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Jackie Hill Perry: Your Home. Holier

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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October 18, 2022 3:00 am

Jackie Hill Perry: Your Home. Holier

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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October 18, 2022 3:00 am

When it comes to your vibe at home stemming from your inner person, does your family see God's face? Jackie Hill Perry gets real about taking holiness home.

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It was a couple years ago that I had to make the decision that how I treat Preston is indicative of what I believe about God, literally. And so it's like, I can't talk crazy to him and not think that God doesn't care.

I can't dishonor him and not think that God doesn't care. 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 or on the Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. Well, there's a hymn that I heard in church growing up. I think probably all of us have. I don't think as a kid I ever sang it. I just listened to it, but it was, you know, holy, holy, holy.

Oh, yeah, I didn't go to church hardly ever growing up, but that is the only one that I do remember. And I liked it. I've just heard a recording of our audio engineer, Bruce Goff's little girl, Estelle Goff, at about two, two and a half years old, singing the lyrics to this. And I think our listeners, you got to hear this. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning, oh, such a wise tree. It's the best.

It's the best. She can really carry a tune, too. That is precious.

So sweet. She is singing, whether she knows it yet or not, a deep theological truth and understanding about the character of God. He is a holy God. And we've got Jackie Hill Perry back with us today to talk about the holiness of that God. Jackie, welcome back.

Hey, y'all. What do you think when you hear that little girl sing that song? It's precious. Isn't it?

And just what a memory that is. And you've got, what, four kids? I do. Girl, you are in it. I am. It's beautiful, especially because I never, one, I never knew I would have this many children. But I also didn't, you know, you never know if you'll end up married and with children, especially with the background that I have. And so it feels like a really big gift that God has given me.

Yeah. And somehow in the midst of being a wife and a mom, you write a book about the holiness of God, holier than thou. How does the understanding of God's holiness impact what we just talked about, you being a mom, you being a wife in your family? It impacts everything, namely that we know that we are holy when we are bearing holy fruit.

So self-control, patience, kindness, joy. I thought you were talking about bearing kids. And I'm like, they're not very holy. No, they're not. If you thought you were holy, you know, just have some kids and babysit them. That is true. And you're going to see how simple you really are. And so to bear fruit during that time.

Yeah. So like they challenge you to actually live up to what you say, you know, but I think one of the things that convicted me a lot when I was studying for this book was when I was reading about how God is a judge and therefore he will and does judge sin and how people tend to think that the Old Testament God is the super vengeful God and that the New Testament God is the super gracious God. But then I was looking at the Old Testament and I was like, no, God has actually been incredibly patient with all of us.

One, none of us should be alive. Like we all been sinned since birth. But then you have, you know, Israel who God judges Egypt when he could have judged Israel, but he just chose to show grace. And I thought to myself, God has been so patient so as to leave room for repentance. Yet I am incredibly impatient with my children. You know, like I thought about it, if God was as impatient as I am, I wouldn't be here. And it's just, I don't know, that mess with my mind is that like, I just need to mimic God even in his parenting of me. If that makes sense.

Yeah. And what I would do in my parenting when I wasn't exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. I mean, think about that as a mom with young kids, love, joy, peace, patience, just those right there.

Like those are hard to attain apart from abiding in Jesus, that John 15. But what I would do is I would think it's not my fault, it's my husband's fault. Because I would think if he was home and if he was helping and it's amazing how the enemy gets us to shift from ourselves to something else that's causing the pain in our lives. And I think that that's really, for me, that was my go-to. I would just shift the blame right onto you. I mean, is that something you do? No, because she's holier than I am. I think I do.

I think I need to process in what ways. We need pressing in here. Because I'm listening like, oh man, I probably do that all the time. Yeah, I got to sit on that. Well, I mean, I think it's, you know, as I listen to you, it's no different for a dad. It's the same thing. Maybe even more impatient, but I think it's so easy to think, okay, I can focus on the holiness of God, but I'm living around unholy people and I'm unholy. So we live in that rather than this.

We go horizontal rather than vertical. And especially in our homes is sometimes the hardest place to live it out because it's so daily. You know what's super helpful, though, about the home is that I think when you are a Bible teacher, especially, you can spend so much time knowing Scripture that you somehow think your knowledge of it is synonymous with your living it.

Preach it. So true. And so I feel like my home is always a reminder of what I actually, like who I actually am. And so it's like- It reveals who you are. You was talking to the Wilsons, all good and fine.

But when you got home, you had attitude, you got all sharp with your husband, you were super impatient. Like that's who you are, not necessarily just your articulation of the truth. And so I think that's the interesting kindness of God really is to use our home to like show us our hearts. That is a good truth.

Yeah. We spend so much time taking care of the outer physical self that we are. What would it look like- And showing the world the best version. Yeah, we show the world this version of ourselves.

And I've always had this thought since I was in my twenties. I thought, what would we look like if the world saw our inner person? You know, we would take way more care of our soul and our spirit. We'd be spending time with God all the time because, and that revealed to me like, oh, that means I care more what the world thinks about me than what God thinks about me. And I'm thinking, why don't we want to spend time with this God? If you told me, Ann, do you want to spend time with this holy, holy God? I would say, no, the holiness part. That's why I'm amazed, Jackie, with you writing this. And I feel like you paint such a beautiful and clear picture of what holiness is because that God feels intimidating.

Like I'm not enough. Like he will judge me like no other. Even in Christ, he will judge me. And so the picture that you've painted of the holiness, the beautiful definition of it, is way better than anything we would want. Yeah, I mean, God is both far and near. In His holiness, He is transcended.

He is set apart. He does exist differently than us, but He also has come nearer to us in Christ, which is all the evidence we need that He wants to be known by us, you know, like He is Emmanuel. And so it's a faith thing at the end of the day is that I really do have to have the faith that God really does love me and that He's not lying when He says it. Well, it's interesting what you said earlier that I don't think I've considered it this way that who we are at home is who we are. And it's so easy to think, no, no, no, no, who I am out in the public and as a preacher, who I am on that stage and in the lobby is who I am.

And I put so much time into that image. Jackie, you probably don't know this, our listeners do, so I won't go into details. But there was a night years ago, our kids were probably little, as a pastor, Sunday night. Ann literally says to me as we're crawling into bed, you know, I so wish the man who led our church lived here. Oh, my goodness. That's what she said. That I knew exactly what she said.

Jackie. Now she doesn't like me anymore. No, so hold on, I'm sorry.

I didn't hear that episode when y'all said this story. So were you joking? You was mad.

You was frustrated. I wish you was joking. Hell no. I have to defend myself here.

Defend yourself. Terrible. Like, why would I say that, right? Bad timing. It's convicting.

It was for me. I shouldn't have said it the way I had, but I watch him. And here's what I said. Like, I watch you. Man, you bleed.

It's the public outside. You bleed like crazy. When you pray, I want to be on my knees. And you inspire, like, thousands of people.

It's incredible. And that's what I said. But then you go home.

I wish that guy lived here. Exactly. And I know, I know what happens because I do ministry. You're tired when you get home and you just want to rest.

This is your place of rest. But poor Dave, wouldn't that be the terrible thing to hear getting in bed? Here's how I responded. I responded just great. I said, I know other husbands.

They're lousy. You've got a really good husband. I'm better than most husbands I know. But here's what I was, I was believing this lie. It's what made me think of this when you said this, is who I am out there is really who I am.

No. The truth is, she pointed out who I really am. Man, if I'm not leading and inspiring my own wife and kids, that's where real life is.

And so that's the question. It is, in my world, easier to be that man out there. It's harder to be that guy here, but that's who we really are. So how do you live it out at home? Let's just say, let's stop right there and say, this would be a great dinner conversation too. If you have kids that are even seven and older, ask them, how do you guys see me at home?

Who do you think I am? I remember asking our kids that one time and they said, Mom, why are you so nice to everybody outside and then you're not nice to us? And this is so hard. I guess, I think for me, knowing that God cares about both. He cares about who I am at church, who I am at Kroger, and he cares about who I am at home. It's like we're performing for people out in the streets, but at home, it's like we let our guard down.

But it's like, no, you have to work at this too. Why? Because God cares. And one thing that's always in the back of my mind for me is I would hate if when my children are older, 18, 17, 19, 20, and they say my mother was not the Jackie Hill Perry that you guys know. That would just break my heart. And I know it would govern even how they do their faith. Because they would have divided lives too, because that's what I modeled. And so I don't know. I'm convicted.

We all know this. As a parent, we are modeling for our children at three years of age and at 18 years of age our view of God. They are catching it no matter what we say or teach, they're catching it. So to understand this holiness of God as a beautiful attribute of God that draws me rather than repels me, the question as a parent is what view of God am I transferring down to my legacy? I mean, I think as a young mom, I used to feel the pressure of that. Like, oh, I'm responsible for my kids' walk with God. And I felt this pressure. But the older I got, the more I felt like all I need to do is walk with Jesus. I need to be with Him. I need to read the Word.

I need to pray out loud. I just need to live what I feel in front of them. Because I'm going to be honest, our kids are older. They forgot all the other stuff. I thought, like, oh, I taught them these great truths. They don't remember any of it. And yet they remember, like, Mom, I remember you reading your Bible all the time.

And so those are the things that matter that they catch, you know, by watching. Yeah, but hopefully those are the things that they don't just see us reading our Bible but living out under the beauty of a holy God. How are you doing that, Jackie? Like, you're in the midst of discipleship in your home. Very natural. Yeah, because I used to, like, compare myself to, you know, the people that got family worship every other Thursday. You know, they sit down and go through Habakkuk with the five-year-old and talk about Amos.

And I just like, I'm a little too tired to do all of that. And so I think my children are getting discipled just as we flow. So, for example, my oldest, who's seven, when I take her to school, we listen to the Jesus Storybook Bible. And I might ask her questions, but it's also 6.45 a.m. So I might not, but you got some of this word in.

You know what I'm saying? We pray every night before bed. But my three-year-old is as simple as say in Jesus' name, amen, when you're scared, you know, like she'll have nightmares. Just say Jesus. Jesus!

All right. That's discipleship. Like, I'm teaching you where to go when you're afraid. It's very casual, but I don't know if that's bad or good.

I think it sounds like it's an overflow of your life. Yeah. Yeah. And that is discipleship. What about in your marriage? Because I know sometimes that's where it's really hard.

How does holiness look in my marriage? Yeah, I mean, how do you share that, you know, with Preston or, you know, how does that look? Because I know it can be easier sometimes.

I'm modeling for my kids. I want to- That's true. But in a marriage, it's like raw. It's like, I don't like you. You don't like me right now. Yeah. The holiness of God is not, you know, on the front of my mind. Man, my relationship with Preston is the bigger challenge because it's so united and close and important. And I think it was a couple of years ago that I had to make the decision that how I treat Preston is indicative of what I believe about God, literally. Wow. And so it's like, I can't talk crazy to him and not think that God doesn't care.

I can't dishonor him and not think that God doesn't care. That's actually the fruit that I'm bearing. And so I think that's one. But two, having a, creating a safe space with each other. I want to be a place that you can confess and feel safe about that and vice versa.

I want to be a woman who will bless you and inspire you and pray for you. I don't want you to be fearful that coming to me means, you know, getting some shame dumped on you. It's, I don't know. I guess that's how holiness is. It's just being loving, really. That's the essence of holiness.

What you just shared is beautiful and that's what we all long for. And so I'm guessing you guys don't do it perfectly. Absolutely not.

Because no couple does. I'm incredibly traumatized. So that's the thing.

What do you mean? So I think when you coming from a home with fatherlessness and sexual abuse that complicates the way I love and my ability to receive it. And so I think holiness gets real weird when you want to love, but you don't want to be vulnerable. Not being vulnerable means my guard is up, meaning I'm more mean, I'm more irritable. I'm more hypervigilant in all the things you do. And that's how you know your guard's up.

Exactly. And so it makes holiness as it expressed through me serving my spouse harder, where it's like, oh, it's not just that I need to die to sin, but I also need to be healed. Do you feel like God has helped you in getting to know him be healed? Yeah, I'm being healed. I don't think I will ever say that I am healed.

And so I think therapy has been instrumental in my ability to be a freer woman in my relationship with my husband. And what you said I think is so key. If I want to die to sin, I have to understand my healing. If I'm not getting healed, I'm not going to long-term die to sin. I'm going to keep going back. Even though I'm free in Christ and a new creature, I won't understand, why do I still battle this?

I haven't dealt with the junk. Because so many of our sins are coping mechanisms that we've developed from sins against us. And so I think we have to identify, why am I responding to this this way? And you might have to go back to when you were four or five and you were rejected or you were abandoned or abused. And it's like, oh, I need to deal with this thing so that I'm not triggered by things that I shouldn't be triggered by. What would an example be for you? Can you think of something?

Anytime I feel controlled, I buck against it. So it could be something as small as Preston comes in and says, give me a kiss. That triggers me. Some people that's cute.

No, I totally. He wants to give me a kiss, whoopty-woo. That triggers you. For me, it's, oh, you want to control my body because I'm a person who was sexually abused.

And so me and him have to work through, I want to give you a kiss, but we're going to have to reframe the way you get it, you know, because I don't feel safe right now. So that's the thing. So to have that conversation is the most important part.

Well, besides God coming in healing, but to have that conversation, otherwise you would have just rejected him. Yes. And then he would have felt hurt.

He would have withdrawn and you would have done the same. Yeah. Or you need to be in community with people that can identify that for you. Because some of our pain is so suppressed that we don't even realize why we're becoming so defensive. Right. So you need help to say, your husband just wants to kiss you. Why are you mad?

And it's like, huh, I never thought about why I'm mad every time he wants to kiss me, you know? And so I think having good friends that are observant, that are prayerful, that'll be able to spot those things for you is also a really huge deal. And good friends in a community where you feel the freedom to share the vulnerable, to share the weakness. That's safe too. Because I think there's some of a misconception of, if I'm around a holy God and around holy people, you hide everything because that diminishes the holiness of us and of God, so we just, we fake it. Yeah. But the picture you're giving us of God as holiness is beautiful means, no, I want to bring that to God. He'll receive it in a way that I feel beautiful. True?

Yeah. He won't reject it. He will beautify it. Well, I mean, I listened to, you know, 30 Minutes with the Parries, your podcast, where you and Preston talked about the porn struggle in your marriage, which was so good and raw. And you know, as you think about the holiness of God and the holiness in a sacred marriage, to be able to struggle as a couple through that, help us understand how that conversation reveals the holiness of God. My brain goes to so many places because I think what was really informative for me is to recognize that when Preston had the season where he struggled with porn, that it wasn't simply because he was lustful, but it was also because he was lonely. He was feeling rejected by me. He wasn't receiving the comfort emotionally and physically that he might've needed. And that's not saying that I'm to blame, but it is to say that because he was not expressing how he was feeling as a man and as a human being, he was tempted in ways and went down a path that he should not have gone. And so I think for me to learn, oh, men are much more complicated than I've given them credit for, which is a reminder that he's made in the image of God. You know, like you are a very nuanced individual. But I think what the challenge was, okay, he's sinned against me. I have two options. Either I will sin against him, therefore sinning against God by rejecting him or whatever.

And I went through that season. Or I will be compassionate and I will be merciful and I will walk with this man towards righteousness and healing where we can get back to a place of wholeness and health. And so I don't know, I guess that's what it was. Both of us having to trust God, not only with ourselves, but with the other person, because I can't control what that man does, but I can help him. That's what we've talked about so often. The enemy, his plan and strategy, let's say if you have a spouse that's struggling in that area, his strategy, and I did this wrong for so many years, is that the enemy's strategy is that we turn and face each other and fight one another. Because I did that with Dave when he had confessed early on in our marriage that he had struggled. Then it became all about me and my own fear of rejection, my own insecurities of not being enough. And so instead of turning together to face the enemy who is speaking lies and trying to divide us, I turned and started fighting with Dave. I mean, I think that happens a lot in the family, but I like that. He said Preston wasn't expressing how he was feeling.

So often our marriage is, we don't, because we hurt one another and so we pull away. And we're afraid. We're scared. So afraid to be rejected. And I think we do the same thing with God.

Me too. And part of it's because we think his holiness is untouchable. I can't get near him and if I do, I have to show nothing but purity rather than my weakness, my sin. And what you've revealed, even in your book Holier Than Thou, is when we come vulnerable, we see the beauty of holiness.

It captivates us. You're listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Jackie Hill Perry on Family Life Today. You know, Jackie's got a good wrap up on what pursuing holiness looks like in just a second. But first, we have Family Life's president, David Robbins, with us today. David, tell us about what's been on your heart as you've been thinking about these things. You know, when I reflect on these past two days with Jackie Hill Perry, it makes me think about the generational impact of us as husbands and wives and moms and dads and people in homes living together in close proximity, processing what's going on in our own hearts, processing what is affecting us that's making us do the things that we are doing. And when we do that and we really go there and take that to Jesus and allow him into the crevices of our lives with his grace and his truth, it ends up transforming us in a way that not just impacts our home in this moment, but it impacts how a kid grows up.

It impacts the next generation, ends up being a model for how we live out the gospel every single day in our homes. I'm so grateful to be a part of a ministry like Family Life that is about not only impacting your home and other homes around the world, but impacting legacies generation after generation. And I just want to thank those of you who are partners of Family Life, who give financially to be able to get truth like we've heard today to more homes so that the grace and truth of the gospel can transform more lives. Yeah, thank you so much for making what we do possible here at Family Life to impact generations. And when you do partner with us, we'd love to send you a copy of Jackie's book, Holier Than Thou. It's our thanks to you when you partner financially today with us.

You can give online at or by calling 800-358-6329. That's 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. Okay, now here's Jackie on how you can pursue holiness. To pursue holiness, I think is to attempt to live out our original design. And so Genesis three, they're hiding from each other and God, and we're always reenacting that. And so it's, I think holiness is pressing against this, this need to hide, to be afraid, but to actually, no, let me embrace freedom. And that's a scary place to be, but it's a good place to be. And I have to believe that God is the one who will ultimately and finally protect me. I can't protect myself.

I'm not that good at it. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back 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 / 2022-12-02 11:37:08 / 2022-12-02 11:48:20 / 11

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