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May 17, 2022 10:00 pm
Do you seek to build happy memories with those you love? Have you considered the impact of intentional play in your home? Listen to Ron Deal's conversation with Dr. Jim Burns about why and how to use "fun" to connect relationships in your stepfamily.
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Cancer help me realize that maybe was the idea of thinking about death, but realize that the other two important things right relationship with God and regulation up with my loved ones and I went way, why do I need to wait until it about ready to die.
To do that so it's crazy as you. We talked about being thankful thankful for cancer, but I'm really thankful in that situation because I think it woke me up to a few habits that I was really doing that weren't as healthy. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most time and will send Dave Wilson and you can find us if they we live today.com or on our family life app family life today. Well, if there's one thing that defines and Wilson and there isn't just one thing.
There's a million thanks. I'm looking at you like always.
Only one in my mind is blank like I have no idea what you're one of them would be play. Oh, I was can say that about you, but then again, where both angiograms 77. Is that so that's kind of the hallmark of the seven yeah but I mean you bring joy and play into our family, especially if it is just my birthday and what did you do, you created all these days. These competitive games that I lost that almost everyone I knew you would love it if the grandkids love that was fun, but I me that you you just bring fun and joy into our marriage and I think we underestimate how important it is detailed to a marriage and so today we get the listener on deal from the family life blended podcast as he said that with Jim Burns and we know Jim, we've had on family have today. Love his energy.
He's a guy that he and his wife battled through cancer and wrote a book about play and how important it is in their family and in their marriage is the president of home word and the executive director of homeward Center for youth and family at Azusa Pacific University on California way. This is a great discussion about how play brings energy in your marriage and we all need to learn and understand this is Ron and Jim were talking around some of the themes in your new book have various fun and do I understand this right that was born out of your journey and your answer right where I got a call from a doctor and he said Jim come into the office and I when you bring your wife that's never good news when I said when your wife you this afternoon.
While it wasn't it was cancer and so we went through the process of that and I have surgery the night before surgery is where I got up in the middle of night and I wrote down principles that I want to pass my kids think somewhere in our life.
We forget that the problem in life is that we live by this breathless pace and we sort of quit having fun. When I wrote my PhD dissertation. It was on traits of healthy family and one of the key ingredients was the ingredient of play and fun that families that played together.
I know we believe that families are pretty good.
I believe that, but frankly played together stay together.
Also, over and over again.
I just kept saying that your plate builds a closeness play reduces stress to be in a marriage or with your kids of a friend who's a pastor and talk about her son is 15 who would cut a straight away from faith have to talk to your son is great, but he plays basketball different play bass going to play basketball.
I said what did I'm too busy. I said go to Walmart via get out there and start playing basketball. I was back at his church about six months later he said you'll never believe the stressor play with my son basketball most every day is really competitive and I'm really competitive and he said in no just recently he said he got after the game. What sit down and he said you I'm I'm ready come back to the faith. I think I want to be a youth pastor and it was an early story when he saw me the first time, but today that is a youth pastor and heating church, not the churches compete I go. Why didn't you bring to your church goes well. He actually got a better offer is doing quite well how cool that God used play to bring this friend of mine's son back to the Lord and so plays an important ingredient in the fun factor and it is key and so I wanted to say to my kids especially, but the now to others intentional about having fun and again when you're going through deep Creek would say go through a divorce is not like the first word is all.
Let's just have fun talking to woman last night who had gone through tough times and is now stepparent. It was fasting because she said when I was it the worst I rented jet skis with my kids and I all of a sudden realized I was smiling I went while I'm smiling and it wasn't that she couldn't just only have fun she had to deal with her grief and everything else, but it was healing the healing process identifying play.
I am just processing so much right now I'm thinking about someone is listening to us who has been or is going through some sort of physical ailment. Somebody who went through it, death of a spouse and or a divorce or a major transition of some sort and you're right you don't think of fun as being something that throws interest relative there.
But what's fascinating to me is that in the deep part of your pain and uncertainty about the future you start thinking about legacy and what you want to pass on to your kids.
That's one of the things that immediately pop to the surface know at the end of the year. You never are going. What was the best thing about the year you never saying it was that soon call the third one of the more it was doing the bills that was great. This is you talk about family fun are you talk about moments, even if it's memories could play builds happy memory. Yes.
So even in the in the death of a loved one or and in those struggles and again I'm not saying that you don't face those I'm saying sometimes it's the memory you know I just was involved in a funeral of a very special person and we cried and we also laugh because part of the memories were some fun memories about that person because that person was a fun person. That's one of the reasons why they probably have such a mentor influenced my life because I was drawn to his playfulness and yet also is incredible beautiful God honoring spirit about himself to, but we did with a smile and some of the stories were great but we know in my world fun is an opportunity for bonding.
I think about stepfamilies and trying to get to know each other and all that new relationship work that they're doing activities building memories as you just said is also an opportunity to create a moment for you and I share that in a positive way. Yes, and you don't have to be intense about you there's a phrase we use in our marriage conferences were we say words don't always connect. But connection causes you to have good words take a step parenting situation we take in a blended family that the child is not your blood child but is kind of you drawn in sitting down and saying let's become close. That's not work as much as maybe going to a dance recital together or shopping or playing a game or whatever might be that then causes kind of them to relax and have those conversations say with the marriage noise way too many marriages don't laugh us on whether from it because why do we not mean we play we were dating, we play on the front and is it just time is it just we get busy. Is it bad or is it I know well I don't think were intentional about it because again, life is stressful life gets, you know we always have something to do but it's a learned trait, and it means we just got a do it. For example, date nights I'm big on date nights I tell people spend 1% of your week on a date is 99 minutes you can have a great date on that and at the date don't talk to your kids… You thought about your kids don't talk about the bills court each other enjoy each other laugh that you have some fun. Whatever it is I have to laugh because Kathy I've had some great dates lately.
We had made a list about two years ago we brainstorm some date ideas and sheet. We live by the beach in California so she said no paddle boarding and most of the tide pools then go to breakfast, that's a neat date type thinker. You don't think a date. Sometimes knowing that is a good one gentlest list she forgot and I found it I've been checking off at her friend Wendy said Jim you're like and I go, I know you're like I'm so created up her right you will and I are stealing their ideas, but she forgot if you listen to this podcast were in trouble. But the point being that you know sometimes we just have to be intentional. We are going to go and do this even if we don't are mind, your bodies are saying let's don't edit it ends up being fun every day doesn't have to be something fancy either. Just be something that you enjoy doing and that draws you together a great mentor of mine Neil Clark Warren who founded eHarmony and whatnot he I was in his office, went on conversions and work with them and he said you, Jim.
Communication is a learned trait that rocked me because I thought understood it, make it like my dad did and best ways and your calves can communicate like a bomb or whatever that I realized that we can learn. That's why think the same is with having fun being intentional about it.
She just go do it. You have to feel it, you find things for fun with each other to make a list even in the times when you're not going to do it that day. We make a list of things that might be fun listening to Ron DL and Ken Burns as they have a discussion on microclimates thanks therapy and this is from the family life blended podcast and as I'm listening to that. My first thought was the word intentional here being intentional and you may not always feel like doing it, but as you get going that joy and the laughter can come and I've never considered the fun is a learned behavior and it's like you either are good at it. Your bad edits like but that's a great insight. It's like I can choose to decide to do some fun. And here's the thing about fun it's like other things in marriage. Sometimes you choose it. Not feeling it, but the feelings come later.
I'm thinking about kids tears we have family find especially teenagers remember them complaining like what are we doing and I would be saying this is can be half done. You will love this every fun mandatory fun and I think we've done that in our marriage where you're starting out as readily doing but it's really good after yes those go back to Ron and Jim talking about this because they get into the whole idea of giving things is something we do intentionally as well.
We talked about a number of things in the book is there another principal is like this.
What one I think a lot about blends with what I've been talking about is it's the pain of discipline or the pain of regret that is here. There's pain in life were either you have the pain of discipline overdraft pain of regret is what that means is we have to be intentional. Paul said to Timothy. Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness and he actually Ron you stay on athletic terms or different terms you could use for discipline and that phrase was more like athletic training you would think a lot of the decisions we make. If we really want to have a healthy life. We really want to make no difference. Then we gotta be intentional about the discipline of some people are super disciplined brothers are but I have this funny expense last night or two. Couple nights ago and I were lying in bed in New York at this wedding of my daughters and I said to her, my chest hurts and she's like all panicky, getting a gentle heart attack. Are you okay I will know know I can work it out on weights and I've done something and fell the morning before and my chest hurt because I work out. That was the pain of discipline about that you were saying while Jim you're looking but then I would grab my stomach and go the little potbelly that I have and I go that's the pain of regret.
That's how it is with life that we know what to do. We just sometimes don't do it right. We take it really is a good idea to take baby steps, but it is about discipline and so is about mindset and discipline. In 1983 I made a decision to go through the one year Bible and spend 20 minutes a day with God. Well, I'm like your adult ADD guy who was I had my devotions on and off and like a three I got serious… It's like 20 minutes. Some people think that's wimpy but I'm telling you, I think a lot of the anointing. I think a relationship with Kathy relation with my kids comes from my 20 minute think well but it's the discipline of of doing that day in and day out edits what ministers to meet some people.
My wife included, would say you read the same one. Your Bible will actually change it from your new living and then NIV, but II don't change much, but it's really good for me to do that so that discipline at first was really hard and there were some Decembers where I had to read a lot at the very end where you are struggling always through Leviticus or whatever. Today I was on the day today. I just opened up like okay well today's the day that's limited to just like you would brush her teeth and that kind of thing has been helpful. I wanted to share that with my kids, especially that you have to pay. So you just have to decide is going to pay regret of the pain a discipline that works with family. It works with marriage.
It works with struggles with relationship work. It works with your kids that you weep out that discipline sign so that was a meaningful one for me and not always easy, and sometimes it's just grit. If you read the book by Angela Duckworth's best-selling book of secular book and she also has likely the best known Ted talks, but she talks about Britain. She studied people who were in education or business. She said these were the smartest people. They were the people who had written the Bible talks about endurance and perseverance, and so when people endure or they persevere.
That means they have grit that means they discipline themselves even one of the latest studies that show for troubled marriages for people stay in the marriage for five years, 75% say that it's better will that's perseverance that Sprint that's discipline.
They discipline themselves to something in the grass is greener and are so grateful they did after those five years to get back to cancer little bit you say that your life changed dramatically. Having gone through this amazing that's an understatement.
I know somebody who has had great loss yes in my life. We get recalibrated by loss a lot of things change in us talk about something you do.
That's tactical that you do different. As a result, I actually think what mattered a lot in some ways before cancer doesn't matter as much and kind of vice versa. And I would say one of the things are many, but I found it family is more important implication because I think a lot of us who love what we do. I love what I do and sometimes I'll give my family, my emotional scraps, but I don't give my work, my emotional scripts so I I think after cancer I went you know what I don't need to work that extra hour. I can actually come home and be what my doing this one. It's not like I have a boss who says you gotta be here extra work enough hours to many hours so I found that I had asked a question by giving Kathy my giving my kids, my emotional scraps and cancer. Help me spend less time at work. It help me not be as busy. That's another principal of the double Q badge will make you busy. I needed to learn that I had to schedule my priorities and stalagmites my party's just kind of go to the wayside because it might have great schedule. I work a schedule and I have this appointment about appointment by not scheduling and my family time, especially when I needed my my most efficient time cancer. Help me realize that maybe was the idea of thinking about death, but realize that the other two important things a right relationship with God and regulation up with my loved ones and fessing up a woman named Elizabeth Kubler Ross, who wasn't coming from a Christian perspective study death and dying said when people are getting ready to die, they have to think so right relationship with God and right relationship with their loved ones and I went way, why do I need to wait until about ready to die. To do that but cancer caused me run honestly. It caused me to really recalibrate my energy toward Kathy and my energy toward my kids. I don't think I was like the worst dad in the century.
I don't think I was the worst husband but what it did was it caused me to rethink what I wanted to be known for what I wanted my grave site to say or what they would say at my funeral. I didn't want them to recite my academic career or my worker I wanted to talk about the kind of dad I am are the kind of husband. I am to Kathy cancer did that for me so it's crazy. As you know we talked about being thankful back to thankful thankful for cancer, but I'm really thankful in that situation because I think it woke me up to a few habits that I was really doing that weren't as healthy as what one of those habits might be. I'm just in here reflecting on what's tactical for me is putting it on my calendar because of it on my calendar than that space cannot be taken out by something else that some activity. It is a priority to me.
Spend time with my family, but it so easily slips away. If I put it on there that is more likely to happen you know what, for me there are two things that I can really specifically say will and every person asked will have a different one. But for me I am a hard worker. My dad was an alcoholic. So my workaholism could get in the way and so are you going to the office early and I stay late and all of a sudden I realized I don't need to be the last person in this office. I I don't need to leave 630. I honestly could leave when this office closes at five many nights and no reason to be bugged about it, that met I was fresher for Kathy and then there were other things, where I realized that I'm a people pleaser like crazy and so when people would ask me to speak. I go sure I know Kathy and I do that together we talk about that.
I know I would never tasting vision without her, but she likes you know that I speak and what not to, but I just realized there were some times I had to say no yet do it.
Love you just simply can't do it. Maybe another time or maybe on the back of something else and you know it's funny I didn't get less speaking to request more requests today. But I just have a better handle on saying no got going on this week and there are probably thinking, always doing some regular his ministry. No we been listening to Ron Dio from the family life blended podcast as he talked to Jim Burns about what they called practicing thanks therapy. We just ask to get a little clip of that there's more that you can go to listen to, but I tell you what that last little part was for me. Oh, did you hear just for me is for you do is that all you thought as is for Dave that we decided it but I'm the only one that needs to hear that is not you have thing know your perfect no serious let were both wrong and you say yes they both you don't really I really believe this, you only believe it to me go ahead needs.
Say yes to ministry opportunities more than I way that I'm saying yes you probably friends and ministry and family things more than you.
Either way, I mean what I heard is your family need to be a priority you going to cheat something cheap.
The other things don't cheat your family onto your marriage, you will reap what you sow we've seen that narrow Mary Sue and Jim was talking about that I could read city.
I know you're thinking a self signed a lag in any I can so relate. As I've done it literally, the speaking engagement thing in God's order said the both of us. I guess he said to me, not you. Just me slow down you say your family and your marriage is priority. Live it out. And I'm guessing he's speaking to someone else today as well. It's one thing to be here. It's another thing to be a doer of what God's word says encourage you to join me with even listening to family life today and you can hear the rest of Ron's conversation with Dr. Jim Burns by searching for family life blended podcast episode of anyone or you can get the link in today's show notes Jim and Ron talked about intentionality and your family relationships and this is also important for those of you in ministry. If you want to learn how to be intentional in one of the ways you can support and encourage specifically stepfamilies you want to know about the summit on stepfamily ministry is a two day event to equip ministry leaders to serve blended families in their churches and communities is happening in October in the Phoenix area for anyone interested in serving stepfamilies.
I just learned this today that 40% of couples with children in churches and your community are blended families. So this is super important. I'm personally from a blended family, myself, and thankful for God's grace of that fact in my life. You can find out more about the summit on stepfamily email@example.com else want to let you know about how you as one family can make a difference. There is a community of heroes called family life partners who believe in our mission and give financially every month and thanks to some generous really champions who have come alongside us as a ministry right now.
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