. That has to be present otherwise, why are we pursuing radical dependence that I love you you quote John Stott and I married it back to you. You wrote it in your book, but I want to hear you respond to what he says because in some ways is ravenous discussion about radical dependence of being rooted and also trying to print dreaming our kids would be adult followers who are rooted in radically dependent. I think the world and our kids are not looking for this mission. Quote John Stott said large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent but thin veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to be respectable, but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life while changing its place and shaped to suit their convenience.

Yeah how you know that that's warm and fuzzy and right in your between the eyes. A love and hate that quote from Stott love it because he spot on. I hate it because it hurts and if I'm not mistaken he wrote that in the 70s and 1970s, and it feels like you wrote it to church today and what he saw back then. His only perpetuated since then, and in the American church.

At least that's our context, so we can speak to that and that is that's what we have presented people. That's the Christianity that so many churches and Christians have have settled for it.

What we made our God is our comfort. We made our God is.

We want that thin veneer because then we can keep living life the way that we want to and just wrap it in Jesus language or Christian language or church language at the end of the day were not pursuing him were pursuing our our own what we want in our own desires and it and what ends up happening and what what ends up being flippant in twisted is that Jesus becomes the means to the end of what we really want and not end and of himself and thought, I'll tell you the story and we may be at a time, but so our son. We have we have one son, three daughters are three girls are biological our son.

We adopted is our oldest.

We adopted him when he was three from Ukraine and we went over and the and spent the whole month of November 2005 in keys Ukraine doing just your paperwork meeting with officials so so forth will and God's goodness and sovereignty. We were we were there.

That whole month.

Not only do that but to get to know him every day we get good for about two hours to the orphanage ended up being such a blessing because he got used to us. We get used to him so the day we took him home. It wasn't so startling for them but every day we would go and they would put us in this little playroom in the orphanage. One of the greatest desires that I had as I wanted him by the end of that month when our prayers was that by the end of that month he would begin to see me modest. This guy who shows up to play with, but his daddy are pop up as they say in Russian and every day you know is attachment with it. For those who are listening who have been through adoption. You know, that attachment can take a long time so is probably little nave and advantageous for me to think that can happen in a month, but I was praying for that one day I'm standing there and I feel his hand grabbed mine and he never done and my heart leapt in it just for a moment I set there and I thought is, is it happening is he seeing me his daddy will then he begins to lead me across the room and so I go with him and before long was standing in front of the shelf that went almost to the ceiling was low ceiling that 8 foot ceiling. I'm six to these little bitty resorts pointing to the top shelf it to a toy that he can't reach any just start saying in Russian. I'll remember the word but he keeps your saying that that that and so it occurs to me he grabbed my hand because he wanted me and he didn't grandma him because he saw me as daddy. He grabbed my hand because I was the one big enough to get what he really wanted. It wasn't me.

And in that moment I don't say this is because pastors always had the yet to make it over spiritual, but really and truly in that moment it was is not audibly but it was if the Lord whispered in my ear. This is what you do with me you come grabbed my hand and you come to me, not because you really want me, not because you really long to be satisfied deeply in me and not because you see me as Abba father is daddy to be filled to the fullest because you were created for me and redeemed in me you just take me to the shelves in your life. It is okay to ask God for things that's not the point of the analogy that people sometimes say what we also discover things that are just one point of the analogy that many but you just got my hand so that you can lead me to the shelves in your life and tell me would you get that for me to get out your bigger than I am. So you get it, as opposed to not want to be so dependent upon you, Lord, that I am filled by you. You are the one in whom I who I'm deeply satisfying. I think Psalm 73 of whom have I in heaven, but you there's nothing on this earth that I desire besides you my flesh in my heart may fail you. You oh Lord, you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. We started out program talking about how do we get kids are fully surrendered and walking radically independently upon Jesus. That kind of parent who is taking God's hand every day because what they can get but because of who he is.

I think if I have a life mantra. It is to be totally and completely sold out to him like he gave him everything you everything you don't hold anything back because when you are before him, and you've given everything that's to me when true life begins is not easy and it doesn't mean you won't have hardship sure that there's something about walking with the father who wants to be with you at all costs at all times to be with you that knows you, that's easy.

Here's you and he fails me all of us when we say like that's where we might appear totally rooted independent.

Then, as we said over the last two days. You have to know him so intimately to know that's who he is, because I did. I do think even our kids in the next generation many years tending to walk away. I think because what you just got at I can guess why don't you like a dog out I thought would give me this is not working out that way.

I'm walking away and I think the shelf for a lot of us is fine. If I follow Jesus will make my marriage better if I follow Jesus, he'll and doesn't do that grant definitely is a sinner make in our marriage but it's like wow when it doesn't go as we think we like don't let go of his hand. Since we don't know him as our father. And when you really get the nose your father like how could I ever walk away from him because I have experience I've tasted and seen the Lord is good to ask the question, when was the last time I did something that I thought I cannot do this, apart from Genesis to step out in faith, something radical, not because we should ever saying you show me that that is because you're fearing God's night next pound you step out was last time that that we attempted something so great for God is doomed to fail unless God be an you know it one last thing maybe I could say here is that just encourage all of us. We have to be people of the book, the Bible, we have to be, we have to know the word. Here's why. It anchors us so deeply.

And what is true in the one who is truth.

But then what is true in one of the things it occurred to me as I was prepping for teaching this in writing the book. How many people how many people do we read about in the Scriptures who devoted themselves fully to the Lord, the God used in amazing ways is broken as they are just like us. Did they get what they wanted in terms of earthly desires. How many I meet almost none. However, I was gonna say it's almost 0. The only one that I might if I could sit here longer only one that comes to mind that I go you know what he ended up getting even more than he ever dreamed of was Joseph, but I mean incredible amounts of hard for Joseph Solomon. Solomon Butler County Chris like everything's vanity right everything is meaningless. Everything he got everything in.

I just say that to say this but what did so many of them get in return they got the Lord, the God's kingdom. They experience the flourishing of knowing God and being known by him and that's irreplaceable you been listening to David and Wilson with Jeff Noris's book is called rooted lifestyle of radical dependence you can get a copy@familylifetoa.com. I got the president of family life David Robbins here with me and David.

It's been a unique day for you know today's been extra fun for me because I got to be here in studio with a good friend Jeff Noris and I go way back.

Some 20 years and we were on the same team together when we were serving college students on campus at the University of Georgia and he adopted his first kid. We had our first kid with special needs.

When we were together in that season and that that rooted our relationship and I love having him calm and share about a lifestyle of dependence and one of the mantras that Megan I have made a part of our lives because we really do believe that we've had to live it is that if dependency on Jesus is the goal, then weakness is actually an advantage in one of the things that happens when we experience weakness is our need for others increases and when I think about Jeff being in studio today and getting to hear from him I reflect back on seasons where we felt our dependence and need adopting from overseas of a kid born with special needs, and we needed one another, but we had a foundation already of community and when hard things came our way. We were able to dive into those hard places together and depend upon the Lord together so as I reflect on today's program around dependence and us being followers were rooted in radical dependence.

I think be rooted in radical dependence with relationships. Go find those relationships take risk, to share with people what's really going on in your life you will not regret it because you end up looking back on seasons some 20 years later and say I not only dependent upon the Lord, I needed other people and they pushed me closer to him.

Yet community has been the most essential thing in my life to you as I've walked and grown in Jesus. Thanks, David next week. Have you been finding yourself upset and agitated with your spouse lately. Maybe you're on the verge of giving up all next week. The Wilson's are joined by our very own Bob Lapine to help you walk through the challenges that emerge in every marriage, causing couples to become isolated and alienated next week. There are a few weekend to remember marriage getaways happening around the country. You could pray for the couples hearing to be gathering in Little Rock, Arkansas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm Shelby Abbott will see that next time for another edition of family life today.

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