10 Core Questions of Life

Our personal world view shapes everything in our lives — and in our kids’ lives. Our actions and reactions are determined by what we believe to be the answers to what Pastor Kevin calls the “10 Core Questions of Life.”

Using the Bible as a reference, we can teach our kids God’s answers to these questions. We’ll have to adapt our answers according to their age so their understanding will grow as their minds and bodies do. Eventually, when they’re adults, they’ll have adult-sized answers and be deeply grounded in their faith.

Slow Down to the Speed of Love

We were created to slow down and “walk” in our relationships, and being intentional takes time and focus. This quality time is an investment that will pay off for years to come.

We should slow down enough to emotionally engage our kids on their level and get interested in what’s going on in their lives. Focus on what matters to them: their friends, hobbies, favorite games, etc.

Remember, kids are smart and will know when you’re faking it. If you need to, carve out time in your calendar specifically for the slow, steady “Speed of Love.”

Three Speeds of Life for a Healthy Family

It’s important for us to understand what Pastor Kevin calls the “Speed of Life,” the “Speed of Love,” and the “Speed of Learn.” Depending on what we’re trying to accomplish with our kids at the time, we’ll need to know when to run, when to walk, and when to sit. No family can operate at the same speed all the time.

Dad’s Day 2018

Scripture:

Challenge: Win the 3 speeds of life.

  • Speed of Life (Run)
  • Speed of Love (Walk)
  • Speed of Learn (Sit)

Your world view shapes everything – your actions and reactions – so teach your kids the 10 core questions of life:

  1. Is life an accident, or am I here on purpose?
  2. Why do bad things happen to good people?
  3. Can I really trust God?
  4. Why can’t I make my own rules?
  5. Why can’t God just accept me the way I am?
  6. Isn’t only one way to God narrow-minded?
  7. What does it mean to be forgiven?
  8. Why don’t Christians look different from everybody else?
  9. Who needs the church?
  10. Are Heaven and Hell real?

What you feed grows and what you starve dies.

Love Doesn’t Enable

There are times in life when we come alongside others to help them. We do this in love because we see they are sinking, and we want to help them carry the weight of their struggles.

There are also times in which we are tempted to carry people who are perfectly capable of carrying themselves. A prime example of this can be found in parenting.

Pastor Miles recounts a story of his daughter and her homework. Instead of helping her, he empowered her to help herself.

Say No to Shirking

There are areas in our lives that we tend to avoid because they’re difficult or require extra effort. These areas we tend to neglect could be in our marriage, family, career, finances – even our faith.

It’s important to relax and enjoy time off when we can get it, but we shouldn’t allow that to move into shirking our responsibilities when the break or vacation is over.

Like John Maxwell says, “If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.”

Heather’s Prayer for Her Daughter

Pastor Heather Semple, from Red Cedar Community Church in Wisconsin and a friend of Pastor Kevin, shares her story of a very personal affirmation from God through an unexpected prayer request for her daughter. In the midst of what she believed to be a big spiritual risk for her congregation, her obedience and this “surprise” prayer moment left Pastor Heather feeling closer to God than ever.

Today, she believes the more she lives like God’s daughter, the more she experiences His power in her parenting and in her pastoring.

How Can We Help Kids See Answers to Prayer?

As we pray with our kids and they’re getting older, we transition from mere thankfulness to the concept of being cooperative with God.

Think of it this way: the first half of things we ask of God can be answered by gifts He’s already given us – a body, a mind, the earth, the capacity to work, etc. The second half is God doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. We cooperate with God to answer prayers; we both do our part.

How Can Single Moms Develop an Atmosphere of Prayer?

The first thing a single mom should do to develop an atmosphere of prayer is to grow her own intimate relationship with her Heavenly Father. This opens the door to her children believing in the possibility for themselves. The next thing she should do is to let her children know she’s praying for them and offer to pray with them together. Engage the mystery of prayer and watch God work.

How Can Kids See Answers to Prayer if They Don’t Get Their Way?

As we pray with our kids and they’re getting older, we transition from mere thankfulness to the concept of being cooperative with God.

Think of it this way: the first half of things we ask of God can be answered by gifts He’s already given us – a body, a mind, the earth, the capacity to work, etc. The second half is God doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. We cooperate with God to answer prayers; we both do our part.

How Do I Make Prayer Practical for Young Children?

Children crave routine, and prayer can easily become part of your family’s daily rhythm. Begin with prayers of thanks for food, toys, friends, etc. Progress over time to prayers for God’s help in situations at school or with difficult relationships. Prayer should grow in complexity as children get older. Model for them, through all stages of life, how to pray to their Heavenly Father.

What’s Better Than Forgiveness From Sin?

In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says, “Lead us not into temptation.” Temptation, in this instance, means trials that would lead us to fall prey to Satan’s schemes and cause us to sin.

We should pray daily so that God would help us not to become so undone by our challenges that we would believe the lies of the enemy.

How Pastor Kevin Forgave His Dad

Pastor Kevin shares how he managed to forgive his father, from whom he’s been estranged since age 17. He discusses the three words that helped him process the loss: bitterness, forgiveness, and sadness. The forgiveness removed the bitterness, but it did not remove the sadness of what could have been.

Guiding a Family to Solve Conflict

We can resolve conflict in family by following the guidelines God models for us:

  • There is righteousness: Discuss and determine what is right, not who is right.
  • There is unrighteousness: Acknowledge what is wrong.
  • Someone has to repent: Apologize and return to what is righteous.
  • Someone has to forgive: Absorb the loss and restore the relationship.

When we let the peace of God reign, there will still be conflict, but now we have way to solve it.

Solving Conflict Within Marriage

In Ephesians 5:21-28, Paul gives a framework for marriage to work. This structure helps two people cooperate because Christ is ruling their life!

First they must let God’s peace rule in our hearts, then they are able to have a mutual respect and love for each other. Through this a married couple gains a better way of resolving conflict in marriage.

Solving Conflict Within Ourselves

Often, we over react to problems in life because we already have pressure within ourselves.

In this illustration, PK uses beachballs floating in water to show that a full beachball is much more difficult to keep down than a deflated beachball.

Here’s the point. In Colossians 3:8, Paul advises that we rid ourselves of anger, rage, etc.. (pressure) and surrender ourselves completely to Jesus. If Jesus rules us from the inside out, he removes the pressure within and any pressure we may bring into our marriages and families.

 

Solve Conflict

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Solve Conflict:

  1. Conflict Within
  2. Conflict In Marriage
  3. Conflict in Family
    • There is righteousness (right).
    • There is unrighteousness (wrong).
    • Someone has to repent (sorry & return to righteous).
    • Someone has to forgive (absorb loss & restore relationship).

Homework: As a couple or family, agree to solve conflict by God’s ABCD’s. Solve conflict when it comes, solve it direct, and honest. Repent and forgive and return to building solid.

Create a “Closed For Business” Sign For Your Family

Work is important, but it’s only one of the important things in life. We need to find a way to be “closed for business” for our families.

This means putting limits to work so you can do family and limits to family so you can do work.

Kevin and Marcia navigated this conflict in time between work and family by setting some rules:

  • Quitting: “closed for business” at certain times of the day.
  • Interruptions: no interruptions at work.
  • Phone: no business calls when at home.

These rules help keep both family and work important. When someone is “on”, they’re fully on. When someone is “off”, they’re fully off.

Solve Calendar

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Solve Calendar: Since Jesus is at the center; new things become sacred (holy set apart). Therefore, we should put the sacred things in our calendar. Otherwise, the ‘busy’ will crowd out the ‘important’.

4 Well Timed Lessons:

  1. Your worldview defines how you view time &use time.
  2. If it’s not in your calendar, it’s not sacred.
  3. Put sacred things in your calendar first.
  4. Create a “closed for business” sign for your family.

Homework:

Plan Together: Nobody can solve every calendar problem all at once. But you can progressively build a solid future for your family by putting the Sacred (big rocks) in first. Sit down together as a couple and practice putting the Sacred (Big Rocks) in your calendar for next month. Then, live it. Along the way, figure out what pebble size commitments need to be planned. Even plan time to relax & recover. And if you have to shift a Sacred Rock, work it out until it’s back in.

Pray Together: “God our Father. Give us wisdom into our calendar to do what we can do. And do for us what we cannot do as you hold us together. In Jesus Name, Amen”.

Gumption is a Sacred Family Value

Gumption is the character to commit and complete. It’s the essence of self-leadership in requiring something of yourself without excuse.

Everything worthwhile is an uphill battle. Luckily, God has given us the necessary gifts, talents, and abilities to win. We only need to exercise gumption to get the better life God has invited us to.

And when we succeed, we celebrate!

Striving to be Authentic

In our families, we’re never going to be perfect, but we can strive to be authentic.

Being authentic means to have consistency between what we say we value and what we practice.

For example, when we say, “God is our sovereign source of life, and the one on whom we depend,” we need to live it. We can do this by finding our significance and security from God and not in others. When we trust others to fill the void, they will eventually fail. We need to look to God and lean on Him for emotional wholeness.

Valuing Family Togetherness

God designed families to stick together.

In marriage, we die to our single life in order to look forward to being together. This means that time together becomes the default, rather than time apart.

When Kevin and Marcia got married, their single lives had to die. They made “together” a sacred value in their family. Every effort has been made to form their family to be together as a default habit.

Build Sacred

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Build Sacred: Since Jesus is at the center; we set our hearts and minds on things above. New things become Sacred (holy set apart). We “die” to old things we once valued and value new things we once dismissed.

What is sacred in your family?

  • Togetherness
  • God First
  • Authenticity
  • Gumption
  • Bless Others

Homework: Define what is sacred in your family (5 to 7 things).

  • Ideas: Use today’s teaching; use the 10 commandments (Exodus 20); or use the “Value Exercise Cards” to start the conversation
  • Note: Perhaps what becomes “sacred” is distinct at different stages of life; dating, married, with young kids, with teenagers; empty nesters.

How Families Can Withstand Pressure

Two different families may come from the same mold, but we won’t know the difference between the two until pressure is applied; job, finance, emotional, psychological. Once the pressure comes there is no amount of skill or training that can compensate for being hollow – it all falls apart.

If families are built from the inside out, they can sustain pressure from the outside in.