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Empowering Your Child’s Career Dreams: Jordan Raynor

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2024 5:15 am

Empowering Your Child’s Career Dreams: Jordan Raynor

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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February 2, 2024 5:15 am

Jordan Raynor guides parents in demonstrating the sacredness of every aspect of life and work, encouraging a purposeful approach connected to God for their children.

Show Notes and Resources

Connect with Jordan Raynor and catch more of their thoughts at or to his podcasts Mere Christianand the Word Before Work .

And grab Jordan Raynor's book, The Sacredness of Secular Work: 4 Ways Your Job Matters for Eternity (Even When You're Not Sharing the Gospel) in our shop!

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Seemingly ordinary, seemingly secular work is the primary way that God delivers extraordinary blessings to people, right?

At the most foundational level, that's one of the ways that our work matters to God is that He's using it to answer the prayers of people all around the world. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at This is Family Life Today. Welcome to Family Life Today, Friday Fives. I love Friday Fives. Why?

Because it's fun and it's a great way to have our guests kind of show off and give us some very practical ways to implement their book and this is going to be a fun one. Our guest today, he is sort of a show off, isn't he? Jordan Raynor. No, he's not. You are so talented.

Everything you say is like, man, now he's just showing off. You're so... Just gold. It's gold.

You don't bring silver or bronze, you bring gold. Jordan Raynor is back with us. Jordan, welcome back to Family Life Today. Thanks. Friday Five? Friday Five. I'm all in. This sounds fun.

Well, we're going to call today. Friday Five is going to be five ways to help your kids capture a vision for meaningful work. And the good thing about that is we only have to come up with two. You got to come up with three. But parents are like, yes, I need this.

My teenagers need this. I can't wait to hear what you have to say. Yeah, so, I mean, you just jotted some thoughts down in the last couple minutes. Give us one. This is off the fly. Who knows how good this is. It's going to be good, Jordan. No, this is what I'm doing with my kids.

This will be your next book. And you have, you've been married how many years? I've been married 13 years to my beautiful bride, Kara. I've got a nine year old, Ellison, seven year old, Kate and Emery, who we adopted at birth four years ago.

So my three little girls. So I'd say the number one thing that I'm doing and we encourage our listeners to do is to tell God's story about work. Your kids are going to hear lots of messages from the world about work. Work as a meaningless means to an end. Work as drudgery. The only jobs you're going to love are being video game designers, like whatever it is. Or influencers. Or influencers, right? And God's story for work is rich and very, very good. So practically. A lot of parents hear you say that and go, I don't know that story.

I've heard it's bad. So that's a lie. That's a lie that Satan wants you to believe. Let me give you and your kids three passages of scripture to talk around.

The dinner table made me memorize. Number one, Genesis 2, 2, that says that God himself worked. Genesis 1, he works with his words. Genesis 2, he works with his hands, planting a garden in the east.

So that's number one. Genesis 1, 28, the first commission God gave to humankind. The first gift God gave humankind is the gift of work, to be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth with culture, subdue it and rule it for his glory. And then the third verse I would encourage you to memorize is Ephesians 2, 10, which reminds us that the Great Commission doesn't cancel out the first commission. It's a both and Ephesians 2, 10 says we are God's handiwork created in Christ Jesus, i.e. redeemed and saved.

Why? For the good works he prepared in advance for us to do, which is Genesis 1, 28 of making culture. So many of us think when we even hear Ephesians 2, 10, the good works is all spiritual. We only connect that to church work, missionary work. You're saying good works is work.

I'm not saying that. Paul's saying it. Paul had Greek words at his disposal that we translate to mean evangelism and prayer and other spiritual tasks.

That's not the word he uses here. When he says that we are God's handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, the Greek word for good works is eragon, which according to every concordance I've ever read, literally means work, task and employment. Paul is saying that part of the purpose of your salvation is to just go back to work tomorrow, go back to school tomorrow, go back to your chores tomorrow, only this time do those tasks under Jesus' lordship rather than your own.

So you would teach your girls that. You're saying this is so important. Do you think that will give them a vision, more of a vision than this is just a task that I have to do to survive and to provide money to make a living?

That's my prayer. I pray that if they can understand that God himself works, then work can't not have dignity. It has to have dignity. And by the way, Christianity is the only religion in the world that claims that God himself works. This is radical. Every other religion says that the gods created human beings to do the menial work in the world to serve the gods.

Only scripture, only God's word starts with a God who works. I've never thought of that before. It's radical. If that doesn't give dignity to the work that we all do day in, day out, I don't know what does.

It's a radical thing in the history of world religions. I mean, the one we serve is a worker. Yes, we worship a God who works. And so not to work is not to honor him. It's not to image him.

Yeah. We talk a lot about being imaged, whereas by the way, up until verse 26 of Genesis 1, where we hear for the first time that God wants to make us in his image. You know how many things we know about the image of God? One thing. He's a God who works and creates.

That's it. It's the natural implication is that if we are going to image him and glorify him and show him off to the world, one of the primary ways we will do that is by creating and working in his image. And so I'm trying to get my kids to see that at an early age by memorizing those three verses that gives you a pretty tight summary of God's plan for work.

Genesis 2 to Genesis 1 28 and Ephesians 2 10. Good one. Let's hear yours, Dave. My first thought was a way to give your sons and daughters a vision for meaningful work is love your job. And I don't know if that's the right way to say it, but I remember one of the best things I was ever taught about preaching, not being a pastor, the actual sermon was a little phrase I've never forgotten. And I've taught thousands of preachers the same thing.

I'm writing this down. Run to the pulpit. In other words, the congregation, when you're preaching, and it could be leading a Bible study, it could be anything. When you're speaking, they should feel like this dude ran to the pulpit. He was so excited to share this.

He had met with God this week, and he got something from God that he was just, you know, bursting like, I've got to share what I found in God's word this week. Here we go. And again, you can't make it up if you don't feel this way. But I think you want to take your kids on the worksite with you. You know, take your son to workday.

Take your daughter to workday. It should be, no, take your missionary to work with you because they're a missionary. They're going to do something like what you're doing or different because they have different gifts. But you want them to find something they love that God's made them to do. Eric Little, when I run, I feel his pleasure. He's a good runner.

Then run. You know, whatever it is God's made you, and there's pleasure when you do it. Don't tell him, well, you can't do that unless you pass out some tracts and you talk about Jesus the whole time you're there. No, just do it because you're really good at it and honor God in the way you do it and find joy in it. That's meaningful work. And we think it can't be meaningful unless it's spiritual. Now, if you're finding joy there, that means the people around you are finding joy because they're watching somebody that's joyful in what they're doing. It gives work dignity.

It's funny going along with that. My mom was, I've said this earlier, was one of the hardest workers I've ever met in my life. And she loved working hard to the point where she was a stay-at-home mom. But man, our house, I mean, this woman could clean, she could cook, everything she did.

Rake the leaf. She was ironing our underwear, people. She was extreme, like extreme and loved it. And I remember because of her joy when she did it, she'd sing, she'd hum. I remember I wanted to be with her because my mom found it so invigorating and satisfying. And so I remember thinking, I can't wait to clean. I started doing it when I was like four.

She would teach me all of her songs. And so when people talk about cleaning, you know, a lot of people think, oh, such a drudgery. I think because my mom modeled such joy in doing it, I still have that in me. It's almost therapy. I pray while I'm cleaning.

I like the before and after. And so I wanted to give that away to our kids. But I think that was mine too. So she did it. That's great.

She totally did it. Can I talk to the listener real quick who does feel like their work is drudgery? Yeah.

One of the greatest blessings of this new book I wrote so far has been hearing from a few early readers. I'll give you one example. This guy who works at Trader Joe's, right? He does not love his job. But when he read in the sacredness of secular work, Psalm 37, 23, that says that the Lord delights in every detail of his life, he wrote to me, he said, hey, I found unprecedented joy in stacking a wall full of apples today because for the first time in my life, I understood that that act mattered to God. And he tells me to work hard, see Colossians 3, see Ephesians, right? And so I want to do that as a means of making him smile. So even if you don't love your work right now, I pray that that truth, that every moment of your life has the potential to contribute to God's pleasure, will cause you to run to the pulpit.

That's good. And one of the things you said earlier, Jordan, that I think is really good application with that is you said, you talked about how you have this thing of whenever you go through a doorway at work or what you're doing, it's almost like a reminder, is it to pray? It's a reminder of God's presence and oftentimes that will lead me to pray, but the broader principle is find some physical action you do every day, walking through doorways, making a cup of coffee, buckling your seatbelt, I don't know what it is, and try to discipline yourself to get in the habit of every time I do this thing, I will be reminded that God is with me wherever I go.

And if he is with me wherever I go, he cares about whatever I do as I'm going in those places. And I'm more likely to sense his presence, to remember his presence, and to do my work as unto the Lord rather than for man. Yes, the tassels on the robes of the priests in the Old Testament, and I'm saying that because when I was just getting into Christian work as a pastor, we would play in softball tournaments on the weekend with a bunch of Christians and our coach, who is the pitcher, would say, hey, I'm going to give you a visual before every pitch just to remind all of us why we're really out here. It isn't just to win softball games. It's to honor Christ and the gifts he's given us.

And he referred to the tassels on the, they would look at them, they'd remember who they are, who they're serving. So Wendell would just lift the ball up like that, just above his head, just for a second, it wasn't showy, nobody else even noticed it, but I'm playing shortstop and I see that ball go up and I go, okay, what I do right now matters. How I play matters. My attitude matters. It isn't just to win a game.

I am literally doing meaningful work and it's called softball right now. There's many people who think that's just a throwaway. No, not if you're doing it unto the Lord. It matters. It's good for parents to remind their kids of that.

Like, this matters to Jesus. Yes. All right, we've got two. Okay, Jordan, you're next.

All right. I would encourage you, the next time you sit down for a meal, to talk about all of the different jobs. Get your kids imagining all the different jobs that God used to put that food on your plate, right? Scripture tells us that God provides us for our needs.

That includes our physical needs. He gives us our daily bread, but he doesn't, he isn't making manna rain down from the sky anymore. He is working through the miracle of ordinary work, right? And so I think as you do, I do this with my kids sometimes. Like, if we're eating breakfast, right, and there's waffles and bacon, I'm like, hey, how did God give us this food? My kids are like, oh, he made the wheat, right? And he also made a farmer to go harvest that wheat and somebody to, I don't know, slaughter that pig that made my bacon, whatever. Somebody to go pick those eggs. And what it does is it helps them see that work, ordinary, seemingly ordinary, seemingly secular work, is the primary way that God delivers extraordinary blessings to people, right?

At the most foundational level, that's one of the ways that our work matters to God is that he's using it to answer the prayers of people all around the world. Even like your buddy who's stocking the apples. Somebody stocked that on a shelf in a grocery store that mom bought it or dad bought it. That's exactly right. That's exactly right.

That's a pretty cool deal. You don't even think of that. I like that.

That's a really good conversation with kids, too, and they can be little to have those conversations. You ought to write a book on that. Why don't you write a book? I'll write it down.

I'll give you credit if I do that. Have you already started that book? Maybe. Yeah. That's what I thought.

That's what I thought. All right. Believe it or not, we've got three. Okay. How to give your kids a meaningful vision for meaningful work. Work is really important to me and I love it and I wanted our kids to love it so much. But we did a lot of work together and they had businesses. One, we did a deck business where we were refinishing decks and I helped them. You helped them with that, too, Dave.

We had a lawn business as a family. These weren't really great businesses. They didn't have to be. That wasn't the point. CJ bought his car. That's true. That's legit.

Yeah. His first car. As a 16-year-old with the money that he saved and that was something he felt really good about.

And I, though, had this expectation that they would work the way I worked. And so, you know, this one time we were working on this yard and, you know, come on, guys, let's go. Like, you know, have a good attitude.

Attitude's everything, you know. And they're like, oh, mom. And so our one son, man, he's dragging the shovel behind him, you know, and I'm basically running. I'm running to my job with a smile on my face. I must have been the most irritating parent. And, you know, I would get so mad. Like, what kind of job is this?

This is laziness and this is a bad attitude. And so I would fire them like five times a day. And so I probably scarred them. I would hear, you're fired. Jordan, I didn't have your book yet.

I hadn't understood what this could mean. I fired my kids too. Let's be clear, okay? That nine-year-old's been fired a couple times. But one of the things I wish I would have done is appreciated the way in which they worked and how they were wired. I'm just kind of this, like, I'm going to work as hard as I can and do it the hard way. Well, one of our sons was like totally like, mom, why are you doing it that way? And I'm like, because I'm a hard worker.

That's why. He's so, this one time, I tell them, I think I've shared this before. I tell them, guys, we just got toilet paper last night. I want you to go out and pick up all the toilet paper. And there's so much, Jordan.

It's everywhere. And so I give them a garbage bag and everybody's out there picking up the toilet paper, but one son. And I come out there, I'm like, what, what are you doing? And he's, he's sitting on the garage floor. He has a skewer, like a kebab skewer. And he has duct tape and he's taping this skewer to the end of a broom handle. I'm like, what, what are you doing? He goes, mom, I'm going to, I'm creating a thing to pick up the toilet paper. I'm like, just everybody's almost done. Go out and pick it up with your hand and put it in the garbage bag. And he goes, but this way is much more efficient.

And I didn't appreciate it. Like, think about like, he's being creative. He's being a creator. He's being a creator. He's creating a device.

He would do that stuff all the time where he's like, I don't want to do it to the traditional way. I want to create something new and better and more efficient. And now if I were looking back, I would say, look at you go, man. Like there's, there's something in you that's like an inventor. That you're creating new ways to do things instead of the old way. I wish I'd have just clapped.

Like, wow, who cares how long it takes? You have this whole new vision. I wish I'd have done that more. Yeah. And today's a grown man and he's basically in a job doing that. That's so cool. It's the way, you know, he loves his job and it was always there, you know? And you're right. It's like, as parents, we need to celebrate who God's made our kids to be. At the same time, teach them to work hard.

Because sometimes they can use that as an excuse not to do anything. I got a seven-year-old who does that. Yeah. I love you, Kate.

I love you. All right. So we got five ways to help your kids capture a vision for meaningful work.

I think we've got four. Okay, Jordan. You got to bring us home, baby. One thing we're doing with our girls is trying to introduce them to serious followers of Jesus who are doing seemingly secular work. I don't want the only vocations my kids ever see Christ followers doing to be the pastor on our stage or the missionaries we support on a refrigerator. We're trying to introduce them to Miss Bethany, who's a killer CEO, or my friend, Mr. Justin, who plays wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. Like, hey, you can glorify God in doing this work. And missionaries and religious professionals, but trying to strike up conversations that are age-appropriate to explain what these people do day in, day out. Just the basics of their job at this age.

My kids are nine, seven, and four. Just so they could see, okay, I see this person at church every Sunday. And yet, they're out in the world doing this thing, right, that one day the world's going to tell them is secular. And I want them to see at a very early age, no, very sacred, very serious followers of Jesus Christ do all sorts of work for God's glory and the good of others. So just having those conversations, having those people over for dinner, and getting them to talk a little bit about what the heck they spend 50 hours of their week doing. I think, too, Jordan, to go along with that, to give your kids a vision when they're little as they're teenagers, but to create this anticipation, like, I can't wait to see all the things God put in you. Yes. Of gifts, but also ideas of how God will use you to do something really special.

That doesn't mean just kingdom work, because that's true. But just like you're going to do something one day that will impact people the way that you do it. And I started that when our kids were like, too, like, oh, I can't wait to see everything inside of you. And they would say, is it a present?

Is it chocolate? Yes, exactly. And I would say, no, but there's something you're going to keep discovering and learning about yourself. And when you discover who God made you to be and why he made you, there's nothing better than discovering this God that loves you so much that he put certain gifts inside of you. We talked about Ephesians 2 10. It says that we are God's handiwork. Some translations, masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works that God prepared in advance for us to do. And I've read every commentary I could think of on this verse.

Right. And a lot of them say there's really two implications of this. In general, the works God prepared in advance for us to do is the first commission that we see in Genesis 1 26 through 28 to make culture. But there's because we are each individual masterpieces.

There is a specific work that God has planted inside of us, a specific masterpiece that we are to create. And so telling our kids that we're excited to see that, I've honestly never thought about that. I love that so much. You can put it in your next book. There you go. The next book. There it is. There's a great kid's book in that. I love that idea. Well, you did say, I think it was actually a couple of days ago, you said if the God of the universe lives in this temple, our soul, everywhere we walk is holy work.

Yes. You know, you walk in a workplace, you're walking into a spiritual workplace, whether it's, you know, packing bags or whatever you're doing. Play that out a little bit more because I think if a Christ follower understands that, it changes every day because each day becomes somewhat of an adventure. Think about Moses at the burning bush. You see this fire here and God says, take off your shoes. You're standing on holy ground.

And what happens at Pentecost? This fire is hovering over people's heads, this Holy Spirit indwells us. And now everywhere we step is that holy ground, right? I say this on the very first page of the sacredness of secular work. That word secular, we talked about this a few days ago, literally means without God. But you and I have the Holy Spirit with us wherever we go. The only thing we need to do to make our schools sacred ground, to make the playground sacred ground, to make the grocery store and your office and your zoo meeting sacred ground is to show up and step foot in those places. Nothing is secular. Everything is sacred for those of us that are following God fully. Now, clearly some work is off balance for Christ followers, right? But I'm going to assume our listeners are not, you know, exploiting the poor explicitly in their work.

But so long as we are living unto God, we are truly seeking his kingdom first, then everywhere we step is holy ground, just as that ground was holy ground for Moses back in Exodus. Yeah. And I would say you want to help your kids get a vision. That's what you teach them. Yes, keep saying that over and over and modeling that they're going to walk out of your house someday with a mission.

Yes. Because they were, they, they understood this is where, where I go. Even going to school, Dave, like think about that because we're so afraid, like, oh, I'm so afraid that the atmosphere of the school is going to impact you negatively. Jordan, when you paint that picture, the God of the universe lives in you. And as you walk into the school, he's walking in you through you. It's like, oh, well, if he's in me, then I impact others.

And so it creates this. And I, one of the things our kids have told me recently is that one of the things you used to say to us, mom, is we went out the door to our public schools. Hey, be careful.

He goes to me. That's like saying, Hey, you might fail. You probably will fail. I wish you to say, Hey man, you've got this. You've got this.

You're going to go into that school that, see, I needed to hear that message. Oh yeah. He lives in you.

The God of the universe, the creator of all heaven and earth lives and abides in you. You got this. Yes. Amen. You got this girls. You know, I'm going to start saying that to my seventh grader and my fourth grader here. I love my daughters.

And I honestly get a little bit scared when I think about where the world is today and what kind of messages might penetrate the hearts of my kids. But Jesus is bigger. He is.

And you got this. I'm Shelby Abbott. And you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Jordan Rayner on Family Life Today.

Jordan's written a book called The Sacredness of Secular Work. And you could pick up a copy at, or you could click on the today's resources link in the show notes or feel free to give us a call. Our number is 800-358-6329 and that number is 800 F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. You know, one of the most important relationships that we have here at Family Life is the relationship with our partners. Those of you who give monthly to the Ministry of Family Life and make this ministry possible. And I'd love to invite you to become a monthly partner with us as well.

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So you can find that at Look up a date and location that works for you and your spouse and draw closer to one another as you get closer to Jesus. Now coming up next week, we're going to discover biblical insights, personal experiences, and really empowering perspectives on unity and strength in relationships. It's going to include Ann Wilson, Meg Robbins, Jamie Ivey, and Vivian Mabuni. We hope you'll join us for that next week. 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 donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 03:41:40 / 2024-02-10 03:53:41 / 12

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