It’s very easy to slip into a pattern of disordered priorities—and yet, God has grace as well as instruction for where our hearts and families will flourish.
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Hebrews 3:4-6
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Hey everybody, how you guys do and happy Monday to you. Today is Monday, January 13th we are almost halfway through the month of January. I hope the new year has been a good one so far for you. I’m excited today because it’s Mailbox Monday and we’re going to cover a little bit of news, a little bit of culture, a little bit of politics, a little bit of awesome gospel centered family stuff that’s happening. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So we have made it to the middle of January, almost. I keep thinking it’s January 15th because my head is in the game for a rally that’s happening. So if you guys live in Washington state, if you’re anywhere in Washington state, coming out to Olympia for the freedom rally, the 2020 freedom rally is happening, starting at noon through, I want to say noon through probably about three o’clock on the Capitol Steps in Olympia and you guys, if you’re tired of the government overreaching, if you want to be able to choose for your own family, everything from vaccinations to education, your legislators need to know that you want them to protect your freedom. And so we’re going to be meeting at noon on the Capitol Steps in Olympia. We are actually closing the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center in Vancouver and taking as many of our families as we can up to Olympia for the freedom rally.
So join me in Olympia on the Capitol Steps at noon, Wednesday, January 15th we’re going to rally for freedom over the overreaching chains of government. And I think you guys are going to be, they need to hear from you. There are a lot of things happening in Washington state and around the nation, but my heart is here in Washington state and so we need to come and make our voices known, bring your children with you, bring a poster, show them what’s important to you and then plan on staying a little bit later and visiting your legislators. I think sometimes we think that our legislators are I don’t know, it’s scary for us to go and visit them. But they’re just people just like you are and their job is to represent you. And so if you want to be represented, your legislators need to see your face and hear your voice and hear what is important to you.
So again, join me on the 15th of January in Olympia, Washington for the freedom rally. And like I said, we are going so far as to close the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center on Wednesdays so that our families can travel to Olympia to participate. It’s probably more important now as we’re into 2020 and there are a lot of things at stake right now, particularly when it comes to freedom in the United States. Gun rights obviously being threatened terribly in Virginia. That is astonishing to watch. And I’ve been getting a lot of questions from you about gun rights and you guys know I’m a huge defender of the second amendment. I believe in the right to bear arms. It was given to us by the founders of our nation so that we could protect ourselves from guests who the government protect yourself, there as an idea.
And so I am a huge fan of our right to protect ourselves. This is not a far right wackadoo thing to want to be able to protect myself and my family and certainly in Virginia, right? It’s going to be very interesting. Virginia is ground zero for this battle right now. They’ve got some crazy people in leadership there and again, you guys, I’m going to encourage you, run for office, ask the Lord, father, where can I get involved? How can I help protect our freedoms? You guys, we don’t understand what we can lose. I think sometimes and I’m just going to encourage you to get involved. It’s amazing to me the narrative that I keep seeing kicked around in the culture right now the government knows more and can help us better than we can help ourselves. And I don’t know about you guys but I was just at the post office and I think maybe individuals could do it better.
So we want to keep our freedoms and we want to be free. And so if it matters to you and I know that it does, I’m going to encourage you to get off the bench and onto the battlefield. Get involved today if of course is mailbox Monday and I want to remind you coming up is my Faith That Speaks conference and we do a little version of mailbox Monday there for you and I’ll be answering your questions and I’m telling you what, you guys, you’re going to be so blessed. So February 21st and 22nd in Lakeland, Florida I’ll be there with my friend Elizabeth Johnston. And we will also be in Thousand Oaks, California, March 13th and 14th for Faith That Speaks. And the whole idea behind it is to show you what God requires. Like we know this from Malachi 6:8, he has shown you a man was good and what the Lord requires of you to walk justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
And I see nothing in scripture that says Christians are supposed to be doormats for Jesus or wallflowers for the Lord. And so we’re going to teach you and talk to you this year, especially about what your faith can look like in the culture and what it looks like to have a faith that speaks. And I’ve invited some really special women to join me out on the road this year. Women who are an example of a faith that speaks, and I know you guys are going to be blessed and encouraged. I was writing for the new season. I’m in the middle of writing a 365 day devotional for mothers now. And so I’ve been writing a lot and I’m also writing the new speaking season. So every year I come out with new topics and whatever the fire is that the Lord has laid on my heart.
And I want to just encourage you, our faith should speak with hope. Our faith should speak with hope. Has the Lord redeemed you, then speak out, right? That’s Psalms 107:2, let the redeemed of the Lord say so. And we can talk about the bad news. And there are certainly a lot of it on the horizon. And you guys know how frustrated I have been with what’s happening in Washington. But I want to encourage you that we should never talk about the bad news without talking about the good news. Because the gospel is good news. And as God’s people, we have a reason to declare truth. And our reason is this, God is hour hope. Psalms 107 says, He is our rescue. He leads us to safety to a city where we can live and what should our response be? Our response should be to praise the Lord, to praise the Lord.
In verse 43 of Psalm 107 it says, those who are wise will take all this to heart. They will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord. And men and women God has been good to us. He’s been faithful. He is the same yesterday as He is today and will be tomorrow and He wants us to give him the praise and the glory to get off the bench and onto the battlefield. God has given us rules for our protection and we’re going to talk about how to stay on His path and how to train our children to do the same. So coming out to my Faith That Speaks women’s conference, they’re going to be held all over the nation this year. You can find out more at heidistjohn.com/events. So it’s Monday and one of my favorite days here at the podcast and I’m going to take your questions and hopefully you guys are going to be encouraged by what the Lord’s laid on my heart.
I really appreciate you turning in questions. If you’d like to submit them, you can go to heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. Fill out the form there. Please, please, please for the love of the time that I spent going through your questions, please make me a three or four sentence summation of what your question is about. That will really help us. So anyway, Cassie writes, hi Heidi. Hi Cassie. How are you sweet girl? I absolutely love your ministry and all that you do. Thank you Cassie. My husband works long hours and I’m a stay at home mom and a homeschooler. A lot of the days I feel like I’m doing life without him. What’s a mama to do? I understand that he’s providing for our family and he allows me to stay home and educate our boys ages seven and three. However, I am heartbroken that he is missing out.
I do my best to extend grace to him and try not to get discouraged, but there are days when I feel like a single mom doing life without my best friend, my husband. Any advice on how to stay strong and by long hours, I mean 12 to 14 hour days or longer, the occasional trip for a few days away, et cetera, et cetera. So as sweet mom, so I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to hear from my friend Patrick, but Patrick was on the show on January the 10th and so if you haven’t had chance to go back and listen to that because he really speaks to this, to the heart of this, because he says, it’s a good thing like men were created to be protectors and providers and it’s a good thing that he wants to provide for your family. And I think sometimes as Patrick wisely pointed out, it’s very easy to slip into a pattern of you’re providing so much that you forget that your job is also to provide an emotional support for your family, to be there for your family, to invest in your family.
And so I want to encourage you to really begin to commit this to prayer because there’ve been so many people over our lives. My husband and I have been married for 30 years and in those 30 years, many, many, many of our friends marriages have not survived. And it’s always heartbreaking when you see that happen. And so often what happens is we begin to focus on the wrong things. Our loves are disordered and God is a God of order. And he tells us in his word what our priorities should be, right? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength, right? That’s the first commandment.
And then after that he says that we’re to love each other. So a husband and wife in relationships, God’s order of relationships, very simple. Our first relationship should be to him. Our second relationship that we honor is the marriage relationship in the home and out of an overflow of what God does in the marriage relationship we pour into our children and out of an overflow of what God’s doing in our families, we pour into other things, our work, our ministry.
The truth of the matter is when our marriages are not strong, our witness is not strong. When our marriages are not strong, our children are threatened. And so I would just encourage you to really pray for your husband that God would give him the desire to focus his primary energy on building his family, on building his family. And the world has done a pretty rotten job, I think of devaluing men certainly and devaluing their role as provider. I see these women with their tee shirts, I see them a lot of airports, you know the women … Oh, who’s the girl? Rosie, yes. What’s her name and remember she’s from World War II and she’s making a fist and sock talking about how strong she is. And I see this all the time with different slogans.
Women can do anything that men can do. Women can do it even better. What a lie we have bought when we devalue the need for husbands and fathers to be present in the home. God has created your husband to be the leader of your home. And I, some of you don’t like that, but that’s the truth. And this is what God says in his word. And so I think sometimes we’ve devalued husbands to the point where they feel like, I’m just going to go to work and do my thing. You do, you and all do me. And how sad that is. We’ve emasculated our men in many cases, we’ve feminized our men and we need our men to be men. I don’t know about you guys, but I love it when a man opens the door for me. I love it when my husband leads our family. I love it when he takes the role that God has created him to take.
And I think some of you look at me and you think, well Heidi st John is a speaker and she’s out front, which is very true. But in our home, I am trying, say it again Jay, in our home, I honor the role that my husband has been given by God as the leader of our home and I believe that women are made to respond to the loving leadership of their husbands. We are born responders and I don’t know very many women who don’t want that. Or sometimes we don’t want to because we’re in rebellion and if God said it, we’re going to do it a different way. And every time we walk away from that, whether it’s a wife refusing to let her husband lead or a husband refusing to invest in his family because he has either got his priorities out of order or because he’s been discouraged to the point where he disengages, we miss out on the benefit and the blessing that comes from walking in right relationship with the Lord Jesus.
And so that’s where I would start sweet mama, I would just say pray for your husband because the world is after our men and I say as women we come together and we commit to praying for our husbands, to loving them. You guys, I had my friend Sheila on a couple of weeks ago and we talked about sex inside of marriage. We should be having amazing sex. I don’t know about you, but I want my husband to want to come home from work. I want him to go, “There is a really hot woman waiting for me at home and she loves me and she respects me.” And there is a magic almost in it. Please don’t email me. You guys know what I’m talking about. But there is a beautiful what marriage is amazing and I hate to see us missing out on the preciousness that God has intended in marriage relationships.
So pray for your husband and I would be really praying that God would direct his heart to home, right? I know a lot of guys who’ve actually quit their jobs and learned to be entrepreneurs because they wanted to spend time with their families. And of course the pendulum swings both ways. You guys have heard me talk answer questions from moms who are frustrated because her husband’s home too much and they can’t find a balance. So it’s all a balancing act. But the balance comes from saying, Lord, what do you want? And then letting God do what only God can do. So that was a fantastic question. Thank you Cassie for sending it in.
Next question comes from a mom who would like to remain anonymous and she says, “Heidi, thank you for your wonderful ministry. I look forward to listening each week. I have a 19 year old daughter who has been dating her boyfriend for almost a year. When he asked to date her and my husband gave his blessing and the boyfriend expressed he was a Christian. However, over the course of their relationship, he has only attended church with us about four times. I feel that this walk with the Lord is pretty shallow and it concerns me. Do you have a device on if I should address it? I’m struggling to feel supportive about the relationship. I don’t know what to say or do anymore as I don’t want to push my daughter away.”
All right, so sweet mom, you have hit on something that’s very difficult because it’s easy for us to get online, isn’t it, and talk about our four year old lied to us or we had a discipline problem with our nine year old our 11 year old is moody. When your kids get to be 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 years old. we go dark a lot. We get quiet because A, our kids can see what we write on the internet. They can often hear what we’re listening to, although I doubt your daughter’s listening to my podcast.
But I think it’s important for us to be really honest about this season of life and how isolating it can feel. And so I’m going to encourage you to stay in relationship with other moms who have already walked this road or are walking it and there’s a couple of things I want to encourage you with right away. The first question you asked was you don’t know if you can say anything. If this is something that you can address with your daughter. And my answer to you is absolutely address it with your daughter. You will regret it if you do not address it with your daughter, right?
Discipline, part of what we do in discipline. And I realize you’ve moved from a full time parenting to really a shepherding sort of a coaching role because this is where you are. But we are instructed to help bring our children to maturity. In Proverbs 29:15 it says to discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child. And we know that as parents we are called to interact with our children from the time they’re little all the way until they are adults. And as they become adults, which is really your daughter’s in this wonky stage from a childhood, transitioning from a child to a young adult. And this can be very wonky. And so I want to encourage you to be intentional with her. Take the time to sit down with her and talk to her about her relationship with her boyfriend, and then express your perspective and even your fears in the light of scripture, right?
And so if she’s looking at this young man as a future husband, which I hope that she is, if she’s dating him at this age, then the question needs to be what kind of a husband is your daughter looking for? And then point her back to scripture. We are not to be unequally yoked. I answered a question just the other day from a girl who is really struggling with that. And boy, guys, we need to look ahead into the future, alright? So I want to just encourage you too engage with your daughter in conversation. Tell her the truth lovingly. This is obviously not a reason for you to sever a relationship. I think it’s a reason for you to get in there even closer and fill your child or young adult’s heart and mind with gentleness and softness, lavish her with love and draw her into relationship with you as you teach her continuing to model for her and to coach her from the silence.
You’re not a full time parent anymore, so you put that part down. I’ve seen a lot of parents who their kids are 18, 19 they’re trained to wrestle free and be their own people and the parents just can’t handle it. And what you end up doing is driving the child away. And so you want to take a step back and take the role of an observer who is commenting and encouraging. All right, so tell your child the truth, but do it in love.
Last question comes today from a mom who says, “Should I pull my child from school as soon as possible even if it means we have to move to make it happen? We both work full time and I also take my three year old to work with me. We want to homeschool our oldest but can’t do so if we stay where we’re at. The oldest really struggles with behavior issues in a public school. Is it worth moving ASAP or worth waiting a couple of years until we feel more prepared. Our jobs are fairly limited since we’re both pastors, so moving wouldn’t be very easy.”
Alright, sweet mom. I understand how this feels. My husband and I have been in ministry for a very long time and since you asked me my opinion, this is not “thus sayeth the Lord”. So I’m going to give you my opinion what I believe about education, but you got to hear from the Lord. So this is not the sayeth the Lord in your life. This is me giving you something to chew on. Since you asked a very direct question, I’m going to give you a very direct answer and you have stated in your question that your child is already having behavior issues in the public school and I do not think a job is worth losing the heart of your child.
And so if you were to ask me if you, I feel like it’s the Holy spirit like putting it on your heart to pull your child from school and so I would be paying very close attention to that. Luke 6:40 when a student is fully trained will be like his teacher train up a child the way he should go. Don’t neglect to discipline your child, right? Proverbs says discipline your child while there is still hope and there’s still hope right now. And I can tell you a long time ago when we pulled our own daughter out of public school, she was in second grade when we did it, it was a terrible financial burden. And I thought, I don’t even know why we’re doing this. I’ll tell you what, you guys, it’s been 21 years since that happened. I would do it over and over and over again.
Best decision we ever made was to pursue the heart of our children through the opportunity that is homeschooling. And so I would encourage you to come before the Lord and pray. I don’t know what your financial situation is. So without me being able to come into your home and really assess it, you need to have people in your life that are wise and can give you good counsel. But I think the heart behind your question is a good one. And it sounds to me that the Holy Spirit is working in your heart. So there you go.
So that’s my advice and my encouragement. I hope you guys are having a fantastic day today. This is the beginning of the week. It’s also a great time to jump in with me at Momstrong International. I just want to encourage you, amazing things are happening over there with that group of women and we want you to be a part of it. God has so much for you in 2020. He delights in you and I want to encourage you to delight in the Lord by studying his word. You can join me at momstronginternational.com have a great day everybody. Thanks for listening and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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