Think back on your experience as a young child. Did your mom and dad take delight in you? Did you feel warmly accepted?
Was your home filled with the sounds of laughter? Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues his brand new series called Restoring Your Family's Foundation. In this next study, he'll be talking about cultivating a safe harbor for your kids and grandkids.
A place where everyone feels fully accepted, with plenty of room to grow into a healthy adult. Chuck titled today's message, Delighting in Your Kids and Grandkids, and we begin with prayer. Our Father, we bring before you our lives, our needs, which are always many.
Our concerns, which are often complex and complicated. And you're always there. You never turn us away. You never turn your back on us. Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes from the Father of lights with whom there is no turning or shadow caused by turning. Thank you, Father, for your hand on us.
Your faithfulness in season, out of season, when it's hot or when it's cold, when it's daylight or when it's dark. Whether we're young or older, you're there and you haven't changed. Thank you that you're not only our Lord to guide us, you're our shepherd. And we need you, we need you regularly to lead us, for we often lose our way.
We're a part of your flock and we find great security in that. Thank you for knowing us by name and guiding us with such love and care and concern. I pray that you will use this message today to lift our hearts out of a drag of this world in which we live, the darkness, the heartaches, the sadness, the constant, constant burdens of life. May we realize what a pleasure children are designed to bring to us. May we get a new glimpse of the role of parents as those who take joy in those born to them. May we who are grandparents realize the fresh dimension you bring in life. As with age comes wisdom.
Thank you for the privilege of being able to offer that to the young. May we be patient, caring, devoted, loving. Speak to us today, Father, as only a shepherd can speak to his sheep.
We need you, today especially. There are those who hurt. There are those who grieve.
There are those who are seriously ill. We remember them. I pray for you to find ways in their lives to bring a ray of hope, encouragement, and even refreshment on this day. Use the words that I've prepared from your Word to open our eyes to see a new dimension of family life that we may have forgotten about in the dailiness of responsibilities and the burden and tasks of making a living.
Show us, our Father, that the path of righteousness is a path that brings pleasure forevermore. Now as you speak to us, Lord, we tell you how much we love you. And we lean on you. We trust you. We wait upon you.
There are needs that have not been met, and without you, we cannot know how they will ever turn out. So step in, Lord, and take charge, we pray, that there might be relief and a fresh sense of hope. Now encourage us, our Father, as we pause for a few quiet moments to search our own hearts, so that as the seed of the Word is sown, our hearts will be like fertile soil, receiving the seed, allowing it to be implanted, to take root, to grow, and to produce. In the name of Christ, our Savior, our Lord, our Shepherd, we pray. All God's people said, amen. . You're listening to Insight for Living.
To dig deeper into the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to insight.org slash studies. And now the message from Chuck titled Delighting in Your Kids and Grandkids. Delighting in our children.
What a difference that word can make. We don't use it very much when we think of rearing children. As an example, if you look again at Proverbs 3 verse 12, you'll find the word as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
Isn't that an interesting context? Here is a father correcting a child because he delights in him. When children are neglected, they're not corrected. They're not guided with wise reproof.
They're left pretty much on their own, and what an insecure feeling that is. But when parents care enough to confront, to correct, knowing that if this kind of attitude or action were to continue on unaddressed, it would work against the child as he or she grows up. Needs to be corrected, and you do so because you delight in them. You find pleasure in their presence. You'll be interested to know, as I was, that the Hebrew term is colorful. It means to be pleased with, to find favor in. It's used elsewhere in the Old Testament for acceptance and even enjoyment. Trust me on this, when a child feels accepted and enjoyed by his parents makes a world of difference in his sense of security or her sense of security. And there's nothing like having fun with our kids and taking the time to do so. It requires breaking with the old mold of every minute counts, so we've got to stay serious about life. Let me show you something from the psalm we read. We may have read it over so quickly you missed the analogies.
There are three of them worth noting. Psalm 127 begins with, Children are a gift from the Lord. Stop right there. A gift from the Lord. Last time we were together we talked about how children are formed in the womb and the Lord makes the child during that nine month period. Giving the child certain interests and inclinations, certain skills, certain abilities. And then when the birth comes it's like he's wrapped a ribbon around the child with a little bow saying here's my gift. Now, the child is a gift not a liability. The child comes as a gift, not an accident. Your child comes into your home as a gift, not an interruption. As a gift, not merely a tax deduction, not a burden to bear, but a gift to open and delight in. And notice the giver. No one else gives you the child, but the one who has made the child.
The Lord, made by God, given by God. I wonder if your child realizes what a treasure she is to you and to your partner in life. I wonder if your son is growing up remembering, my folks thought of me as a gift, a treasured gift. We read the scriptures too hurriedly.
We don't marinate the words by taking time with them. The next analogy is equally valuable. They are a reward from him. A reward. I looked up the word reward in the dictionary.
Webster tells us that the term means a satisfying result. What a difference that makes in children when they realize how the Lord has satisfied us by bringing them into our lives. And there are moments along the way in life when we pause and let them know how special they are to us. The third is equally intriguing. Children are like arrows in a warrior's hands.
Look at that. We're not too familiar with arrows unless you're an archer and most of us aren't. So we have to read about them to learn about them. Arrows, well, they are invaluable for a warrior in order for him to survive a battle. They're invaluable. Furthermore, they must be handled with care or damage could happen.
Third, and of course perhaps the most important, they must be directed toward a specific target for their purpose to be fulfilled. But this isn't talking about literal arrows and literal warriors. This is picturesque language designed to make us imagine. Happy is the one whose quiver is full of those arrows.
Happy. Because the quiver is full of arrows. We launch them straight towards specific goals that are important to them. Because we've studied them to see how they're put together.
And having concentrated on them and given them the hours of time that requires, our time has been invested well. The Lazy B Ranch is comprised of 260 square miles of scrub brush on the New Mexico-Arizona border. It's been in the Day family since 1881. When Harry and Ada Mae Day were ready to have their first child, they had to travel over 200 miles east in order to get to El Paso, where Ada Mae would give birth to her daughter, whom she named Sandra. The home she took Sandra back to in their pickup truck was a rugged place.
It was a four-room Adobe cabin. No running water. No electricity.
No school within even driving distance. Sandra's future may have seemed slim to an onlooker, but it was anything but with parents like Harry and Ada Mae. With such limited resources, they decided to supplement them. Harry and Ada Mae delighted in their daughter. They didn't allow their dreams to be limited by their surroundings. They refused to give up hope that Sandra would one day attend and graduate from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Ada Mae not only homeschooled her daughter and later her son, Alan, she also subscribed to Metropolitan newspapers and magazines such as Vogue and The New Yorker, which she regularly read to her children. They also made sure that Sandra attended the best boarding school they could afford when she reached the age where it was appropriate for her to do that. Alan tells that when one summer arrived, the parents packed them in the old station wagon and they drove to every state capital west of the Mississippi. We climbed to the dome of every building until finally we had to come home.
Alan writes in his story. Sandra did go to Stanford and she did graduate. She then went on to law school and eventually beyond her law practice, she became the first woman Supreme Court Justice of the United States. On the day of her swearing in, the entire Day family, of course, was present to rejoice with her. During the ceremony, Alan watched her closely as Sandra Day O'Connor put on the judge's robe and took her seat among the justices. She then looked around the room and spotted her family.
Writes Alan, their eyes locked together, he said, and that's when the tears started falling. You see, the family demonstrates beautifully that circumstances have little to do with the direction those arrows go. It's those people within those four room houses that make the difference.
Sandra doesn't remember the lack of electricity or the absence of running water. She remembers a mother who read to her daily. Broadened her world with stories far removed from New Mexico and Arizona border and that ranch where they lived.
She remembered parents, as did Alan, who took time and the fun they had. Can you imagine? Can you imagine climbing the domes of every capitol building? They could squeeze into the time they could be away from one state to another. You may choose to take your son to, I have a friend who has two sons and one of his goals is to take them to every one of the major league baseball stadiums before they're out of the house on their way. What a great idea. Some would choose the football stadiums where the professional players play from one stadium to another. Not so much to see the game, though that might be a part of it, but to just be in the stadium.
The possibilities are endless if you want to have fun with them and you want to build into them a life beyond the tight circumstances of your home. For our closing scripture, I want to summarize the passage for you. I think it will land more firmly in your mind by my doing so. I'm referring to what Paul wrote in tender moments to people who meant so much to him. He delighted in the Thessalonians. Interesting, the Thessalonians. If you know your Bible history, you know that Paul came to Philippi when he crossed the Aegean and then made his way down Macedonia till he got to Greece. But on the way down, he stopped at Thessalonica for a little while, not long, and then briefly at Berea and then came through Athens and then on to Corinth where he spent more time.
Thessalonica. Paul writes to them later, following his time with them, and he's remembering when. And if I may use the word, he's delighting in the memory. He says in First Thessalonians 2, 5 through 12, verse 5, I never tried to win you with flattery.
Listen to these words of delight. I never tried to win you with flattery. I didn't pretend to be a friend and to rip you off financially. I was never a freeloader. I worked when I was with you.
But my, the times we had together. Verse 6, I didn't seek praise from you or from others. I wasn't there to get the glory. I was there for you. Verse 7, I never demanded anything from you, but I became like a mother.
Get that analogy. Feeding and caring for her own children. Verse 8, we loved you so much that we shared not only God's good news, but our very own lives. I love that phrase.
That's a phrase that refers to vulnerability. When I was with you, I allowed you to see the scars of my past. Chuck Swindoll is midway through an important message for families, so please stay with us. He's talking about delighting in your kids and grandkids. This is Insight for Living, and to learn more about this ministry, connect with us online at insightworld.org.
What you heard today represents one small portion of a larger teaching series. It's brand new, and it's called Restoring Your Family's Foundation. This seven-part study embodies the culmination of Chuck's wisdom on the family, accumulated over the decades as a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. I'm pleased to remind you that Chuck wrote a helpful book on this topic as well.
Actually, it's a classic. His book is called Marriage from Surviving to Thriving. Let's face it, marriage and the family have changed drastically through the years.
Men afraid to be men, women ashamed of being women, and yet the Bible upholds a much more hopeful design for your marriage and home. In Chuck's book, you'll receive wise biblical counsel on how to move your marriage relationship from surviving to thriving. To purchase Chuck Swindoll's book called Marriage from Surviving to Thriving, call us.
If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or go online to insight.org slash store. Bear in mind that your gift to Insight for Living, large or small, will help cultivate healthy families. There's hardly a day that passes when we don't hear from a grateful couple, a relieved husband, or a forgiven son or daughter.
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If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or go online to insight.org slash donate. Cruise ships leave the harbor for Alaska all the time, but there's only one that's hosted by Insight for Living Ministries. You're invited to travel with Chuck Swindoll this summer. Every moment of your vacation is thoughtfully prepared and protected so that you can enjoy the perfect balance of rest, adventure, relaxation, sightseeing, and just plain fun, all in the company of those who share your respect for God's word and God's creation.
Yeah, I'll put it this way. God had a very good day when he created Alaska. I was awestruck by the majestic mountains, the wildlife, the quaint little seaports. All my life, I've wanted to see a glacier.
When I stepped out on the deck of our ship and witnessed the massive wall of ice, wow, it was truly breathtaking. Escape with Insight for Living Ministries to the great frontier, July 1st through July 8th, 2023. Call 1-888-447-0444. That's 1-888-447-0444. Or learn more at insight.org slash events.
The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer. Chuck Swindoll continues his brand new series called Restoring Your Family's Foundation next time on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Delighting in Your Kids and Grandkids, was copyrighted in 2022 and 2023, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2023 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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