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July 22, 2020 2:00 am
Shelia Erwin explains how parents can help their children discover and pursue God's purpose for their life in a discussion based on her book Raising Up Dreamers: Find and Grow Your Child's God-Given Talents.
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My mom had mental illness. I was going outside to really understand and she didn't ever have a diagnosis until oh, 17 so a lot of things are happening in my childhood that I had to grow up with and Odyssey, which is always a comfort for me and always something that I could go back and I try to help make my world think that Lori had a tough child caring for her mother pretty much on her own but she found comfort and hope through Focus on the Family's radio program for kids.
I do know why I like my head of what and without God and without a dark place on Jim Daly. Together we can encourage more children like Rory especially during this pandemic gift today Focus on the Family.com/strengthen families. People used to say is anything done differently was only two things I would be the perfect mother and they would've been the perfect that I did not happen, that did not happen either. Count Sheila Irwin joins us today on Focus on the Family your hostess folks president Dr. Jim Daly and thanks for joining us on John. John, I don't know about you but I've so enjoyed watching my two boys grow into unique people from the same family, but one is more introverted once more extroverted trip is very focused on things he can zero in and concentrate strongly on something he definitely is how to be a social setting and speak to people but it's not where he likes to be in the Troy is nothing but a social guy who loves people is the friend of friends, just enjoying people so much and it's just great to see how different they are yet moving in the right direction. As you know we have six and those kids are also different and I don't know how but we believe that the same thing a lot of different personality types.
I'm grateful that they all get along and a lot more creative and have their own little unique places to be creative, but it's been fun to watch.
Well, God has a purpose and plan for each of your children to and he wants you to mold and shape your children in the way that they need to go and especially in following Christ. That's the main thing you might notice that your daughter has a knack for talking to people like you just mentioned. Or maybe your son is a deep awareness of justice. Whatever it might be you need to develop that to help us learn how to do that as parents so we can better prepare for that journey is our guest today, Sheila Irwin and Juergen learn a lot about how to raise up dreamers that she was the mom of the filmmaking duo the Irwin brothers and you might've seen some of the movies including the recent hits like I can only imagine in the more recent film. I still believe in a Sheila has written a book called raising up dreamers find and grow your child's God-given talents and we have that here. Just click the link in the episode notes Sheila, it's great to have you here Focus on the Family key is going to be here now. It's kind of fun.
We watch your son's career, blossom in the recent years, and other movies are certainly a breath of fresh air from us in the Christian community would love those movies and I hope they keep making many many more. But speak to that recognition when they were even little boys you could see they had some desire to do something unique right. I had Thomas 12 and he was 16 when I came to their father and said we really believe God wants us to make movies Christian 90s as you respond let's make sure parents get this part right because I mean, I like to be honest with them is that's good.
Here's no iPhone to use it in the backyard and you think that will be a fad. Yeah, I went ahead and some fats in their lives and so you know you just drain with them and wait to see what that's in a daze, so that's interesting right there that you don't give up on their imagination, so never squelch that desire, especially in those early years may want to try something.
Yeah Hank was the one that I came to, so I got to get yeah dad, I got it next so that was confident that Hank was great he tell them to think that day. He said boys it's gonna take 20 years for you to be a success if you're willing to give 20 years of your life to this then so be it. How they respond and they said okay what you come up with a 20 year just like that was, that he'd seen at another careers with other people as well and it's gonna take some time. In other words, not necessarily just 20 years. Although I can only imagine came out the 20th year. Yeah, it was there by Movie and said that was only say that Josť told him that you gotta be willing to give your life to it. That's always good.
You suggest raising the child. God is given you that infers uniqueness and knowing your child's bed, I think the scriptural reference would be no. Your child and raise him up in the wage go have that apply for well there uniqueness our boy like you said that your sons are sons are so very different and it really is the artist he has the artistic temperament and John's for the business, man. He could sell ice cubes to Eskimos and so they make a great plan, but they're very different.
But Andrew and I remounts as a child is a genius paint was started talking at seven months. Yes, he had a seven word vocabulary. By that time when he was a year old. He was making sentences at 15 months. He was conversational and he could read it to so he and by the time he was three he could start a and give you a Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet on the Z, and so he was very, very smart. And then John came along and John struggling.
He started kindergarten not being able to recognize his ABCs. I thought he had dyslexia really did resent that he had ADHD eventually losing first, but that's another story. Long story so I had to really realize that they were so different even in educational type thing and so instead of it presented it to John is a difficulty we said it was a gift and so that God had given him a unique way of learning and he was going to use any hands. He really has done can deliver us and so I think is how you approach it with your children but I think often we see other children.
Anything which my children were like dad or I wish this child like dancer.
I don't like this about my child like this about my child, you know that I think Teresa once that God gave you. He gave them to you uniquely. Not only did he give them to you, but he gave them the right mother yeah let me mention some because in the book you spoke about the building of a set in your garage so some people you hear this and okay will know no wonder the boys of done while mom was really engaged dad was really engaged speak to that commitment. I mean, you built a movie set in your garage in a first of all, I wonder how you found the room to work on my there is a certain level. When I look at it. I don't know the it strikes me as maybe unique support you and hang provided your boys, but if not, tell us because that gives the rest of us hope that we don't have to be super great parents.
To achieve this, but what set formula look like what I really don't want people to look at my book and think if we do not like our wins with get film producers.
Some people might the uniqueness of your child and what God's called you to do as far as I was not major you now and so the artistic type things was fine for me and I was the artistic child that drove my mother crazy because she wants it and you know so that got both sides of that. But with this said that it was just a fun thing that we did.
We were in ministry did have a lot of money, and so I went out and bought some plywood sawhorses in the back of the garage.
We had a section that we were easing in and actually we lived on a slope to get out of the driveway had go straight down so he didn't really get down to the garage didn't really want, which car there so we used more storage, but we set it up and I started it and then let them help me finish it and we we get all the Star Wars things and they played with it for you forever and ever and loved it and he said that was beginning storytelling for him.
It really sparked his imagination, and I asked myself why did that mean so much to you because you stepped in the my world a while and so I think that as mom's.
Whether your creative are not careful to step into their world and be a part of what they love. Not trying to get them to love what you love show I'm struck by something you said a few minutes ago and that was that you told John the he learns differently and that that's a gift. I just think their parents struggling with because I don't see it as a gift to see this. A deficit so connect that to maybe the child who is in creative and I see that as a deficit. How do I help spark a dream. Yeah whatever he tells different and God's got a plan for that child and for that family. We have a thing in our house.
It says every family has a story in RDN plaque thing and suffer John, it became because John is not so directly focused that John can be focused on five things at one time. You now and and he has to eat needs to be because of what he does and so God I think approaching it that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, whether if God gave us this disadvantage.
He's going like Paul said I must decrease and he must increase anyway so it's all that Jesus and him taking what he has put into us. We didn't want Jonathan know you're young you do not know me hard and you're not can and that we did bring John home to homeschooling. The best thing we ever did for John because a second grade. He was reading grade level and make it nice because John is extremely hockey and a photographic memory, but he was really struggling with classroom and said like the structure well I just couldn't come up with the structure right because like if they were having a reading Republic. Here he was all that there is a rod outside the window is over there and you know it so it does focus down and do his work was hard was difficult for him, so bringing him home. He went from reading we tested in the beginning of second grade. He was reading second grade, fifth month by the end of second grade just from being home and needing able to focus and and honing in on his of his ability to learn. He was reading eighth grade for so for us, but I think if we approach difficulties. You know my Bible teacher always said that difficulties are opportunities and workloads. So if we approach it that way.
That okay got given us this is not what we would've chosen. Of course, but it's not a bad place, either sure it's your place in one of the most critical things that you mention the book is the need to develop your child's face and you mention helping them understand soon. You know that it's important to teach kids about sin and what does that seems like such a far concept doctors were giving metals there.
But you're awesome. You're great and that's all good.
It builds up oneness, self-worth and self-esteem and that has a value, you need to be rooted and that too, but talk about sin and saying hey son daughter. This is a part of life. Sin is real.
How did you approach that well the way the Lord started me out on that quest was when I was principal at cushion school's principal. Yes.
Okay, now it's all for one and one of my students was a precious child but an argument is. Basket said the sky was blue should site.
It's really kind of turquoise in you and so her parents about the mommy in which was our custom an article and I talked with her and that she wanted example, she took examples and then she she's not get back to you. She got her husband was getting his doctorate down seminarians and he wasn't there that day but she said as she went over what I'd said with her husband and he began to weep quietly and he said it's not sin. He said I have an argument in spirit and so he dealt with that and then I brought the daughter down and said sweetie this is what's going on and dance confessed his sin before the Lord, but now you need to deal with your sin and I thought after she call me back and tell us that we had revival in our home and so she asked me to with her daughter.
If I saw her being argumentative to just go and touch his shoulder and say just not say anything just to children. She should stop arguing she doesn't let me know, and she called it. See, and I thought see it. Sin is not a bad choice. It's not whatever it sin. It's what God calls it is I went to prepare my children so that they knew they were sinners in need of a Savior. And so we call disobedience. What I want to sin and we get with that way. And then when I came of age. They understood they were sinners. It wasn't like mean I'm a sinner you are a sinner and you need a Savior, Sheila, I really understand the encouragement site. I think I tend to be an encouraging parent. I don't know that I miss good getting the boys through disappointment and so hot. How do you strengthen both of those areas so your good encourager yet same time. You can also help them through disappointment or maybe when the disappointment years as a parent, not Ashley. I played high school sports. I thought mama have two boys, which I did. The Lord your gracious they were athletic looking like football football player and the and that's okay.
I really had to bite my lip but I guess it was a discouragement a little bit for me, but I had to realize their different people. They're not me. I lived and breathed it for them is like. It's not that important to me dad, but how you manage that is parent yell it's not your dream stairs yes and and so that's one thing you really have to learn to let it be there dream between them and God and not try to push anything on them. As far as what you want them to Bayer to do and you don't feel. I spent today that I disappointment we tire boys that failure is a part of success and you're going to fail there going to be times when you fail and you're going to have to learn to deal with failure. That's a very important thing before the Lord.
We taught them also that all things work together for the good. We taught them to thank the Lord in all things. So I think learning to fail is very important in learning to get back up failures, not the end failures of learning process height was so good with the boys about saying when I would disobey ours, they would whatever he was grade at St. what you learn. You tell me what you learn son and so teaching them to learn from their mistakes to get up to get back up and get back in the fight you now and figure out what they're going to have to do on I 90 did a podcast that was on during the quarantine. With the growth of Christian actors Guild out in California. It was excellent that he was talking about that, yes, was it a gut punch when your new movie came out and it was number one in the nation. I can you know I still believe he was number one on Friday night and on Monday morning they closed all the theaters down time and it was a good punch and what he did he just sit there wallowing in pain on you say okay what can we do now you know you go back to Lance get used to get this into people's hands and they figured out ways to get the movie and it's it's broken.
Even now, and make its money. Not what they'd hoped. But what we did when we get that gut punch. We just sit down along when we get let me also ask you what I love about what you're saying Sheila is this is not rocket science, but sometimes we get so disoriented. His parents, we don't remember to do the basic things. Absolutely the Scripture even used what wonderful things if your kids can leave the home. Just knowing to trust God in all things to be grateful in all things.
Those are wonderful attributes right there if they really can catch that and leave home. As you launch them just with those handful of wonderful truths. Another aspect for you is prayer and the importance of prayer. How did you and Hank managed while we pray with our children and we taught in the goblet didn't die did the impossible and we saw him do the impossible. Over and over and over again and so we taught and that God could do that so that they believed in prayer. We had prayer altering it was I was our big coffee table in the Dan and we all get a grant and would always say what needs you have and we would pray about the specific needs and see God meet those specific needs. As the boy saw that God really could do that and how encouraging that could be for them to learn to pray, and we pray for them not just with family pride with them, but for them as well because we believe that the transforming God. You can't change a child's heart I long to hear that you can't change your child's heart they had to sit in every state you set in to get what you are spiritually. They have to have a committed relationship to Jesus Christ that's coming on the Savior. They have to come to know them as their all and all they had to come to know I miss the comfort they have to know him the same way you do now is one of our quotes in our home was to know him and make him known and we had it in big letters in our living room on the wall to know him and to make him known. And so yeah it's it spiritually and moms can I say this to you. You have to know the word of God. You got to know if you going to encourage properly. If you're going to be there. We attribute another verse to get got to know God's word said you need to be in a Bible study. You don't need to neglect your site if you I remember a young man that went to get his drivers license or permit, and he went in and he took his test and passed with flying because it was only one of the young man in the room with him. I want out of there. Walking at the young man semi-failed. He said how did you do so well on the test and he said well I studied the name he means the manual did not look at the manual at all. He didn't even know there was one.
I think that's what were doing in the church today we say there's no manual for parenting. Yes, there is. It's the word of God and it's there for everything you need. Everything we need for godly living is and that book and you got to teach to children Sheila M. John Andy, the face of obstacles when they released October baby take us back to that is a great movie. October baby was pro-life movie again. These guys are doing some cutting edge things in the culture that very different this year. Boys are little boys. But what did they face out of the head of the you triumph over after the movie was made. It was a very low budget movie and and very much everybody was involved in doing whatever they could do to get everything done for that movie. My mother actually gave in the first one third of the budget.
Nana and Johnson.
I have no shame.
I went to my Nana but they got it made, and it was it was beautiful. It was a really fantastic maybe they had there been some promises made that they would put it in theaters, and the studio that made us promises back out because of the content so we can touch his 10 foot pole. And so they were last with what we did between the first thing I did is I went to pray together and see God do we hear you we really thought you wanted this in a theater.
They were told that his major studio to just put it on DVD in helping make the budget back is very pro-life.
Pro-life was the story of a young woman who was an abortion survivor bank based on someone else's story, not her story but based on the fact that she was a found down that storied to be true, and done a great deal of research on is a great maybe one of my favorites that I did but anyways I wouldn't touch it and so they went to the Lord, into what we do. We don't know what to do and so they said we really believe that God wants us in the theaters as Annie went back to finish editing the movie John went out to raise $2 million in two weeks which God did they think I provide over and over and over in the young lives in God. God provided the movie it was in the fate was entities, but not before God took them to the end of the things as well financially for them and so that, but the next day was when God began to bring that money and and I began to get a paycheck. God did some wonderful things in that last is last moment. The 7575 is a lesson and so they they trusted God to an end. That lady was in the top 10 that little lady that could in 300 theaters you know God just did miraculous miraculous things that will maybe Sheila in the book you mentioned but God moments. I think I can understand what that means but what we are getting get to the point, you know that we know what to do, but God shows up and in miraculous ways in wonderful ways and so that's what. But God moments that he brings along for us to walk in it can be an almost a miracle type situation or just VSE maneuvers and manipulates our circumstances to get us where he wants us to be. That was what was so funny that going back in writing this book. Seeing how many but God moments they really were in our life. How many times he said we were going at this when he said no go this way we can be a change in direction all kinds of things like that but but God shows up and he does his best work. I love the book of Ruth and I you know my Bible teacher told me that when Ruth and Naomi were walking through chapter 1 into they didn't know that three and four and you know, of course we all know that she's in the line of David.
Her son is in that that line raise Mary's low lands and we get another lineage that she's not you know in that lineage and so I think often we don't get to see those but moments until we're looking back, so good. Sheila right at the end here and I'm thinking about probably several moms and the feel like they missed the other things distractions occurred.
They weren't as intentional but didn't build the store were set in the garage. Whatever might be there, just feeling like I didn't see it.
What would you say to them so they could regain it and maybe I don't know if this talk is in the home or the kids or maybe in their 20s and 30s now but speak to both circumstances the mom and dad still haven't a chance that the kids are home show growing what would you say to them, and then for the adult children, the parents of adult children.
How did they get back on track.
What we do with our voice and and when we would hit a snag.
Maybe we weren't doing the things that we should be doing in certain area is we would have a family meeting and we would ask your forgiveness limits. I look that's convicted us about this in a we can go back and do it over, but we want your forgiveness and we can promise you that from this day forward. This is why things are going to be and so we would work for things to change, but I think his parents we need to realize that are very forgiving God's sovereign you now and we are all in process. That's what we used to say.
Our home were all and process in his house every body mom dad were not there yet.
People used to say is anything you would have done differently with your boys only two things I would been the perfect mother and they would've been the perfect children that did not happen did not happen either count but to go back and seek forgiveness and then decide if they're at home wondering how can I encourage you to teach me about yourself.
I want to know what you need.
How can I help you to achieve what God is calling you to do. And so, go back and communicate, don't just sit around and have a Molly Grubbs and have a pity party feel sorry for yourself and say you not in their online and is all of it was not over till it's over. Your breathing is not over. And so even adult children to go back and say you know that's really show me when I was raising you while I blew it here and I want your forgiveness and maybe they're struggling with it and set them free to be able to forgive you but doubt yourself before you children don't feel like you got to have it all together and be just riding the perfect you know they don't live with you long for. They realize you're not perfect and so here in this journey.
It's a journey together toward holiness Sheila Irwin. This is been terrific. I was really encouraged by this, I wasn't quite sure been the mom of these creative boys that are producing these wonderful movies. They support the movies because it's important but do you just know in the background her. She was so good I could see you being a fabulous principle on your school. You just have such a great lack of understanding the human heart, with all of our shortcomings and the great potential that we have assumed things created in God's image and thank you for being with us.
Thank you for having me this great sure to get your copy of raising up dreamers we have that and a free parenting assessment as well that will be encouraging to you to find out to some areas of strength and maybe an area or two of growth. Either way, stop by the website or give us a call. Our numbers 800 the letter a in the word family were stop by the episode notes for the link and I'll encourage you if you're able to make a generous donation to Focus on the Family during the summer months.
It's really crucial to hear from you and we need your support, your gift is going to make a big difference as we create broadcasts like this deliver a vast array of help for families across the globe. Right now, thanks to a special matching opportunity provided by some friends of the ministry. Your donation will be double so please donate. As you can when you make a gift of any and say thank you by sending a copy of Sheila's terrific book to donate and get that book called 800 family or look for the information in the episode's behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.
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