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Category Archives: Family

5 Ways to Help Your Kids “Struggle Well”

One of the hardest parts about our parenting journey has been knowing what to do when our kids struggle. I’m not even talking about the true tragedies that sometimes befall a child or family. Just the stuff that happens because we breathe air, walk the earth and interact with other people…

Ya know.…   “That girl across from my daughter in kindergarten was mean to my baby and she neeeeeeeds to hear from me about straightening up!”..”the punk on my sons football team”…”that coach who didn’t see my daughters clear athletic prowess”  …”that teacher that “hates” my son…” etc.   (Do I seem angry?)  It goes on and on…and it is life. Painful, messy, uncomfortable life.

Of course OUR kids are “perfect”, but lets just say that “HYPOTHETICALLY”, one or two or ALL of them had/have difficult seasons in there lives. Whether socially, academically, spiritually, athletically or maybe all four at the same time (and man those are fun times!) we saw/see it and we hurt for them. We want to take the pain away and make it better. In fact, in some ways we  believe it is our duty as parents to remove the pain of life…and it is …kinda…our role. But to what extent?

So really……. when DO you step in? When do you say something? When do you just take care of it? And when do you just help them “struggle well” through it?

I would never argue against being on our children’s “side”, “in their corner” or “on their team”. But here is the truth we know, but hate to look atIf our children never struggle well through difficulty and perceived personal injustice, then they will never become adults who are strong, capable and mature.

struggle-bus

Five Quick Things to Consider…

  1. PARENT YOUR KIDS LIKE GOD PARENTS US.  Sometimes our Heavenly Father steps in and saves the day. But most of the time He allows consequences to help us grow up. He comforts, guides and loves but He often also”allows”. I think that is because consequences are usually the best way to grow. Even consequences that are “unfair”.  (Gal 6:7 MSG)
  2. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE: We all want well-behaved, respectful and healthy children right?  Illustration: “7 year old Johnny won’t listen to his teacher so he is reprimanded. This hurts his feelings…which hurts mom’s feelings…which makes dad angry. Defending Johnny’s behavior may be a great way for  you to feel better about yourself but a terrible lesson for Johnny to learn. What if Johnny never really reigns himself in because he knows mom and dad will take his side even when he misbehaves?  (2 Timothy 4:7-9 MSG) Remember: What is cute as a 7 year old is really ugly at 13  
  3. VALUE THE JOURNEY: Some seasons are dark and full of difficulty. Some seasons are refreshing and fun to be involved in. But all of the seasons are part of a bigger journey towards maturity and adulthood. In every season there is growth. And growth is good.  (Ecclesiastes 3 MSG)
  4. GUIDE YOUR KIDS OVER THE ROCKS, DON’T REMOVE THE ROCKS FROM THE PATH – Margie is a runner, recreational and sometimes hard core. The prep for a marathon (or as I call it, 26.2 miles of voluntary insanity) involves hard times. Usually a lot of heat, hard ground, early  morning runs, aching muscles, increased distance etc… serves to give her the best chance of completing the race she is intent on running. She would never survive the rigors of a marathon without all of the resistance she faces preparing for it. Same is true for our kids… no resistance, no growth… no failures, no successes. No small wounds, no callouses to get through the big wounds that are coming as they grow into adulthood.  (2 Tim 2:3  MSG)
  5. CREATE A “HOME THAT IS A HOSPITAL” Pain does not start in the hospital, it ends there. Home is not where pain starts, it is where it is dealt with by Drs. Dad and Mom. Our “scalpels, anesthesia and stitches are truth, love and hugs”. If a child (or spouse for that matter) has no place to heal properly from the wounds of life then, like a broken leg that isn’t set right, the wounds will linger and may never fully heal.   (Micah 6:8, Romans 15:5 MSG)

 

Hope this is helpful,

Margie and Hixon

 

 
 
Aside

Now that was a great TIME together!  Hope yesterday was a fun for you as it was for Margie and me! In addition to your handout from Sunday, here his a quick reminder  about building your GREAT MARRIAGE

hula-hoopWives must see themselves see themselves as the biggest marriage problem they face…not their husbands. Husbands must see themselves the same way.  Remember the “Hula Hoop” illustration? …

You and your spouse inside the hula hoop…

  1. You face each other and embrace…that represents spiritual, emotional, and physical closeness. That’s good, we like that!
  2. You turn back to back…that represents that it is the two of you “against the world” and the fact that you “have your spouses back”. That’s also good, we like that…a lot!
  3. You lock arms facing one direction…that represents the fact that you will go through life together on the same team and in the same direction. Again, love that!

 

  1. Where it goes “south” is when you are face-to-face with your fingers pointing at one another, blaming or trying to “fix” your spouse. Matthew 7:3-5 says we have to get the board out of our own eye before we get the speck out of our spouses’. The point is to work on ourselves first and understand that WE are the solution to the problems in our marriage and NOT our spouse.
  2. Your jobs not to fix your spouse. Oh you can get em to behave in accordance with your preferences but the cost is usually a whole lot higher than you think. Resentment, anger, bitterness and frustration can hang like a toxic haze over the couple who are intent on fixing each other.  It will drive a huge (and I mean “YUGE”) wedge between a Husband and a Wife. Like our daughter says, “You Do You … Boo Boo!”
  3. Criticism left as a habit will poison your marriage faster than almost anything else. That does not mean your can’t help your spouse grow in areas of weakness HOWEVER, take care to do that only when you have permission, and only when your relationship is on good footing.

Remember:  Our problem is NEVER seeing the fault in our spouse…it is seeing the fault in ourselves.

PSALM 139: 23-24
Search ME, God, and know MY heart;
test ME and know MY anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in ME,
and lead ME in the way everlasting.

We are looking forward to this Sunday! We have more chairs so seating won’t be a problem this week no matter how many folks your bring!

Margie and Hixon

I DO..Now What? (Week #3)

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

“IDNW?” (week #2)

It was so great to see so many new faces last Sunday morning! We are in for a great semester…..

HERE ARE SOME OF OUR NOTES…

Ephesians 5:21-35

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

rings

Dr Val Farmer: Clinical Psychologist says here are 10 things that destroy a marriage…….. see what you think….

10. Dishonesty, laziness and other CHARACTER DEFECTS. Basic trust and respect underlie love and form the basis of relationships. Lies, deceit, disloyalty, secret habits, or emotional dishonesty about thoughts or feelings destroy trust and respect.

9. DESTRUCTIVE HABITS and addictions. Addictions have great power to be placed in front of the needs and happiness of a partner. Betrayal, hurt, anger and pain follow the wake of addictive behavior.

8. COMMUNICATION that is a painful process. A marriage with too much conflict, hostility, blame, criticism, defensiveness, and belligerent verbal attacks seems like life with an enemy instead of a friend. Marriage needs to be a place of safety, a haven, a place of love and refuge, not a war zone…

7. Leading separate lives. Relationships also suffer when couples don’t mesh their lives through shared activities, recreational companionship or spending enough time together…

6. Lack of affection and sexual fulfillment. When needs for sex and affection are not met, problems mushroom. Without affectionate gestures and words, love seems hollow and not as believable. People don’t marry to get a roommate. They expect to have an active and fulfilling sexual life with their spouse.

5. Lack of emotional intimacy.  The lack of sharing one feelings, goals, hurts, struggles, joys and emotional details of one’s life lead to loneliness and sadness.

4. Explosive, angry outbursts or rages. Anger can either create more anger or withdrawal, both of which interfere with effective communications.
Unbridled and unpredictable tempers interfere with emotional safety and trust when spouses need to engage each other on emotional issues.

3. Disrespectful judgments. Marriage needs acceptance, admiration, appreciation and emotional safety. It is disrespectful to try to change a spouse’s thinking by lecture, ridicule, threats, brainwashing, or negative aspersions. These perceived attacks on personality, character, intelligence or values undermine the mutual respect that forms the basis of love. T

2. Poor boundaries. Engaging in intimate conversations with members of the opposite sex leads to emotional experiences that cloud judgment, trigger fantasy life, and progress toward physical intimacies outside of marriage.

But almost all counselors agree that #1 Self-centeredness or selfishness is the foundational problem in most marriages. Most of us, when we get married, part of our joy is that is we have someone else besides us, who will spend most of their time thinking about us…its true!

Before we are married, almost all of our time is taken up meeting our own needs.
We entertain ourselves according to our preferences.
We buy the things we want to buy, cording to our preferences.
The money that we earn is ours to use according to our preferences.
Everything in our lives meets our needs. When we live like that before we are married we are setting ourselves up for a very difficult marriage.

Why?
Because marriage demands un unyielding focus on someone else…
Both Husband and wife must have, as a first priority, Jesus Christ. When each spouse focuses on Jesus some very practical things start to happen…

  • Each lives out their faith in an overt and obvious manner.
  • They extend forgiveness and grace towards one another
  • They speak truth but fill it with gentleness and love
  • Begin making decisions based on truth not emotions

 

HUSBANDS:

Biblically You carry the weight of leadership in the home…
Ephesians 5: 21-32

“Husband: Love Your Wife”
“Wife: Obey your husband”

The misunderstanding of these two phrases has caused a lot of unnecessary harm over the years. Lets look at this passage together….

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Here is how that will look….

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

  • Church submits to Christ…
  • Not in some flaky, power trip.
  • Authoritative through His word.
  • Doesn’t change haphazardly or break his promise
  • Does what he says he will do…
  • Has very clear boundaries but extends grace

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Husbands love your wife in a

  • sacrificial – death on the cross
  • strong – all authority given to Jesus
  • gentle – let the children come to me
  • protective – looked at crowds with compassion
  • honoring – honor dad and mom, honor God
  • pure – avoid sin
  • humble – “did not regard equality w God…”

MOST MEN:
Never learned how to lead a family spiritually. We grew up with dad’s who may have loved us but rarely lead the family other than possibly making church a priority (and that is a good thing) but so much more to it than that.

MOST WOMEN: Never learned how to follow a man who leads in a clunky and imperfect way…

SEE YA THIS SUNDAY!!!

HYDE PARK Campus @ 9:45am

Coffee, Donuts, Bagels and a whole lotta fun!

BRING SOMEONE WITH YA!

Margie and Hixon

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

“IDNW?” (week #1)

Great kick off to this semester last Sunday morning here at Hyde Park in Austin! Margie and I loved seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends. We covered a lot of ground including the ultimate choices that most marriages eventually face…

images4

  1. Get divorced – a tough choice, the death of a marriage
  2. Remain “un-divorced” – Stay married as roommates with separate lives

or

3. Build a GREAT Marriage – and THAT is what we are shooting for…

So, here is where we are going this semester…

“Why marriage?” – Gen 2 (Overview)
“Building a Marriage that Lasts” – The FOUR C’s – Ephesians 5
“What’s Love Got to do with it?” – I Cor 13
“If it Ain’t Broke…Break It!  – James 4:10
“Give Away What You Can’t Keep” –  Matt 7:3-5
“Its’ ALL About Me…really it is” – Eph. 2:8-9
“The “F” Word” – Matt 5:16
“The Ugly, Nasty, Beautiful …Truth” –  John 4:24
“That’s What She Said” –  1 Peter 3:7
“I Know You Are But What Am I?” – Hebrews 12:14
“I’m Not Your Mother” – Eph. 5
“Why Didn’t You Say So?” – 1 Peter 3:7
“I Never Knew”- Matt 7:3-5
“Good Sex” –  I Cor 7:5
“What Exactly Needs Completing Here?” –  Col 2:10
“The Best Trips Take a While” – James 1:12-22

We would love to see you at 9:45am on Sundays at the Hyde Park campus (3901 Speedway in Austin). If you know of anyone who would be interested in joining us then send em or bring em with you!

                                                                                                                                       Margie and Hixon

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

5 QUICK TIPS FOR BLESSING YOUR TEENAGER(S)

1. MAKE YOUR HOME “BASE”. For those of you that grew up playing outside (without video games, cell phones or internet) you may remember a great game called “Kick the Can”. (at least it was great in my Tulsa, Ok neighborhood in 1977)  It is like a lot of “tag” games in that the object is to avoid getting “tagged” by the person who is “IT” while at the same time trying to “kick the stationary can” that he is protecting. To add to the fun there is a designated “base”. It may be a tree, a shrub or a fence but as long as you are on “base”  you cannot be “tagged” or disqualified from the game….you are safe! While “on base” you could relax, catch your breath, work on “strategy” and prepare to re-engage the game etc….

That is a perfect picture of what a home needs to be for teenagers….a “base”.  Safe emotionally, physically and spiritually.   A Sanctuary – I have spoken/written on this a lot. The world is putting our kids into a vice and squeezing them. Any teenager that wants to “walk with the Lord” is going to have to resist a lot of pressure. But like any of us, they cannot resist 24/7!  They need a place where they can be free from pressure, undeserved criticism and sarcasm. Your home should be a “sanctuary”.

2. “WIN” THEIR HEARTS and THEIR BEHAVIOR WILL FOLLOW (usually)  – While I know that we are our kid’s parents first and their friend 2nd, (especially when they are young), somewhere in their early teens a very cool things takes place: You get to talk to them like a real live person! A dialogue instead of monologue. Actually sharing ideas instead of solely instructing. It may happen once and then not again for a while…but then it happens again. Before you know it you are having validating, important life changing discussions with an intelligent viable teenager….almost like a friendship!

I’m not talking about getting your kids to like you….. I’m talking about respecting a teenager’s gifts, personality, bent, etc….  You are beginning to make the turn from instructor and role model to confidant and role model. (yea, ya never really lose the whole role model thing). If you never make this transition you will frustrate your teenager and (opinion) stunt their growth. You were a teenager once…

3. “TALK” WHEN THEY WANT TO ‘TALK” – scheduling time to talk is very difficult. It can feel forced and canned etc…. but God seems to bring our kids around to a time when they want to share stuff with us. That usually means (especially in the summer) that my wife or I (usually my wife) will have to stay up with them till they go to bed. What is it about teenage girls that wants to talk after midnight?   (for you control freaks I would challenge the notion that making an 18-year-old go to bed at 10pm is a good idea 🙂 )

4. REALIZE YOUR KIDS WILL “LOOK LIKE YOU” IN WAYS YOU DON’T INTEND. They will become WHO you are in every area of life. Mannerisms, sarcasm, anger, humility, pride, devotion to the Lord,  etc….   Jerry and Mary Royal say it best: “They will follow WHO YOU ARE before they follow WHAT YOU SAY”. Your child has a problem with authority? ….hmmmm.  Your child wrestles with worry and fear….hmmmm.  Your child does not walk closely with the Lord?…. well… you get it.

5. GET TO KNOW “THEIR WORLD” – Our kids walk in to a highly competitive, dramatic and morally “foggy” environment at school and need us (more than they know) to help navigate the murky waters of faith and friends. The only way to do that is to talk with them (not at them).

Most teens in my kid’s world have cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, IMing, text messaging, skyping, ….. blah blah blah. So do my kids… It is just a “hill I refuse to die on”. (Me? I had a phone… a land line…that I hated talking on…I’m a guy)  More than once I have had a texting conversation with my teens when they are just in the other room. (don’t judge me). It has always been the start of a much deeper conversation face to face. SO…get into what they are into and you may find that you and your teen can communicate well in the languages THEY most like to use. OMG you may find your son or daughter is your BFF!       lol  🙂

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Family, Leadership

 

Becoming “Friends with Loneliness” (update and re-post)

If your child knows the Lord and goes to school (public or private) then the following is probably true: They will be under tremendous pressure to conform to the image of the crowd. Even “good kids” will try to exert pressure to get in the “right pecking order” (typically under them).  Any school will likely have its share of good kids, promiscuous kids, angry kids, drunk kids, church kids, druggies, jocks, musicians etc…. most of whom will pressure each other to “conform” to whatever “image” they see fit.

MY POINT: If we can get our teens to “make friends with loneliness” instead of fear it, they will be much more able to resist the pressure to “conform” to the image of their schoolmates and more likely to conform to the image of our Lord. (Romans 8:29, 12:2)

Helping our children (18, 16, 12) “make friends with loneliness” has become one of the guiding principle in our parenting. Not because we want our kids to be “loners” or that we want them to lack the social skills needed to find and maintain healthy relationships… but because I want them to get to a point where the fear of loneliness does not have a grip on them.
Every bad decision I remember making, and many I don’t, was driven by the need to be “accepted”. The opposite (in my mind) of acceptance is loneliness. (or maybe better said, the result of not being accepted is often loneliness)

SO HOW? Here are a few ideas…

  1. Understand that loneliness is PART OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. I know many folks that feel slighted by God because they have listened to some  “knuckle-headed, health/wealth” preacher who promised that God is here for our comfort. So if we are “uncomfortable” (lonely) then we must not be in God’s will…right?   Nothing could be further from the truth. (2 Timothy 4:9-10, Phil.3:8)
  2. Help them EXPECT IT! When we are in Junior High and sit with the kid who “no one” sits with, or we are in High School and say “NO”  to what “everyone is doing” we will alienate a certain group of people. Doing the right thing always “ruffles feathers”.  (By the way, the attacks don’t always come from the “mean kids”.  If you do not follow the crowd you will very likely experience times when you are lonely. 
  3. Know that GOD OFTEN WORKS MOST FREELY in our lives when we are lonely! He has our attention when we are hurting. He will also change our need for others into a desire for Himself. When we realize the reality of an all-sufficient God and the closeness we can have with Him, loneliness looses its TEETH.
  4. GIVE EM A PLACE TO “COME HOME TO” where they are not alone. I mean make your home a place where they can be WITH you. If you are like us things are “crazy busy”. Especially when our kids hit the teenage years we were all going in different directions! I am haunted by my son’s words after what was a rare dinner all together…”I really like it when we are all together”. Later when I tucked him in I asked him about it. He said…” yea, I just don’t feel as alone when we are all together”.  OUCH!!
  5. NEVER ENCOURAGE YOUR KIDS TO BE “PLEAS-ERS”.   Help them be obedient to authority in their lives, help them be respectful of adults and even help them avoid a “rebellious heart” …..  but NEVER ask your kids to capitulate, even a little, to other kids just to be accepted. (We all tend to lean that way anyway.) Once we get accepted for the wrong reasons then it is like “CRACK”.  It eventually robs us of our ability to  stand for anything.
 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Discipleship, Family

 

THANKS FBC!

June 22, 2011

Dear Church family,

I am very excited about what God is doing here at First Baptist church. The growth, outreach, camaraderie and excellence of this church is a minister’s dream.

BUT today is the culmination of about 9 weeks of resistance, prayer, and finally willingness to embrace what God seems to have for me and my family.  I have accepted God’s call to go to Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas and serve on her staff.   My last Sunday as Minister of Education and Discipleship here at First Baptist will be June 19, 2011

We make this decision with GREAT EXCITEMENT but a heavy heart.

I cannot thank everyone this morning but I want to thank THREE GROUPS OF FOLKS:

  • Staff Leadership
    • Dr Jeffress for taking a chance on me almost 9 years ago (personnel committee for agreeing to it) and asking me to be the Minister of Young Adults. Allowing me to come back to Wichita Falls and serve in my home church.
    • Pastor Bob (Dr. Bob McCartney) – for hiring me to be the Minister of Education and Discipleship shortly after he arrived here.
      • His Passion and Vision are infectious and we soon adopted them as our own
      • His steady leadership and excellence in the pulpit has blessed my family and this church.
      • He has become not just my pastor but my friend.
      • I trust him and respect him more than you will know
      • He (and MaryAnne) has blessed Margie, me, and my kids by being a man we respect and admire not just in the pulpit but at the dinner table.
      • I want to say publicly: “Thank you for allowing me to serve here on your team”.
    • Jerry Royal – It is no secret that Jerry is one of my closest friends in ministry.
      • Jerry is a gifted leader and teacher
      • He has been a ministerial peer, and then boss and has handled that transition with integrity, sensitivity and wisdom.
      • We have walked together through the ups and downs of ministry.
      • He has been willing to “pick me up” when needed and “push back” when necessary
      • I have grown more and “walked better with God” because of his friendship.
      • WE have grown more b/c of Jerry and Mary’s friendship.
  • The STAFF I have gotten to serve with:
    • They have been tested by the fires of ministry and been found faithful, deeply spiritual and competent.
    • They are fiercely loyal, incredibly competent.
    • They work hard and expect little in return.
    • They rallied around me and Margie when I assumed leadership of the Ed Staff
    • There are no self-absorbed egos.
    • I am honored to have served alongside them
  • THE CHURCH BODY (this is my home) 
    • When I was 13 years old (1980) I gave my life to Jesus Christ in what is now the East Sanctuary of this church
    • Asked Margie to marry me on the platform (East Sanctuary) and Dr. Chapman married us 11 months later here at FBC
    • Some of you even took care of Margie when she was a child.
    • I baptized my son here in this church
    • My kids have deepened their faith here
    • Not a Sunday goes by where someone does not come up to me and thanks me for something I may or may not have had anything to do with.
    • You have blessed my kids
    • You have blessed my wife
    • You have accepted me as one of your own
    • You have APPLAUDED MY STRENGTHS AND COVERED MY WEAKNESSES 
    • You have made it easy to serve here.

Our Pastor, Staff and Body have shaped our lives for almost 9 years. (IN many ways for 31 years).

There are exciting days ahead for First Baptist Church!

PLEASE PRAY for us during this transition as you can be sure that we are praying for you.

Thank you.

Hixon and Margie Frank, Sydney, Sarah-Clare and Grayson

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Family, Leadership