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How to Raise a Healthy Family in a Modern World - How to Raise Godly Kids in an Ungodly World, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2024 6:00 am

How to Raise a Healthy Family in a Modern World - How to Raise Godly Kids in an Ungodly World, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 20, 2024 6:00 am

Chip delves deep into the Principle of Focus and the Principle of Modeling, when it comes to raising a healthy family in a culture that doesn’t value the nuclear family of the Bible.

Main Points

Psalm 127:1-5

3 Questions that have shaped Chip & Theresa's parenting & grandparenting

  1. What's my #1 goal? - Ephesians 6:4
  2. What's my #1 role? - 1 Corinthians 4:14-16
  3. What's my #1 responsibility? - 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-8, 11-12

8 "keys" that build relationships that bond:

  1. Express unconditional love
  2. Scheduled time
  3. Focused attention
  4. Eye contact
  5. Consistent communication
  6. Meaningful touch
  7. Have fun together
  8. Pray together often
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Few things are as hard today as raising a family, but raising a healthy family feels almost impossible.

I mean, like it takes a miracle. If you want some straightforward, practical answers of how to raise a healthy, thriving family, stay with me. That's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. Well, thanks for joining us as we near the end of our short series, How to Raise a Healthy Family in a Modern World. For these last two programs, Chip will be in the book of Psalms identifying some vital biblical practices parents can use to guide their kids in this hostile and corrupt society. And let me encourage you to stick around after the teaching as Chip shares some deeper insights and advice for moms and dads.

You won't want to miss it. If you're ready, go in your Bible to Psalm chapter 127, where Chip's talk, How to Raise Godly Kids in an Ungodly World. The question I've been given is, what counsel would you and Teresa pass on to parents and grandparents? And you know, we don't have like 50 years together, but what I can tell you is this, is that if there was one passage, I would go to it. And this isn't the passage like Deuteronomy 6 about what and how to do it and it's not even in Ephesians 6 about specific action items.

But I think there's something about how we think about being parents. And I put it on the front of your notes. Psalm 127, of all the things in Scripture that have framed my thinking and Teresa's thinking because there's some values here. I want you to follow along as I read it. It says, Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.

Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless to work so hard from early morning and late at night, anxiously working for food to eat, for God gives rest to his loved ones. So all I want you to know, those first three verses you kind of get this idea that your activity, your activity to build something, your activity to protect, to protect your children, your activity to work and all your energy and make something happen, the first three verses are, Unless God is in it, it's to no avail. Of all the things, I didn't grow up as a believer, Teresa didn't grow up as a believer. We came from parents who really did love us, but pretty dysfunctional in terms of the alcohol and the background. What we knew, and I think it was a blessing, we knew that we didn't know how to be the kind of parents that God wanted us to.

We knew we didn't know what we didn't know. Here, dependency, just realizing no matter what you learn, how many books, how many videos, what schools your kids go to, at the end of the day, the most important principle in all parenting is that you need God. Your kids need the hand of God and the favor of God.

I've watched my wife for now 40 years on her knees before God and us together before we go to bed at night asking God, begging God. By the way, I will tell you that all four of my grown children walk with God. They all have married well. They're all raising their kids in a way that is far better than we did. Teresa and I can't take credit. I want you to hear, this is not from a couple of experts that have it all together. This is from a couple people that didn't know what they were doing that begged God for help.

I will tell you this, though. We believe that God's word, this is how you become a mom or a dad or a grandparent. We got around people that would help us, but what we understood was God builds the family.

God protects the family. The second three verses are maybe the biggest value point. Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them.

He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers in the city gates. You know, in our day, children are not seen as a gift. Sometimes they're seen as a liability or a nuisance, or we don't want them to interfere with our life, or we want someone to babysit them or take care of them.

This is the other big value. First is, only God can work in their heart. As a mom or a dad or as a grandparent raising kids, all that we can do is create the kind of environment that the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, through great relationships and other people, can help our kids become what we long for them to become.

In fact, better what God longs for them to become. The second, though, is that there's a sense of, it's a stewardship. Our kids are a gift. They're precious. This is the most precious gift God will ever give you. He says that there's this process that they're not just a gift for your enjoyment, but it's like a young warrior.

Notice that it's a picture of these arrows. In other words, these children, our goal is to launch them into the world. Our goal is to help them discover why did God make them, and what did He make them to do, and how do we help them discover their gifts, and how do we give them a passion for the things of God that, in the world and all the problems, that our children would go out and our children would make a difference.

And then I love this at the end. It says, when he's old, he won't be put to shame. Had a special little thing here at the church and bumped into one of my sons, and I got to talk with him about his family and a couple of his little ones were around. And I was asking him a few questions about this message, and I just was listening to him, and he was telling me, Dad, I think it's harder now to raise kids than any other time. And he said, you know, I don't think parents, you know, I don't think they're aware of the exposure of what's happening to some of their kids and the level of intensity and the level of energy it takes in our day to really be a great parent. And what I realize is is that I'm now, I'm now learning from my kids about how to parent and better how to be a grandparent. Well, as you turn the page, if we only had, say, 20 or 25 minutes to have coffee, and you said, you know, there's a lot of books, there's a lot of techniques, there's a lot of great things I can learn about parenting, but if you had to kind of boil it down, something very easy to remember, Chip, what would you and Teresa say to us about being an effective, about being a godly parent or grandparent? See, my goal, I want my kids to be positive and I want them, quote, to be successful and in a certain sense, but I titled this message How to Raise Godly Kids in an Ungodly World. And so here's the three questions that have shaped our parenting.

These are the ones that now with my grandkids, I'm asking these same questions. But question number one is this, what is my number one goal? As a parent, ask yourself, what's your number one goal? What do you want to see happen more than anything else? What really matters?

You only get one goal. What does success look like? If you're a parent, you're asking yourself, what's my number one goal? What, as far as it depends on me, what am I asking the God of the universe, the God of the Bible to do in my child's heart and life, what's my goal?

And the answer is in Ephesians chapter 6, verse 4. I've put it in your notes. Phillips translation says, fathers, do not overcorrect your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment. Bring them up with Christian teaching and Christian discipline. I want you to put a line under, don't overcorrect them. Put a line under, bring them up, and then I want you to put a box around the word teaching and a box around the word discipline.

And let me just say, this isn't an accident. Notice it says fathers. Fathers, you have an instrumental role. You are the point person in your family.

You're the person that is morally responsible for the outcomes, and you do it together with your wife. And those of you that are single parents, you need us as the church. But fathers, here's the temptation, don't exasperate or don't overcorrect. Don't be a picky dad. Believe me, my kids understand what that looks like.

But the second is the positive, but bring them up. It's a very interesting Greek word. It means to rear, to nurture.

In the ancient Greek language, it meant the physical development. Later it came to be known the full development emotionally and spiritually of a child. So in other words, my number one goal is not to overcorrect, but I want to bring them up so that they spiritually, emotionally, and physically become all that God designed them to be.

And first and foremost, what that means is, you don't parent out of fear, you parent out of focus. You say, you know something, what's my number one goal? I put it this way, my number one goal is for my kids and my grandkids to be holy, to be Christ-like. In other words, it's character. I want my kids and my grandkids, regardless of what school they go to, regardless of how much money they make or don't make, regardless of anything else, what I know is they will be happy, they will be successful if they're godly, if they walk with God. And that takes incredible intentionality and incredible hard work.

I call it the principle of focus. And here's the question all of us have to ask, and no one's immune in this room. Do you want God's dream for your child, or do you want the American dream? What matters most? When you begin to think about what school they go to, what college they attend, what sports they play, what opportunities they have, who are their friends, is the filter in all those decisions what will help them spiritually and morally develop and become a man or woman of God? Or is it about prestige?

I mean, you know what? It's fine if your kid makes a traveling team unless the environment on the traveling team is moving the whole family and your child away from God. You know, it's fine to be a great musician.

It's fine to get into a great school. But if the focus of a child is I'm only accepted, I'm only valued, and where your real goal is that they be successful, that they be happy, here's what I'm going to tell you. I can't tell you the number of parents, grandparents, single moms, single dads that I have wept with and talked with who their kids are successful. And they went to great schools, and they're very musically talented and often very athletic.

And they are far from God, and they're far from their folks. So let me ask you, what's your goal? I mean, what is your goal? And then if that's really the goal, if your goal is to help your child at whatever age, you know, whether they're 2, whether they're 12, if they're 22, if they're 41, they're still your child. What's your goal?

You still have a relationship. My goal with each of my grandkids, my goal with all of my adult children is how can I help them really walk with God and know Him? You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Before we hear the rest of Chip's message, let me remind you that we are a listener-supported ministry. Your financial gifts help us create programs like this one, develop new resources, and encourage pastors globally. Prayerfully consider supporting us today. Then go to livingontheedge.org to give a gift.

Thanks so much for your help. Well here again is Chip. And notice I'm given two things, Christian teaching and Christian discipline. Basically there's two things we have to offer. Our words, teaching, and discipline are actions.

And it looks different. But when they're two years old, there's certain things you say and there's certain actions. When they're little, you know, eight, nine, there's certain words and certain actions. When they're teenagers, when they're young adults, when they get married. But God wants us to know that He's given us instruction as parents, as grandparents. And so you start off as telling them what to do.

And you're the teacher. And then pretty soon you realize if they're going to get their own values, you start asking more questions. And then pretty soon you transfer more and more responsibility as they're teenagers.

Then they're young adults and they're making their own decisions. And you kind of go from the teacher to the coach to the counselor. And then you get to where I am and I'm just a consultant now.

Seriously, I don't give advice most of the time unless I'm asked. And I pray for those opportunities. And you build a relationship and you stay connected because this is the number one goal. The second is not just what's my goal, but what's my number one role. Of all the things you can do for your kids, of all the things I can do for my children and my grandchildren, what's my number one role? Paul writes in 1 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 14 to 16, I'm writing this not to shame you, but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you have 10,000 guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

Now notice this command, therefore I urge you to imitate me. I call this the principle of modeling. My number one goal is to be the kind of example that my kids would say, I want to live the kind of life that I see my dad living, that I see my mom living.

Now by the way, don't hear perfection. But I want to model what it means to be dependent. I want to model what it looks like to drive your car with the Holy Spirit living inside of you. I want to model what do I do when I blow up in anger. I want to model what's it look like to care for the poor. I want to model what's it look like to honor God with my money, to become a generous person. I want to model what do I do under pressure.

I want to model what's it look like when the future's uncertain. I want to model what's it look like to trust God when your mate gets there. I want to model what's a step of faith look like when God whispers in your ear and he calls you to move across country or change locations or change jobs. I want to model what it looks like when there's a relational problem in the family and you don't want to have one of those hard, hard conversations. And I want to model this sense of, oh God, will you give me the grace and then calmly and lovingly say some very hard things. In fact, I want to model what it looks like to have someone say some very hard things to me that I don't want to hear and all my defensive flare up and then just by God's grace put them down and look into the eyes of one of my kids or my wife and receive the reproof that I need.

Imitate me. See, all the research is telling this, you know, you read the reports like I do, 68% of children from Bible believing evangelical homes five years after they leave your house out of high school, almost 70% of them don't walk with God. Let me give you the three reasons why people lose their kids. Number one, the most fundamental one is this, their kids don't see the reality of Christ being the center and the passion and the core of their family life. They can bring them to church, they can send them to a Christian school, they could even write a check, but what they don't see is a mom and dad whose life is centered around the Word of God. They don't see people that sit around the table and talk and share hearts. They don't see people that are saying, I don't know what we're going to do, this is a big problem, let's all get together and sit on the living room floor and let's pray about this together. They don't hear their mom or their dad talking about, you know what, there was someone at work and they're going through a difficult time and I think we need to take some of our money and we need to help them. Faith is more caught than taught. They pick it up.

But it's not just your positives. They also need to see modeled, what do you do when you mess up? It was a very foreign concept to me. I read a lot of books and I wrote my thesis actually at Dallas Theological Seminary on the role and responsibility of the father in transmitting values in the family. But what I knew is that I didn't know how to be a dad and I thought if I have to write this big long paper, I should tackle the most important thing, you know, as a dad. And what I learned in that is the role of the man and the role of the parent and what we're called to do.

When we mess up, we need to own it. And it was a foreign, I mean a foreign idea that let's just say, just hypothetically of course, that when my kids were small or when they weren't so small and they did something that really bothered me and I told them don't do that and absolutely, it's kind of crazy, but they did it again and did it again and did it again. And then in my effort to really help them understand, I don't want you to do that, I came out and said, if you do that one more time, I'm going to, right, you know. And then their little eyes get this big and they're scared to death. And then I had this overwhelming guilt.

I'm sure none of you ever struggle with that. And what I realized was what they did was wrong, but how I disciplined them was just as wrong or more wrong. What do you do with that? What do you do when you blow it as a parent? What do you do when you blow it as a grandparent?

Here's what I can tell you. I had to learn over the years to, when they were small, to get down on one knee and look in their eye, really get their attention, sometimes grab their head, you know. And I would say their name and then I would say, when you did this, I want you to know that you disobeyed me and it made me very upset or I chose to respond that way. And what you did was wrong. And I forgive you. But I want you to know that the way I talked to you, in fact, the way I yelled at you, God spoke to my heart and he told me that was very wrong. And so will you forgive me? And we started that very, very early. And you know, it's an amazing thing to see a four-year-old kind of look at you and go, I forgive you.

I said, oh, thank you. And then normally I would sit down when they were small like this and I'd have them climb into my lap and put my arm around them and we would pray together. And actually, some of the times where I disciplined my children or I confessed my sin to my children were some of the precious times. And you know what they learned?

They didn't learn their dad or their mom was perfect. What they learned was my heart's desire is I want to be holy and loving before my God. I want the life of Christ lived out in me.

And so that's my number one goal for me, my number one goal for them. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, How to Raise Godly Kids in an Ungodly World, from our series, How to Raise a Healthy Family in a Modern World.

Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. You know, raising a family these days is very challenging. And raising a healthy Christian family has become nearly impossible to do.

So what hope do moms and dads have? Well, in this short series, Chip guides parents to create a home built on love, respect, and most importantly, the Bible. Don't miss how you can establish a well-adjusted countercultural family that may look odds of some, but truly honors God. If you miss any part of this series, the Chip Ingram app is a great way to catch up anytime. Well, Chip's back with me in studio. And Chip, before we go any further, I can see you're wanting to jump in here and share something with our listeners.

Thanks so much, Dave. I just want to say thanks to every single one of you who partner with us at Living on the Edge. You know, some of you pray, some of you give, and some of you do both. You may not know it, but we meet as a staff Monday through Friday, and we pray.

I mean, we have staff all across the country, and we time it where we come together. We pray over you. We pray over the teaching that goes out. We pray over the projects. We have so many people that call in and say, this is a specific need, and we pray for specific needs. We pray over relationships. We pray that God will use the ministry here and around the world.

I have just one question. If the teaching on this program is making a difference in your life, would you get on board? Would you commit to pray for us? Would you commit to give?

In fact, regardless of the amount, if you could give monthly, it would make a world of difference. We have so much ahead of us. The needs are so great, and life is short. Would you go online or give us a call and become a partner with the ministry?

I'm not discouraged, because I know God's in control, but I believe He's calling us to step up and really make a difference, and we need your help to do that. Well, as Chip said, if you're already a financial partner, thank you. With your help, Living on the Edge is ministering to more people than ever. But if you're benefitting from this ministry and haven't yet taken that step, now's a great time to join the team. Become a monthly partner by going to livingontheedge.org or by calling 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit livingontheedge.org. Have listeners tap Donate.

We appreciate you giving whatever God leads you to give. Well, Chip, at the very end of your teaching, you repeated a phrase multiple times. You said, I want to model. I want to model. I want to model.

Why did you do that? I said that with great intentionality, not only from Scripture, but my background's in psychology. And what we know is the number one way people learn, how they learn to talk, how they learn to handle their anger, how they learn their etiquette or eat around the table, how people learn everything is first and foremost the most powerful way is modeling. We're imitators. Our kids imitate how we talk. They imitate how we respond to something that's unfair. They imitate our love for God.

And so here's what I want to say to people. We must be what we want our children and our grandchildren to become. The question I really wanted to ask and answer is how can I help my kids and grandkids really walk with God, to really know Him?

The first thing, it sounds so elementary, but it's really walk with God. In fact, all the research that we did when we found those 70% of kids that walk away from the faith, yeah, they may have gone to the youth group. They may have gone to church. They may have said a little prayer around the table. What they didn't see in almost every case was a mom or dad who was passionate about Jesus, that it was a 24-7 relationship, that the Bible wasn't some rule book, but it mattered.

It was a love letter that they saw their parents deeply engaged. Now, don't get me wrong. Modeling is not the end all. There's a lot of parents that love God, that model that, and their kids still make some very bad decisions. But we cannot impart what we do not possess.

People say, well, how? How do I really walk with God? I want to make sure they know it's about life, it's not about religion. And so the little acronym that we've used here at Living on the Edge is BIO, B-I-O. The B stands for Come Before God Daily. You have to have an intimate personal relationship daily, talking to God in the Word and being a part of a great church.

The I in BIO is for In Community. None of us can live this life alone. I need close friends that I study with, share with, hold me accountable, love me just for who I am.

And then the O is On Mission 24-7. Not just like serving at the church, but as a dad or a mom or a person every moment of every day with my antenna up saying, God, how do you want to use me? Where are their needs? How do you want to love someone through me today? And when BIO becomes a part of your life, there's a joy and a love and attractiveness that causes your kids to want to imitate you.

Great word, Chip. And if you're really serious about deepening your faith, we have some resources that can help. Go to TrueSpiritualityOnline.org. There you can order Chip's popular book, True Spirituality, get the small group resources, or watch countless insightful videos. All these tools were designed to show you the clear path to becoming a genuine follower of Christ. So check them out today. That website again is TrueSpiritualityOnline.org. We'll see you in the next time as Chip wraps up this series, How to Raise a Healthy Family in a Modern World. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-20 04:16:32 / 2024-05-20 04:27:08 / 11

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