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Leaving a Legacy of Faith (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
October 7, 2022 6:00 am

Leaving a Legacy of Faith (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 7, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Dan Seaborn shares heartfelt family stories to illustrate the importance of passing along our faith to the next generation. He encourages parents to teach their children Godly principles through modeling, good communication, and generational influence. (Part 2 of 2)


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I've got a dream that if the Lord tarries and there are seaborne children 50 years from now, I have a dream that they will still say, I'm thankful for great-great-great-great-great-great Grandpa Dan who passed on his faith to his family.

That's what I want to be said about me. We're all dying, you know. You might as well prepare for it. And so when we die, let's make sure we leave to our children the things that really matter. Well, that is the heart of it all. And when we die, those final moments, that last breath, what we're going to be thinking about is, will our kids carry the faith forward? Will they meet us in heaven one day?

What else is going to matter at that point? That really is the essence of this message that we are continuing today on Focus on the Family with Focus President Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller and this really is a thought-provoking and energetic message from Dan Seaborn. It sure is, John. Last time Dan shared with us the importance of being deliberate about passing our faith to our children. And he's using an analogy from the study of biology about the life cycle and how reproduction occurs. And the question is, are we reproducing our faith? Are we passing it on to our children? Dan Seaborn is a much sought after speaker, former pastor and the author of Winning at Home, tackling the topics that confuse kids and scare parents.

And you can get a copy from us directly where the proceeds go right back into ministry. And here now is Dan Seaborn on Focus on the Family. My grandfather supposedly is in his twilight years. I say he's in this most significant teaching years of his life. About two years ago, we went to visit him. I keep his little hat in my office. If you walked into my office, you would see his name is Jay. He wrote it right in his hat so he wouldn't forget it. You know, he took it off. I'm Jay, yeah.

You know what I mean? I keep this little hat on the first shelf. When you walk into my office, you will see it along with his Bible, several other men, and my mother's Bible, my father's Bible, several great mementos.

But this gentleman was my main teacher. I want to be a grandpa. That's going to be so cool. You know, hug them and love them and give them peppermint sticks I've sucked on.

It's going to be fun. I want to make sure that no matter the age or stage I get to, I keep teaching about Jesus Christ. Boy, you think I like to every once in a while in my office roll over and pick up this little hat. I remember not long ago I was going through a tough situation. I rolled my office chair over and I picked this hat up. I don't always do this, but on this particular day I said, Lord, what would grandpa do here? You know what would Jesus do? Well, him and what would grandpa do?

They were really close. Lord, what would grandpa do? Grandpa's passed on now. I remember the first Sunday I preached.

I used his Bible the first Sunday after he had passed away. I did it not only to honor him, but it was the first time grandpa had ever heard me preach because he was in heaven looking down, see. He taught me a lot at the age of 87. Don't you ever stop teaching.

See, when we know, oh, I'm so thankful for a grandpa who didn't go, well, I know. He opened his mouth and said, and I think I'll teach. Because you see, when we know and we teach, let me go to six o'clock.

You ready? When we know and we teach, they know. There it is.

There's the transition. Dan Seaborn is standing on this stage sharing this message with you right now because grandpa said, I know, and I'm going to teach that boy. And now I sit here and say, no, I know. I know Jesus Christ is my savior. Not because of my grandpa. No, but he told me about it. My mom told me about it. And if they hadn't done it, I wouldn't be here.

You're the same way. How do you know they know? I mean, how can you tell when your children are learning about God and really know about God? Well, I kind of have this simple little equation when they start imitating Jesus Christ. When you see them do something that looks like Jesus, say, hey, they know.

You know what we do in our families too much? Stop that over there. You boys quit bickering. I'm guilty.

I'm Mr. Gilderoy. I said, stop it. You cool it.

Your father needs to rest. I'm all over the place telling them, stop, no, boo, boo, boo, boo. Man, you know what we need to do in our families more often? Celebrate when we see Jesus. When our children do something that looks like Christ, stop and have like family applause and say, that looked good.

Do that again. If we would affirm that behavior more often, I think that our children would be more positive and try to be like Christ. We have a little rule at our home. No matter where I'm at, if I'm in the office or whatever, Jane usually knows.

And if our children do anything at home that's like Jesus, the rule is call Dad. So she will. She will just out of the blue.

This is exactly what will happen. She will call me up. She'll say, Dan, I know you're in a busy meeting or whatever. I said, no problem.

What is it? Well, today, so and so, they did this. And I say, put them on the phone. That's my phrase. They'll get the kid on the phone and I'll say, you know what? Let's say, you know, one of the kid's names, you know what?

What, Dad? Do you know who you remind me of when you do that? They know what I'm going to say in the next line, but they always say, who, Dad?

I say to them, hey, son or daughter, that reminds me of what Jesus would do. And Daddy is real proud. I'm proud of you.

You hear that? I love you. Love you too, Dad.

I'll see you when I get home. I'll give you a big high five. Okay, Dad. All right. Bye bye. Bye bye. Boom.

Why? Because I want my kids to know I'm proud of them when they act like Jesus. I want my wife to say, Dad, I'm proud of you. Act like Jesus. We all need that affirmation. There is no one to imitate better than Jesus. And when we see each other doing it as in the family or brothers and sisters in the Lord, we need to, instead of being jealous, we need to celebrate that somebody else is acting like Jesus Christ.

So when we know and when we teach and then they know, of course, they teach. See, that keeps the spiritual cycle of the family going. It's been interesting for me because you've obviously heard me talk about my grandfather a lot. You say, Dad, you don't talk about your dad very often. You know, with all due respect to my father, we did not have the greatest relationship growing up. My mother was a prayer warrior, a wonderful woman, godly woman who prayed for me on Saturday mornings right outside my bedroom window drove me crazy. But she prayed for me every Saturday morning, early, early and every day, I'm sure.

But that particular day she chose to do it out loud by my bedroom window because that was the day I liked to sleep. My father and I, you know, didn't really mesh. And I looked at that circle and I thought, man, oh, man, it hurts me that he's not in my mind really connecting with me in the circle. It hurts me that it was grandpa and then with dad it was really tough.

Man, I wish my dad would have been in the circle. The Lord spoke to me during a family life conference and said, Dan, it's time for you to make it right with your dad. And I went to the fourth floor seminary, Western seminary, a little place I like to study, a fourth floor window, my little upper room, I call it. And I was looking out at the cross on the Hope College Church. And I pinned these thoughts to my father that I said, Lord, wisdom, help me write this. Hi, dad. I know you don't usually get letters from me, but I think it's about time you did.

I'm sitting in my favorite little spot at the library in town where I love to study. And as I sit here, I find myself recalling a lot of childhood memories. Remember that time James Porter, my dad is a good friend, was playing football with us and Billy, my brother, trying to jump over him and he caught my brother in there. Remember that, dad?

That was fun. And I can still remember the time you played my basketball goal and ripped the rim down trying to help me and it drove me crazy. Dad, I got a lot of good memories about stuff you did.

And then, dad, I have some that aren't so fun too. But I'm thankful that both of us have God's full forgiveness for the things that we both probably wish had never occurred. But the main reason I'm writing you today, dad, is to let you know I love you. I have always wanted you to be proud of me.

I know it's not like you to say that kind of stuff, but I can tell you love me. And I believe that you believe in me. And I want you to know I believe in you too, dad. I love to see the closeness you and mom are having now.

You look like two kids sometimes and I love it. I'm thankful for the fact that you stayed together even when it got tough. I write a few more things, some too personal to say here and then I said, dad, please keep praying for me. I will always seek to love and follow Christ. Thank you for teaching me discipline and hard work and service because he did that. I'm convinced those ingredients helped make me the man the Lord has made me today. I pray this little letter makes your heart bubble over with joy, dad.

It does mine just to write it. I love you, dad, and I'm glad you're mine. And I signed it, Danny. I folded the letter up.

I didn't let anyone read it. And I put it in an envelope and I mailed it to my dad on like a Monday. My parents call me every Saturday or Sunday. I couldn't wait for Saturday or Sunday. Dad's gonna call. He's gonna be pumped.

We're gonna be like high school pals. Saturday came, no phone call. I thought, man, he's getting excited. He's waiting for Sunday worship. That'll get him pumped and then he'll call me.

Sunday came, he calls Sunday afternoon. My mom first. Hey, Danny. Hey, mom.

Typical mom to son conversation. Daddy, I'm so proud of you. The greatest son in the world. Nobody's ever preached like you. You're the best son.

I've never seen a kid that good looking. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, the whole spiel. Thank you, mom. Thank you, mom.

Ditto, mega ditto, mega ditto. Son, dad wants to talk to you. Okay. Hey, dad. Hey, son. How you doing this week, dad? Good. Anything exciting happen, dad? Nope.

Pretty much the same stuff, son. Oh, really? Yeah. Everybody doing okay? Yeah, I hear my voice die. Yeah. Hey, dad. Thank you guys for calling. Okay. See ya. It was like my heart went from here to here.

No. I went in my room. I cried over that a good bit. I said to Jane, I bet the postal service didn't get it there.

That's what it is. Next, you wait till next weekend. So I lived through the next week waiting here from there.

Saturday, no call, Sunday. Hey, mom. Hey, son. Son, you're the greatest big creeper. I've never seen a kid like you. My grandkids are beautiful. I love you too, mom.

You are something else. Send some money. Okay, mom. Dad there? Yeah, here he is. Hey, dad.

Hey, son. Did you have a good week? Yeah. Anything big? No.

Same old stuff as last week. Really? Everybody doing good? Yeah. Oh, good. Bye-bye. You know how that aches.

It kills. See, I want this circle to include dad. And so, a few more days passed. I came home from a speaking engagement, as I recall. I was laying on the couch out in the sun-sun room and Jane was just talking with me, just sharing a little fun stuff together. The phone rang.

It wasn't a Saturday or Sunday. I remember that. Jane came in with the cordless phone and said, honey, it's your parents. I said, really? What's up with that? She goes, I don't know.

They're calling during the week. I said, cool. I said, hey. It's mom.

Greatest kid in the world. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, you know. She finishes the whole spiel. And then I heard another phone come on the line. Now, mom and dad have gone and got themselves a two-phone connection.

You got to know for six miles South Carolina, that's like being on the World Wide Web. You are like, whoo, big time. This is big stuff. I got mom on this line and dad, whoa. Hey, mom. Hey, dad.

You there? Yeah. Both of you?

Yeah. My mom talks for a while and then I heard her put her hand over her receiver and say, Joe, that's his name. Don't you forget to mention that letter you got from that boy.

Get him, mom. So I said, dad, you there? Yeah. Did you have a good week? Oh, yeah, good week. Anything neat happen?

All about the same. And then he said, boy. Yeah, dad. I got that letter you sent me. You did that? Did you like it? He said, I like that, boy.

He said, I want you to know I took it and I put it in my box of most valuable possessions. You did that? I did, son. Dad? Yeah. I love you. That'll get you too, boy. Bye, guys.

Bye-bye. Jay, you know what dad said? He said he put it in a box with like valuable stuff. What the hell does he got in that box? Where's this box? Dad, when you watch this video, leave in your will where that box is.

I want to see it. Man. It was like all of a sudden, all the pain that I'd carried for years went like, whoa, dad loves me. He put me in his box.

He got on my circle. And I tell you this little story tonight because I want you to know that you might be 65 and you say, Dan, I didn't teach what I know. Don't stop. Do you know how special it is at the age of 37, 36, whatever it was, at that age, to find out that your dad loves you and cares about you, you dads who are a hundred plus years old, don't you go to your grave before you tell your children that you love them and you believe in them and you want them to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't you let it happen.

It is never too late to start teaching. I'll tell you some of my funnest moments right now are when just a few days ago, we left my little home in Six Mile and my dad cries all the way over to where he's walking to hug me goodbye. And I put my arms around him and I go, this old dude doesn't know how to hug.

And this dude, oh, at his age he's even a little softer. And I know a lot of people have prayed for me that dad and I would restore our relationship and you know who you are and you've prayed a long time, but it's coming. I can tell the grandkids, hey, he's in the circle.

Sorry, I'm southern. And one day we get to that big family reunion in the sky. I believe it's going to look a lot like this little Russian doll. Little children that we've raised will be tucked inside this thing that we call family that God gave to us. And they're all unique, man.

They're all different colors, all different personalities, you know what I'm saying? And God's going to say, okay, Dan Seaboard, your turn. Hand it up. And I'm going to go over and I'm going to say, Lord, Lord, Jane's got some nicks on her and I did that. I'm sorry, Lord. I failed her many times. And Lord, look all the way down, all my children. I wasn't perfect. I messed up. But, Lord, I want you to check me out.

Evaluate my life. See if when it was my turn to teach, Lord, how did I do? I'm going to tell you something, man. When my grandpa's like up in the head of the line, you know, like up there and his name's Jay. When he's up there and when he has to like hand his up like that, I'm going to probably be back over here somewhere. I'm going to go, go on, guys. Look at that one.

That homeboy, he knew how to do it. Now you get that thing and look at it, man. Because I'm like, grandpa, get your arm up a little higher, guys. You know, and I'm going to say, go on, grandpa.

Because, whew, he hit a home run with his life. Oh, what I love. When I stand on the edge with me and Jane, I love to hear some little grandkids and great-grandkids going, go on, God. Look at grandpa and dad. Wouldn't that be good to say, oh, I love to hear the screams of those little grandkids in the background.

Whew, whew, whee. I'll throw it up to God. Because I'll be so excited that my family is behind me.

Because when it was my turn, I passed it right on to them. And every one of us sitting in this auditorium tonight, you know what stage we're in? We teach. If you're not dead, you teach. Go do it, okay?

Go do it. Go, go give all you got for the glory of God. So that when it's your turn, you can do it and say, I made a difference for Christ. And that's where we'll have to end today's presentation from Dan Seaborn on Focus on the Family. I love the word picture Dan gave us there, John, of presenting our lives and our family to the Lord in heaven for his inspection.

That's intimidating. And if you want that moment to be a good one, we need to concentrate on ordering our priorities well. We need to spend time with our kids.

We need to keep the eternal things first. And it is so important to applaud the good things that your children do. Catch them doing something right. And if we're busy and distracted, head down on our phone and watching TV, we're not going to notice godly behavior. We need to engage with our children to nurture those good things, those godly attributes. And we also need to remember that our kids are watching us and act accordingly.

They will model our behavior much more than we might like. That is so true. And certainly this has been time well spent thinking through legacy and long-term goals for our parenting. And I trust our listeners have been encouraged to get beyond the challenges of the day and all the little things that tend to weigh us down as moms and dads. Lift up your eyes and look down the road and look toward passing that baton of faith on.

Well, that's well said. And let me encourage you to get a copy of Dan Seaborn's newest book. It's called Winning at Home, Tackling the Topics that Confuse Kids and Scare Parents. In the book, Dan teams up with credentialed members of the Winning at Home staff to provide a faith-based perspective on some of our culture's most complex topics like mental health, interpersonal relationships and successfully parenting adult children. Get your copy from us here at Focus on the Family, where the proceeds go right back into our ministry to help more families thrive in Christ. We'll send the book to you when you make a donation of any amount as our way of saying thank you. Yeah, and unlike other booksellers, we include a free audio download of Dan Seaborn's entire presentation when you get the book from us. So please donate generously online and request those resources.

The details are in the show notes or give us a call. Our number is 800, the letter A in the word family. Have a great weekend and be sure to join us on Monday for insight, wisdom and encouragement for grandparents.

They can come in and infuse some strength. And this is what we can do as grandparents. So we're kind of on the sidelines. We're ready. We're suited up. If you need me, Mom and Dad, I'm here. But when we're caught up, when they blow the whistle or whatever they call us in, we're fresher. You know, we're not like embedded in the nuts and bolts of raising the kids.

And so we can come with fresh strength. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening to this Focus on the Family podcast. We appreciate it if you take the time to leave a rating for us in your podcast app and to review so you can let others know about your thoughts. I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. At Focus on the Family, we know you want to see your grandchildren follow Christ. Here's how you do that. The Legacy Grandparenting Summit, the only national conference on Christian grandparenting, coming to over 100 locations on October 20th and 21st. You'll find wisdom, direction and inspiration from speakers including Anne Graham Lotz and Miles McPherson. Register now for the Legacy Grandparenting Summit at LegacyCoalition.com slash summit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-25 09:03:32 / 2022-12-25 09:12:43 / 9

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