Leading Your Family in Faith
About the Guest
Are you modeling faith for your children? Today on the broadcast, Dennis Rainey welcomes pastor Voddie Baucham, author of the book Family Driven Faith. Join us to hear how Voddie and others are helping their children develop a biblical worldview.
Are you modeling faith for your children?
Leading Your Family in Faith
Voddie: I just tend to believe the Word when it says "all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness; that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, which means there is nothing to which God will call my children for which the Word of God will not equip my children." So my job is to get as much of the Word into them as possible. That way, whatever it is that God intends for them to face, they'll have the tools necessary to overcome.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, February 26th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We'll talk today about what you can do to get God's Word into the hearts and minds of your children. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. I was getting a little seasick on yesterday' program, you know what I mean? The waves were starting to crash in the studio. You talked about boat-rocking as we started this conversation this week, and it got a little choppy, don't you think, in the studio?
Dennis: I think you and I both felt the tilt of the whole of the boat, and Voddie Baucham is, I think, used to kind of moving it around a bit.
Bob: But you know what? And Voddie is back with us. Voddie, welcome to FamilyLife Today.
Voddie: Thank you.
Bob: I was just sitting here thinking, the thing that causes the waves to get choppy is when the wind blows, and the wind blows wherever it will …
Bob: John 3 says the spirit of God moves the waters, and I think the spirit is stirring some things up in churches and in families today, don't you?
Voddie: He most assuredly is, and that's what's exciting – being a part of a movement of God, and this is undoubtedly a movement of God.
Dennis: You are pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church near Houston, right?
Voddie: Yes, sir.
Dennis: And your philosophy of ministry is you want to equip husbands and wives, moms and dads and, for that matter, even singles …
Dennis: … to know how to develop and build godly homes and instruct the next generation, right?
Voddie: Yes, that is it. That's who we are.
Bob: That's also at the center of the book you've written, which is called "Family Driven Faith," and you are encouraging husbands and wives and moms and dads to take a spiritual responsibility that we have sub-contracted out. You're saying it's time to fire the sub-contractors and step back in and do the building yourself.
Voddie: Do the building, do what God has called us to do and, more than that, reclaim this incredible privilege that is ours. It is a privilege for me, as a father, to disciple my children; to pour my life into my children. That is a privilege that God has given me.
Dennis: Voddie you use an illustration in your book about how you were leading your family in faith while there was a little bit of a boat-rocking storm occurring in the Houston area. She was called "Rita." You led your family in prayer?
Voddie: Yes, we were there. I was schedule actually to go to Atlanta to preach when Rita was on the way and had a ticket to fly – Rita was looking like it was bearing down on us. We weren't sure if Rita was going to turn, things started happening rapidly. So we needed to all get out of town. The highways were packing up …
Dennis: Oh, I remember the pictures of the …
Voddie: It was awful. And so we just got together, turned everything off. We were watching 24-hour news trying to figure out what was going to happen with Rita and just prayed. I called my travel agent, we couldn't find tickets for everybody to fly, so we just turned everything off, and we just prayed.
We got finished praying, turned things back on, looked at what's happening with the storm, the phone rings, it's my travel agent. "We got tickets for all of you, you and your family, but you have to leave now to go to the airport." So we just put everything together, we go to the airport, because the part of town we live in, we went against traffic the whole way. So we had no traffic getting to the airport. We get there in the nick of time, we get on the plane, we fly to Atlanta, we all get there and enjoy that week, but we took a deep breath and sort of looked at each other and said, "Let's not ever forget the way God worked this out."
Dennis: You led your family in faith, and that's really what it's all about.
Dennis: You speak, in your book, about helping your children develop a biblical worldview, and one of my favorite things to do when my children were teenagers, and they'd bring a friend over to our house for dinner, or we'd take them out to eat, or we'd ride back from a volleyball match or from a football game together, and we'd stop and get a hamburger afterwards is I would ask them, after I got to know them a little bit, "What's your worldview?" And my kids would all go, "Oh, Dad! I can't believe you're doing that to my friend! Good grief, you're embarrassing me!" and it was really interesting.
I mean, I'll bet I asked – well, a couple dozen, three dozen, four dozen kids, I don't know, I mean, over the years it got to be kind of fun to watch them squirm. I only had one ever give me any kind of a satisfactory definition of what their worldview was.
Now, many of them had a worldview – it was about self.
Dennis: But you believe there are certain components of a worldview, and I really like your definition. You say it's what you believe about God, about man, about truth, about knowledge, and about ethics.
Dennis: Do you want to comment on those five just real quickly, because I think there are a lot of parents right now who could really benefit from just hearing you talk about that.
Voddie: Yes, and that's why we devoted a whole chapter in "Family Driven Faith" to this idea of worldview, because, number one, we wanted to communicate that it's the responsibility of parents to shape their children's worldview, but I realize, I mean, research has shown us that less than 10 percent of all professing Christians in America operate from a biblical worldview. So we need to sort of outline what that is, and those five components are not original to me. People who have been writing and teaching about worldview for a long time have talked about these five main components. Some of them put a couple more, but what we believe about God, about Man, about Truth, about Knowledge, about Ethics – the two main competing worldviews in our culture are Christian theism and secular humanism, and if you look at those five points, what do we believe about God?
Christian theism believes in a theistic God, a God who is a necessary, intelligent Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Secular humanism is inherently atheistic. What do you believe about man? Christian theism believes man is special creation – the crown and glory of the creation of God.
Secular humanism believes that man is the result of random evolutionary processes. About truth, Christian theism believes it's absolute. Secular humanism – it's relative.
About knowledge – how do we know? You know, secular humanism believes in naturalistic materialism – nature is a closed system. There is nothing outside of nature, so only what we observe in nature is the way that we know things. Christian theism believes in general and special revelation.
And about ethics, Christian theism says ethics are absolute. Secular humanism says ethics are cultural and negotiated. So what's ethical in one culture is not necessarily ethical in another. What's ethical in one time period is not necessarily ethical in another. And so when we do this, and what I tried to do in the book, is to show people how much we've been influenced by the worldview of secular humanism so that they'd realize that that's almost our default position when we begin.
Dennis: Give us an illustration of who you have recently taught your children a biblical worldview – just practically in everyday life.
Voddie: Well, we just had a family vacation, and we went on a cruise. We did an Alaskan cruise, you know, started in Seward ended in Vancouver. While we were on this Alaskan cruise we saw some of the most beautiful things that there are to see in nature. We're in Glacier Bay, and we're, you know, sitting there in front of this humongous ice floe, and we're watching the calving of this glacier, you know, parts falling off, it's moving at a rate of about six feet per day. It's unbelievable, and we sit there and look at this, and I say, "Isn't it amazing that there are those in our world who believe that this is just the result of random processes, and they do not have the opportunity to look at what is happening here and understand the majesty of the Creator of the Universe."
Bob: And the worship, yeah.
Voddie: Absolutely. This is glorious, and it's evidence of our glorious Creator. That's a worldview issue, you know? When we sit and look at things like that, those are worldview issues.
Dennis: I have to smile, because I was recently with my daughter, Rebecca, who is an adult. She is 25 years old, been married for a couple of years, and we were in Arizona near Sedona, and Sedona is – has to be the humanistic capital of the world. I mean, there's all kinds of mystical stuff – shops in that town and …
Bob: Harmonic convergences take place [inaudible].
Dennis: Oh, my goodness, it's unbelievable. And we went on the pink jeep tour, all right, and we're out going over these mountains and everything, and Wild Bill was our guide. And I began to kind of bait him and see where he stood in terms of his worldview. And it became clear he didn't necessarily believe in the same God that we had, but we had a good opportunity to talk with him and not in a defensive way, but this instruction of our children doesn't stop even after they become adults.
Voddie: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, can I give you one more example?
Voddie: We were watching television recently, and they have all these commercials. There is this one oil company that has these commercials where they have man on the street type people talking about what the oil companies need to do. And there is this one where the guy goes, "You know, I think oil companies, they have to look for alternative forms of fuel. They have to invest in solar power, they have to invest in this, they have to invest in that," so this guy goes off, and I look at my older kids, and I say, "What did he just communicate?"
They go, "What do you mean?" I said, "What's the job of an oil company?" And they thought about it for a minute, my daughter chimes in, and she goes, "Well, probably to make as much money as they can in oil." I said, "Yes, it's not their job to look into alternatives. It's their job to make as much money that they possibly can for the people who are investing in their oil company. If we want alternatives, let's go risk our own money and beat them to it so that we could" – well, that's a worldview issue. Is it the responsibility of those who have whatever business it is out there to do what we think is best for all of the rest of us while we sit down and wait for them to satisfy our needs and desires? Or – or – should we be entrepreneurial ourselves? Should we go out and try to find these things ourselves?
Well, a lot of people look at that and don't believe or don't understand, rather, that not just secular humanism but Marxist socialism is creeping into our culture, and that's a very socialistic mindset to take.
Dennis: You know, it's interesting, I just was noting how you are instructing your children is through the use of questions.
Dennis: You don't just instruct them or preach at them, but you ask them questions to get them engaged …
Dennis: … to ultimately cause them to think, and if my wife was here, she would be chiming in, and she would be saying, "If you really want your children to grow up and have a Christian worldview, you have to teach them to be critical thinkers of what's happening in this culture.
Bob: Voddie, one of the stories you tell in your book is about a family who had a son named Thomas, and they were, like most parents, trying to raise their son to do well in the world, but they came to a point where they said, "This isn't working."
Voddie: It's interesting – this family approached me, and we had a discussion about their son, and they were very troubled about their son because of the life that he was pursuing. And I had a real heart-to-heart conversation with this dad who basically said, like many Christian parents, you know, "We did everything." And Thomas had gotten involved in some things in college that they weren't very pleased with …
Dennis: And when you said he did everything, he did everything for the child.
Bob: They brought him up in the church.
Voddie: Right, brought him up in the church …
Bob: Took him to Owana, or whatever …
Voddie: Yeah, did all the things, made sure they had the church with the best youth group that they could have and all this sort of – you know, that's what they meant by "We did everything." But this was a family whose life was basically ruled by the god of sport. And that's the altar that young Thomas grew up worshiping at – the altar of the god of sport. There were times when they would not be at church for weeks because of different tournaments or, you know, and regularly, seasonally, they would be gone for long stretches.
Well, what does that teach young Thomas? That teaches young Thomas that there are certain things that trump the Lord's people, the Lord's day, you know, and so they did everything that they could to make Thomas the best ball player that he could possibly be. Thomas goes off to college, and he begins to compromise, and he begins to compromise as he's part of this community, this team that he belongs to. He gets to do things to excel at sport that completely go against a biblical worldview and biblical faith. And I just looked at this dad and just said to him, "You tell me that you did everything. But when you think about the way you raised Thomas and what you taught him to value above everything else, can you honestly say that what he is doing right now is out of character?"
And he got upset with me initially, but eventually when things cooled off, that dad had to say, "You know, Thomas is really doing what we taught him to do."
Dennis: And you're teaching something different in your home.
Dennis: You're teaching your kids how to worship God, how to honor God. Could you take us into your home and share with us what family worship looks like at your house? Now, this is with a 17-year-old …
Voddie: Yes, 17, 14, 3, and five months.
Dennis: That's got to be an interesting experience.
Bob: That looks like a zoo, I can tell you what it looks like.
Dennis: I remember those days at the dinner table. I mean, anyway, take us there. Tell us what occurs.
Voddie: Well, our family worship time is usually in the mornings, and so we gather, and we have breakfast together. And then after our time of breakfast, we'll either go and sit at the piano, and we'll sing and worship together in song for a while. We'll read the Scriptures together, we'll go through the catechism together, we'll pray together, we'll pray for each other. And we do it after our breakfast time together, because that's a very stable part of our schedule, so we wanted to attach it to something that we were going – and we're going to eat, man. So we do it after we eat breakfast together, and that's how we start our day.
Bob: How long does that take? To read the Bible, sing a hymn?
Voddie: You know, family worship sometimes goes from 10 to 15 minutes to sometimes we're there for an hour. It just depends on what's going on. Sometimes we just – God just lands on us, you know? And …
Dennis: And sometimes it's so chaotic …
Voddie: You know, it's usually not chaotic, and the reason it's usually not chaotic is because it's a part of our daily schedule, and it's something that we train our children to do from a very early age. So we do not allow chaos in family worship.
Dennis: You give some tips in your book. You say "It begins with the head of the household, it must be scheduled, keep it simple, keep it natural, it's mandatory, it's participatory."
Dennis: How do you make it a time when they participate?
Voddie: Well, Scripture reading. You know, they'll read Scripture. We'll as them – we teach them about biblical interpretation and the skills of observation and interpretation and application, and so we'll go around the room. We're looking at a passage of Scripture, and we'll go, "Okay, everybody give me an observation, you know, everybody come on, let's move to interpretation, let's move to application, so that we're all participating. We all sing together. Sometimes there will be another child who will choose the songs. The catechism is interactive so, again, prayer, sometimes we'll have one of the children to pray, sometimes we'll all pray, sometimes we have a "praise one another" time, we call it and basically we'll go around the room, and we'll pick a person who will be the central person, and each person has to say something about that person who is the central person and just offer a praise to God for some aspect of that person's personality or character or what they bring to our family. So we're always engaging the whole family in this process.
Bob: You know, some folks are hearing this, and they're going, "In the morning, I've got to get off to work, the kids have to get off to school, and even at night we've got the kids who are involved in this, and I just don't know how we'd make a daily family worship work at our house."
Voddie: If that's the case, if I can just be very honest and very blunt …
Bob: Well, he is a boat-rocker, here it comes, here it comes, get ready for the waves.
Voddie: If that's what people are saying, then their priorities are out of whack. Quite honestly, if you don't have time to give to God, if that's what a Christian family is saying, "We don't have time to give to God," then your priorities are out of whack. Sometimes there are things we need to let go.
There is a man in our church, for example, who had a very significant job with a very significant income, and his job was incredibly demanding on his time. This man came to us and said, "Guys, I need you to pray for me, because God's just convicted me, and if I'm going to make the commitment that He's calling me to make to the discipleship of my family, I can't keep this job." He quit! He found another job. He's making less money, but he now has time to invest in the discipleship of his family.
Bob: I'm starting to get a little seasick here again here today, you know? The waves are starting to pick up here as Voddie's going preaching.
Dennis: Well, that's the way Christ made some of his most important points, and, you know, in the midst of that storm, He called the disciples to faith, and faith isn't passive, faith is active. And I think the question for every listener is, "Okay, you've heard us talking about this today; you've seen Voddie's example of what he's doing, and how he's going about it. So what?" What are you going to do about it? What's the application for your life? And take a step back, maybe, and perhaps it's not as radical as this gentleman he was talking about who was going to quit his job, but perhaps it's radical enough you turn off the television or you find some extra time in the morning, but you find some time. You carve out in your schedule a regular time to be able to impart to your children as well as your spouse …
Bob: Again, you're saying you don't have to do it the way Voddie and his family do it, but we've got to ask the question what are we going to do and what is God calling us to do, right?
Dennis: That's exactly the point, and it's not necessarily what Voddie is doing, it's what are you going to do about it? And, Voddie, I have to tell you, you are a boat-rocker, and you're in the club, there's no doubt about it. We've not heard the last from you, I'm certain, as the boat continues to rock, but …
Bob: … but keep rocking it.
Dennis: I agree, and both Bob and I were really looking forward to meeting you because we've followed your ministry and already featured you on the air with one of your messages you gave at your church, and you're a good man, and we appreciate you, and we're thrilled to have you on FamilyLife Today.
Voddie: Bless you, brother, it's an honor. I am excited about what you guys are doing, have been doing, and I really am honored to be a part of this program.
Dennis: Well, I hope you'll come back and join us again, and we'll pass out the Dramamine.
Bob: And I hope – you ought to include a packet with every copy of the book "Family Driven Faith" – just a pack of Dramamine comes along with it. We've got copies in our FamilyLife Resource Center. Our listeners can go to our website at FamilyLife.com, and if you click on the right side of the screen, where there is a box about today's broadcast, it will take you to an area of the site where there is more information about how to get a copy of Voddie's book. We have no Dramamine to go along with it. You'll have to take care of that on your own, but you can get a copy of the book, again, on our website at FamilyLife.com, or call us at 1-800-FLTODAY, 1-800-358-6329, that's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and someone on our team will make arrangements to get a copy of this book sent out to you.
Let me mentioned one additional resource that we want to make available to parents this week, and this is a free resource. It's something that we'd like to send you at no cost to you. A number of months ago, we did an interview with Elyse Fitzpatrick on the subject of what happens when good kids wind up making bad choices, and when you're a mom or a dad, and you're watching your sons or daughters make these bad choices, what do you do?
We'd love to send you a copy of the CD of that conversation either to listen to yourself or to pass along to someone you know who is struggling with an issue like this. We think this conversation can provide some practical help and some fresh hope to parents. The CD comes to you at no cost. All you have to do is call 1-800-FLTODAY to request it. We're especially hoping to hear from those of you who may be regular listeners to FamilyLife Today, but who have never gotten in touch with us. But the CD is available to anyone who calls 1-800-FLTODAY and requests a copy. Again, the toll-free numbers, 1-800-358-6329, that's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, ask for a copy of the CD, "When Good Kids Make Bad Choices," and we'll get it sent out to you, and we trust that it will be an encouragement to you or to someone you know.
Now, tomorrow we want to talk to those of you who, as parents, have just a little bit of time left with your sons or daughters. Maybe they're juniors or seniors, but graduation is around the corner, and then it's off to college or the military or starting life away from home. We want to give you some suggestions about how to make the most of the time you have left, and that's coming up tomorrow, I hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.
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