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Focus on the Family Broadcast

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Nurturing Your Child’s Purpose and Passion

Nurturing Your Child’s Purpose and Passion

In a discussion based on her book God-Confident Kids, Cyndie Claypool de Neve offers parents guidance for raising their children to live with a faith, courage, and resiliency that's borne out of a solid identity founded in Jesus Christ.
Original Air Date: February 5, 2021

Excerpt:

Cyndie Claypool de Neve: The main thing I think is to help our kids develop a love relationship with the Lord, to teach them who God is, because then they can trust that God’s gonna fulfill that good purpose in their life.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Cyndie Claypool de Neve, and she’s our guest today on Focus on the Family. Thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, every parent wants to raise their children, uh, to be resilient and confident with a solid identity in Christ. I mean, that is the goal, but sometimes it feels like our kids are under attack. You know, social media plays a role, it’s just heavy. All the drama, the competition, and it can just wither a good child’s heart. Uh, here at Focus on the Family, uh, it’s our aim to provide you with the tools you need to build up your child in a healthy, positive, and godly way so that they can function as healthy adults. That’s the goal, right?

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: How do we launch these kids into this world to live for him? And, uh, we recognize parenting can have its challenges, but you know what, uh, there are tools that we wanna give you, and this is one of them, uh, Cyndie’s written this great book, God-Confident Kids, Helping Your Child Find True Purpose, Passion, and Peace, who doesn’t have their hand up for that right now (laughs).

Cyndie: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: And so, it is good to have her.

John: Yeah. And we’ve got copies of that book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. An, Cyndie Claypool de Neve is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, and a very popular speaker. And obviously with that book, she’s an author as well, Jim.

Jim: Cyndie, it’s great to have you at Focus on the Family.

Cyndie: Thank you so much. What a treat to be here.

Jim: Yeah, it’s good. It’s fun. Uh, let me ask you as a therapist, you’re working with families, you know, all the time. Uh, what are some of the struggles that young people are dealing with today?

Cyndie: Hmm.

Jim: What are you seeing in your practice?

Cyndie: Yeah, you know, what’s really interesting is the extra anxiety and the stress and the depression. And I talk about that in the book is just, this generation has more anxiety, more depression than any generation before it. And-

Jim: Why do you think that is?

Cyndie: Yeah. You know what? I really think it’s the, the comparison generation-

Jim: Okay.

Cyndie: … that people are growing up in. And I mean, there’s a number of reasons, but I keep going back to that comparison generation that we’re in, they’re growing up… th, the average age, I saw that kids get a cell phone is 10 years old.

Jim: Yeah, way too young.

Cyndie: And so, when they, they’re on social media and they can compare themselves to others. And so, they’re seeing, it’s not like-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: “Oh, well, there used to be this party that you might have heard about, but you weren’t invited.” And it wasn’t, it didn’t really attack your soul. But now on social media, you’re able to actually see, “Oh, all those people had a party and I wasn’t invited.”

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Uh, your son in first grade, you kind of had an eye opening-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … experience there. What happened?

Cyndie: Yeah. So, four years old, he became passionate about filmmaking and-

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: … never let go.

John: Hmm.

Cyndie: And, and, and I should say to any listeners (laughs) that is not normal.

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: So, don’t expect that your kid that at three years old wants to be a vet, is gonna continue to always want to be a vet.

Jim: Right, right.

Cyndie: So, don’t hold them to it. But I think God gave him that passion because God knew that school was gonna be incredibly hard for him.

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: And five years old, he’s, he’s an amazing, he’s an extrovert.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: And his first word was, “Hi.”

Jim: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Cyndie: And he would say, hi to stuff, to animals and dog and people-

Jim: Forget mom and dad, I’m going with hi (laughs).

Cyndie: … yeah, everything was, “Hi.”

John: (laughs)

Cyndie: And so, when he went to kindergarten, he, he was all about that. I mean, he was super social, and he went to all his friend’s houses and he got the highest academic award in reading. And so, he’s going into first grade thinking, “Okay, it’s gonna be just the same,” but it wasn’t. And we didn’t know. And the kids weren’t saying mean things to him and the teacher hadn’t even told us, but I’m putting him to bed one night. And he says to me, “Mom, why am I so stupid?”

Jim: Hmm.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: And that S-word, we didn’t even say, that was the S-word-

Jim: Right, exactly.

Cyndie: … in our house. You don’t say it about other people, other things-

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: … nothing. We don’t use that word. And there he was saying it about himself and I, it just wrecked my soul. And I said, why, w- why do you possibly think that? And he said, “Because everyone finishes their schoolwork faster than me.”

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: And it goes back to that comparison. The other kids weren’t teasing him, but he was looking at what they were doing-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: … and he felt he wasn’t measuring up. And that’s where that definition of self-confidence I think comes from, is it’s not about what we think, uh, just how we think we are, is what we think other people think we are.

Jim: Right.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: And for him, he had deduced that he was stupid.

John: Yeah.

Cyndie: And that took us on a long journey with the, the IEP, the Individualized Education Plan. And, um, uh, my, my husband had dyslexia. And so, he had already spotted in kindergarten cuz Elliott had a hard time differentiating between 12 and 21.

Jim: Right. Hmm.

Cyndie: And D-B-P and 9-

Jim: Right.

Cyndie: … if you think about it, they’re all the same.

Jim: All the classics.

Cyndie: Yeah. And it just all spins around in his mind.

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: And so, um, we, it was really hard for him, but because he was passionate about film, we were able to use that like, “Okay, nobody’s gonna give you a big budget. If you can’t count to 100,” (laughs).

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: If you can’t do a multiplication (laughs). Um, you know, so it was that piece that we found was really that thread that helped him get through school is that ultimate goal of he wanted to be a filmmaker and to be able to encourage him because it was really difficult for him.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Uh, you had some difficulty too, and you write about that in the book. What-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … what happened in your childhood and what gave you probably sympathy and maybe-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … even guided you toward becoming a counselor?

Cyndie: Yeah. So it was, um, you know, when those things happen as parents and we all of a sudden go back to when we were kids and that’s what happened to me, I’m like, “Oh my goodness, he’s going to have this.” Cause I had, uh, no self-confidence. And because I was dealing with health issues when I was little and I developed really bad asthma when I’m about third, fourth grade. And they put me on this medicine that made really tired on top of it. And so, I didn’t want people to know I was wheezing. And so, I would take these really shallow breaths. But of course, what happens when you take really shallow breaths? (laughs)

Jim: You pass out (laughs).

Cyndie: But I didn’t know that. So, fourth grade, first time I passed out, I was so mortified. I was, it was a combination class. And so, there was probably like, 40 kids. I’m in the middle of the classrooms. Everybody’s looking at me and, “Bam down. I go.”

Jim: Wow.

Cyndie: And then the first day back after they ran all these tests, they thought I had leukemia all this stuff. And then the first day back to school, I passed out again. And then I decided, “You know what, God, you did not know what you were doing when you put me together.” And I decided, I, I asked Jesus in my heart when I was four. And, but by eighth grade, I totally regretted that decision. I knew the verse that said that God would never let Satan plucked me out of his hand. And I was mad about that-

Jim: Yeah.

John: Hmm.

Cyndie: … because I’m like, “Wait, how do I become an unchristian? I don’t like God,” it wasn’t that I ever had a question. Is there a God? Or isn’t there a God-

Jim: Right, I just don’t like his game plan.

Cyndie: I knew that it was a God. Yes.

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: And I’m like, “If there was a God shouldn’t he have put me together a little bit better.” (laughs).

Jim: Okay, but now, I mean, this program’s about parenting, but you’ve taken us.

Cyndie: Yeah (laughs).

John: (laughs)

Jim: But no, I appreciate that. But, uh, you know, someone, many people are probably saying, “Well, what, how’d you get back on track?”

Cyndie: Yeah, yeah.

John: Hmm.

Jim: I mean, how many years did it take-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … and what did it take?

Cyndie: Yeah. You know what, God, it sometimes takes years and sometimes for me in eighth grade, um, I had gotten to, um, you know, there, there’s the and, and, um, Sally Burke, um, the President of Moms in Prayer. Uh, we write books on, um, you know, prayer and, and we talk about the importance of being thankful and how that can, you know, the more you’re thankful and how that actually, there’s science behind how that boosts your brain-

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: … and your positivity. And, um, but the opposite is true. And so, that’s what I was doing in eighth grade. I was like, “I don’t like my nose. I don’t like my lungs, I don’t.”

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: I always had tissues cause I had these horrible allergies (laughs).

Jim: Right.

Cyndie: And so, I had, I even wrote a poem about all the horrible things that God had done when he put me together.

Jim: Wow.

Cyndie: And yeah (laughs). And so (laughs), um, so I was dedicated to this-

Jim: You were.

Cyndie: … but being the fourth of six kids, I didn’t tell anyone.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: And nobody knew that I was feeling so depressed and I was just done. I was tired. And was, I actually sat on the floor in my living room with encyclopedias. Thank the Lord that there wasn’t an internet at the time because I wanted to figure out how do I end my life?

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: I didn’t even know if, I’m not even sure if I knew the word suicide, I just wanted to be done. “How do I finish this and get over this? I’m tired. I don’t like God; I don’t like my life. I’m just done.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: But as God happened to do it while I was wrestling through all of that, uh, my parents had become really involved in Sunday school and church. And so, not going to church was not an option. And I wasn’t gonna make waves because you know, didn’t want people looking at me. And so, I had a Sunday, in the Sunday school class, one of the Sunday school teachers was gonna give us points for reading the Bible. And so, I thought, “Well, I do love points.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: But I want nothing to do with God. And, and that’s what I told him. So, every time, you know, you’re supposed to pray before he read the Bible, that’s what I was told.

Jim: You get a point for that (laughs).

Cyndie: So (laughs)-

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: … and so I would, uh, my prayer was, “God, I do not like you. I am reading my Bible for points and not for you.” And then I would read the Bible, but God’s word does not return void.

Jim: (laughs) this is amazing (laughs).

Cyndie: And I was raised with the Psalms, and I love to read. And so, it wasn’t problem. And I’m like, “This David guy is kind of whack.” You know-

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: … he’s like excited and then he’s depressed, and you know, he’s all over the place. But then I got to Psalm 139, and that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. And it just struck me. I mean, God just put me where I could-

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: … actually hear that. And that I was fearfully and wonderfully made that he had, he had weaved me in my mother’s womb-

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: … and I’m like, “Oh wait, maybe he does have a purpose. Maybe I wasn’t just the, the forgotten runt of the family.” Maybe there was a purpose and intentionality in all of this-

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: … and that, the Ephe- Ephesians 2:10 verse, you know, that we, that we are God’s masterpiece were handcrafted by God, himself for good purpose, that he prepared in advance for us to do. And so, at that time I decided, “You know what? I wanna know what my good purpose is. Why did God create me with all this…?”

Jim: This is all in the eighth grade?

Cyndie: This is eighth grade, I know, I was one of those…

Jim: (laughs) then you were active eighth grader.

Cyndie: (laughs) I’m very (laughs)-

John: (laughs).

Jim: I was like, “How do I play football? I want to play football, football, football.”

Cyndie: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: You’re thinking of these big things in life. Let me, let me ask you though. I mean-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … all of that does set up a heart for-

Cyndie: Hmm.

Jim: … children, which is what-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … you’re all about today and-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … families and helping them. And I think the big question then is given your experience personally, and then what you’ve seen-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … even in your own children and those that you have counsel, you know, what’s the answer to this, this hunger for knowing-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … who I am and what I’m about?

Cyndie: And really it goes to me what I see in the Bible and what I’ve experienced with God is it’s not about the rules and regulations.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: I’ve seen so many parents that are like, “No, your hair has to be cut short-

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: … or you have to be, you know, you’ve five minutes after. I’m not saying that, you know, there’s the, the curfews and all of that, but there’s, we’re, you know, very much about the rules and regulations of this is how I want my kid to be raised. But there’s the heart that needs to be addressed.

Jim: That needs to be the focus.

Cyndie: Yeah. And that passion for God, not just going to church, but developing a passion for God, a love relationship with God. And that’s what I talk about in the book, um, throughout is how the Bible talks about that. It’s this love relationship with the Lord and how can we help our kids learn that, that’s, what’s gonna carry them through all those, you know, my son sitting there not being able to read the test questions, but God’s with him.

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: And if he fully understands that he can pray and ask God to him and whether he fails (laughs) the test or not, it’s that peace that God can bring, knowing that Romans 8:28, that God’s going to work all things together for good.

Jim: You know, something you mentioned th, that I did wanna tap and you’re touching on it now is that idea to let your kids struggle.

Cyndie: Hmm.

Jim: You know, so many parents today, we want to save them. We want to bail them out. Um, I think early on, Jean and I certainly did that, one guy (laughs) when the kids were young, he was asking them questions and I, I kept answering the questions-

Cyndie: Oh yeah.

Jim: … not necessarily over them, but they would give their answer and then I’d fill in all the blanks that-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … they missed; you know? And he just looked at me and he said, “You know, your kids are old enough to speak for themselves.”

Cyndie: (laughs)

John: Oh.

Jim: It was awesome.

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: And I was like, “You’re right.” He goes, “Yeah, you got to kind of let them, let them speak.”

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: You know, they’re probably five and seven, something like that. But I was like, “Yes, yes.” But when he did the rocket ship plan, of course he put it on a pod, and he did…You know.

Cyndie: (laughs)

Jim: … you know, I was filling in all the things they left out-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … but that’s what you’re talking about to an extent-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … is let them struggle through their situation. Don’t always bail them out. Right?

Cyndie: Yeah. So, like, my daughter is an introvert. She would love me just to answer all the questions for her.

Jim: It’s a safe place.

Cyndie: But… Yes. And so, for me, her to say, “Oh, can you go to up there and ask for?” I’m like, “How about you?” You know, we practice, what do you say? How are you gonna say that? Okay, go do that. Um, even now at college, you know, if there’s a difficult email, she’ll call, but I’m like, “I’m not gonna write the email for you.” You know, she, to teach them how to do that themselves-

Jim: Right.

Cyndie: … and to develop that resiliency.

John: Hmm.

Cyndie: I mean, my introverted daugh- daughter loves to perform, it’s um, it’s weird to me (laughs), but awesome. And that, that’s how God made her, she loves to perform, well-.

Jim: God puts a little distance-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … in between the audience and her.

Cyndie: Yeah that’s true too, yeah, yeah.

Jim: I mean, that’s probably part of it, right? As an introvert, it’s safe.

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: But let me, let me explore a little bit about developing-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … God confidence in our children. Um, one, one of the first steps you say is to uncover our child’s uniqueness’s.

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: You’re kind of saying that-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … with your daughter-

Cyndie: Yes.

Jim: … but how does a parent go about identifying those uniqueness’s that they then can use as tools to talk to their kids-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … about how God made them?

Cyndie: Yep. So, I spend a chapter in the book, just talking about really practical things in helping your kids figure out what they like, other than just, you know, playing Minecraft (laughs).

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: You know (laughs).

Jim: Are you, are you babysitting our kids? That, uh, that’s funny.

Cyndie: (laughs)

Jim: Minecraft. That’s what it was all about.

Cyndie: (laughs) yeah (laughs).

Jim: That’s funny.

Cyndie: Um, but to be able to help them find what they like. That’s outside that, maybe it’s playing soccer. Maybe it’s, uh, my mom used to do, um, like teach the kids how to knit or to sew and to find people that are really good at that. Like my, my husband is, um, you know, was really into videotaping. And so, to be able to, uh, help, he helped Elliott to make his first dinosaur movie.

Jim: (laughs) I will save that.

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: Yeah (laughs).

Jim: That’ll be, that could be really important someday.

Cyndie: Yeah (laughs). Yeah. And but to be able to come alongside their passions, I think parents, a lot of times wanna put kids in a box. We want to create the best version of ourselves (laughs) in our kids-

Jim: Boy, that’s powerful.

Cyndie: … and (laughs), and to be able to figure out what God wants them to do instead of what we want them to do.

John: Hmm. Well, we’re talking today on Focus on the Family with Cyndie Claypool de Neve and, uh, her book is called God-Confident Kids, Helping Your Child Find True Purpose, Passion, and Peace. And it’s some really good stuff here. We do encourage you to get a copy of that from us. And our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or online, you can find it at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Cyndie, let me ask you about emotions.

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Um, I’ll speak to the parents right now that have teenagers in the home (laughs).

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, what, our experience was, is, you know, and we don’t have girls. So, we had the boys and we recognized, I mean, these emotional outbursts, uh-

Cyndie: Hmm.

Jim: … you couldn’t understand, “Okay, why is he so upset about his homework or whatever.”

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And, uh, but really at about 18, I noticed you Trent, particularly our oldest, just begin to make this turn. You know, he started to have adult conversation with us.

Cyndie: Hmm.

Jim: He started to ask questions that were, I mean, I remember Jean, and I (laughs) laying in bed one night going, “Did you hear him say that? That was amazing. It’s like, he’s a little adult now.”

Cyndie: (laughs) yeah.

John: (laughs)

Jim: I mean, you know, and you start. And so, I guess the, the question I’m asking is really, uh, being the parents and knowing that the teen years bring such emotional-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … roller coaster attitudes that you can’t explain, they can’t even explain it. Why they’re behaving that way. How do we manage that productively toward bending a child in a confident-?

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … God-like way?

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: What, what did you find and what have you found to be most successful-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … in managing that? Both as a parent and as a child?

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Um, if your kids aren’t teenagers yet-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: … it’s helpful to start giving them the language of emotion early on.

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Cyndie: Just like, “Oh, it seems like you’re feeling frustrated. Oh, you seem angry. Are you feeling sad?” And to be able to give them those words, because a lot of times they may just act out, they may just punch the table (laughs) or something and to be able to say, “Oh, it looks like you’re expressing anger.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: You know, “Are you angry about something?” And to be able to give them those words, a lot, kids are not intuitively, they don’t intuitively know what those emotions are. And so, for us as adults, to be able to come alongside them and say, “This is what it seems like, your feeling is that accurate?” And then they can start talking about that. And, and I think that’s really the key. It helps to start younger, but when they, you can start at any point in time and even with teenagers, because there is that frustration and that anger, “It seems like you’re frustrated about something today.” Now, sometimes they’re gonna come back and they’re just gonna snap because they’re that frustrated. And what I like to do is encoura- encourage parents. “You’re their safe place.” They’ve been bottling all that up all day, trying not to yell at the teacher and their friends and their girlfriend and their, whatever. They’ve been bottling that all up. So, when they come home, they just squirt it out all over the place.

Jim: But it’s true. Yeah. You got to contain that. Let’s move to the, the fear-based parenting-

Cyndie: Hmm, yes.

Jim: … versus the faith-based parenting, because I think this is really critical. And you know, you can vacillate between these two types, but-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … you really want to land on the faith-based parenting-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … but to even describe it, some parents that are fearful parents-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … don’t even realize it-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … that what they’re communicating. So, speak to those two-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … ends of the continuum.

Cyndie: Um, where the fear-based parenting comes in is that there, they don’t want their kids to suffer. That’s one of it is, “Oh, oh, what if they get into soccer and they, they get hurt,” or-

Jim: Kind of the helicopter parent. I guess.

Cyndie: Yes, yes. Or, or they can’t stand up for themselves. So instead of giving them the words to talk to the teacher or the kids at school or whatever, they’ll go and talk to them for them. And that’s because they have that fear. And, and part of fear is also the controlling. You know, it’s like, “I need to be, I’m the adult. I need to be able to take care of the situation,” instead of trusting that God can empower their kids to take care of the situation. And they’re gonna, like, learn from that. And instead of, you know, there’s the, do they go to the party or not? Fear-based parents tend to say no more than yes, because they’re, they want, they don’t wanna get out of the comfort zone.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: They don’t want to have to investigate if that’s a good party for the kids to go to. But what happens when we’re fear-based is that we are try, we’re not allowing our kids to one, experience life. Two, be able to trust the Holy spirit in their life to be able, we’re not teaching them to hear from the Holy spirit. And, um, where, faith-based parenting. It allows us to be able to pray about things and to say, you know what, maybe it’s okay. Maybe… like I share in the book, you know, my daughter was at a charter school for her first three years. Yeah. Kindergarten, first and second. And it was very heavily Christian-based, but God was calling us to send her to our local public school. And it took me a year. And I, it was fear that kept her at the charter school (laughs) in second grade. And, and it was for academic reasons, but also because you know, when the kids are out in public school, we are then meeting families who need to hear about Christ.

Jim: Oh, that’s so true.

Cyndie: And she was able to invite a lot of kids to school, to church.

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: And my son, he did a, he vacillated, um, he did the charter school for a few years, but you know, early years and his high school years, he was a public school. And that’s where they’re able to be out there in the world and inviting people and living out Christ. And they have to deal with the difficulties of that. I’m not just promoting public school (laughs).

Jim: No, no. It-

Cyndie: But.

Jim: … it’s, it’s very tailored to each family-

Cyndie: Yeah, yes.

Jim: … but I like those points. I think those are very helpful.

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: You know, as adults, we sometimes struggle with recognizing what is our deep purpose. I mean-

Cyndie: Hmm.

Jim: … I think most adults may struggle to answer that question. Um, you have a story about your nephew Harley. Uh, what did you learn from Harley?

Cyndie: Yeah, Harley is an amazing kid. His mom, my sister is a single mom and he’d bright eyed, bushy-tailed when he was born. But four years old, he started having seizures-

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: … and he went through all these different tests and there’s, it’s, he, he has all different types of seizures called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. And his brain got stuck in seizure mode so much that they had to do a medically induced coma-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: … and he couldn’t wake up.

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: And p, we had people praying and praying and-

Jim: How old was he if you remember?

Cyndie: He was four.

Jim: Four.

Cyndie: I think. Yeah.

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: And he had all, I mean, it was horrifying to see him and he had this tiny little body and all these tubes, you know, running off of him and he’s, he’s, he was so vivacious and there, he was just still.

Jim: Oh.

Cyndie: And my sister was in the room, they were gonna pull the plug-

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: … and then she thought that’s it. And they said, “Okay, once we pull the plug, then you can take his little body and go to the beach or do you know, whatever.” And that’s what she was expecting. But they pulled the plug and he opened his eyes-

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: … and he, she said, “Are you looking at me?” And his eyes just followed the nurse. And he slowly started coming back, but his brain wasn’t fully functioning.

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: And so, he’s, I think about 25 right now. And he’s still at probably a first-grade level.

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: But his smile, even though, because he still has all these seizures, so he has no front teeth-

Jim: Oh.

Cyndie: … but his smile lights up a room-

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: … and he will sing the Christmas songs. And he usually sings like every other word.

Jim: Yeah.

Cyndie: And you just, it’s just that joy that you get. But the people that they have met when he’s, had many hospital stays, the people that they have met in those hospital stays have needed to hear about the love of Christ-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cyndie: … and what, that was not their original plan was to spend all that time in the hospital and to get to know all these nurses and doctors, but they are living out Christ in front of these people. And I talk about in the book, about Harley is because he is a great photographer and to be able to find something that even in his limited physical abilities, that he could be able to express himself-

Jim: Huh.

Cyndie: … through that.

Jim: That’s beautiful.

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. And in, in that way, I mean, right at the end here, that special purpose or that, uh, daily purpose, you, you encourage parents to ask their kids about their daily purpose. What, what-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … I mean, we’re the Daly family we think of-

Cyndie: That’s me (laughs).

Jim: … daily purpose. But I don’t think you mean it that way. What, what should we be asking our kids every day?

Cyndie: Yeah. So I started that when I was teaching Sunday school to be able to hear from the kids, you know, what, what did God have you do this week that you feel like God purposed you to do? And there was things like, “Oh, hug my dad. So, he would feel better (laughs) or I’ll make somebody laugh or, you know, in, at school to be able to sit next to somebody that didn’t have a friend-

Jim: Ah.

Cyndie: … and just what that means for them. And so, then each day we can ask our families. I mean, I will go on record to say that I don’t always remember to do that, but (laughs), but we can each day ask our kids-

Jim: That’s a good thought.

Cyndie: … to, you know, what did God put in your path that, you know, was your good purpose for that day? And sometimes we miss it. I mean, I know for me, I can hear God saying, “Oh, you need to go talk to that person standing in the grocery line.” I’m like, “I just don’t want to, I’m wearing a mask I’m, you know, whatever (laughs).”

Jim: (laughs)

Cyndie: Um, and that, but when I do, when I step out of my comfort zone and I’ve listened to that still small voice of the Holy spirit saying, “Hey, you need to go do that.” Then that’s, God’s good purpose that I’m listening to. And there’s always, God never disappoints when we follow his path.

Jim: Yeah. Right here at the end, what, you know, you’ve written the book, God-Confident Kids, Helping Your Child Find True Purpose, Passion, and Peace. Um, what’s that one thing we need to make sure we get done.

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: I mean, that may be a tough question, but…

Cyndie: Yeah, the main thing I think is to help our kids develop a love relationship with the Lord. I think too many times we get stuck on the rules and the Bible stories, which are fascinating, all those old Testament stories, David and Daniel and all those, but to help them develop that love relationship with the Lord. To teach them who God is. I liken it to, you know, having, having, um, coffee with your best friend, you know, to, to start with praise, to, to go through the attributes of God, you know, God’s loving and kind-

Jim: Hmm.

Cyndie: … and generous. And he’s our provider, our protector. And to help them know who God is, because then they can trust that God’s gonna fulfill that good purpose in their lives.

Jim: Yeah. Cyndie, this is really good. And I, I’m all in on this cause I think you’re, you’re hitting the right tone-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … when it comes to parenting. And so, often, uh, we just fall to the rules and regulations, cause-

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … they’re, they’re measurable, they’re manageable, but I can remember, uh, doing a broadcast with a girl. Uh, when she was 17, she was pregnant and you know, the way that rippled through this Christian family.

Cyndie: Hmm.

Jim: And she said, I knew the stickers, how to win the stickers. I didn’t know about God’s grace.

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative), hmm. Yeah.

Jim: And I’m reminded of that right now. Just that’s what you’re saying. How do we-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … how do we turn our children’s heart onto, God’s love for them, his grace-

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: … for them, along with those predictable behaviors, that’ll make you successful.

Cyndie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: But it’s not about those. It’s about knowing God and loving God.

Cyndie: Yeah.

Jim: And you’ve expressed that so well today.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Uh, let me turn to the listeners, uh, Focus is here for you. I hope you know that. I think you know that and you know, the support community, uh, they have provided the means for us to supply counselors and resources and all the things, if you’re struggling and certainly, uh, Cyndie’s great book is here for you as well. I- if you can make a gift of any amount, we’ll send it as our way of saying thank you. Maybe you’re that parent that is doing it by the rules. You’re going to bed frustrated every night, uh, because that child of yours just isn’t living up to your expectation, it might be that moment where you need to really look at what you’re doing as a parent. And Cyndie’s book is a great starting place along with what our counselors can help you with. But get in touch with us, it starts there. And if you can’t afford it, don’t worry about it, we trust others will be able to cover the cost of that, just get in touch with us. What’s most important to us is that you have the help you need.

John: And our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, I hope you have a great weekend. And be sure to join us on Monday as we hear from Wendy Speake about the benefits of a social media fast.

Teaser:

Wendy Speake: We’re so connected online that we are disconnected in our homes. We’re so connected with everybody, following everybody that we’re not following the one who said follow me.

Today's Guests

Cover image of the book "God-Confident Kids"

God-Confident Kids: Helping Your Child Find True Purpose, Passion, and Peace

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