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May 5, 2022 6:00 am
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Hello, I'm John Fuller and today is the national Day of prayer first Thursday in May were we pause to thank the Lord for his blessings and ask for his ongoing protection and provision for our great nation. Here are some thoughts about the portents of prayer and why God encourages us to pray from a conversation that Jim Daly and I had with Jody Barrett on a recent Focus on the Family episode for a lot of years you don't really know how to prayer if you're doing it right and I thought okay I'm in ASCAP or something and then if it happens.
Must've been a good prayer and if not, you know, maybe I did it wrong. I didn't whatever and it felt very transactional and yet as you look at Christ's model for prayer right it's all about connection and this new book really came out of about two years of me just spending time in John 15, and it's said that Howard is right before his crucifixion. Nice hanging out with the disciples in his closest companions and you think Dolly what is he want to say you know what we say to our closest friends.
If we know our time was short. Anything all the stuff he could've talked about, you know, he could have talked about evangelism we could talk about how to preach a really great three point sermon he could've talked about feeding 5000 people.
Again, you know, let's go over that one again because that seems very useful but he doesn't. He really drills down in those last words on prayer and he says and I think this is one of the most remarkable promises on Scripture. He says if you remain in me, or if you abide in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and will be done for you is telling them not just have a transactional be a connection point here at Focus on the Family we want to encourage you to pray to make that connection with God today. God's design is so thorough and so affected are discipling your children what you are discipling your children and grandchildren is nowhere around. It got so thorough, so good that you are making disciples. The question is what are you discipling them that's Pastor Matt Chandler describing the really important responsibility that God is given every mom and to grandparents well to disciple our children today and Focus on the Family will be looking at how to pass on your face to the next generation Hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly on John Fuller John were in Dallas. Great to be here with two good friends and address the number one concern the parents contact us at Focus on the Family Metz. How can I pass on my faith, my kids and help train my kids and disciple my kids in the way the Lord note. Deuteronomy 6 is so clear it instructs us know it commands us to diligently train our kids as parents were called to do that. But, in the hustle and bustle of life and I talked a lot a guys. How do I do that, you know, between everything and everything else going on. So were to put that tool in your hand today and these gentlemen have written a wonderful book that I want to get into your hands, you and let me just say many of us feel inadequate or too busy. We don't know how to start and so maybe when we feel like I'm not really engaged the church.
I'm not sure my kids are engaged now to and so we are glad to have a couple guests with us were were there. Guess I'm not sure Jim Sandler met handlers, the lead pastor of the village church, and Griffin is lead pastor Eastside community church in the Dallas area. Together, these German have written a book. It's called family discipleship leaving your home. Through time, moments and milestones will encourage you to get a copy of this book from Focus on the Family are numbers 800 the letter a in the word family and the link is in the show notes that Adam welcomed Focus on the Family's ravenous, surreal to be sitting here. Let's start with that fear. And, you know, let me my wonderful wife, she would be a self-confessed perfectionist and I think it's in that category were Lotta Christian parents, you know we can't do really well. We may shrink back from doing it all. Mike identified this idea of discipleship with your kids want to mess them up so there's a lot of fear that can be better but now you jump in right yes or no. I think one of the important things remembers were not trying to raise perfect kids were raising kids prepared to be messed up right all of us have sin in our lives if we present a picture to our kids that you have to be perfect to be a Christian then were presenting something unattainable for kids. So it's okay to let our kids see that mom and dad make mistakes to.
It's okay for mom and dad to confess and repent for their kids so their kids can be prepared when they face a problem when they fall short to go okay this is normal in the Christian life. This is how a Christian response to their own personal failure and apparent demonstrate that actually is really powerful. It's okay. What he think that what we shrink back from when we could probably do that everyday multiple times. I think you probably been poorly discipled ourselves. I think there's probably a reductionist view and understanding of the gospel. A lot of what Christian Smith called moralistic therapeutic deism kind of leaked into the church and so it's it's much easier's apparent to just kind of say these the rules don't break them, then it is to see our children through the lens of the gospel on their own journey like we are.
So if I look at my 19-year-old 16-year-old 12-year-old Tom quite a bit ahead of where Adam is right now and raising kids. I think the most profound if they could come in today probably the more profound shaping force of my life has not been that I'm always nailing it, but those times when I went into the room after I'd blown it and just said hey all the stuff about Jesus daddy needs it to you and what you just saw is that daddy's not where the Lord wants them to be more that he wants himself to be and so I'm on ask you to forgive me. I'm in a try to do better. I'll probably blow it again, but will you forgive me.
I think that more than anything else we did in the consistency you said we could do it every day. Consistency at which we did that created a space of safety for our kids to not hide from Moscow when they were struggling or doubting, or we became a safe container simply because we were willing to own our own shortcomings and failures in there so much in that I can actually remember the first time I did that with Trent and it may have been the reason I remember it was because of his responsibilities. 21 now, but I never he was six years old and he had done something wrong. We had the discipline moments are and he then went off to bed and he was in his the top bunk bed course is the older brother of the time I'm looking at him, eyeball to eyeball I said no and I'm just I'm sorry I overreacted to that situation. That was wrong of me and had his big smile on his face, and I like what what so I didn't know parents had to apologize him, you have a moment. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I mean it. Like I said I can think of one in particular where with my oldest daughter. We were in a season that we were scared we we look like she was having some spaces that were terrifying to us there somehow. And it's funny how it happens me this will be helpful there felt like there became this kind of chasm between us where we been so kind of tightly knit together as a family, and I knew I could feel that I was not safe for her. I was reading into every little thing is defiance I was. I had kind of grown hard towards her that I just said hey I know I'm not a safe place for you right now and I need you forgive me and Suzette will die what happens at this and about you to get into right or wrong, you will probably see that different ways I'm saying I'm supposed to be a safe place for you to navigate the season of your life while and I have not been a safe place for you and I'm asking you to forgive me and that she just grabbed me and we both just wept for about and that was a significant turning point in that season where I think she was anxious and nervous trying to find her way. I was anxious and nervous as she was trying to find her way but not finding a way, the way I would like for her to find her way and there's really nothing's more primal and not us than our kids. Nothing can tap into that primal kind of protection.
Fear instinct like our kids can like Noah has that kind of power over us and men I'd played really poorly and yet owning it, and that I can point to that moment as a significant marker not when we agreed about the behavior of the discipline. Not when you know we kind of made peace about the way she was trying to work through it simply by me saying I'm supposed to be safe. And I'm not safe right now. That is, you describe that what I'm sensing is the dad's concentrate this comment on those dads that didn't recognize that moment, that becomes, the bedrock of their relationship and it's not a healthy one and then that little girl is 10 and then 13 and then 15, and if that dad has not rectified that there's a whole lot of pain that's out from you and I think a lot of Christian homes is one of things I'm trying to say formulas don't work as her so I don't hold free will. I'm sure when Jesus you know when God created Adam and he is like the formula didn't work as is the father of a bunch of teenagers called still, we all have free will. But in that context, what advice would you give that dad he's hearing this right now going while I believe that chance will decide that dad was maybe slightly older kids.
Now how do you rewind that's okay, I heard something today. The first thing I would say is to hopefully breathe for a second and no. We've all blown it right and so your your instinct of all men of ruined this is not a good instinct. It's the father of lies. It's the enemy like what our God does is redeem and what is redemption except taking this broken thing this stupid thing this moronic thing you said this compulsion that you gave into rather than being wise and filled with the grace and mercy of Christ and and now redemption is what it's owning it so that the forgiving transforming power of Jesus through the Holy Spirit can fill it. Like I know even in our congregation.
60-year-old dads who go back to grown children now write and say hey listen I have just been made aware of this by the spirit.
Will you please forgive me and and if I could go back and I would do that so different.
In fact, here's how I would do that if I could go back in time but I can't and I know I hurt you and I should have been a safer place for you, will you please forgive me the profound power of that on even a grown child and then on your grandchildren is unbelievable so you you will not out sin. The cross of Christ that you saw Camille to do it and what the enemy wants is for you to hyper fixate on the places that you blew it so that you won't step into what God has for you in the now and so I I tell every man I can just don't get just own it and well I don't think the forgiving you don't get to control that we don't control outcomes.
We control faithful obedience.
So don't worry about the outcome. Own it if they want to hold onto it and hate you for it they can. Ultimately the Holy Spirit will deal with them in time. But, own it, and own all of it you can and then let the Spirit do the spirits work in courses his mom's 20 Isaiah is dads but moms to let me let me get into the content of the book you talk about indoctrination in their course every Brussels and I indoctrination but his Christian parents.
We are trying to indoctrinate to give the doctrine of the gospel to our kids. It's not a bad word for sure that I think there's a a cultural sentiment that says you're not parenting well unless you're letting your kid make decisions about their faith for themselves and when the reality is, what kind of parent who calls himself a loving parent wouldn't tell their kids something they know is true or protect them from something I know is damaging and so as Christians when we know that there's a way truth in life and it's only through Jesus Christ. You would be so unloving center of the Christian is Satan. Indoctrination sounds like brainwashing to me right so not to tell the truth of Jesus Christ. When the realities everyone else is going to try to tell the truth. Everyone else may try to something trying to tell your kid something counter to the gospel something that will drive them away. And so for you when you're following the command of Christ to be the one loudest voice in their life to say here's here's where your foundation is every thing else is sinking sand and be unloving to give them anything when you're doing that.
Talk about volume. Yeah, you know, because some of us as parents we can really raise the volume and think were being successful. I will say it louder and I would save more often but that's not really what you're saying you gotta connect to the heart.
You got a disciple on the move. You gotta do it in a way that's engaging not talking at them for something that Matt touched on that is crucial to this whole conversation is that so much of what we want to talk about what comes to content or what we talk about when it comes to theology should all be rooted in our efforts to chronic try to create a safe relationship with our kids work, anything can be talked about. Yeah that's good and there's not a fear of confessing sin.
There's not a fear saying here's one of struggling with her. Here's a word I don't know what it means just fostering that kind of conversation from a very young age is foundational to try to do in discipling our kids Kayla mass though this apparent that may not have that kind of relationship. What environment do I need to lay out there for the child to trust that they can't say anything to me and I will still love them as I think that's a risk I think the child absolutely.
That's why cultivating personal vulnerability is really important and having it clear, grace filled home where we can say other than the consequences for mistake sure there will be consequences.
But there's can be forgiveness as well and forgives the consequences are not mutually exclusive, so we can say because this happened. Working to do this is a family, but my love for you is not at risk the right words love for you is not at risk. I am still with you, for you. I'm trying to help you navigate difficult things is because of my love for you therein to do these things and then also share vulnerably. Mom and dad also have made do make will make similar mistakes that you have met here is the golden question writer John to solve this so unite with the kids. She did chemistry major. She makes pancakes precisely 1 cup flour, precisely, 1/4 cup of water whatever I might throw together an account looks right yeah so we mean it's funny but that's kinda how we approach family devotion.
She wanted a 30 minute time together. 7 o'clock redo five minutes of songs five minutes of reading using planes NSF Q&A rapid in prayer like it's good that stability is good that this understanding is goodness but having two boys you know your kids to their kinetic energy right times and going off the wall so I I'm like saying Jane I think we got a conduit on the move. Let's go outside. Let's I'm doing that when I'm driving them to school, talk about our that's our devotional time together. But you know couples can get into a bit of a problem here because one spouse wants devotions. This where the other wants to solve the problem. It's great.
I didn't realize what my marriage on this one.
You really got there so I could, I think there can be an atom can speak to this also.
I think there can be a kind of hybrid experience where what you're looking for is as best you can.
The consistency to actually have some sort of devotional and what both parents regardless of I like it a little bit more freewheeling to I got it down to the seconds need to realize is the number of times that it comes off like you hope it comes off is rare right and there hearing you more than you think they are right and so one of the things when Adam and I were working on this when he was actually here at TBC was was this fun conversation around like sometimes.
My goal in family devotional was just really finish it. Try to send some to the rumor and I do with it and he was just a goal like how can look like. All I want tonight is to actually do this and feel like anybody's with me except our dog Woodrow thinks that my Bible to snag it because no one else seems to be paid, the Lord, I lost Laura with good stuff and so but what I found over the years is they hurt so much more than I thought they and so I think it matters less. Although I do think it's good to know your kids this age that they're in there kind of Benson compulsions. If there are better spaces, mornings, evenings, if there are times were there little bit more quiet. My kids got closer we got to bedtime, the wilder they got it felt like they wanted like I will not slide they were in a fight sleep and so evenings were terrible for us because nobody would sit still because to sit still is to feel tired and feel tired is to go to bed and my kids all have what I got from their mama. A bad case of fall know what happens when we go to bed I will be missing out on and so evenings work great for us. We had to find other times and other places and spaces and but what I hear is flexibility. Flexibility is huge and I do think the you're going to be frustrated if you think revivals breaking out or that there's gonna be weeping and repentance in your family devotion, but I like that idea of going in the same direction over a long haul. That's it and saying you know this things that your kids will catch overtime even if you don't think they're listening to the moment you also you usually speak in the book about choosing life verses for your kids eyes and I done that for myself. I never thought about that for my kids.
Great idea. Well we started asking questions from people from the time our kids were infants. How can we disciple kid who's illiterate doesn't speak yet Nelly does a scream at me as soon as I and other things that you clean them up in every way. So we picked some verses for our sons. I've three boys and we started saying those verses over those kids even before they could speak. Praying them over them now and now they memorize them, recite them, and now even in moments of discipline there. What we relying so I'll just use my oldest son. For example we talk about from the book of Corinthians. How he's to be on the alert and stand firm in the faith, act like a man to be strong and let everything you do be done in love. We come back to that all the time with hate you like what you just did was done in love and were talking about his behavior were talking about things around you on the alert are you looking for the fact that every inclination of your heart may not be the wisest thing to pursue beyond the other in the ring stand firm in the face of its diverse we say over him is a blessing overnight, but it's also something we build his life upon my words.
You guys know will pass away anything that Matt and I put this book will pass away, except for those words of the word of God's we want to build our discipleship on for our kids. I love the authenticity and vulnerability and were talking today on Focus on the Family with Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin a different book family discipleship leaving your home. Through time, moments and milestones.
Contact us for your copy are number and of the link are in the show notes that you mention the power of spiritual lessons and milestones speak to the recognition as parents.
How do we stay perceptive to that moment identify a milestone in the share so I think our hope in the book is to let any parent anywhere just to whisper in the near you can do this like you can.
This is not something that's been set up for the spiritually elite. You can do this and so there are already built into your life as a person. Significant milestones and so what we did is look at the already milestones that are there and and I let's just build around it and so two that are most consistent for us is one I had terminal brain cancer that had been so terminal about 13 years ago and so we have like any I had to go. I still have to go.
I just went got a scan on Monday. I have to going to get scanned still as they look to see is this thing coming back or how do we keep an eye on this and and then my family is always unclear scan night always had like a big kind of celebratory feast. So where you kids want to go toward you and we just talk about the goodness of God and lengthening day, and his faithfulness and so that that's a milestone that's just distinct to my family that we all feel the anxiety of the scan we we all know what's at stake and so to feast and rejoice together over clear scans or if it ever comes about which we don't think it will think Jesus healed me, but if we ever get to that day of lament that we've already got a rhythm of an hour together will lament 13 you're celebrating and now in a lament, but a huge one for us that actually is kind of become a part of our church family here now is what it's been a true rite of passage party for our kids. So when my children of turned 13 years old.
We have their party with her friends and do that whole thing and then we have a right of passage party. It's just grown-ups and with my daughters.
It's a bunch of grown women that have been around them since they were born or know them best in this season it can be either one of the and then I'm I'm tend to be the only man. And then when my son turned 13.
It was a bunch of men and then hit his mom Lauren was the only woman in the room and we want to take time that night to just speak into that child. The distinct God-given beauty that God's put into them and they're going to just call out right in the letter. What they see in her and call it out. So for my son.
It was, you are very aggressive and you are very tender and please don't ever pick one of those, over the other. While and it's every man that spoken to his life, had some version of that don't fold into one or another to be a man is to have both. Now here's what's crazy.
He 16 right now and at 15, he was just going through some struggles so I literally had him stand in the living room in front of me and his mom and read through three of those 10 letters that were written to them by men in his life, and you could watch him as he read you watch his chest come back out as he read. He was reminded this is you read Chandler. This isn't like wherever we put you this is what you'll do. I like you are aggressive and that shouldn't be tamped down, be aggressive in your kind and tender be that kind of men. Don't let the word of the world can only take one of those from you. Don't let them ever take either one from you and we always close, either with a specific gift or a lot of times, like with read. I just had them hold open his hand and I just had all the men come and grab his hand looking dead in his face and say I'm on your team so reads begin to sports and so like I'm flanking you I'm on your side.
Let me know how it can serve you and we lay hands and we bless him and not only have we done that.
Now with our three kids, but all of our friends have done that I've used that as an illustration from the stage multiple times I've put it in the book and here at the village.
It's kinda becoming normal hate passages 13 and then we we have other ones but that's probably enough to get an idea 13 like your becoming a teenager right right so let's mark that because being a teenager is different. It's way different than being a third-grader or fourth-grader. I mean there's all sorts of biological things happening hormonal things happen there all sorts of things that you do feel the pull of independence and the constraints of childhood that's so well said, because that's where a parent is absolute and controlling parents will struggle in that moment, so you've got all absolute and then at the same time the child needs to take on that responsibility and to be able to say in a time of peace and celebration working again some fights and no I love you and were in a word, and make our way through that is so good man, that time has flown by this Vince. I was like wow that's a dose of parenting 101 and that man what a great book family discipleship. Leaving your home. Through time, moments and milestones and we just barely scratched it so I hope folks will get a copy of the book and you know will make that as easy as possible. Join us in ministry will send it as our ways and thank you if you can afford it will get it to trusting others will cover the cost of that so just get in touch with us and that we believe in the resource and what these gentlemen have done to encourage parents to do the best job they can do and discipling their kids, which as I said at the beginning is job number one yeah and you can do it. Parents you can do it you can do it you cannot hear what your background is what you're struggling with right now.
How much of a mess. You feel you can do this and do it and if you're struggling call the counseling, we also here announced that it is calm and say I'm struggling that there are no give you some great ideas on how to move forward you wherever you are in your parenting journey. Give us a call or #800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or stop by our website. The details are in the show notes in general should also mention our livid challenge campaign that we have here at Focus on the Family that this is connected to bring your Bible school, which is the first Thursday of October and we done it for several years and hundreds of thousands of kids participate in the limit challenges just to help these kids live in 365 days a year, not just one day. So they go to the website and learn more about that yes or stop by the website, give us a call and donate. As you can, and know that Focus on the Family is committed to helping you be the best parent she can once again our number is 800 K and the word for metadata and it's been great.
Thanks for being here. Thanks for putting us, nocturnal here think the less impressive facilities really yeah okay I'll take that said that but will on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.
Thank you for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive in price in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision on abortion are you ready for what comes next and how should we respond as emotions run high as Christians we need to be ready. Focus on the Family can help you prepare. Join us every Monday to hear inspiring stories from people who their own pro-life moments and experience God's love to learn more, go to focusonthefamily.com/seizure moment focusonthefamily.com/seizure moment