DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
Psalm : Chapter 139
13) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14) I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15) My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16) Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17) How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them! 18) Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
Sammy Tippit: We’re talking about family relationships and, in particular, the parent-child relationship. I was talking about how God really worked in my heart when Dave was just a small child. I said, “Oh God, how can I be the father to him that I’m supposed to be?” He showed me he is my role model. God our Father is our role model. I talked about how important that was.
One of the things I’ve learned as I’ve looked to God and just tried to meditate on who God is and how he deals with us as children… This just blows my mind. God as our Father has so many children. The body of Christ is so diverse. He has children in Uganda. He has children in China. He has children in America. His people are all over the world, yet he loves every one of us the same. Yet we’re so different. I mean, sometimes it’s just hard for me to get my mind around it.
In fact, there are some times in the Bible when you can’t get your mind around things. In the Bible, it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…” This is one of the things I have to just trust the Lord with, because… How in the world does God deal with so many people, so many issues, so much hurt, so much pain? Yet he does. He loves every one of us.
So as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus, I’ve learned that to be like Christ, I have to deal with people differently, particularly with my children, Dave and Renee. Renee is not here, but Dave is. Dave, it’s just mind-boggling for me how y’all came out of the same womb and y’all are so different from one another. You grew up in the same family, yet you’re so different in personality and the way you approach things. I want us to talk about that a little bit.
I know y’all have children from 9 years old to 14 years old. How do you deal with children who are at different stages and have different personalities, different character traits, different levels of spirituality…whatever it might be? Yet you have the same rules, the same household, the same disciplinary measures. How do you deal with that? That’s a big question, I know.
Dave Tippit: Yeah. I think you’re right. Everyone is different. We have to recognize that. There’s kind of a pressing example that I think is really analogous to parenting. Take what has happened in the medical community in the last couple of years. Lots of medicines have been enacted (penicillin and different things) and have helped people across the board to treat diseases, things that are wrong with them.
But in the last one or two decades or so, there has been this movement toward individualized medicine. They take your DNA. They see how you’re made up. They see what diseases you are most likely to have. They do preventative measures, or they attack those things they can to prevent those diseases from happening. It’s not an either-or approach; it’s a both-and approach.
There are certain things within the house, just like the medical community, that help to fix. If you get strep throat, you get an antibiotic, and it helps to knock that out. That’s for the general public. That’s a certain thing. So there are certain rules and things you have within your house. It’s the same with Scripture.
There are certain things that apply across all cultures, but then there are certain things that were meant for certain times and emphasized in certain times, principles God wanted to use to illustrate. I think that’s the same way you have to do things with your kids. Each one of them, as you said, is different. They’re at different stages in life. We’re at different stages.
We’re constantly changing, so to me, it’s not a formula. It’s not a science. It’s more of an art of just trusting in God and just realizing and recognizing what the foundational things are that we have to put in place in order for them to thrive, those boundaries we have to have. Then we have to realize what the things are that are flexible and what things are preventative things we can do to help push them in the direction they need to go.
Tex Tippit: I think that with y’all… You’re really strong-willed like your dad, and a lot of times we would have to discipline you more through spanking. I’m not sure how that is today, but back then it worked with you for the most part.
Dave: You thought.
Tex: Yeah. I thought. Renee was more like a little flower, so we could speak to her, and it was like she would just be sorry. There were two different types, although we did spank her too. We used time-outs and things like that. Seeing what worked with your different personalities and what helped was good.
Sammy: For those who don’t know what a time-out is, can you say what a time-out is?
Tex: Oh. A time-out is where, if they are disobeying you and you’ve had it up to here, you can say, “You go sit in the chair.” Now sometimes they don’t stay in the chair.
Kelly Tippit: It’s a challenge.
Tex: Yeah. That’s a challenge in itself. That’s what a time-out is. For the most part, it has worked with our kids and grandkids.
Sammy: One of the interesting things about parenting and grandparenting is that when y’all were growing up, I was the strict one and she was the lenient one. Now that we’re grandparents, she’s the strict one and I’m the lenient one. It has been a role reversal.
Tex: I learned my lesson.
Sammy: How do you help your kids develop their strengths and overcome their weaknesses? How do you do that?
Kelly: Well, as far as strength goes, I think that just being present in their lives so you can walk alongside them and see where there may be a spark or a place where they shine, and then just kind of nurturing that and helping them channel that in the right direction… Just being their encourager when you see progress or just being the one who kind of encourages them along is important. Then when they get stuck or frustrated and want to give up, just being there to help them persevere is important.
Dave: Yeah, I would agree. On the strength part too… I think you did “persevere” and “be present.” I would add perspective to that P alliteration. Know where they are. A teenage mind is different from a toddler mind. Don’t have your expectations that they’re going to change overnight. It’s going to take time. You have to walk with them, so patience is another thing that’s needed within that. You have to have patience. Just like God developed this amazing creation…
Beautiful things take time. Anything that’s worth doing takes time, which means that out of that patience, you have to have perseverance. You have to have that perseverance to see the perspective God has given you for these kids and keep with it even when things keep failing and you keep falling flat on your face. Just keep doing what you’re supposed to keep doing.
I think that as you do that, over time… The temptation as a parent is to go for the outward appearance: the good manners, the things you get praise from people in society for. “Oh, you have such great kids,” or whatever. That’s the easy thing. Honestly, I think that’s an easier thing to train, but if you’re really going for the heart and if it’s going to be something that’s beautiful, it’s going to take time.
There are going to be ups and downs. There are going to be embarrassments in front of other people with your kids throwing fits or whatever, but if you keep that perspective of, “I’m going for the long haul. In the time I have with this child God has given me, I’m going for this. I want him or her to become a man or woman who loves God and others…”
Tex: I would add a P: the promises, again, that God has given us as parents of our children. We may not see it right now, but we know God has promised that whatever he has promised, he’s going to fulfill in their lives. It may be later than what we think.
Sammy: We’ll be talking about this in a later session, but I think praying for our children is important. I think God allows us to see their weaknesses so we know how to pray.
Tex: And their strengths.
Sammy: Yeah. We see their strengths, and we know how to pray through that. I think it’s important for us to be able to acknowledge and see the strengths and weaknesses in each one. I’m thinking about Taylor and Riley. I remember their being over at our house one time. Riley has such a servant’s spirit, and Taylor has such a creative spirit. Taylor had her feet propped up on the table, and she was doing something with her iPad and figuring out some kind of creative thing with it. Riley said, “Well, would you like me to get you something to drink?” He was kind of serving. So just recognizing that and then knowing how to respond and help them in that is the first step in it.
I want to encourage you to recognize your children are unique just like you are unique. If we’re going to be like the Father, we need to love them in unique ways. Treat them, as Dave said… There are some things that are across the board for all of us, so we have to have that balance of both things.
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
All Rights Reserved