Two-age Sojourner: Pastoring, Parenting and the Power of the Gospel—with Mike and Luke Abendroth (Part 2)

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Two-age Sojourner is hosted by Michael Beck, the pastor of Gracenet Community Church, Wellington, New Zealand (www.gracenet.co.nz). Each week (well, most weeks), Mike is joined on his pilgrimage by three co-hosts. Nick Clevely is the pastor of Covenant Grace Baptist Church in Timaru, New Zealand (www.covenantgracebaptist.church). André Beck (yes, he’s Mike’s brother) is pastor of Bethesda Baptist Church in Felixstowe, UK (www.bethesdafelixstowe.com). Music on this podcast was written by Jeremy Casella and performed by Indelible Grace. You can listen to more from Indelible Grace and Jeremy Casella by searching on Spotify or Apple Music." For more info, check out www.twoagesojourner.com. *

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The Priority of Preaching - Part 3

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Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry, somewhat similar today to the
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Pactum shows that we played here on NoCo. Sometimes if I'm on another podcast, I like to play it here on No Compromise Radio for crossover stuff, for hybrid stuff.
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So you get to know other podcasts that are good, that I listen to every time that they introduce a new episode.
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And it gives me a day off. That's true.
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We have to have some days off once in a while, right? Yes, that's true. Today part two of Mike Avendroth and Luke Avendroth, my son, on Two Age Sojourner with Michael Beck, Andre, and Nick.
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We talked about parenting, the gospel, and many other topics. So that's today on No Compromise Radio, and I hope you enjoy it.
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So far we've learned, if you want your kid to go into ministry, tell them not to, or just don't get in the way.
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Ah, reverse psychology. Just don't make it weird. Just don't make it weird. Don't make it weird. So it's kind of weird with Jesse right now,
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Jesse is just turning 12. And he's like, Oh, dad, please, no, no, I definitely don't want to go to ministry because all that standing,
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I just see you standing all the time, it's like the thought of standing right throughout a church service. So I'm like, you know what, there's that, you know, we do have to stand a lot.
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And so I'm just like, that's cool. Stand behind the pulpit. Exactly.
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Exactly. Well, even before I got the pressure from my dad, there were other things that weren't from the heart.
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Like when he told me, I went to a King James Version only elementary school, and they were talking in class about Charles Finney.
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And I don't know, I had told my dad about this and, you know, I'm like probably in second grade. I raised my hand and they call on me and I say,
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Charles Finney wasn't a Christian. He was a neonomian.
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There were things that I did parrot. Yeah, my son was doing
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ACE, Accelerated Christian Education, which is a dispensational homeschooling curriculum.
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And I just preached through the book of Revelation, and I'm not dispensational. And so he's like, oh, dad, look at this, look at this, look at this, and he's busy tearing it to shreds from the amillennial perspective.
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Funny. So these seeds are being planted one way or another.
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Totally. Good. All right. So that's kind of like past the sun stuff.
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And I think, again, lots more we could say there. I don't know. What else came from that conversation?
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There were a whole bunch of things that I remember thinking we got to talk about. Anything come to mind, Mike? I don't know,
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Michael, if we talked about family devotions or not. Yes, we did. But one of the things that I think is important for men to do who are just trying to raise up their children or pastors, and this is something that goes for all
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Bible teaching. It's a sin to make the Bible boring, somebody once told me. And I think that sometimes dads are like, okay,
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I've got this duty, that's a good duty, teach your children the Bible, and get the children all there on the dinner table and have this family worship time.
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And of course, dads can do whatever they want, and they can format it the way they want. But we try to have fun, and I try to make it exciting.
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When the kids were little, I would take the Bible, and everybody would get the Bible. I said, get your Bible, we're going to learn about who
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God is and learn about Jesus. And I would hold the Bible like this, and I'd say, oh, I love the Bible, and I'd kiss the
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Bible. Oh, this is so exciting. And the kids follow along, versus like, sit down, here we go, turn your
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Bible to 1 Chronicles. And so we would do fun things, because I think, you know what, Christians should have the most joy.
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Christians should be the most fun. It doesn't mean there aren't serious topics. And I mean, I just got back from the funeral today and walked up and saw this dead body of a grandpa, and the grandchildren are just crying and crying.
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And I pulled them to the side and said, aren't we glad for the Lord Jesus, who could go to a body like that with Lazarus and say, arise, and He could put that, you know,
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Jesus said, I'm the resurrection and the life. And you know, there are serious things, obviously, but we try to make it fun.
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And so when we got to Lot's wife, I put salt in everybody's hands, and they had to lick salt for when she turned into a pillar of salt.
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When Aaron's beard with the oil, I had beard on my, I mean, oil on my face.
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We marched around the table seven times for Jericho. David was feigning insanity, and the spit was drooling down his face by the door.
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And so I got the spit in my mouth and did the slushy thing to make it really foamy. Had it come out of my mouth, and we just tried to have fun.
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And Luke knows about this story, where maybe it wasn't so fun. One night I sat down, I said, hey, kids, what do you want to learn about tonight?
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And Luke said, Moses. And Haley, his older sister, said, Jesus. And Moses, Jesus.
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And then Luke said, I hate Jesus. I want Moses. Whoa. So see, even then he didn't understand the law of gospel.
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I know. Yeah. Law of gospel moment right there. Federal vision. I took
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Luke. It was wintertime in New England. We had a fire in the fireplace. Prepositions are important now. And so are statute of limitations.
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I took Luke over to the fireplace and grabbed him by his ankle. I used to lift weights back in those days.
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And I held him upside down by the fire. I didn't say over the fire.
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I said by the fire. And I said, Luke, hell is like a burning fire, and it's where people go who hate
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Jesus. And Luke said upside down, Daddy, I love Jesus. Is that how you convert your kids?
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In that moment, I treasured Jesus enough to be saved. I'll tell you what, that's great.
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So when we were talking earlier about not making it weird, this puts a little bit of a caveat into that, I think.
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I mean, like you can use the, I mean, if the fire's there, it's a ready illustration. And if you can do it, if you can like lift your kid up, you should use it.
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You should put your kid next to the fire. Fill the heat. Just don't pass them through the fire, that's ball.
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Well, the other thing besides having fun is I think parents, especially the dad who's leading it, just change things up a little bit.
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It doesn't have to be some type of formatted puritanical thing where you just say, we're going to sing a song.
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I mean, if dads do it, I'm glad they do anything, but we just mixed it up a little bit. Sometimes we'd sing songs, scripture reading, as the children got older, let's talk about what it means to be a homosexual and what they're teaching you at school or whatever.
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But we had to, we made it fun. And so sometimes I get M &Ms out and I would have questions for each child after I read that chapter.
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And then they would have to raise their hand and when I would ask a question and if they got the answer right, they would get an
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M &M. So the older kids got harder questions, younger kids got other questions. And so we just tried to have fun.
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And you know, the great part about it, guys, is if you sit down and go through the Bible with your children, not perfectly, not every night, but just consistently, you'll teach them every topic that's important in the universe.
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And one of those topics is sex. And so when you're reading through the Bible, I would just read through the passage and, you know,
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Onan spilled a seed on the ground and I wouldn't look up. I just keep reading. And then when, and Luke can describe this if he wants, then one time
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I was talking about Israel was like a whore. And so I see Luke, you know, holding his hand up for so long, asking the question, finally ask,
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I answer it or ask him, Luke, what's your question, son? Dad, daddy, what's a whore?
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Beautiful. Yeah. In your own dining room, as a dad, you can say whatever you want that's appropriate for the children.
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I thought you were going to say, there's the fire, so meet me at the fire. I should have told you guys that story.
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I always remember, do you know Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place? She was a very young girl and she's on the train with her dad because he had to go into Amsterdam to get his, because he was the watchkeeper and he got his time for the watch and he'd wind it up and go back to his town and set the clock.
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And so he was, he was going to town one day carrying a heavy bag full of clock parts. And on the way,
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Corrie Ten Boom had heard a conversation about someone who was committing adultery. She was a very young girl.
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And she said, dad, what does adultery mean? And the dad thought she wasn't ready yet.
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So what he said is he said, Corrie, I want you to pick up this bag. And she tried to pick it up, but it was too heavy and she couldn't pick it up.
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And he said, that bag is too heavy for you right now. I'll carry it for you until you're ready. One day
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I'll tell you what that means, because according to his discretion, he felt she just wasn't ready.
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But you know, one day he would. And I appreciated that. I remember trying to do that once.
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Why are you talking about a bag? Exactly. It just went so bad. It was just like, I didn't make the point at all.
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It was like, I'm just getting angry.
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Dad, what are you even talking about? Exactly. Because they're like, mom, dad's going crazy. Something about the bag. It's funny that tonight
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I was in our Bible reading, we're busy reading through Samuel. And tonight we're reading through basically
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God telling Saul to wipe out the Amalekites. That was the description of like killing all the babies and killing all that, you know, so that we had lots of fun.
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I mean, we didn't have to do anything creative or get the fire going or anything. We just had, there were lots of questions coming straight out of that one.
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So what was your take on that? Like in Mike, in terms of the gory passages of Scripture or the kind of R -rated sections, did you just go through that and just as it was, or did you filter it at all?
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Yeah, I just read through it with my living Bible and my message Bible. I just read it because I thought years ago, reading a commentary on Song of Solomon, and it said that this book is not appropriate for public preaching in a
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Christian church. And I thought that cannot be, here's God's word and it cannot be true.
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And so I thought the children need to hear everything. And I would just, when they asked me a question,
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I would tell them the answer. If not, I would just kind of keep reading it. And then I could figure out how to talk to the kids.
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And so nothing was filtered. Everything was there for public consumption. Sometimes I would talk about things later if it was brought up.
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So Luke and I are lifting weights in the garage one day. And Luke said to me,
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Dad, I don't think I have the gift of singleness. And so then he and I could just talk.
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And I said, thanks for telling me. I really appreciate it. And I said, Luke, I have lots of goals for you in life.
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This is not my primary goal, but this is one of my goals. I said, one of my goals for you in life is that I want you to have a lot of sex.
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And he looked at me like I was the greatest dad ever. Yeah. When can I start doing that?
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And now he's married, you're gonna have a child on the way. And so, and I said, you know, in marriage, here's what God has done.
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So I tried to, and answer your question, Nick, I tried to make it so we'd have
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Bible time for the whole family, but then they could ask questions any other time they wanted about any subject at all.
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Yeah. Do you remember having Bible time on a regular basis? Or what's your recollection about that? Yeah, exactly what you said.
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And you did, you did. I mean, there was definitely modification. So when I asked the question, what is a whore?
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It wasn't a detailed explanation. It was just, I just remember it was something that, you know, something about, it's a woman who will go and sleep in the same bed as a man who's not her husband and maybe with her clothes off.
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So it's like that communicated the effect of this is horrible to us as kids. But I had no idea what that meant.
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Right. I just knew you're not supposed to do that, you know, so there definitely wasn't like you were just, it was filtered in that sense.
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Yeah. I remember having to do the children's talk when I was a pastor in training. I had to do the children's talks in front of the whole congregation.
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All the kids would come to the front, do the kids talks, and I decided to go through the Ten Commandments. And so we're teaching the kids to memorize the
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Ten Commandments, showing them the, you know, the Christ -centered aspect of the law. And then I remember going to the pastor because the next week was going to be the
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Seventh Commandment, do not commit adultery. And I've got a little like from three to like 10 -year -old kids sitting in front of I don't know where the parents are at in terms of what they allow their kids to know.
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I've got everyone's children in front of me. What do I say? And I thought he was very wise. And he just said, look, don't go into the dirty details.
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Just say, you know, God commands that a mommy and daddy love one another. And, you know, they need to stay in that covenant relationship.
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And, you know, so just approach it positively and wisely. You know, maybe we should talk about that book,
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Sexual Fidelity, right? That's sort of these kinds of conversations. As I understand,
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I haven't read the book yet, but that's kind of what gave rise to the book. Is that right, Mike? That's correct. Luke and I would have these fun conversations about the topic.
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And I thought, well, there's a lot of parents now that don't seem to parent or a lot of parents that don't have
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Christian fathers or grandfathers for their children. And so how do you talk about this subject? And of course, the world is promoting this subject with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, right?
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And so I'd rather have my children learn from me than the world, right? And that's why even now
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I tell parents, in the old days, maybe you could tell your children about the birds and the bees when they were 12 or 11.
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Now you better start at eight because they're going to see things on the phone. Luke told me one time, Dad, when anybody ever says on the playground, look at this, it's going to be porn.
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And so I want to be the first imprint on their life when it comes to learning about sex.
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So we'd have conversations, you know, what's a homosexual? What's sex like?
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When can you have sex? I mean, just all these conversations. And sometimes it was kind of embarrassing, probably for Luke to ask and for me to give the answer.
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Yeah. And so we just would talk. And I think Luke knew, in spite of my failings,
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I wanted the best for him and I was an advocate and there's nothing he could do to somehow have me not like him or something like that.
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So just talking about that on a regular basis. So then I thought, well, why don't I just write a quick book, a thousand words, a chapter, 30 days, and then people can just kind of work through it with their children.
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So they don't have to come up with some of the topics. Is that the idea to actually do that with your kids?
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Is that the purpose of the book? Yeah. So sit down and it doesn't have to be 30 days, you know, legalistically, but 30 times in the next couple of months, sit down, read it together.
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And then it'll open up conversation because I don't say things inappropriately in there, but I'm just talking about what the
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Bible says. One man said the Bible is not pornographic, but sometimes it's kind of graphic in terms of the detail.
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And I mean, we'd sit down and just talk. I mean, just some things may be even dumb, but just talking about that subject so it wasn't taboo.
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And I would say things to Luke like, you know, let's look at the Bible. And sometimes it says, you know, that Abraham went into Sarah.
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Well, it's I -N space two. He went into the tent to then go
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I -N -T -O into her. But how do we read the scriptures? And what do we think about? And what's it like?
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And just things like that. So 30 days, father and a son to work through the topic from a biblical perspective.
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What is sex? And what are the sexual sins? And what are the sexual benefits?
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And that's such a helpful resource. You know, just that alone, I think, just to open those lines of communication.
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If anyone, I mean, you know, people can just go ahead and get the book and read it through themselves, see if they're happy with the content and sort of then jump into it with their kids and just assess accordingly.
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And that's super helpful. I should also just mention, I've been waiting for an excuse to talk about this. And this seems to be the best chance
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I'm going to have. You know, everyone knows Gehadus Vass, right? The biblical theologian. His wife,
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I think it was, Catherine F. Vass, wrote a book called The Child's Story Bible.
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Yeah. And, you know, it's quite a big, you know, so basically what she does is, we've been using this thing for,
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I don't know, my idea was to kind of read it through with the kids, but it turned into this 10 -year project. And, you know, we were just kind of using it.
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And to be honest, I sometimes use it instead of the Bible, just because it allows me to cover some ground to do so.
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I mean, she's not like, she doesn't, she doesn't go all Gehadus Vass on you every single time.
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So it's not like super difficult, but at the same time, you know, obviously there's some sensitivity there to biblical theology and just piecing the picture together.
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And so I've just found it to be really helpful, actually, and just navigating some of these more difficult bits and maybe covering some ground.
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Don't want to get the kids lost in the details. I'll go back to that and then kind of come back to the Bible afterwards. And it's just been more helpful than I imagined it would be initially even.
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So that's worth just putting out there if this is going to be helpful to anyone wanting to make some changes and get some things going.
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And really that's what it's about. I mean, now let's think a little bit just before we end up throwing law, law, law, and no gospel, which would be just a crying shame, right,
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Mike? That would be the inversion of everything you're standing for right now. Um, so let's, let's, let's just talk about pastors like myself.
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I've been in it for 20 years. Um, I I'm hearing you guys talk. I'm going, ah, dang it. That should have done that differently.
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Oh, no. Did that wrong as well. Oh, also wrong. And it keeps on going.
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And, uh, now I realize it was really a bad thing for me to get my kids around the table and open to page 317 of Kelvin's Institutes.
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Uh, there, there by a fourth, henceforth followed by a little mini lecture of sorts.
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No, I'm just kidding. But, you know, obviously we've all made some serious mistakes in that regard.
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Um, you know, is it too late for anyone listening to this? What, what do we do? Like, what do you do with the pastors?
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I mean, maybe the kids are out, out the house already. I mean, what do you do right now? If you're, if you're listening to this going, dang,
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I messed this whole thing up. What's the next step? Well, Michael, it's like anything else in the
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Christian life. All of a sudden we learned something after we've been doing something wrong for so long. And we repent of our repentance and God loves repentance and we think rightly.
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And then we ask the Spirit of God to help us do the right things. And even that desire to say,
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Lord, I, I'd like, I'd like to do things better. I think honors the Lord. And then off we go.
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And so if you are the, like me by default, a drill sergeant, uh, some kind of, you know, drill instructor in the military when it comes to children and sit down and do this and do that.
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And we think, oh, everything we tell them is law, right? For Bible study, it turns into law. Sit down, no wiggling.
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Don't poke your sister, you know, raise your hand when I ask you a question. I mean, there's nothing wrong with law, obviously.
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It just needs to be, it needs to be in that environment of fun and having the children know,
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I want your best. That's a reflection of who God is, right? He wants our best. And so he gives us his law as Christians and we honor him by doing it.
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And we, uh, know it's good for us. And so I think if the kids know we're in it for their good, we want them to excel and want them to succeed and, and have the joy of the
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Lord. So it's never too late, right? That's one of the best things when you learn something and you convince that it's true.
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Pride says, no, I'm not going to do it. And humility says, well, you know what?
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Maybe I should do that. Maybe I'm listening today and I don't even have Bible time with the children. Well, you grab your
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Bible. You grab the children after dinner and say, children, I'm sorry. I haven't been teaching the Bible like I should, or daddy's been too crabby, or daddy's just been all a bunch of rules and we're not going to do that tonight.
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And so off we go. And even, even when it comes to spanking children and disciplining or correcting them, as we say now, in the old days,
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I would walk through what is justice and they broke God's rules and therefore they broke mine and they're going to have to receive justice.
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Then once in a while, I'd say, well, mercy is not getting what you deserve. Although that's not quite technically correct, but in some regards.
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And so tonight you can either have the spanking justice, or you can have mercy, no spanking. I want mercy, dad, dad,
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I want mercy. And then only maybe once or twice ever you sit down and, you know, start talking about justice and they're like, dad, dad,
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I want mercy. No, no, no. Just let me finish, please. I want, dad, mercy, mercy, mercy. Well, how about if I don't give you a spank and you don't get justice and you don't get mercy either.
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You get an ice cream cone instead, and that's called grace. Which one would you like? And so I think if you are going to be the
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Bible teacher of your family and the spiritual leader, and you're going to have rules by, I mean, my children,
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I expected them to obey. If daddy said, come here, you were going to come here or you're going to be disciplined. We're, we're, we're not messing around.
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But that has to be in the cloak of love and fun and excitement. And you're for the kids and you're behind them.
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And, you know, I don't want to make any weird analogies to union with Christ or anything like that, but I, I know
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I, I am pleasing to the father in the son. Therefore, my less than perfect works are also accepted because I mean, that's, that's
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Calvin. And so children, your works are accepted by me and you're accepted by me, even though you don't perfectly measure up because I accept you.
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And you're my son and I love you. And my dad, I don't know if he ever said, I love you.
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I don't know if he ever said, I'm proud of you. To me, I have all these weird daddy wounds. That's why
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I ride a bicycle a lot, running from things. But I try to say to Luke every single time, and I could cry thinking about it now because it's not just lip service.
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I am so proud of Luke. I'm proud of you, son. And I love you. And when you talk that way and you mean it, that's the motivation for, think about guilt, grace, gratitude.
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That's the motivation for Christian life. Law does not motivate. It doesn't animate. We were talking about Horton earlier today.
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He's really good on making sure we understand that it's gospel, it's grace incarnate that brings salvation to all men, appearing, right?
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Titus chapter two. And it helps us to deny ungodliness and to live righteously. And so I think when parents have all these rules, we're going to have
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Bible time because it better be cloaked in fun and excitement and just making sure those children know that they are the apple of your eyes.
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I read a book. It's by a man from John Piper's church. I think it's called
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Words of Affirmation. And it's just one of the things that stuck with me. For every constructive criticism you give, you should have three words of affirmation.
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Just in terms of, because everyone remembers a negative word longer than they remember a positive one.
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So, you should always be more weighted towards the positive than the negative. So, for every negative thing you have to say, and it can be completely true and constructively and helpful, you should have three words of affirmation just to keep the tone balanced.
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I just don't believe you should ever say no to your children. Amen. I also wonder whether anyone has applied the gospel illustration.
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You know, when you're busy disciplining your children and you say, would you like mercy? Would you like grace?
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And then you put the stick in the kid's hand and say, no, you have to hit daddy. I know someone. I know someone.
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Do you know someone? So weird. Yeah, I would not do that because there's...
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That's Petropassianism and we need to avoid that heresy. Thank you very much. I totally agree.
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We were looking for a reason of some sort. I was just thinking, I was just avoiding the pain. I just think that could go badly.
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I mean, there's that, and then there's holding your kid over a fire. You know, that's... No, no.
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Bye. Next year. I'm working on a 30, similar to Sexual Fidelity, a book on parenting because I figure
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I might as well write a book on parenting when the kids are, they're all saved and they all, you know, are loved by the
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Lord and love the Lord. And so I'm trying to do the same thing with the parenting book that I did with Sexual Fidelity, except I won't put anything about over a fire or by the fire.
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I'll just leave that out. It's on record now, so, you know.
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Hey Luke, this is an interesting question. I know it's not my show, but just to ask you a question, are there things that you think you might do a little bit differently?
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Maybe in a shade differently of with your children when they grow up versus what you've learned here at home?
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I'm not trying to put you on the spot, but. Good question. I'm not going to teach my kids dispensationalism.
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Oh, yes. No, I don't like it. There's nothing on the top of my head that I can come up with, which
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I think, you know, not that we didn't plan this before, but I think that's one of the biggest testimonies to my parents is that pretty much
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I want to do everything that they did. So out comes the salt and the M &Ms and the fire by the table.
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But I think, you know, I think that just with the whole law discussion, we always knew this is their use of the law, obedience.
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This is we're obeying. We are accepted. Our parents love us. I mean, people always,
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I see this in the church now because I'm in youth ministry. People always want their family to be different than the world in all of these things that they avoid and don't do.
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But one of the things that we had was we were different from the world in those things. Yes. But also our family had more fun than anybody on the block.
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All my friends, the skate kids in the neighborhood, they all wanted to come over and hang out with my parents and play pool.
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You know, my dad's the one always riling up the neighborhood kids. We were the fun family. So we were different in not just, oh, here's all the extra rules, but here's our family is different in that we love each other.
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We love to spend time together. We're going on family walks and family trips, and we're going to surf and ski.
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And so I think that for me, that's, you know, that's, that's almost the gospel part of it.
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It wasn't just this demand. It was all of these things were out of gratitude.
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And yeah, I'm part of the family. Of course, you know, my dad would always say, think about all the things that I do for you.
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Yeah. And, and therefore respond in light of, so thankfully not everybody has this, but, you know,
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I was talking to my wife about this the other day, when I think about my relationship with my dad, it,
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I, it doesn't, it helps me understand what it means to have a heavenly father. It doesn't hurt.
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Yes. Which is not, not everybody's experience. Right. And so, yeah, I don't know. So I'm not just trying to, to get some kind of brownie points from you, dad, but I don't know if there's many things.
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I'm sure there's little things, but. Yeah. Well, when it's there, you know, and that's kind of the reason
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I wanted to have you guys both on just, just because when you do see it, you want to sort of lift it up and go, there we go. That's what it looks like.
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And that's a good thing. And, and, you know, as you just ended up saying there, that's not everyone's experience.
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In fact, I would go ahead and say, that's like not anyone's experience, you know, it sort of feels to me and, and that's why it's so rare and so precious.
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But also I think we should say, you know, it's kind of like the Christian life, the gospel working in the
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Christian life. Just think about your, your life. Someone asked me the other day, what are your major regrets in, in ministry and what would you do differently and so forth?
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You know, I feel like, wow, I must be getting on if people are asking me that question. But I think that, you know,
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I went into this kind of existential crisis and I had to be rescued by, by, by this like standard
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Christian life doctrine in that, you know, as I think about it, every single part of my
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Christian life is a regret in some way, you know, because like your best work is filled with sin, right? It's just like my best sermon deserves hell, you know, it's, it's that kind of dynamic.
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And yet every single moment has been used by the Lord in ways that I would never be able to use it or, you know, myself, even the worst parts have been, you know, there for a reason
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I've been able to see at some level even now. So I think that's kind of, we should, we should at least end by saying, you know, it's, it's not game over for, for those who have had this like really bad experience as they think about their fathers or fathers who have been guilty of, of sort of giving this bad experience because God will use it.
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And that's kind of the thing He does. He takes the, the bad thing and He, you know, He redeems it and turns it into something that we could never even dream about.
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The real key is to just, is to just, you know, number one, confess the reality, you know, so, you know, just, just repent where it needs to be, to see things as they are and not continue in the delusion.
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And then number two, to trust in Him as you trust in Him for everything else. I think it's like no different for parenting.
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And that's important to say, no matter where they are on the journey, on the life, you And I'd like to say, because, you know, there's some wonderful things have been said tonight about parenting.
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I just look back and think about the times where I raised my voice or the times that I was there, but I was really thinking about some sermon or some book or the time where, you know,
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I need to go on that long bike ride instead of hanging out. I mean, I could just list 50 things, you know, that I did in a month that were just really dumb and stupid and selfish.
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And, you know, you just think about, well, but God, right. And, and how he works and, and I think consistency is maybe important.
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And so you just think, okay, I'm just going to, by the grace of God, just try it today.
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And, you know, the good thing about memory, we, a lot of us have bad memories. So Luke can't remember all the dumb things.
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And that's just the way it goes. And so there's hope for parenting, no matter what kind of parent you are, but, but, you know, don't buy this.
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Well, quality time versus quantity time. And a lot of those other things just need to be with your children and have some fun together and just go do fun things with them.
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I mean, I, I thought to myself with Luke, you know what, let's, I'm going to teach you how to smoke a pipe. Right.
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And he's younger. And so we're going to, you know, the kids are all smoking on a pipe, you know, during Christmas when they're eight years old or whatever.
31:56
Oh, right. Yeah. Yeah. A hookah. Yeah. Okay. But we were in Berlin and I said, Luke, come with me. I'm going to teach you how to drink a beer like a
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Christian man. Yeah. So I explained all these things about drinking a beer and there's open container in Germany.
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And so then I said, when we get home, you know, beer loosens up a little bit. And so I don't want you to go home and like, talk real loud and all that.
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Here's the goal. I don't want your mom or your three sisters to know that we went out and had a beer. That's the goal.
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And so some of those rites of passage, just act normal. Just act normal. As a third grader, that was really challenging.
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Especially because you just had that fire lesson, you know, don't breathe on the fire.
32:44
Yeah, exactly. Oh, man. No, that's good. That's good stuff. And, you know, I think, yeah,
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I mean, the realness of that is so important. And just those are the kinds of lessons we all know.
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You know, we really appreciate along the way. Michael, can I interrupt you just for a second? Go for it.
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I just interrupted you. I know, sorry. Could I just implore those that are listening and watching, whether you're a pastor or not, if you have to go run an errand, why don't you just take your children with you?
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I was going to bring that up. Right? Today I went to a funeral. Parents don't bring children to funerals anymore. That's one of the most important things you could ever do is to bring your children to a funeral.
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And, you know, you can read Solomon regarding that in Ecclesiastes. And you're going to go to a wedding.
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You're going to go visit someone. I took Luke to ministry opportunities where I preach places here locally and overseas and take the kids with me every single time
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I travel. I'd say to myself, I could bring my wife. I could bring a child. They're probably going to give me an honorarium.
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So I'll use that honorarium to fly one of the kids. Just have your kids with you all the time. We're busy.
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And so I have to go to the funeral. So let's bring the children along. And then you're talking in the car. You're talking on the way back.
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So just bring your children along with you when you go do your ministry things. And I think that will benefit a lot.
34:09
Amen. I think that's huge. Absolutely huge. So some great lessons. Anything you guys want to throw in before we close up?
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Maybe just regrets and lessons. At the end of David's life, he said, your gentleness made me great.
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And I think that's probably one of the most powerful verses that's impacted me. And as I look over my own parenting,
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I wish I'd been gentler. Yeah. Amen. That's huge.
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I think if I could go back, I probably would have said, and I think
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I said it plenty, but I probably would have said it more to Luke and his sisters. Do you know what?
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Here's how Dad was thinking. It's not right. Dad just said this or did that. And they probably didn't even really notice it as sin, but I know it was sin.
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And so would you please forgive me? I think I probably would ask for forgiveness more. Yes. Yes. Amen.
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Also, fantastic. Andre, you were going to say something? No, I just think it's been a lot of great stuff.
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And I think that also, I know someone who became a
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Christian later and had raised their kids on an anti -Christian ideology. Wow. And are now sort of coming to grips with, you know, their kids doing exactly what they taught them to do, which is to hate
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Christianity and coming to grips with that. And I think there's hope in the gospel, not only in terms of forgiveness of sins for the individual, but also in terms of how the gospel is going to wipe away the pain caused by the hurts of bad parents.
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So I think it's that corporate effect of the gospel that actually is wiping away every tear from our eyes.
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The former things have passed away, that hope of a world without the pain caused by bad parents.
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Because I mean, my kids are like the only
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Christians in their classes. And they are probably close to, they don't,
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I mean, there might be one or two others, but they are close to the only kids in their classes who have both parents.
36:27
Yeah. So it is a world that is suffering from parenting stuff -ups, basically.
36:37
And so I think that the gospel provides hope for that, for a world that's reeling in that as well, as well as for the father or the mother who is aware of their guilt and how they've messed it up and how they were too harsh or maybe didn't make it fun and were too strict or whatever.
36:55
I had this thing where I tried to do the catechism with my kids. And so to motivate them,
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I offered them a reward. I said, look, if we get this done, if we memorize this, I'm going to buy you a present, it's present time.
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But they were so competitive, they turned on each other. They just started doing anything they could to get up on each other.
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So they could be the one, like, I don't know why they turned it into this competition. And then I tried to like change it. So I'm like, no, no, guys, you have to work together as a team.
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And then when you've all done it, you all get a present. They're like, oh no, it was so, so, so stupid. We're never going to get it done.
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The whole thing was just an epic fail. So we don't get anywhere near catechisms anymore.
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They loved it. They loved it, but they ruined it. They're just too competitive. Just take the underestimate. So there you go.
37:44
So that's one mistake. And that's the story of our family anyways. I mean, we don't have to,
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I know we're trying to end things, but my mom lost both her parents before she was,
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I think, three or four. She grew up without parents. My dad's dad, you know, never told them,
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I love you. You know, all of these things, the Lord has turned, I mean, obviously later into something good.
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Even into other parents who say, I don't want to do this. So I think that there's already a story of redemption there in our family.
38:19
This is the first generation that this is happening. Right, right. It's coming out of that brokenness.
38:24
Yeah, that's a great place for us to end. You know, I really want people listening to this going, okay, cool.
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This is an opportunity. These are some prompts. Do better, change things, whatever, but do it in the gospel. And, you know, if you're listening to this as a
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Christian, make sure you remember that God works in brokenness. He will work in your brokenness.
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And no matter where you are and how broken it is, that's not your cause for concern. You just surrender that, give that to Jesus, and you just make the changes and trust in Him.
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And, you know, that's what happens. That's what this whole story of redemption is about. So it's painful.
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Yes, He'll wipe out our pain away, our tears away at the end. But let's just try and gather what we can and make the changes where we can and just be encouraged by this.
39:05
There's more to talk about. Obviously, this is a big subject, but thanks, guys. Appreciate the time and really, really encouraging.
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So hopefully anyone listening to this will go check out some of Mike's books, No Compromise Radio, and then we'll just get
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Luke back to his normal seminary life so he can stop bunking Horton's classes, which, you know, I mean, that's,
39:25
I don't want to get into trouble with Horton. You know, you might be okay with it, but I don't want to be the bad guy. No one wants beef with Horton.
39:31
No, exactly. All right, we'll drop it there. Well, hopefully you were enjoying the podcast today,
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Two -Age Sojourner, Part Two, with myself and my son, Luke Abendroth, and the hosts, Michael, Andre, and Nick.
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And if you want to write me, you can. Info at NoCompromiseRadio .com. Don't forget,
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Discovering Colossians, Discovering Romans, Gospel Assurance, Sexual Fidelity.
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They can all be found on Amazon and other places. Thanks for listening. It's Mike Abendroth.