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Secrets of a Nurturing Home, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2020 7:05 am

Secrets of a Nurturing Home, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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December 4, 2020 7:05 am

Becoming a People of Grace: An Exposition of Ephesians

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Sometimes, we tend to project and push our own personalities and preferences onto our young children without realizing they've come prescribed by God with unique gifts and abilities.

Instead of producing positive results, our well-intentioned efforts often backfire. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll points to a proverb that strongly advises moms and dads to accommodate the personal bents in their children. This ancient wisdom was later fleshed out by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter 6. Let's pick up the message Chuck started earlier this week called Secrets of a Nurturing Home. Children, obey your parents in the Lord.

There's a caveat on that. Parents in the Lord. This is not a free-for-all where you could just take your authority and run with it and just remind your kid all the time while he's growing up that you're the one in authority. He's gonna learn to submit.

He's gonna like it or he's gone. Well, that's not what this verse is about. In a context of submission, remember the key word in verse 21 of chapter 5 is be subject to one another.

I've got a child that God's given me and I subject myself to the Lord as I seek to find out who that child is, how he's put together, what he likes, what he doesn't like, what he's good at, what he's not good at, how he thinks, how he responds. It takes time. It takes effort. Obey your parents in the Lord. This is right.

In fact, it even says honor your father and your mother, which is the first commandment with a promise. Why? Because it'll go well with you. It'll last through life. It'll be to your benefit.

And second, you'll live longer than those who don't. I'm describing a nurturing home and so we won't just talk to children. We'll talk to dads where the leadership begins. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger.

This has reference to the misuse of parental authority, either by making unreasonable demands which leave no room for inexperience or immaturity as the child is growing, or by going to unfair extremes, being too harsh, even to the point of cruelty and brutality, or the other side of overindulging and showing favoritism. My most significant adult influence was my maternal grandfather who seemed to live for me. And I don't know why he took to me, but thank the Lord he did. And as a result, I grew up and didn't know who I was because I was continually compared and the problem with stuttering and all those things that go with the craziness of growing up and didn't like myself all that much and struggled with self-image and all that goes with that. Because I didn't gain the security of knowing who I am and liking who I am and being who I am until after I was married.

Now you know why I'm crazy about her, don't you? She's not my mother, but she provided a lot of insights that I needed to have gotten from my own parents. So there was distance. So when I graduated finally from seminary, I had the strangest experience. I've never told this publicly. I felt strangely distant from those people who were so proud of me, my mother and my dad.

In fact, I buried my mother and nine years later I buried my dad and I said to my sisters, we were flying home after the little memorial service. I said, I feel like I buried a stranger today. I respected him. I loved him. It just, I didn't know him and he didn't know me.

I wasn't nurtured. So I speak to you with an enormous amount of controlled passion here. Your child needs you to help know who he is. And when you find out who he is, you cooperate. And when he discovers you're cooperating with him, he's on your team and you're on his and you go, you make great music together. There'll never be conflicts. I didn't say that. What kind of will you have and he has, you know there's going to be conflicts.

He's still depraved. It means when you run up against the conflict, you correct that. You correct the wrong, but you encourage the right. And you spend as much time affirming and encouraging, in fact, more of that than the destroying and criticizing.

Fathers, don't provoke your children to anger. I've got a whole series of messages I do on this. So I'm putting 12 messages in one little 15, 20 minute period here. So bear with me. I'm sort of spitting this all out, but I couldn't feel more deeply about anything.

Nurturing, being there, taking time. Promotion comes, 15 grand more a year. If you'll go on the road and spend five days a week on the road, say no.

They can't take it. Find another job. When they're gone, you can get that job on the road.

Your wife may love it if you'd be on the road five days a week. Your children need you there right now. Hang in there, okay folks? It's not an easy world. This is not an easy message and I haven't used the word easy until this sentence.

This is tough stuff. This is hard to tell you because it breaks some of your hearts and you say, my kids are already grown. That's what grandparenting is all about. You didn't make it with your kids. Start with your grandchildren.

It's never too late to start doing what is right. Don't provoke them to anger, but bring them up. That's nurturing. Bring them up.

Not jerk them up. Bring them up in the discipline and the nourishment of the Lord. See the word nourish. Verse 29 of chapter 5, no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes.

See the word instruction. Verse 4, chapter 6, bring them up with instruction on the one hand and nurturing on the other. Children, listen to this, they learn in the process of being nurtured the quality of their parents' love. They learn the limits of their own liberty. They learn the characteristics of a healthy independence.

Say it again. They learn the quality of their parents' love that gives them security. They learn the limits of their own liberty that gives them maturity, and they learn the characteristics of a healthy independence, and that leads to purity. Strong-hearted purity of life.

Security, maturity, and purity. They roll out of a nurturing family. Now, you need to know they are going to become like you. They are going to become like you. What a great thing is to reset the direction. Cynthia and I weren't reared as we wanted to rear our children, and I remember it like yesterday, our sitting together and saying to one another, we're going to have to break the cycle. We're going to have to change the pattern, or we'll have kids turn out like we turned out, and we'll do just the same things that our parents did with us. It wasn't all wrong, it just wasn't the best.

It could have been. So let's start, and remember that? When we started making our list of what it would take to know our child and to help the child know himself, what it would take to give room for the child to be, and where we'd set the boundaries, and they wouldn't go beyond that, and we would as best we could be consistent in staying with those boundaries, and we would trust God to link our lives together so that when we're adults, we're friends, and we're close, because they're going to become like we are. That great theologian Gilda Radner, the late Gilda Radner used to be a star on Rosanna Danner on Saturday Night Live.

How do you like it? Pastors quoting from Rosanna Danner. She wrote a book called It's Always Something.

I love that title. It's Always Something, and in the book she writes this, when I was little, my nurse Dibby's cousin had a dog, just a mutt, and the dog was pregnant. I don't know how long dogs are pregnant, but she was due to have her puppies in about a week. She was out in the yard one day and got in the way of the lawn mower, and her two hind legs got cut off. They rushed her to the vet, and he said, I can sew her up, or you can put her to sleep if you want to, but the puppies are okay. She'll be able to deliver the puppies.

Dibby's cousin said, let's keep her alive. So the vet sewed up her backside, and over the next weeks, the dog learned to walk. She didn't spend any time worrying. She just learned to walk in a new way. She'd take two steps in the front and sort of flip up her backside, and then she'd take two more steps and flip up her backside again. She gave birth to six little puppies, all in perfect health. She nursed them and then weaned them, and when they learned to walk, they all walked just like her.

What's the matter with these puppies? I love that story. Remember the cats in the cradle? My son's grown up just like me, just like me.

So what are you like? Nurturing? They'll nurture.

You're investing in your grandchildren when you nurture your children. You'll stop the cycle. You turn it around, and I want to tell you something, two promises I can make you. Here's the first one.

We close with them. Each one has a story. Number one, you nurture when you help your children know who they are.

You nurture when you help your children know who they are. You know, son, you're good with your hands. Man, you understand this. This is great. Let's get some books and make this happen.

Let's get serious about this. You know what? You can really draw, honey. You are great, rather than, look at the mess, because artists are messy.

They leave stuff all around. You know what? That's okay, honey. What we're interested in is your art. Look at this. This is terrific. Or, man, you are gifted. I thought I could play a basketball. Look at this. Hey, I'll take you on one-on-one. Let's develop that. Or, you know, you've really got it musically.

I've heard of a teacher that's available across town. We're going to get you connected, because this is a gift we're going to see cultivated. Rather than you living out your frustrated life as an athlete wondering why your son can't make it on the varsity squad, give him a break. He isn't you. He wasn't given you to fulfill your dreams.

He came prescribed by God to be cultivated according to His way. I know you probably saw the movie, but did you ever read the novel Giant, Edna Ferber? Edna Ferber's novel tells the story of the Texan Jordan Benedict. Jordan was the owner of two-and-a-half million acre ranch in Texas. He's furious because his infant son, Jordy, age three, doesn't take to horses. When set on one in full cowboy regalia, he cries to be taken down. His father's disgusted. Look, I rode before I could walk, he yells at Jordy. All right, responds his wife, Leslie.

That was very cute, but that was you. He's another person. Maybe he doesn't like horses. He's a Benedict.

I'm going to make him a horseman even if I have to tie him to it. You've been playing God so long you think you run the world. I run the part of the world that's mine, says Jordan Benedict. Well, he's not yours, says his wife. He's yours and mine, and he's not even ours.

He's himself. You nurture when you help your children know who they are. Help them. They don't know how to say this, so I'm saying it for them. Take time.

Take time. The church has your child 1% of his time, a little over. The school has your child 18% of his time. The home has the child 80% of his time.

Do the math. Don't expect the school or the church to resurrect what your home puts to death. Take time.

Here's a second. You nurture when you help them know who they are. You nurture when you take the time necessary to cultivate them. When you take the time necessary to cultivate them.

It's amazing. You work and work and work and give and give and give and pray and pray and pray and discipline and discipline and discipline. Sometimes you have to go in the other room and go, then you go back in the room trying to get under control and talk to the child, and maybe sometime you've got to spank them and you've got to hold the ground. You've got to love them through it and all that, and you think they'll never get it. They'll never get it.

They will. He says even when he's old, he won't return from it. I found an interesting piece. Growing bamboo is tough, especially growing the supreme grade of bamboo. In Malaysia, there's a strain of very valuable bamboo takes great wisdom and even more patience to cultivate.

Here's how you do it. First year you plant the seed, you water and fertilize, nothing visible happens. Second year you continue to carefully water and fertilize, nothing visible happens. Third year you water and fertilize, it's even more necessary that you do that, yet nothing happens.

There's absolutely no visible indication of your three years of work. Fourth year comes around, you water and fertilize, and must be applied correctly in the right amounts and at the right time and you guessed it, nothing happens in the fourth year. In the fifth year, you again diligently water and fertilize, and the bamboo grows 90 feet in 30 days. Not nine inches in 30 days, not nine feet in 30 days, 90 feet in 30 days.

From zilch to the height of a nine story building in a month. You call it compound interest, huh? You will pour yourself day after day, week after week, month after month, yes year after year, and you will go in your bedroom and you'll say, are they ever going to get it? And your wife says, no, and that doesn't help. And then you and she pray and work and cultivate and continue to nurture and wouldn't you know it, one day you look and you're amazed, he got it. And you're so grateful to God and you're so proud of your nurtured offspring because God honored the time, the patience you invested.

It's worth it. I want us to bow our heads, okay? I know what time it is. I want you to close your eyes. I want you to close your eyes. I want you to focus either on your children or your grandchildren.

If you're not married on your former home from which you were reared. I'm not going to give you an agenda on what to think about. Focus on an area that needs to be improved. Maybe the cultivation of a relationship with your parents you've never had. Maybe just sheer forgiveness. Rather than licking your wounds and excusing all of your nonsensical behavior on a mother that didn't love you or a dad that didn't care, will you please take responsibility for your own actions? And from this day forward, start doing what is right. You need help to get your stuff straightened out, get it. Pay the price. Would you quit banging the teacher because your son is acting up or because your daughter is being picked on? Look a little closer. Could the problem be at home?

Is it possible that 80% of the time something needs to be improved? Do it. Start today. You might even begin by getting your children together and asking their forgiveness for all the stuff that's been going on and had no business happening. Since the passage is directed to dads, I'm going to direct it to you, fathers. It's our work, men. It's where we earn the right to be called a leader.

It's our responsibility. Maybe your prayer could be, with the grace of God, I'll leave this building a different dad than I came in. If you've never met Christ as Lord and Savior, of course, that is the beginning of doing what's right. Come to him now. He stands with open arms and an understanding heart. He'll help you through the morass of bad habits and wrong experiences and failed attempts.

He'll forgive you and help you know how to forgive yourself and then give you the insights necessary and even the discipline to begin right. Remember the old chorus of worship, Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me, melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Our Father, we do pray for that and you'd fill us with your Spirit and then with him your wisdom, your strength, the encouragement we need to press on, the determination to go ahead, the strength of will to face wrong that we've created, and the removal of all self-pity or continue returning to the feelings of victimization bring us fully responsible to be adults, to act upon truth as set forth in your word. And we will trust you to fulfill your promise that when they are old, when they reach maturity, they won't depart from this investment. Give us the patience and strength we need to change through the power of Christ.

In whose name we pray that all God's people set. Amen. This has been a powerful week of study in Ephesians 5 and 6, talking about our most treasured relationships in the home. You're listening to Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message, Secrets of a Nurturing Home.

To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at InsightWorld.org. Now, right before we hear a personal illustration from Chuck, I'd like to remind you that Insight for Living Ministries has created a wide variety of books and resources that are especially meaningful over the holidays. For instance, I'll draw your attention to an illustrated keepsake called, Cragle's Treasury of Illustrated Bible Stories. Many times we remember the stereotypical depictions of Bible stories from our Sunday school days, but this book is designed to engage every member of the family in these historic events and to ignite the imagination and curiosity of every member in the family. It's a collection of masterpiece paintings, and each one is paired with a favorite story. To purchase the coffee table book called, Cragle's Treasury of Illustrated Bible Stories, go to Insight.org slash store, or call one of our friendly staff members. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888.

This would make a thoughtful gift for a friend. Chuck? A long time ago, when our oldest children were still babies, Cynthia and I were living in the Northeast. Cynthia, whose father had been violently dysfunctional, was sinking into a pit of depression. She had seen one counselor after another. She had taken medications that doctors now know are in fact dangerous.

They didn't know that then. Everything we tried made things worse. We felt so alone. Behind our home was an alley.

One night as Cynthia slept soundly, and the babies as well, I went out for a late-night walk all alone. I got about halfway down that dark alley and I just stopped. I looked up and I cried out, help me, Lord. I don't know what to do.

Please help me. I'm running out of hope. Have you ever been there?

Are you there right now? If 2020 has knocked you to your knees, you understand better than most. So listen to my next words closely. God is in that long, dark alley. He's not oblivious. He's not absent. He cares.

And best of all, He is working. In that alley, I couldn't fathom how we were going to make it through the next week to say nothing of the next year. How could the Lord set Cynthia free from such depression? I had no idea. I had no understanding that He would one day use her testimony to help others battling the same darkness. Many years ago, Insight for Living Ministries wasn't even a dream, wasn't even a blip on the screen. I had no idea the Lord would take my calling to preach and build a wonderful ministry.

Under the leadership of my wonderful wife, who pulled out of that depression beautifully, having suffered through such dark days, she became a woman of strength and grit with a heart set on reaching all the nations. We had no clue, but God did. Our God is the God of impossibilities.

Believe that. He's the one who brings light. When everything around us is night, when all hope is lost, He brings back hope.

Christmas demonstrates that truth so well, because in that first Christmas, God set His Son as Immanuel. The word means God with us. God is still with us in this year of loss and violence, division and pandemic. God is with us in our own long, dark alleys. In 2020, God is still weaving His sovereign tapestry to accomplish His divine will. Don't overlook Him. Whatever dark valley you're enduring, Jesus is still Immanuel. God is still sovereign.

He is able to carry out His plan when we can't see it. This Christmas, would you please join Insight for Living Ministries in proclaiming this calming reassurance worldwide? You can do so by sending your generous donation before December 31.

Would you do that? Your much needed gift will bring light to others who this very day are stumbling through a dark alley of fear, disappointment, discouragement and depression. They need to know, as Moses said to the Israelites in their moments of terror, do not be afraid. Do not panic, for the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. I'm counting on you for your gift.

Thanks very much. And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll right now. To give a donation, call us if you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888 or go online to insight.org. And then while you have a little extra time this weekend, we encourage you to set your alarm on Sunday morning to join us online. You're invited to take a front row seat in the worship center at Stonebriar Community Church. Thousands are taking advantage of this weekend worship experience online. Not only is they hear Chuck's Bible teaching, but the majestic music as well. You'll find all the instructions at insight.org slash Sundays.

Join us again Monday when Chuck Swindoll talks about honoring God in our occupations, right here on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Secrets of a Nurturing Home, was copyrighted in 2000, 2001 and 2009. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-19 12:48:19 / 2024-01-19 12:57:49 / 10

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