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February 7, 2022 5:00 am
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I think mom sometimes I go start on January 1. Go to the Bible in a year and now I am on day 12 and I'm already behind. I guess I'll just get that no start again tomorrow because if the goal is to know Christ and to love him more and align your heart in your life to look more like him.
Then tomorrow is not too late to begin. What a great encouragement from Ruth Joe Simons.
She's our guest today on Focus on the Family here to help your family develop a solid faith foundation. Thanks for joining us today on John Fuller and your hostess focus president and author Jim do just so easy to lose sight of the big picture as we raise our kids.
What are we trying to do parents face basically constant pressure to get their child involved in sports or church activities, school programs, amici and I succeeded sometimes were Trenton Troy, but other times, reduced interest, so it didn't work. If your mom and dad. I'd encourage you to step back and ask yourself what's my main focus when it comes to parenting and what should my focus be if I don't know Scripture provides a clear job description for parents is to teach your kids about God and his will for their lives. That's pretty straightforward talking about God's word might happen in a structured setting. Jean love that the devotions every night at 730 minutes.
We got five minutes of contemplation. 10 minutes of singing and then 10 minutes of Bible reading and then a Q&A time that was being there for me was driving down the road to look at that sunset look at what God's painted for us tonight kind of in the moment and I am looking forward to talking with her yesterday about how to encourage you is apparent to those foundations in children and Ruth Joe Simons is an author, artist and entrepreneur.
You might know her is the founder of grace laced and she creates art rooted in Scripture, our conversation today is about a book that Ruth and her husband Troy wrote called foundations 12 biblical truths to shape a family and we got copies of that here and all the details are in the episode's roots welcome to Focus on the Family. Thanks so much for having me so good to have you. I'm excited because your mom of six boys. Expert not annexed not experience okay for the listener and the viewer what what of the age ranges for your boys with the oldest of the youngest of my oldest is 19 acres to 1715 1310 and eight Chester Pat Troy. Her husband were here with you to answer so concisely not better as their birthdates. I have to like look for it on my blog to find what day I blogged about their but I'm impressed with Troy is good, let's get into it. Let's address listeners who are thinking you are teaching the Bible isn't coming in my wheelhouse. I'm not that kind of extrovert communicate or whatever it might be and yet how is this topic relevant for parents who don't see themselves as the big reader, you know, I think parents get overwhelmed easily because we immediately think that we have to create a perfect scenario in order to teach our children about God. We think about having to put our hymnals out sing amazing Grace and Emily has be well behaved and the number one question I get all the time is over is what we do.
If our kids are rolling around on the ground or they start getting a fight or they start poking each other and they're not listening aloud. That's really kind of real life right and so teaching Scripture and showing our kids the goodness of God is and can happen in a vacuum.
Anything for so many of us. We thought that if we just take them to Sunday school.
If we just take them to VBS will accomplish the whole goal in then we can just live our normal life at home and were finding that ultimately it doesn't work to just let somebody else take over that discipleship factor. We are called as parents to be the number one primary influencer primary disciple or of our children so we had to finally to do that.
I do you know VBS.
Our boys went to see it as an augmentation of what you're doing. Not the sole source right. You can't just be once of weekend once a year needs to be in our everyday mundane daily lives. Well as you can say for the listener, a good thing to remember is don't outsource the face training of no seek experts, but you be the core person were to talk about that a minute I want to start there with even your faith foundation and the type of home you raised in because so many of us that were raised in a Christian home and we can flounder a little bit nuts are not really know what's the right thing to do. I mean, I didn't find the Lord toys 22 whatever the age might be what your experience growing up are not growing up in a Christian home. You know my pants and I we all came to genuine faith about the same time as I was entering high school and so interestingly, my parents were baby Christians. They were young, and the faith they were learning all the things about what the gospel is how to what church is supposed to be like how it is to study the Scriptures and said they were trying change. I stopped in the same same time that they were learning the South.
Parents did the best they knew how, by I think they leaned towards thinking that there was a way to read something in them and assume that that was discipleship itself, and it sometimes got a little legalistic to me. Honestly, it wasn't their intention, but it kinda became a sense of well you know if you had a bad day it might be because you didn't have your quiet time that the idea of spending time with the Lord as a family or individually kinda became formulaic from a ritualistic rather than relational and I think that is where as an adult now I feel really called to an burden to help inspire parents to seek that relational aspect when were parenting and discipling our kids rather than fall back on thinking it has to be perfect. All we have to do in this exact time slot every single day and I want to dig into this a little bit because what you're touching on is so critically we don't broadcast with parents who had blown that I'm thinking of the Pepin's and you know some great programs and if use listener. Haven't heard that one. That's a good one. That was the daughter who at 17 was pregnant and you know what that did to the family and the solutions that God provided for the family is a beautiful in-store, but in that context.
It is this idea of really training to behavioral outcomes rather than hard outcomes.
And that's hard because I think we as believers, you know, especially for the parents.
We know that living these things in a structured way. The spiritual truths in a structured way produce good behavior may make you a good citizen, always wonderful things but when you're parenting you've got to allow your kids to stumble is just part of letting them grow.
We grow in the valleys not of the mountaintops and I you I so appreciate what you're saying.
Well, I think we forget that the example that the apostle Paul sets when he writes each of these pistols is that he literally says, let me remind the reader who God is who we are in Christ and then the actions the put on put us come later by chapter 4 sometimes appears we go straight to the pond put us like a lie.
You don't do these things don't do these things are all good things which are all good, but we don't lay a solid foundation of faith as were asking for them to consider living a life that's worthy of the gospel, but really we go straight to this is what should look like.
Rather than this is who God is and why we can build our lives on his foundation. I think at the core roof. It's teaching your children how to choose to do the right thing, doing the right thing without the choice being made does not prepare them for adulthood. They need to be taught how to choose and why to choose to do the right thing, not simply choosing the right thing direct let's move into the 12 truces that you picked out in your book. Let's grab a few. We want to talk about just list them for snow will get him some questions while the best way to tell you about how this came to be is that a couple years ago you good luck at Hobby lobby and seek these like our family roles. I don't if you remember what you walk in times like farmhouse theme and it's usually like in this house we say please we take off our shoes. We don't leave it out. What you like to try one day I said do you want to buy one of those are what are our family rules and he said you know babe, I really feel like I would laugh our kids to get the look up and see list of things that we aspire to that are biblically based, not just like in this house.
These are the things that we say about but what is God say we must be about. And so I said well then why don't you write this for us is that these 12 are not exhaustive, they're not the only 12 things that we aspire to but there 12 beginning and start at the very beginning love loving God with all our hearts and then ultimately hating sin, especially your on because when you start at the very basis of why you need Jesus. Then you can start moving on to all the other things that we see and hope to build our families so good and I love the fact that he said why don't you write that actually became friends.
We made for our home and then for our customers at Grayslake as well, but that's how it turned into the blood where we set. Okay now we wrote these much the South as in terms of how we talk about these 12 homes Detroit find that Scripture talks about cleanliness being next to godliness to find that one.
That is one of the top in fact that Ruth you have a great story about losing your temper. This is a good example of how to be open and honest in front your kids and you lost your temper out you a little bit here but you wrote what happened while well which time this is that one word became an opportunity to share some truths as you can imagine being a mom sex and having everything from college-bound kids to children learning how to actually like put away their laundry sure they they clean the bathroom was their turn. You know, we have all the whole range. I often find myself impatient because I struggle with feeling like I want things done my way in most the time they things like, who's cleaning out the fridge. Why did you guys do this even though we party talked about it 10 times the things where I expect some level of perfection and I can think of so many times I think what I explained in the back ways that so many times when I lose my temper. It is a display of how I've put something else my comfort my expectation or my desire for perfection above my love for God. It's most the time it's a display of my worship of self my worship of my own comfort in my making an idol of what I want this house to be about and usually that starts with the where word perfect something you know there's always some idea of perfection in my mind and I want everybody to know when Dave didn't meet the expectation to get me to that really struck me because maybe it's just I haven't read that in such assistant fashion.
When something gets you when you get angry about something. Is it an idol. That's a great question to ask yourself that any age and I think that one of the best ways to do that self assessment is to say, am I willing to send to get what I want or is not getting what I want, causing me to sin, and so when I think about that in terms of being a mama it's okay to want the dishes done. It's okay to want everybody to pick up after the game that they play, but the way I communicate that will reveal whether I think that getting my way is more important than honoring the Lord reserves the time your husband Troy was struggling to read the Bible and you know that that is the pace of life sometimes and he shared this experience with your kids. Just being a mom observing that example what took place and how was it a positive thing to say to your kids that I'm not really reading the word right now. Well between the two of us try honestly has a better I'm consistent and disciplined routine, but we all write all of that is going to seasons where were not getting a whole lot out of it or were thinking about. Why did I not see the fruit of that time today and so I love that he often shares with the boys that it's a matter of walking consistently in the relationship with the Lord, even when that day. You don't necessarily feel up for it or you don't feel like it's some big dramatic experience and so he's modeled for them first thing in the morning when I wake up and there's no magic to first thing in the morning, and he often says hey, if it doesn't happen first thing in the morning@some time later, but he is always the first one up now and he's modeling for them what it is to feast on God's word and the aroma of that and just the fragrance of seeing their dad, like really enjoy it has really wooed them just good I like feasting on the word. I like that's a good metaphor for what we should all be doing it so difficult to teach your kids if you're having a hard time getting into that reading in the discipline yourself, what advice would you have for the parents who do struggle with consistent time what note I think the obvious answers just do it but you know again that doesn't always get someone motivated to go so what what can they do to recognize the importance of doing well.
I will just tell you what I preach to myself because I it's a perennial struggle in my own life to remember that I need to be fat so something's some practical things that really helped me is sometimes I mix it up by going on a walk and listening to an audio Bible or listening. As I walked I think that makes a big difference. I think sometimes it really just helps to remember that it doesn't. This might be the theme of my interview right now, but it doesn't have to be perfect right I think especially as a mom. Sometimes I go I said I was in the start on January 1. I was gonna go to the Bible in a year and now I am on day 12 and I'm already behind. I guess I'll just get that no start again tomorrow because if the goal is to know Christ and to love him more and align your heart and your life to look more like him. Then tomorrow is not too late to begin that when the goal is to feel good about your Christian walk. And to think yourself a good believer and to prove that you can check things out. The less you can be really discouraged to start again so I think it really helps to do the self-assessment and say what is my motivation because if it's Jesus knowing him more than I will begin again tomorrow.
Even if it's five minutes starts with I love that story about Susanna Wesley about how she had all these children and the only time she had with the Lord was to throw the apron over her head and signaled her kids and having a moment and praying I'm talking to the Lord. I throwing the apron over my head subs for so many of us it's not can it be a quiet walk in the way it does not can it be all this alone time were surrounded by demand in children, but take a moment even if it means you open up this book or your Bible and just say hey guys, just listen to the word for five minutes and that such you noted good admonishment. It always is buttressed by a good story, so I figured Troy your sleep deprived.
The kids were young you dying on the vine. A lot of moms are doing in the garden right there. That's where I met and Troy suggested something you really meant something on visa so you're you're referring to the time where we had a child who just didn't sleep and you know people can write and tell me all the things about what he might've needed during that time but we tried everything and he was before and he just woke up seven or eight times a night. And you know you get to that point where months and you start feeling like I just just can't unction and somehow I wanted to do in the morning was while I can't get up.
I have to sleep in until as late as possible because I'm miserable and so one morning he after a season of feeling like he was running on empty. He just got up and he said what are you doing like I get up and read my Bible and I got how can you afford to lose any sleep in get up and do this and I can't afford not to his answer and his answer ultimately was to remind me that there are times it doesn't mean that there's some formula for you have to get up even when you're tired, but that there is a need that far beyond sleep and food and shelter. It's really of the soul that we must commune with God when we are children of God, we have to so you know when you've been running on empty and dried up after Susan worth one of the themes that I'm hearing you talk about especially.
I want to again direct the stored moms but this affects dads to the balance between feeling guilty and feeling motivated and I you know diets don't work when it's guilt driven to know that you give up.
You have the doughnut done that no more guilt. You know, so we apply that the spiritual disciplines me when the when that person is motivated, as you're describing like Troy saying you and I need to read the word more than I need sleep.
That's pretty profound, but that person that's maybe the whole Christian life is been built on guilt, not on love and respect for the Lord and the right thing to do, but not through guilt, through relationship just described it for how to move someone from the guilt environment to the man I just needed.
I lived most of my life and operating out of fear of not having approval not pleasing the Lord thinking if I have my quiet time he be pleased with me and if I didn't then.
Oh my goodness. Maybe he doesn't want to hear from me because in my mind I thought he was the kind of heavenly father that would be sitting there cost. I'm going well you're having a bad day because I told you you should be in the Psalms by now at in your binary, you know like tap tap tap what why you still behind in my mind that's the narrative I had of a holy father in heaven and so to move our hearts from the place where we are striving for God's grace striving for approval. Fear of not having blessing and favor to move from that place to striving as and working hard in pursuing with great intent, striving in grace. The difference there is. You cannot give away or operate out of what you don't have right and so we have to taste and see that the Lord is good. First and foremost, so for the listener out there who goes well I don't really know why want to open my Bible I feel will dried up in my soul and I feel exhausted and I just feel like it be checking out the list. I would say you know let the psalmist felt that we had times to start their find out what is so great and what is so satisfying to the writers of the word like why did they know that God was faithful and good start like that. I think a self-assessment might also be that if you consider faith transactional. If I do these good things, these right things right, then God will inform the boy to bless me. He'll give me the new cargo given whatever it might be that so transactionally based that when it doesn't happen. Now you have remorse you have anger toward God because I did what I was supposed to do it such a vicious cycle. It's not healthy spiritually. That's not God is not transactional.
That way you want your relationship and so then when bad things happen.
You're still leaning into him and trusting him and the amazing thing is I hope someone he's listening this. I hope this is like a reminder for the listener back when you look at the story of redemption from beginning to end its God continually putting on display. He's doing what we cannot. I mean, when he walked through the broken bodies of the animals with the covenant with Abraham, saying that put you to sleep and I'm gonna fulfill the covenant by myself and do that, that's, you know, in the Old Testament, but ultimately to Jesus Christ dying on the cross, additives law, yes we did not do that and still I think when we feel the struggle like I can't handle my life. I can't do my Christian walk well enough, I'm gonna ruin my kids when you feel those things and that narratives kind of crowding at your head.
You start with the reality that God's callings are his enabling is when you are his child, he will give you exactly what you need. The very things he calls you to always been about him holding all things together as we read in Colossians. It's always been about him doing the impossible right it's always been Ephesians 3 about him doing more than we can ask or imagine. Here that's what excites me get to it like is Mike reach across this your airbags and to say if you are weary. This is worth pursuing because he's pursuing you described that worship the reading of the word in your home. One of you and Troy found it really has worked with the six boys you know it is regular rhythm to doing you know, reading, and worship and spend time together spiritually while they all put on ties and we got hymnals and they said that were like hers and they play the piano never looks like that it looks like sometimes it's in the car or driving from one place and then we say hey nobody's on their headphones right, let's let's have a conversation, let's talk about the word now. Sometimes it looks like as finishing up dinner and me saying hey I made little dessert or extra something for us and the blonde.
Let's just hang around for a while. I'll buy reads from the word and talks about what he got out of it today. Whether you're using at devotional like the one I've written here because the goal with writing foundations was to help you get the conversation started.
It's for parents to go I don't really know what to say or what to read or how to pass on something that I'm not sure I'm getting much out of it so we started a conversation help you lay down that that groundwork that true foundation of faith with your kids to get conversation going. But if you are in the word yourself and you want to share to say guys I write out a flippant sale. I tell you what I read. Let's talk about it and so can be as simple as that.
And I think one of things that really helped to me as a mama who struggles with perfection is to remember that just because it didn't go really well yesterday doesn't mean we can't try it again today just because we don't do it exactly from 6 to 630 every night doesn't mean we failed anything Troy has done really good job of reminding me because in our Instagram bubble world. I like Instagram I work on is on Instagram, but sometimes we think we peer into another person's life, and we think they are family looks perfect.
They are all sitting quietly. Nobody in their family is dead. You radio silent when you asked them who is Jesus like they are all doing so well now. Just remember that it's not perfect for anyone and that even if you have a child his throne effect in the middle of your quote family devotion time. That might be the very topic that God wants you to adjust and I think one of the great things is apparent is intentionally trying to keep your child's heart tender were not brittle. Absolutely no so you think that is your setting up this conversation so I keep my my kids heart is tender toward the Lord as possible and in our house you are writing right in our house.
The number one way to do that is for us to go first for us as parents to be that example of tenderness and vulnerability and for us to confess first and say I'm the one that needs Jesus today and when you go first and say you're the one who screwing up your the one who is needing to remind yourself that Jesus is all and not perfect.
Schedules are not pushing all your goals then they are able and their brave enough to say okay I get it to you. This is been really good roof. I hope the listeners and viewers have caught this.
This is so critical in your parenting journey to develop the heart you know somebody can will go supernova broadcasts that you're trying to launch adults, not children. And that's a great statement spiritually, emotionally, the whole bit. You're not trying to launch children you're trying to launch an adult and these are great insights on how to do that. Thank you for being with us. Thanks for having me so appreciated and boy if you need this kind of help. This is a resource that you need to get an I'd like to encourage you to help us in ministry. Make a gift of any amount and will send your copier roots book to help you in that parenting journey so you're getting really a twofer writer helping minister to other parents and you're getting a resource that will really help you in your own parenting journey. So do that make a gift today and will send you the book is our way of saying thank you. Donate today ask for your copy of foundations are numbers 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or stop by the episode notes where will have the links and be sure to check out our livid challenge for great activities to encourage you in your families face when you sign up will send a monthly challenge to your email inbox. All the details are at our website. Be sure to join us next time.
As we hear from Pastor Andy Stanley encouraging you to look past your circumstances and rest in Christ.
The foundation of our say is a person, the foundation of our faith is not an experience.
The foundation of our faith is not an answer to prayer.
The foundation of our faith is a person, Jesus Christ the Lord on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. You and your family thrive