0:00:03 – Speaker 1
Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
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0:00:21 – Speaker 1
Be a part of changing the culture of conversation in your home and around the globe by making a donation today. Go to NextTalkorg and click on Give and check out our resources while you’re there. More than cyber parenting conversations to connect. Wow, what a week. Y’all I mean this first week of the new year, the first full week, man, it’s been wild and full of emotions. I mean, I have shed some tears as adults, it’s a lot to process. And so I look around and I think what do our kids think about all this?
0:00:59 – Speaker 2
Yeah, how are they handling it? What are they filtering it through? It’s got to be a lot for them too.
0:01:05 – Speaker 1
I tend to, when I get overwhelmed, I turn to funny to kind of get me through it. And I saw some funny memes the other day that one of them was like 2021 is telling 2020, like hold my beer, like let me one up you. And then I saw another one that was like it’s early in 2021, but cheers to 2022. We’re already in 2021. Another reset. That’s a little scary.
0:01:34 – Speaker 2
We’re only a few days in and we’re done, we’re done.
0:01:37 – Speaker 1
I mean I had to chuckle because I feel like in the middle of all the wanting to just cry and seeing the just divisiveness and the frustration, laughter kind of helps me just get past all that for a minute.
0:01:52 – Speaker 2
I think that’s pretty common. You just need a break from the madness and it’s a natural way to kind of fill your cup and release those endorphins so you can go through another day without kind of falling apart.
0:02:04 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, absolutely. But we can’t stay in laugh mode forever. So I think it’s really important right now, at this stage of where we are in our world and our country and everything with going on with the sickness and death and pandemic, I think it’s really important to get our kids to look forward. We don’t want them to get stuck in the yuck of today, and so how do we do that? We need to give them hope and goals and a purpose, and sometimes we’re not even feeling those things. So how do we move our kids in that right direction?
0:02:41 – Speaker 2
We know our hope is found in Jesus and we need to keep our kids on that track too, especially when they’re looking left and right and seeing all this craziness. We need to refocus them and get them back in church in the word, a solid youth group where they can find some God-loving friends to stay on track during this craziness.
0:03:00 – Speaker 1
Yeah, absolutely. Our hope is found in God and that is our foundation. He is the rock, right. But as they’re growing in their relationship with Christ and they’re trying to look to God for all of those things that he brings love, peace, joy, happiness, restoration, reconciliation like he does all of that right, what does that look like in their everyday lives? So how do we get this relationship of Jesus that we’re trying to build in our kids, in their hearts? What does that look like? Faith living out in life? And that’s really what I wanted to focus on here with my kids, because I feel like the Bible paints a beautiful picture. In Luke 6.43 through 45. It says no good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes or grapes from briars. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart, For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
0:04:16 – Speaker 2
That’s convicting a little bit. To be honest with you, when I hear your words and I read that scripture I’m thinking on my heart like what is the overflow, the fruit of my life and my heart.
0:04:28 – Speaker 1
I know, kim, you know when I read this verse, you’ve said many times to me that you talk to your kids about when they pick their friends to look at the fruit that their friends bear, and that’s like a good sign and I love that analogy and I always think of that when I read this verse. And then I got to thinking about, like, what is the fruit that my kids bear? What is the fruit that I bear? You know, I’m telling my kids be grounded in Jesus, but what is their life look like if Jesus is in their heart, and how do I get them moving in that direction to live out their faith?
0:05:04 – Speaker 2
That’s where we come in as parents. I think each of our kids has a race to run. Each of our kids has a God given purpose here, and as parents, we need to help them find it. We need to steer them towards those things, because God can use them in a mighty way, in a practical way too, if we’re helping them to discover it, to realize what it is and then to walk in that Absolutely.
0:05:27 – Speaker 1
And you know, we recently did an activity in our home and it was kind of a new thing for us. Our kids are older now and I felt like it would be more productive to do it at this age. And so the first thing we did was we did this on a Sunday and we had attended online church, first as a family, you know, in our jammies and then we went into this conversation because we felt like that had prepared all of our hearts for what we needed to discuss that day. And one of the first things we did was everybody shared five personal goals, so we all kind of came up with this on our own. There were some real practical things on there, you know, like read our Bible more, read more books, those kinds of things. But one thing stuck out that was across the board. All of us had put on our goal list. One thing that was consistent through all of our list all four of our list was growing in our relationship with Jesus and managing, reducing screen time. So as we looked at that, we then went into well, let’s talk about, like, our purpose. Why are we here? How are we spending our time? Because if we’re all thinking that we’re on screens too much, then we’re going to free up some time. If we do manage that better, how are we going to use that new time? Yeah, I had recently seen something about everybody is giving so many hours in a day, like even Moses was giving the same number of hours, and I thought that was good, just a good reminder that we all have the same amount of time. So we have to manage that well.
And so it led into this great discussion where we ended up creating a family mission statement. We talked about our core values and we couldn’t limit it to five. We had six. That we all kind of agreed on. That. That was like who we were, and as I went into this, and we were talking about our family mission and core and core values, one thing I said to my kids was if we all died today, like if we were all on the Titanic and it went down, you know, everybody was at our memorial service and it was the four majors, our little family, and I said to my kids you know, it’s only us four for a little while, like before long, you guys will have your own families and the four of us will be different, our relationships will change, and so, but for us four, for this period of time in the world, what do we want to be known for?
0:07:52 – Speaker 2
0:07:52 – Speaker 1
I love that. What would we want people to say at our funeral or memorial service if we’re all together in heaven and people are remembering us? And I would caution you let me just throw out this disclaimer if your kid has high anxiety about death or they’re really little, you may want to rephrase that. My kids are 13 and 16, so just be careful with how you word that you don’t want to create any anxiety in your kids about dying. But we said that and, man, the discussion that followed out of that was amazing. I bet I was able to kind of see things on my kids’ hearts that I didn’t even know was there, like profound things, and I think that it just reminded us of why God has us here and what we want to be known for, and therefore it got my kids looking forward to the future.
0:08:44 – Speaker 2
You know it’s so interesting to hear you talk about this and the picture that’s being painted in my head as you’re telling the story is how the two things on your list that brought you together, that you all had across the board On your goals, was Jesus and reducing screen time.
And then out of that conversation came what is my identity in Christ and why am I here? And, if you think about it so often, we have talked about how screen time and how social media and how the world we live in now tells you who you are all day long, trying to get you to identify something, trying to get to tell you what your purpose is, and our kids are bombarded with that, and so I love that, because if we reduce that in our lives and you focus on the other side, who does Jesus say I am? Why does Jesus want me here in this moment, at this time, serving in this way, it really changes the outlook and perspective for your kids. You replace that voice of the world with the true savior and the true person who knows what they’re supposed to be doing, their purpose.
0:09:49 – Speaker 1
Kim, yes, and I’ve seen that.
I’ve seen the benefits of this already, because we had this discussion before everything went down, with the divisiveness of the election and all of that kind of stuff, right. And then, when all of that happened and you know, the capital was being stormed and all this crazy stuff was going down I was able to look at my kids and be like, what are our core values? And the Bible verse that kept coming to mind was blessed are the peacemakers. And so we were talking about, you know, how violence doesn’t solve our problems and how progress is made with peaceful conversation, and so God has called us to be peacemakers. God has called us to point others to him.
Just because we had had just this conversation, I feel like, in the midst of all this chaos, my kids knew where to go because we had a mission and core values. That’s incredible and I saw that happen. You know, within the walls of my home, just days apart, that we had this conversation, and then all hell broke loose, seriously, and then I saw my kids move to that groundingness of their identity in Jesus, just like you said, instead of social media or what social media was telling them.
0:10:59 – Speaker 2
I just think it’s, it’s a conversation in some way, like you said. Maybe it’s not like we’re going down in the Titanic, but in some way we can talk to our kids about who are we, what are we doing here, what is called, called us to do and remind, like you said, like you remind them in the middle of the chaos, in the middle of when you see your kid being pulled in a certain direction, you always have that place to take them back to. I just think that’s really, really amazing.
0:11:24 – Speaker 1
There have been so many benefits to this conversation. And the other thing was, you know, we set out with the five goals, then we moved into mission statement, then we did six core values, then we made a list of how can we live this out and so this is a goal.
Yeah, this week and there were things like you know, helping our neighbors more loving on these sorts of people, like we had a list, a specific list, but then this week, with what went down afterwards, we were talking about being a peacemaker, living out those core values with that, but so many other benefits that I’ve seen. You know, one is it just got us all moving in the right direction, the same direction, like we’re on the same page now. Why are we here? Why are us for? Why are we here and what are we going to do? And yes, eventually our family will look different and they will branch out and they will create their own families. But and they will create their own core values and hopefully they will take some of the grounding they have here, those fundamental things, and move them into their families. I mentioned earlier, you’ll discover new things about your kids, new things that are on their heart that you didn’t know were there. These conversations open up that kind of thing.
0:12:31 – Speaker 2
And I would think that it would get your kids looking forward towards the future. How can they impact the world? You know we all have a role to play. We’re all here with a purpose from God. I think it’s just really neat to point them in their God given direction, especially in the middle of chaos.
0:12:47 – Speaker 1
Well, like you said, that each, each person has a race to run, and so this is kind of helping our kids take their faith and put it in practical steps on how to get there, how to live it out. The other thing and I want to end with this it just it is given us hope. You know, we walk through this life, we see the chaos, but as we’re growing closer to Jesus, we stay focused on what he has called us to do. We don’t get into the minutia of looking through social media and curled up in a ball because of everything going on. We worry less about what is out of our control and we focus more in our lane, like this is what we’re supposed to do. We’re going to just stay focused on this. We’re going to go love people. We’re going to be peacemakers. We’re going to point people to Jesus.
0:13:34 – Speaker 2
I think this would be great to get our kids and our families looking forward and see how God can use us this year.
0:13:41 – Speaker 1
It’s been. It’s been a rough. It’s been a rough start to this new year, but please know we’re praying for your families, we’re praying for the church to rise up, we’re praying for our country and we’re praying for the world. Join us in these prayers.
Transcribed by https://podium.page