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Tips for Building a Healthy Family (Part 2 of 2)

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Tips for Building a Healthy Family (Part 2 of 2)

Using home improvement as a fun and easy-to-remember metaphor, Drs. Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden offer insights for creating a family blueprint that will help build up faith and godly character in a discussion based on their book The DIY Guide to Building a Family That Lasts: 12 Tools for Improving Your Home Life. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: March 20, 2020

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

Using home improvement as a fun and easy-to-remember metaphor, Drs. Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden offer insights for creating a family blueprint that will help build up faith and godly character in a discussion based on their book The DIY Guide to Building a Family That Lasts: 12 Tools for Improving Your Home Life. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: March 20, 2020

Episode Transcript

Jim Daly: Hi, this is Jim Daly. The coronavirus pandemic has turned life upside down and inside out. As a result, you and your family may be increasingly weary, anxious, uncertain and stressed. But by God’s grace and through your support, Focus on the Family remains open for ministry – ready and eager to help. In fact, we’ve created a special way for you to receive regular updates from us as we develop free resources to help your family during the Covid-19 crisis. You’ll also find parenting advice on how to talk to your children about the coronavirus and, uh, guidance with homeschooling your children during this time. Maybe for the first time. Also, if this crisis is revealing cracks in your marriage or causing financial stress, we’re here to offer hope.

John Fuller: Yeah, the easiest way to find, uh, all the resources that we’ve created to help you during this time is to go to our website and there’s a banner at the top – focusonthefamily.com. Look for the COVID-19 banner. That takes you to a page full of devotional ideas, activities for your family, uh, parenting tips. One of the articles is “Staying Sane While Working from Home with Kids.”

Jim: (Laughter).

John: Uh, there are marriage, uh, talking points as you deal with kind of a different kind of financial circumstance. A lot of different things there. It’s all at focusonthefamily.com. Or call us. As Jim said, we’re here. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. And I should note that we have extended our free trial period for the Adventures in Odyssey Club, Jim. Uh, a four week trial lets folks, uh, listen to over 800 episodes on demand.

Jim: And in fact, John, 11,000 new people have just signed up for that over the last few days.

John: That’s awesome.

Jim: So, it’s a great tool for parenting.

John: Mm hmm. And Jim, we also have a special way for listeners to receive updates from us as we develop even more free resources to help during this crisis. You’ve recorded a special video message addressing the question, “Where is God in the Middle of this Pandemic?” And our friends can see that video by texting the word, TRUST, to 72000. Again, text the word TRUST to 72000. And we’ll send updates as they’re available.

Excerpt:

Dr. Shannon Warden: We’ve gotta do it ourselves. I can’t wait on my husband Stephen. “Stephen, you do it first, and then I will do it.” Uh, he’s a great husband, great dad, and he does take the lead in a lot of things. But there are moments instead of blaming him, I need to look at Shannon. Shannon, “What do I need to do in this area?” So, I’ve got a DIY. Then as Dr. Chapman, you were saying there, we’ve got a DIY together. And I like something else we need to, I think, reiterate there is these are affordable repairs.

End of Excerpt

John: Dr. Shannon Warden, describing why you may need a “renovation project” in your marriage and your family.  Dr. Warden was our guest last time, along with her fellow author and family counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman. I’m John Fuller and this is Focus on the Family with your host, Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim: John, I’m the last guy you want to talk to about remodeling. I’m so pathetic at this stuff. So, I just – you know, not long ago learned what DIY is – do it yourself. I literally had to ask a guy.

Dr. Gary Chapman: (Laughter).

John: Well, it’s OK, no shame.

Jim: My wife, actually. “What does that mean?” And she said, “That means do it yourself.” That’s how pathetic I am. But, you know, there’s so many great TV shows on now about remodeling and how to do it well.

John: And they – they just keep us there. We want to see how it all finishes.

Jim: It doesn’t say much about our lives, does it? (Laughter) But, uh, Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden have come up with a wonderful concept. Uh, they describe some of the challenges that families are facing with selfishness, apathy, resentment. And I’ll never forget how they compared resentment to having termites in your home.

John: Mm hmm.

Jim: There’s a – there’s an analogy from last time. If you didn’t listen, get the download. Uh, go to the website, uh, on your smartphone. You can download the app and listen at your pleasure. So, do it because it was good content. Uh, the way we combat or fix those problems with godly tools is what they’re talking about – character traits that, uh, Dr. Chapman and Dr. Warden have identified – 12 things – things that include kindness, love and forgiveness – very similar to the fruit of the spirit, right? And I thought, uh, they were great reminders for all families on how to focus on what’s most important. So, if you missed it, get the download.

John: And we’ll have links to the audio, video and to Gary and Shannon’s book, The DIY Guide to Building a Family that Lasts: 12 Tools for Improving Your Home Life. Stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Gary and Shannon, welcome back to Focus.

Shannon: Good to be back.

Gary: Thank you.

Jim: Good to have ya. And, uh, yeah, things went well last night. I practiced this and, uh, Troy responded with boldness.

(Laughter)

Gary: I’m sure. I’m sure.

Jim: He’s become my architect.

(Laughter)

Shannon: Nice. Way to go, Troy.

Jim: Hey Shannon, let me start with you.

Shannon: OK.

Jim: Um, you had an unusual YouTube project I think you did recently.

Shannon: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, it centered around the six-month construction process of building a new home, uh, for your family. What were you doing and why? And why’d you put it on YouTube? (Laughter)

Shannon: Why did we put it – OK. So, we – we were having fun, No. 1, just as a family. We’re building a house, and, again, not by ourselves because you need help. This is not always a total do-it-yourself. So, we had lots of good help. But, for one, we just wanted to capture it for our own memories. I also – as I do, I like to incorporate through metaphor some just practical teaching to families, to couples and so it just naturally lent itself to, uh, producing it as a very low-budget – no budget, actually…

(Laughter)

Jim: There’s 60 of these, though – right? – 60 videos.

Shannon: There are a lot, I know. And honestly, I mean, I – you know, there are a lot more. I just…

Jim: That’s a big project.

Shannon: It it – It was. But, you know, we were over there – Stephen says, “I know you’re going over there every day.” I said, “You’re right. I’m going every day.” And so just, you know, it’s so much fun to get to even have that blessing to build a home. And, again, we just learned a lot. We had a lot of fun doing it. So, folks, check that out. It’s on my YouTube channel. They’ll see the whole process, and they’ll, you know, hopefully come away with some encouragement, too.

Jim: And what a great analogy, again, that whole building metaphor and home improvement metaphor. Explain in that context why – why trust is such a key development tool for our children? Uh, what message are we sending to our kids when we don’t let them make their own decisions?

Shannon: Right. Uh, yeah, I’ve got Presley, Carson and Avery at home. And God has been so good to – in so many ways – say, “Shannon, pay attention to what I’m doing in their personalities. I’m developing their character. This is not all about you having to get through parenting.” Parents, you all – everybody understands that because it’s hard. Parenting is not always glorious work. So, God is gracious. He says, “Shannon, look. Pay attention to what I’m doing to these kids. I’ve got plans for each one of them.” I already anticipate, in some ways without trying to project onto them what they might be, but I already anticipate in each one of their lives what it is maybe God is doing for their future and for the kingdom. So, I have to partner with the Lord. I see Carson, for example, who’s very driven. He – um, he has ideas about things. He’s strong minded. I don’t want to punish him for the way the Lord has made him. I want to say, “Carson, God” – and I do this, by the way – I say, “Carson, God has made you this way. This part is great. This part, we’re gonna have to tweak because I gotta prepare you for a wife.”

(Laughter)

Jim: Yeah, that’s good. It…

Shannon: It is.

Jim: …It recognizes the strengths and weaknesses, which every human being has.

Shannon: Yeah.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: That’s why…

Shannon: It just calls your attention to something different than the obvious, “I’ve gotta punish this. I’ve gotta discipline this.” God’s doing way more than that. Is it needed? Yeah. But there’s way more happening.

Jim: Well, you know, in that context, too, there – that’s where shaming can do such damage, right?

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, we tend to react, um, with a shaming – we can, as parents, with a shaming mentality – very destructive, isn’t it?

Gary: Yeah.

Shannon: Hm.

Gary: Yeah. I talked to a 13-year-old who said, “I can’t ever please my father.”

Jim: Hm.

Gary: You know, “Everything I do, it’s never good enough,” you know? And so, I think, uh, in this chapter, you know, we’re dealing with the whole thing of, uh, balancing control – parental control over children – and then teaching children that we do trust them. And one of the ways that we do that is to give them options between things – even little children. You know, uh, “You can bring your bicycle in before dinner or you can bring it in after dinner, OK? But that’s your responsibility. If you don’t bring it in, you lose the privilege the next day.” OK. So, they make a choice.

Jim: Right.

Gary: And we trust them which – we know either choice is going to be fine with us.

Jim: Right.

Gary: The same thing is true with television, you know? If there’s three programs – 30-minute programs, “You can choose one of them.” You know? So, we’re letting them know we’re trusting them, but we’ve already got parameters there. So, when they’re little, we control everything.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: When they get to be 18 and go off to college…

Jim: Oh, right.

Gary: …We can’t control anything.

Jim: Well…

Gary: So, we gotta help them get to where they believe in themselves.

Jim: Yeah, and I’ll tell ya, I think it’s more difficult now in the parenting zone when it comes to technology and gaming and all those things. We hear from a lot of parents and we experience it ourselves. I mean, that’s one of the things that tradeoff needs to be dutifully managed by the parent. Any tips in that area of homebuilding when you’re looking at, you know, not being overly controlling, giving them that responsibility – but when you gotta pull back, how do you go about doing that?

Gary: Yeah. Well, I think there are guidelines that we need to have depending on the child’s age, obviously, in the early…

Jim: Let’s talk about teenagers. (Laughter)

Gary: Yeah, teenagers, because that’s really where we run into…

Jim: That’s really what we’re talking about here.

Gary: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah and I think even with teenagers we have to say, you know, uh, “All your lifetime, we’ve given you freedom to use technology when we thought it was appropriate for you. And we still do that. And we trust you. And, uh, you and I both know that there are people that do things that are not good on technology. And so, we want you to use technology and make the most of technology. And so here are some positive ways. You know, and here are some things that we don’t want you to do.” And obviously, if they’re just going into the teenage years, we’re gonna have to sometimes say, “You know, you broke the rule” …

Jim: Right.

Gary: … “And you know what that means. You lose it for a week.”

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: OK. Well, they learn that for every decision, there’s consequences. And so, we are the parents. We do have the responsibility to set guidelines for our teenage children because they’re teenagers. You know, the brain is not fully developed until we’re 25.

Jim: Right.

Gary: So, we can’t just throw them to the wind, or they’ll make mistakes. And by 25, their lives will be ruined.

Jim: And that’s true.

Gary: So yeah – but it’s that balance between control and trust.

Jim: Let me bring up distractions. It kind of is in that busyness and time-management space, I think. But distractions are a growing problem in families today. And I’m sure screens are a big part of that. I see it. We try to, you know, put the – we do put the phones away at the dinner table. We don’t allow them there. And – so we can have family discussion and laugh together and all those good things. But, um, those are real true distractions. How can we manage that area of our lives better?

Shannon: Hm. Dr. Chapman…

Jim: (Laughing) That’s a big question!

Shannon: It is. You know, there’s nobody busier than this man right here, Dr. Gary Chapman. And he knows something about busyness. I’m trying to practice some of the things I’ve heard you teach over time – is to do, as Jim’s saying, put these things away and prioritize, and that’s something we talk a lot about in the DIY book. What are your priorities? Is it growing with your family? Is it growing a family? Then it’s going to require us to make some decisions And, um, I think, especially for myself, career decisions and, uh, time-management decisions. So, Dr. Chapman, help me. I need some wisdom.

Gary: Yeah, I do think it’s a matter of priority.

Jim: It’s the blueprint.

Gary: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think most of us who are married and have children would say our priority is our family. I mean, we put them, you know, as a priority. But when you look at our lifestyle, that doesn’t always look like that.

Jim: Hm.

Gary: Because we’re making choices and dad’s doing what he wants to do, mom’s doing what she wants to do and – you know, one of the saddest things I encountered recently was at a funeral, and the father had died and the 26-year-old, after the funeral, his son, said to me, “I never knew my father. He worked all week long, and on Saturday he played golf, and I never spent any time with him.”

Jim: Hm.

Gary: And I thought, “Man” – I mean, I cried. I walked away with tears in my eyes…

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: …Because – you know. And I think, as a family, periodically, we need to assess this, you know? Are we living like our relationship in the family is more important than a lot of this other stuff that we’re involved in? And it’s good stuff! You know, and the kids can be involved in this sport and that sport and in this piano and that musical thing and all these things are good and I’m not saying we shouldn’t do those things. But there has to be time in which we’re relating to each other. And it can be done in some of those contexts, you know. But when you – when we’re sitting around the house and everybody’s on their phone and nobody’s sharing anything with each other, we drift apart.

John: Yeah.

Gary: Yeah. And we don’t have the input that we need to have in each other’s lives.

Jim: Yeah. It’s an irony – we’re connected digitally, but we’re not connected humanly, and that’s the problem. Shannon, you had that situation with your dad, right? He passed away not long ago…

Shannon: He did.

Jim: …And you had some second thoughts about that.

Shannon: Oh, my goodness. My dad – I probably was 38 years old the first time I heard my dad say he loved me.

Jim: Hm. Wow.

Shannon: And – and he’s a – that’s a good man. That man – that was a great hardworking man who loved me in service, Dr. Chapman. He loved me in service all those years. He had not come from a family that was emotionally expressive. And so, it took me maturing and, again, DIY-ing here to a degree to enter into conversation with my dad such that I could say to him, “Daddy, I love you.” And he could say back, “I love you.” And that just – you know, that does – it changes your life. And so, parents who are raising kids right now – parents who’ve raised your kids – I love to talk to that parent too, who did miss out – you know, who feels like they’ve missed out. You’ve not missed out. If you’re still here, you’ve not missed out. So, say it – “I love you.” Write it. Text it – in your digital age, text it to that 30-year-old or that 35-year-old or that 50-year-old or however it is. But it’s not too late if you’re still here, and so – Dr. Chapman, you were talking about something there that made me think, too is – we can connect through activity, and that’s something our family is trying to do. Um, Steven is – he’s our son’s basketball coach. Avery’s the assistant coach.

(Laughter)

Shannon: Presley’s cheerleading right there in front of us. And I’m just filling in however I can just – that’s actually one of those moments where I get to sit and just watch. But it’s us together on a Saturday at the church playing upward basketball and upward cheer, and we’re doing it together.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: Which brings me to this great concept you have about the concern box.

Shannon: Yes.

Gary: (Laughter).

Jim: This is another one I’m going to implement tonight at the house. I love this one. When I come home and say these things – of course, Gary, this has happened a couple of times with the programs we’ve taped. So, Gene will say, “Who’d you talk to today?”

Gary: (Laugher).

Jim: So, when I come home tonight and say, “Hey, we’re going to set up this concern box” – tell us what it is.

Shannon: Well, what it is is – we’ve got boxes and things like this, where we’ll say, “Listen. I want to know what’s going on.” So, if nothing else, write it down, you know? Put it in this box, and this can be our concern box, our prayer box – you know, just – it’s a fun and creative way. So, for the parents who are thinking, “I would like to DIY,” this is a great little way – just a little way – you’re just doing something different – a new work in your family’s life. Here’s our little box, and you can put a prayer request in there. And we’re going to get them out at supper or breakfast or whenever, and we’re going to pray about it. It’s a concern – maybe the kid knows, I don’t want to say this maybe in front of the whole family, but I feel safer writing it. It’s just fun.

Jim: Yeah.

Shannon: It’s just a creative way to open up different conversations.

Jim: No, that is good. One of the things we’ve done recently is do conversation starters around dinner.

Shannon: Yes.

Jim: So, we all wrote three down, put them in a Ziploc baggie, and we bring one out a night out of the baggie. So last night, it was one I wrote, which is funny. It was, “What is the origin of virtue?” (Laughter)

Gary: Small talk.

Jim: Troy’s like, “What?”

(Laughter)

Shannon: Nice.

Jim: But it ended up being a good discussion. You know, what’s the character of God and where does the goodness come from?

Shannon: We’ve also got your conversation starters in our kitchen – you know, love talks and these kinds of things.

Gary: Little book of questions.

Jim: That’s good. That’s what we’re talking about here. Um, I think my favorite part of your book, The DIY Guide to Building a Family That Lasts, is the chapter on fun because I like this part. I mean, the best memories we have in our family is when we’re, you know, laughing so hard milk is coming out our nose.

(Laughter)

Jim: You know that situation where you take that drink, and somebody says something and – boom – it’s all out? And, uh, we just love that, and there’s so many experiences that we have like that. But, I mean, I could do that every day if it were possible. But talk about the importance of fun – and not everybody – you know, it’s interesting. Not everybody’s wired in that way. And Dr. Chapman particularly, I’d like to hear from you about that – about the – and I don’t want to pick on the engineering accountant.

(Laughter)

Jim: I love you guys and you girls that do that job. But that engineering left brain kind of thing – sometimes, it trips a person up that they don’t have a lot of fun. But families need fun.

Gary: Yeah. And it can be in different ways because some things one person would consider to be fun and relaxing and the other person wouldn’t, OK?

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: Well, that’s all right. We can stretch each other, you know? Maybe, for example, husband and wife – he likes to walk, and she doesn’t like to walk. Well, he can walk slower, and they can take short walks, you know?

Jim: (Laughter) Right. There you go!

Gary: And then he can say, “OK, what would you like to do?” And maybe it’s something he’s not interested in, but he can give. And so, we can go to where the other person is in terms of what makes them relax and what makes them feel good. But, I think, with children – again, children are also different. But the parent has to decide, we’re going to have some family times. It’s not just going to be routine, routine, routine every day. We’re going to have family time, and we’re going to build it in. And some – maybe one night it’s going to be – we’re going to play games together. One night, we’re going to go shoot basketball together. One night, we’re going to do this. And it might not be every night. But if we don’t plan it, it may not happen. And we wake up 10 years down the road and realize – we don’t look back on any family times we had.

Jim: Right.

Gary: We were just all busy doing our own thing.

Jim:  You, in fact, urge families to create a fun chart. Now, being more spontaneous, that kind of dampens my fun.

(Laughter)

Jim: But I don’t know – how do you do a fun chart? OK, kids, it’s 9 o’clock. Let’s have some fun!

Shannon: Well – right, there’s the chart or – and I loved your example there of the bag or whatever you said y’all are putting slips of paper in – same thing with fun. What are some fun things you want to do? And you just pull out of that bag or that box or – so it can be a chart. Mostly, don’t get held up on the specific delivery of that, you know, goal.

(Laughter)

Shannon: It’s just, do it. Do it. Do something. If you want different results, do something different. And this is a fun way. Ask your kids, by the way, “How can we have more fun?” What? Right, I said it.

(Laughter)

Shannon: “How can we have more fun?” And get their ideas. Let them help you, too.

Jim: It always involves ice cream with the kids. It’s just about ice cream.

(Laughter)

Jim: Hey, you both describe yourselves as workaholics, so let’s speak to that segment of the audience. And you say you both married fun-loving people, which is interesting. I don’t know if that kind of opposite thing attracts.

Shannon: Maybe.

Jim: I would tend to think you’re looking for that in that other person. But you both said you married spouses that love to have fun. So how does that workaholic have to discipline themselves to not be thinking of the list constantly?

Gary: Well, you got the right word – discipline.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: It is discipline. And I remember when our kids were still at home – of course, our kids are grown now. But when our kids were still at home, uh, of course, I was a pastor. And I had all the things that go with that. Every pastor knows all of that. You know, it’s a 24-hour job. I would arrange, in my schedule – if I knew I had something that I had to do at church that night, I would arrange to be home at 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the kids came home, and I’d have time with them – homework or whatever – before dinner, and then I’d go back to the church. But I spent that time with them. But that’s discipline because there’s always something you could be doing during that time, you know?

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Gary: And we have to say “no” to some things in order say “yes” to the family. But I say to pastors who sometimes say to me, “Well, I just – I can’t do it. I’m just so busy.” Look; you choose your schedule more than a lot of people do. Many people are tied into 8 to 5, you know? Uh, you’re not tied into that. You can take a break. And so, I think if we understand how important it is that we have time with our family, then we choose to make time. And, yes, it’s – for those who are workaholic, it’s harder for you than it is for other people. But we can do what we believe to be important.

Jim: Yeah. That’s so good. I think one of the most powerful stories that I’ve known about is a man who worked as a youth pastor. And he was busy. And I would speak directly to those working in Christian ministry because we can justify spending a lot of time doing ministry because we’re doing good things. And you have to discipline yourself to pull back, so your family gets some of that good time with you. But this youth pastor – he said he had just come off, like, a junior high retreat over the weekend. He got back Sunday afternoon late, and he had to take a quick shower and get back to the church for another youth event Sunday night. And he hugged his 4-year-old daughter, and he said, “Honey, I’ve got to go talk to people about Jesus tonight.” And the 4-year-old said, “That’s good, daddy. When are you going to talk to me about Jesus?”

Gary: Hm.

Jim: Wow. He quit his youth pastor job, got a job in the automobile industry in Detroit there so he would have an 8 to 5 job, so he was home every night. Isn’t that interesting?

Gary: Yeah.

Shannon: It is.

Jim: And he caught it. She kind of laid a David stone right between his eyes, right?

Gary: (Laughter) Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: And, you know, good for him. As a dad, he understood what that meant – what she was really saying was, “I need more of you, dad.” And he got it, so that was good. But that’s what you’re driving at.

Gary: Yeah.

Shannon: Yes.

Jim: Make sure your priorities are right. You urge families to work on prevention and maintenance. Of course, again, this is all in this metaphor of the home improvement project. And you say that – rather than wait for that crisis to erupt. Now, for me, I’m all about that. I want to change the water heater well before it leaks out, right? But some people don’t do that. But why is it important to not wait for the catastrophe but to do the maintenance ahead of time?

Shannon: I asked our builder in one of the last episodes of that little YouTube series there – Family All the Way with Dr. Shannon Warden – it sounds so big.

(Laughter)

Shannon: It’s dream – it’s aspirational. But I asked our builder. I said, “Talk to me about maintenance. What – why is it so important to maintain the home? And, you know, give me a tip as a builder – a real builder – you know, so a literal home builder, give me a tip as a home life builder.” And he said, “Well” – he said, “People – we have to guard the outside of our homes because the damage – the threat is going to come from outside. So, you make sure things like your, you know, insulation is good, and you make sure, if there are holes or cracks, that they’re their filled. If there’s a tear or damage in the roof, you make sure that it’s repaired and patched. But you got to protect from the outside in.” What is it you’re – so let’s take it now to relationships – what are you allowing on the outside to come in and possibly change you for the worst? And so, when we talk about maintenance, it’s that – one of – that’s probably one of the two key points that I like to make in particular is, from the outside in, what are you allowing into your home? So, we go back to everything we’ve talked about – screens and work and attitudes and expectations. And so, you’re thinking about, what’s coming in and how do you guard your home life? And the second thing I like to talk to folks about is just the matter of takes so little time to mess things up. Takes a long time to clean it up – to build it up, but it takes such little time to mess it up or tear it down. And you’ve got to make choices around this. You know, it’s gonna take some work.

Gary: You know, the other thing we’re saying in the book is that, once you get some of these things moving in a positive direction and there – you see significant improvement in your family life, don’t just assume it’s going to be that way forever.

Jim: Keep working.

Gary: Yeah, keep working, you know.

Shannon: Constantly.

Gary: So, you spoke her love language, you know, for three years, but then you got busy and forgot about it. OK, she’s going to say, pretty soon, “But my tank is empty, you know? My love language is…” – or whatever, you know. So, we have to maintain the things. When we make progress, we want to continue to making progress and not be going backwards.

Jim: Yeah. And this is probably a good place to end – the do-overs. Why is having the do-over important? I like it.

Gary: Yeah.

Shannon: I say to our kids, you know, it’s kind of like a time out in professional sports. “We’re going to time this thing out and – come here, and now this is where you went wrong, right there. Now, let’s try it again – and that is a literal do-over. See, now that works, OK?” And it’s the same for the sports enthusiast – I’m all over the place with my metaphors, Dr. Chapman.

(Laughter)

Shannon: But, you know, for the sports enthusiasts there – or for anybody who just understands – hey, to carry it back to homebuilding here, that is off – something’s off about that, I think. We’re going to have to take that down, fix it, and get it right. I don’t think I want to live with that. We’re going to have to fix it. So same with the do-over. Those are some literal examples. And again, there, even with my kids, I will say – or with Steven – “Hey, I want to try that again.” That is the art of the do-over.

Jim: You know, it’s powerful. You think of Jesus with the woman who was caught in adultery. That was perhaps humanity’s biggest do-over, right? He said, “Go and sin no more.” And He had every right to go ahead and pass execution on her and let the crowd stone her, but He said, “He who is without sin – let him cast the first stone,” right? There’s a do-over.

Gary: Yeah.

Shannon: Such beautiful humility – and that’s from our Lord. Perfect – Jesus Christ there – perfect perfection, sinless. And He’s modeling that for us. He’s doing it himself so we will do it ourselves.

Jim: That’s so true. Man, Gary and Shannon, this has been so good once again – the, uh, great concept of the DIY for those of us – I’m putting myself in that category – that only six years ago did I learn that meant do it yourself – DIY Guide to Building a Family That Lasts. This is wonderful. The resource is terrific, whether you’re just, uh, starting out with your first child or have adult kids and want to strengthen those relationships. There are so many wonderful principles here for your marriage, too. And if you’d like to get a copy of this great book, uh, commit to a monthly pledge at Focus – help us, uh, minister to families, not just here in the U.S. but around the world. We’re looking for those sustaining members who can join us in ministry. If you can’t afford that, a one-time gift is great, and we’ll say thank you by sending a copy of this wonderful book to you.

John: Donate generously and get the book when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And be sure to ask about a CD or get the download of the previous episode when we covered three other principles for building a family that lasts.

Jim: Gary and Shannon, again, thank you so much for being with us. This is great stuff.

Shannon: Thank you, Jim.

Gary: Always good to be with you, thank you.

Jim: Now, do you guys mind if we go to my house and look at some leaky pipes?

(Laughter)

Jim: Let’s do it!

John: Well, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks so much for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time, as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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