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April 14, 2022 6:00 am
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How do you like God recognizing that everything he says is tinged with bricks doesn't mean that is most really soft or easy word doesn't deal well with sin but he deals well with it in a way that actually develops relationship rather than crushes. That's Pastor Bill Smith. These are guest today on Focus on the Family to discuss some important tools. Actually the most important tool you have is apparent. Your words thanks for joining us your hostess focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John phone John look at the book of Proverbs in Proverbs 18 it says the tongue has the power of life and death well for us that are Christians or minutes to get instruction right and this is especially true in our role as parents. The tongue has the power of life and death with our children and on the flipside, harsher biting comments can wear your relationship down little by little with your kids. If you're that biting parent where you know you're expecting perfection, it's never quite right. And why did you get an a in these okay but in a would be better if some of this is ringing true. I want you to stick with us today because we have a guest who's going to talk about how to use words of grace when talking to your kids and with the goal is to build a better relationship with your child and do quick them to navigate life better. I wish we had some redos in my home gym so I'm looking forward to the conversation that Dr. William Smith he's a pastor, counselor and author and he's written a book that will be exploring today parenting with words of grace. Building relationships with your children. One conversation at a time and you can click the link in the episode notes to get your copy or give us a call. Bill welcome to Focus on the Family him. Thanks friend is your first time it is. I love the title of your book parenting with words of grace. Let me let me kick it off there because I think even in the intro. You know setting that up. You can hear. I don't know why I'm caricaturing. This is a dad.
But I could hear that dad going.
My goodness I can't believe that and talk about this sometimes and be tough with your kids and it might be true but speak to that balance of boundaries, words of grace. I'm sure a lot of people and words of grace.
You don't know my kid has a let's get that out of the way. I get in and here's where I think it's so helpful to realize that what I'm trying to capture is how do we talk to our kids like God talks to us recognizing that everything he says is tinged with grace doesn't mean that is necessarily soft or easy or doesn't deal well with sin but he deals well with it in a way that actually develops relationship rather than crushes that and that's perfect in a 71 subdomain of God, the God of a bunch of teenagers we don't behave perfectly and that's the other aspect of this life, you know, Paul, who my goodness who could rise to Paul's ability right as a theologian knowing the word the way he did. Yet Paul himself said you know I do those things.
I don't wish to do and I don't do the things I should do basically and I think he was giving us that idea and perfection in this life and I think we really consider provocatively this way before. It's as though were trying to raise Pharisees and we think that the best child we could possibly have would be one that looks looks perfect on the outside. We really don't care what's going on on the inside that is good and as you go through the Gospels, you realize that the Pharisees were the epitome of good kids. People who had everything down. The thought right way. They were the kids that you wanted your kids to play with because then your kids would normally be hopefully right I want your kids to marry them.
They were the future leaders of the community and they stood in front of Jesus and did not recognize the one who created them and they accused him of being a tool for Satan anything about a cake that's not what I want when I'm helping my kids grow into moral human beings right and that's again what why I'm so excited to have you here today because I believe in this message and I think you know even in my imperfection as a dad. I think you'd agree John and I Jane would say that as a mom that you know we have to realize were broken people to and were not perfect parenting and boy when you can express that to your kids at the appropriate age, it's revolutionary to them. I member one timeout when the deterrence bedroom.
I had disciplined him and I went and I said I just got to emotional on that trend. I'm sorry I reacted the way I did and I member. He was in the top bunk, eyeball to eyeball with me and had this big smile on his face as to why smiling he was. I didn't know parents had to apologize. Also that's also an and that it really I think it communicated the right thing, let me go back the moment you talked about God obviously being our father and that wonderful perfect model of that. What kind of words does God use with his children. Let's let's get into it. One of the things that he says to us, so maybe even pack and unpack the theology of conversation with one of a better phrase. What what does God do when he communicates he's unpacking who he is.
He's the invisible God, but you get a sense of who he is as he speaks, because he tells you. Here's what I value your eyes makes us in his image. So there's an analog out of our hearts, our mouth speaks is Jesus says so you can see our invisible values and our concerns as we talk same is true with God. And so, as he communicates to us in the Scripture you're getting a sense of who he is as a person, but you also gain a sense of our place in his world as he tells you. I value your important to me. I want you to be with me forever and get that sense of wow wheat we count, what is man that the you should care about him and and God says a lot and and because he puts that value on us and as we hear him speak. We get a sense of who he is, we get a sense of how he values us, and with those two things, there is an implied invitation.
Given what you've just learned about me, given how you've heard me connect with other people would like some more of me from and then as God's image as we do the exact same thing every time I talk. Whether I'm getting formal theological instruction or on talking about how do we clean up the milk that just got spilled on the table. I'm communicating this is what's most important to me, never having a mistakes or your mistakes happen. I'm communicating your place in that world you're this rotten person who always know interrupts my schedule or you're someone who gets to learn now how to clean something up that they can in that it based on how I value them. I'm offering invitation that says when you have more emotional maturity when you have more options are you likely to want to spend some more time with me yeah or will you spend that ulcer and in the book your ear mentioned. An example your son. I think being little boy took something he shouldn't of taken. I think some money or something like that had of that turn into an opportunity to show on this dynamic between God's treatment of us. Your treatment of him what happened.
Yeah, that was so that that was one of those opportunities you don't really want to the end of the day clean everything up and just would be left alone in this little person walks into my office and says do you remember to three years ago when $10 went missing at and you knew that it was me because it was on my side table, but I said knows the cat of like yeah I remember that and he says what was wrong and so I I want to get that right. You want the money back and I think okay well here's a beautiful opportunity. Obviously, the Lord is at work moving in is gets amazing it was. How long after the fact that three years or so while it's amazing he been caring at that law. Yeah well help think about how long I carry the things that intercepted and think three years is short, the outdated daughter, but I was very grateful to see that. But I'm also aware how he has a very moralistic approach to sin.
Sin is an activity only by paying it back and yelling yeah okay and maybe I'll give you interest but by what I want to expand this for him.
I said to do you really think that you can pay me back for what we went through said yes. Okay, now I have to enter in a little bit more said so you can pay me back for all the hours that I spent worrying about where you were inside your own heart and mind. You can pay me back for the suspicions that we then had one other money was misplaced around the house. You can pay me back for my concern over how your building greed into your life and how your pushing us away. You can pay for all of that, he says no I can't and that's the kind of moment that I want for my own life might when I realized here's what Jesus really did to pay for me right as of though you can never repay exactly which makes the gospel beautiful. The cross wonderful and my God amazing and that's what I want him to experience in the moment you incursion the book parents to look for the positive in seed form so I want to describe what that means what you are looking for the positive in that seed form says apparent in my 30s and 40s.
I wanted to see my kids responded, 30 and 40-year-old ways and you is that wrong. It doesn't happen often. That is so true. Why do we do that I Jean I've had this conversation with my wife and I none you know sometimes she's the one correcting man sometimes made toward her and I remember saying you know there 15 and that the nano 40-year-old.
The knock and the think the way we think and that's true. It took me four decades to get you in that time, a think, well, why aren't you I told you how to get note that maturity takes time so that I want to walk that back then and say what's that look like at your level and how do I affirm that rather than being irritated because it's not the way that I really wish it was Bill. I can imagine some parents watching on YouTube or listening to us and they're going okay this is good, I get it, but it's difficult to know when to encourage and when to speak the truth kind of that balance still need to be mom and dad just can't let them do anything they want to do or behave anyway to get that argument how how do we balance that one of the clues that you give us in the book to to make sure that you're doing that in a healthy way, which it probably is the best goal you so underneath of that question, I think, is the realization that on any given day in any given moment.
Your kids doing some things that are positive and some things that are less them and so what what you focus on as I go through the Scriptures. I noticed that Jesus rebukes people rebukes the Pharisees rebukes Peter when Peter is rebuking him in your eyes. There are hardhearted moments where he goes after you read a book like first Corinthians which always is weird for me because the opening several verses are just about how great the Corinthians are how thankful Paul is from how they been blessed with every spiritual gift and then you read the book and think really that it's reprimanded yeah because these are guys who are engaged in all kinds of sexual immorality and divisions in the church and look think why did you encourage them go to second Corinthians, and you realize all they responded there's a softness in their hearts, and I think that's the key.
The hardhearted people eat you come a little bit more strongly little bit more energy. If someone is responding in soft lead with encouragement because what you're affirming is what God has built in there that will last forever yet so often bill as I leave this question to the end, but I think the timings right now.
The parent that has blown it.
You know we have lived by behavioral modification guidelines in a week want you to behave a certain way so that we can be proud of you and our neighbors can be proud of us.
Right you know what I'm saying and it it's dawning. That realization is were listening to this discussion okay. I haven't managed that well what they do with their 15-year-old who may be rebellious now because they never have been able to get to that standard and its cause division and a prodigal, potentially, is often times those prodigal kids are walking away from not always, but often because that bar being set so high they could never attain it. I can never please you, so why try anymore.
So speak to that parent work. What can I do differently now.
I think for that parent you have to realize I am that parent as well and the gospel that was good for me decades ago. Still, the gospel have to run to today and I was have to go I have to start there. There are remedial things that I can do with the ones that I've blown it with you mentioned some I think going back and apologizing huge offering a different kind of relationship. Okay, this is the way I have been.
I will not deny them not to try to cover it up if you want talk that we can talk about it, but I will set a new path and new pattern because if Christ is risen from the dead. There isn't anything that's impossible for his people, but that is really good and and I think the other thing I would add is it's not too late to start for that kind of reconciliation. Confessing your own sin is apparent to that adult child or that teenager you notice that I've blown it.
I did not understand this, that kinda leans into the next question I want to ask about which is the need for honesty, that's brutal honesty you as a parent can come to the conclusion that okay I have not done this well and then confess that your child describe what it means to be a mirror to your child.
In that context of honesty I use a metaphor of the mirror of verbal mirror and that's simply when I'm saying to somebody my child, my spouse, my friend, this is what I see in your life.
I could be wrong I could be Mrs. reading you but this is what I seen you guys.
That's what Amira does.
It simply shows you you the way that you are and it's up to you whether or not you accept that and so I've offered. Here's what I think I'm seeing in my scene correctly and to you. Do I need be corrected or if I'm scene correctly. We will do about this hatted that were coming practically with your son.
Describe your kids by the weighted sons and daughters have our oldest is a daughter, now married, and then we have two sons. Okay, so that context is you were the mirror to them. Did you how did that go.
I guess I'm just can ask you flat out appreciate that and let me add a caveat upfront. There is no guarantee that any time you engage your kids well it's going to respond though verse you not given that authority or that ability in their lives. So sometimes when I've done that with people. It's worked out very well is been a reciprocal hey okay I know dad loves me and cares about me and so I respond well and other times it's yeah okay get away from me. Let me fresh.
I think your son had an issue with self-control hatted you do the mirror thing with them in that context is so, and that one just sort of watching all of the different kinds of things he'd been doing for several days or week realizing I needed to step in and say something to him, which would be that. Here's what I think I'm scene. Can you help us with what that looked like I'd just endless time on his phone eating way too much junk food watching and other kinds of things considerable behavior.
Yeah, life lived as we are at our house later on. You and I need to lay that out for him but that's a vulnerable spot where you going to come to somebody and say here's all these unimpressive things that I see you doing so on. Lay the groundwork for that first cited by confessing my own sins saying I know what that's like as a pastor. Sunday is sort of the point you drive the rest of the week toward Brighton. Sunday afternoon is Friday night for most everybody else were you just sort of.
I'm all done pressures yeah the way that I tend to handle that. In any I can't slow my mind answers.
I would just want to feel numb for little while TV is a great number is just this electronic thing and so I found myself on Sunday night watching Sunday night football. While that was an interesting of some flipping back and forth between that and the World Series. One of those ends. I flush the other one tilts done. If I turn this off and that I feel all the things of been trying not to feel so let's go look for person of interest reruns analogous to elementary and finally by 1230 is like enough just turn this off and so I'm able to go to my sunset. I get it. I know what it's like to go hours and hours and hours without feeling like you can stop and there's hope and there's a place where we can both go it's not just you and your need, but it's collectively our need at the foot of the cross. That's a good again, especially walking the path together and that illustration of it. I think children, especially teens fall toward you and that kind of dynamic.
They love that the you're not perfect and you do need to ask for forgiveness. Yet, as I wrote it, that there was actually really cool because you drop by the den.
The next Sunday, said okay, I'm going off to bed.
Have a good night and get to bed before 1230.
Our guest today on Focus on the Family is Bill Smith and he's written a great book parenting with words of grace and that we do commend it to you. As you can tell none of us has mastered this whole thing to parenting, but as your raising kids or as their adults is never too late to be offering Grace this is a great book to help you get ready to do that.
Get a copy from us here at Focus on the Family are numbers 800 K in the word family and the link is in the episode notes. Bill sometimes your children will need you to explain hard things you've kind of touched on that theme you are helping your family prepare for, I think, family members, funeral tell us what happened in that context that somewhat like I have the illustration in that was a time where there were very little. It was my grandmother so very young kids, one of whom really does not did not like death and you realize that in the US we don't handle death why we we keep it away from everybody so nobody has to engage it and so sit down at dinner time. I said guys have some hard news. Dinner was over, I had some hard news nanny has passed away. She start intimately.
The one person so we'll have to go funeral and the first white all have you yeah and I was expecting that said, let's slip. Let's take a look at a book. It passage out of Ecclesiastes and I brought a children's Bible version. That said, it's better to go to a funeral than to go to a party and I paused and said that that seems a little odd. That's counterintuitive and the kids are like yeah that doesn't make sense and you keep on reading as is because everyone living will die and so it's helpful to think through that, because this life is very short and the life with Jesus is how long they said forever. I thought nobody knows what forever means inside. I put numbers on things is that what's I like 27 million years and like no longer and now do this sort of ramp-up 56 million no longer it basically was able to say to them. This life is really short.
It's like 3/8 of an inch long. The life to come is like from here to the sun. About 93 million miles long. So my plan. Next, I think, was used in my plan next Tuesdays to go to the funeral and think about the 93 million mile life. Set up a saddle cry, but I think there's more wisdom to that than just living in the 3/8 every just having them capture that and tuck it in their heart right to give them something to think about. Let's move to another area that kind of final encouragement is important to expect that your kids are to make mistakes and be ready to respond well when they do I think even mental talk for a parent to understand that I member Jean and I had that you know the boys were younger and I could see Jean panicking a little bit somewhat okay. Tell me what's going on thinking of when Trent or Troy Wender to be 15 and what they potentially could be doing but parents can do that you can catastrophize what your kids might do when they're teenagers because you saw him do something as an eight-year-old.
Explain first the opportunity that you had to comfort your son after baseball game which I think is a little bit related to this, I would say it is and my wife.
I said I have worked very hard to think to ourselves.
They are going to make mistakes. So what can they experience in my home. It's not being perfect, but it would be to have a sense of how God responds to them when they're not perfect. What does love look like that embraces them. That does not say your sin is okay but still embraces them anyway and I thought that's what I want them to experience in our home but that means that I've gotten by myself into that. So my son lied on time. Short mystery lied one time about catching a ball when he didn't out of championship baseball game and I kinda knew that he had, but there's a lot of pandemonium a lot of pressure on him literally the past and did you drop the ball and you eat East 10, and every steering everybody's cheery exact. I can imagine that and so he lied and I I was praising him on the way back to the van after the game about all the good plays, including that one, which was astounding.
Even if you dropped it and and I I'd drop down on one knee and I said look I just swear say one thing for we go home and that is I want you to know that if you ever do something wrong, like lied about catching a ball when you didn't want. You know you can come and talk to me okay I said okay.
All right, here's another one that doesn't work, but there's wisdom in that you didn't blister him you didn't say okay so what you want to tell me right exactly. That's wisdom because all you're doing is forcing a confession you're not trying to reach person's heart and what happened. We drove home. I did a bunch of chores on the way home after we got back kids followed me all around that eventually thereby left except that one looks at me says Katie at minute I said yeah what's up. He said you know when I told you that I caught the ball I lied. I didn't have any tears streaming down out of his eyes.
At this point and he said it meant so much when he said that I could talk to you whenever and and so all the way home I just kept thinking about that and and I just I couldn't wait to say something I it's so good and will this content is so good I can't express enough yet I still have this ringing in my head when we talk about parenting with words of grace we say. I understand that but kids need to learn how tough a world this is it. II don't know why. Maybe this is something about my childhood, I don't know what it it it it's just like I can feel that hard heart parent saying that and they just I don't know if it's because they're uncomfortable.
They didn't receive it as a child and therefore their dinner in a can pull up their kids by their bootstraps and life is tough and get overwritten but in God's heart for us is all grace. It's all love even says if we don't have love for a clanging cymbal. Right that his nature is love.
How do we move from that may be hardhearted parent, even as a believer into something so much better when you speak in those kind ways and I've had this question before and had people ask this. What I often hear people doing is equating grace with niceness and discipline with punishment and think.
No, there isn't a single way that our father relates to us apart from grace. Grace is the overarching umbrella it's covenant, and so everything is done within the context of relationship. Both the the positive affirmations as well as the that the discipline discipline from your father. That's that's grace because it would be ungrace to just let you run and destroy yourself. I think the grace part really does talk to.
What's the goal is the goal that we would be restored to each other that we would be closer after this interaction. That's the grace part, because you can discipline without grace, and you can be accurate in your assessment. The discipline needed to be given but if the end result is you driving your child away because they've learned to not disappoint you to not to receive hatred from you. You not disciplining them in the same way that God disciplines you yeah and and you know that thought came to me. You're right in the action, and wrong in the heart yeah and that's where we miss it know this is so good parenting with words of grace. Building relationships with your children, one conversation at a time. What a great resource for parents to have and you know I say this from time to time, John. If if the listener the YouTube watcher if you can send a gift of any amount. One time, her monthly will send you a copy of the book as our way of saying thank you for being involved with the ministry. If you cannot afford it on the trust others will cover the cost of that as part of the ministry here and will get it in your hands because I feel like this is one of the core key messages that parents need today in a world that is gonna beat up our children. They should know that can come home to a loving environment to learn both the truth and the grace of God's heart for them. Bill, thanks for being with us. Thank you guys, who was really good to be here and when you get in touch should be generous as you can and request that book parenting with words of grace and are numbers 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 and the link is in the episode notes will coming up tomorrow. Pastor Andy Stanley sheds some light on common arguments people used to do bonk the Easter story, including the idea that the disciples stole the body of Jesus to steal the body in order to perpetrate a lot have a resurrection was absolutely too dangerous and pointless. Think about it if they were willing to die.
Jesus while he was alive.
They were about to risk their lives. Now that he was dead on 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.
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