Seeing Jesus in Your Kids

Biblical parenting requires us to engage with kids by asking questions

Megan Fate
May 14, 2017    32m
Biblical parenting requires asking open ended questions of people to see where they are spiritually. This is especially true with our kids. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Megan Fate: 00:06 -video playing-

Megan Fate: 00:57 Ah, yes. Good morning. Ah, it's good to be with you, yes?

Megan Fate: 01:17 You can't fix your kids. In fact, God doesn't call you to fix them. He calls you to love them and then entrust him with the fixing, very different posture. Hey, I'm really glad to be here. Whether you're sitting here or you're at the campuses in Scottsdale or San Tan, or you're at the venue, which wishes they may be in here, or just loves being the venue. I don't know, but we're all here gathered together to learn something about our Lord, and the thing I want to address is a question I asked here about a year ago at a women's event. I asked this question, because some women had asked me. This woman in passing was like, "I've been meaning to ask you." And I was like, "What?" She goes, "How's your soul?" And I was like, "Bleh, I'm sorry?" Because no one asks that. The normal question is, how are you? To which you normally respond "good" or maybe "fine", and then you say, "fine", hoping they don't ask the follow-up, but then you just keep going on your way and you're fine.

Megan Fate: 02:14 How's your soul? You see, I know someone who has everything, yet his soul is empty. Have you ever met someone who maybe has nothing, yet their soul is, like, overflowing? Have you met someone like that? Okay, so if that's our scale that's in mind, let me ask you this question and actually mean it and hope that you even address it. How's yours? Is it fine? Empty? Tired? Distracted? Exhausted? Good? I want to address our soul, because I believe Jesus addressed mine through our passage. He addressed mine, because my life illustration addresses my soul, and it's that of a cup. So growing up, I was rather outgoing, okay, and I would run around and I love loving people. So, I'd run over here, and I splashed love on people. You're welcome, that side. And then, I'd run over here, and I'd splash left, and then I got a job, and I'd splash love on my coworkers or on my boss, specifically my boss. And then, I got married, and I wanted to splash love on my husband. And then, I had a kid, and I realized having a kid that I developed a really unhealthy habit, not the loving people park, that's a good thing, but what I would do is I would, for instance, love my spouse and then hold out my empty cup in his direction to be filled up by the opinions of them. Or, I'd run to my job and hold it out to my boss and wait to be filled up by the opinions of other people. And if they or if my child noticed me, appreciated me, said thank you to me, then I felt filled up. It's exhausting, isn't it? Here's why we must address our souls, because I believe Jesus wants to take yours, and tilt it upward the way a cup was designed to sit. Am I right? So that, as Paul prayed, you might be filled to the measure of all the fullness of him and then overflow in response. And mothers in the room, do you want to know what that looks like? It means you can walk out these doors and not have to be, not have to wait to be loved, accepted, noticed, appreciated, because you're not waiting for it from anyone else who, ironically, those little nuggets sized kids, um, ironically, are holding out their empty cups oftentimes in your direction. And when you're this, you just love people, because imagine this cup and then imagine Niagara Falls. That's what God wants to do.

Megan Fate: 05:13 So if your soul is empty, tired, busy, distracted, exhausted, longing to be filled, will you pray with me? Not just listen to me pray, because you know the difference, right? And if you, like me, desire to be filled, would you hold out your hands like this? Just a physical posture to say, "This is how I want my life to be this morning." Yes? Alright, let's pray. Heavenly father, here we are. And before I talk, God, might, we all just consider, in your presence, our souls? Yep, we need you, more of you, and more of you. Of course, we want to be used by you, but first, Lord, fill us. And all God's children say, Amen.

Megan Fate: 06:16 Jesus addresses our souls, specifically, the soul of a woman in John, Chapter 4. Turn with me to John, Chapter 4. And, I am turning there, as well, and I am not using my little ribbon that I could use, because I want to turn with you. Hold on. When I used to not turn, when I used to just have it saved, I would go like this. Turn with me to John, Chapter 4. I'm there. And then, all of you are like hustling. You know, to beat your neighbor. Okay, you've got it. Okay, so John, Chapter 4 begins like this. The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Quick geography lesson, Judea down below, and Galilee is up top So, Judea down below, Galileo is up top. In the middle is a little place called Samaria.

Megan Fate: 07:16 Now, something important to note as we go into this text, is it any Jewish man of this time that wanted to go from Judea to Galilee, would always go around Samaria. Always. By the way, do you ever have those people that you just kinda want to... No? Me either. I'm so holy, too Okay, but Jesus, Verse 4, it says this. It's interesting. It says, "Now Jesus had to go through through Samaria." You notice, by the way, anytime it talks about God and says that he had to do something, you take note, because God doesn't have to have to do anything, ever. So, why did he have to go to through through Samaria? That's the only question I want to answer, and I have a feeling it has a word for us as parents. It has a word for us as people who long to be parents. It has a word for everyone in the room. Why did Jesus have to go through Samaria? So, He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there. And Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour, which is noon when a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Few more cultural contexts, this is placed in the Middle East. Let me say this, in the blazing heat of the Middle East. Not like you guys understand that at all, huh? Okay. So, if you're going to go to a well to gather water for the entire day, and that's a walking journey, you don't go there at noon, in the heat, do you? I just was told yesterday, when do you play sports in Arizona? In the morning. She's like, "It's perfect at five or six." I'm like, "Okay, you can you go play perfectly at five or six, and I'll just hang out." Because you go to the well, you do your activities, your big physical activities, first thing, but Jesus is at a well at noon, and he meets a woman there. Why is she there? Something we already know about her is that she looks a lot like Adam and Eve, who when they made mistakes, hid too. So, she was at a well at noon, hiding. Why did Jesus have to go through Samaria? Well, here's why. He was on his way to go do ministry, but he also lived his purpose on the way there. Jesus lived his purpose on the way to wherever he was headed. I don't know about you, but I've had a chaotic drive to church, but once we arrive, we're fine. Jesus lived his purpose on the way. Not too long ago, I was going to go speak at a conference called "D6". Now the "D" stands for Deuteronomy, Chapter 6.

Megan Fate: 09:52 In Deuteronomy, Chapter 6, there's this thing called the Shema. The Shema says this, "Hear, oh Israel, the Lord our God. The Lord is one. Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And then, it says this, "Make sure these commandments I tell you are to be on your hearts and then impress them on your children." In other words, you can't give them anything that you don't have yourself. Don't just push them towards God, allow them to follow you. Things are often caught, not taught.

Megan Fate: 10:18 So this whole conference is about family ministry. It's pastors, and the speakers are meant to come on stage and say... Deuteronomy Chapter 6 says, "It's the parent's responsibility to lead and shepherd their family to faith." That's how it's passed on from generation to generation. Yikes. The church plays a supportive role. That means we can't just drop off our kids in children's ministry and go, "You got this? We'll pick them up, dry-cleaned in about 90. Perfect." Nope. In fact, Barna did a crazy study and it said basically the number six influence in a kid's life spiritually is the youth pastor. You want to know what number one is? Mom. So, it's the family's responsibility.

Megan Fate: 11:01 I was on my way, I got onto the plane, I grabbed my ear buds, because I was on my way to go do some ministry. I was going to go minister to a bunch of pastors on the topic of family ministry, and I got on the plane, so I took my ear buds and put them in, thus communicating to my neighbors on my right and my left that I was, oh, not about to talk to them. Okay, so I took my laptop out and I just started. And here's the question I was currently typing for pastors. Have you missed out on ministering to families in the midst of doing family ministry? And I'm like, this is so good, because sometimes pastors can get so busy that they like, you know, zoomed past people, you know? So, I'm like this is so good. I'm like trying to reword it, so it's Tweetable. This is so good. And then suddenly the guy to my right is like, "So, are you a Christian?" Well, he doesn't understand social cues, right? Bless his heart. It's okay. That's okay. I'll just keep the social cues coming by putting it right there. "Excuse me. I'm sorry. Did you say something?" He goes, "Yeah, are you like a Christian?" I'm like, "I am. Praise the Lord. Huh?" Have you missed out on ministering to families in the midst...this is so good, so good. He goes, "My daughter volunteers at a church." I'm like, he doesn't get it. That's fine. I'm like, "She does?" He goes, "Yeah, she's the best." I'm like, "That's cool," And, he continues and he continues, and it took me 10 minutes to read my own screen. Have you missed out on ministering to your family in the midst of living and trying to breathe and do lifelong ministry? You want to know why I almost missed it? Because, I was on my way to go do some ministry. I was on my way to go live with purpose. Are you interruptible? Do you consider people ever an interruption, by the way? Don't feel crazy. God brings us these things and brings us awareness, not to heap shame and guilt. He does it to invite us into freedom and to take part in what he's up to.

Megan Fate: 13:16 Here's the thing, I've worked with students for about 14 years, and here's what I've realized about young girls, specifically. If they are only given courage, because the word encourage means to give courage. Huh? If, if young girls are only given courage by their parents on what they're good at or what they're the best out, where are they going to run to find their courage? Being the best. So suddenly, they go to college. You want to know what they can't find themselves? Because maybe, for the first time, they're not. Men in the room, I have to let you know something about us women. Your words, men, are insanely powerful. They're insanely, insanely powerful. Do you know this about your words they matter? Proverb says, "They either bring life or they bring death, there are no neutral words." And let me give you...Just if you are a father, and if you do have a little girl, let me just switch it up. Basically, within 10 minutes, me and this guy are awkwardly side-hugging, crying, and eating, like, pretzels together. It was, like, a moment that we share, and this guy goes, "I can't wait to get home, because my daughter always asks me who I sat next to on the plane. I can tell her that Jesus had a word for her, and I can look her in the face and encourage her with how she looks at Christ." So, he runs after her for him for courage.

Megan Fate: 14:40 Here's how I see Christ in you. Today, Mother's Day, when you do that meal, tell the women at the table, all of them, "Here's how we see Christ in you. Then those women, you want to know where they're gonna run? Christ. To look more like him. Because Dad's, your words are powerful. I almost missed it, because I was on my way in. Jesus teaches me how to do ministry by, number one, doing it all the time, not just in certain places, with certain people. It's all the time. It's in the little moments.

Megan Fate: 15:13 And the conversation continues, when a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus asked her, "Will you give me a drink?" His disciples had gone into town to buy food, and something you'll realize about Jesus is divine encounters with God, oftentimes, just start with really simple questions. "Will you give me a drink?" And then, a divine encounter takes place. You know that throughout the entire New Testament, Jesus was asked 307 questions. Sorry, sorry, sorry, he was asked 183 questions. He asked 307. Oh, by the way, when he was asked the 183, he only answered 3 directly. So get this, Jesus, the guy who has the answer to every single question that could ever be asked, seemed to be more interested in relationship than in giving the right answers. By the way, as parents, something I've received from this passage is this. Do you want to know how to love people well? Do you want to know how to minister to their hearts well? Ask better questions. Instead of give perfect answers, just engage. Because when you ask and listen, you learn how to love. And by the way, if people don't know you, they'll never know how to love you. And I heard this, that divine encounters are just simple questions.

Megan Fate: 16:34 So, I remember I worked at this Christian camp for 10 years, I still work there running women's, and what we would do is we'd get all the high schoolers, and we do these like crazy camps, and every single night we go to chapel, and I would run all the activities. So, I'd go on the stage and make them play games, and it was fun. And then, at nighttime, I would walk into cabins, and I wanted to believe this that divine encounters, all it takes is a simple question and then interest and then pursuit. That's it. Just ask questions and then care. How do you care? You listen. By the way, women I have a word for you, don't worry, it's your turn. Listening is not waiting for your turn to talk. Do you wanna you wanna know what listening is? Listening, don't clap. It's almost like praise. This is not worship moment. But when you listen, you learn how to love. So, I worked at this camp and I, we would, we'd give all the...I'd do all the fun activities, and then you'd walk into cabins, and I'd ask simple questions. One time, I played a game. I walked in and I went, "Hey, girls, who wants to play a game?" All high school girls, they're like, "So funny you asked, because I do." I'm like, "Perfect. Okay, let's all get in a really fun circle. It's going to be a fun game. Who wants to play a fun game?" They're all like, "Okay." So, we sit in this circle, and I go, "Okay, here's the game. Because divine encounters oftentimes start with simple questions, so just ask, and then listen. Let's see. Alright, the game is called "If People Really Knew You, What Would They Know?" It's a fun game, and here's what we'll do. We'll go around the circle and just finish the sentence. 'If you really knew me, you would know....' Finish the sentence, and then we'll go around and go deeper." The girl next to me, she's like, "That doesn't sound fun at all." "But no, it's okay. It's so fun. It's so fun. If you really knew me, you would know..." And, I give them two lessons. I say, number one, it matters to share, because if people don't really know you and how your soul is, they won't know how to love you. They might love you generally, but specifically, you know what I mean? And secondly, the Phd of the game is listening, because when you listen, you learn how to love. By the way, most people can do the first part they can share. Most people can't do the second. So we begin. And, I start. Why? Because like I said, things are caught, not taught, so I talk about my dog. If you really knew me, you would know I'm really shallow. I have a dog. Her name's Abercrombie. I named her when I was 16, and now I'm embarrassed, so we call her Abby. And the high school girls were always like, "We don't get it." I'm like, "You will. One day you will." And then it goes around. Everyone talks about their animals. Again, caught not taught, caught, not taught. Round 2, a little bit deeper. Here we go. If you really knew me, and this is true, you would know that I have a cousin who was mentally, physically, and emotionally disabled, and for that reason, I've always hated when people use the term retarded to hurt someone. And then, it goes around. Round 3, half the girls are crying. By the way, if people really knew you, what would they know?

Megan Fate: 19:26 The very next day I'm on the field with a thousand high schoolers. I have my microphone, and I'm getting everyone behind their cones, because it's time of do relay races. And suddenly, a freshmen dressed as a banana, jumps out and starts running. I'm like, that's funny. So, he starts running, and this whole side is like, "Banana!" I'm like, of course, high school. And then, suddenly, over here, a kid jumps out dressed as a gorilla, and I'm like, To the death!" And then, they start running at each other, and suddenly, gorilla is chasing banana, and the two sides are like, "Yeah." There's a point, I promise. And then, suddenly, the banana trips and falls, and I'm like, "Banana split!" Everyone's like, "Bah, ha, ha." And then, the gorilla shouts out, "You're such a retard." One girl, from the night before, ran from her cone, stood beside me, put her arm around me, and whispered, "You don't have to be alone on that one, anymore." My friends, if people don't know you, they won't know how to love you, and if you don't listen, you'll never learn how to love. You want to know what parenting is all about? Questions, not answers. Questions, because God doesn't call you to change them. He calls you to love them. Love like Jesus.

Megan Fate: 20:54 In the conversation, Jesus goes like this, "Will you give me a drink?" She responds with, basically, all the reasons they shouldn't talk, brings up the racial conflict, "Hey, basically, you're a Jew. I'm a Samaritan woman. We don't talk. You're a man. I'm a woman, and by the way, we'll find out you're a rabbi, and I have a past." And then, Jesus responds, Verse Ten, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have actually asked him, and he wouldn't given you living water. Sir, the woman said, you have nothing to draw with." Basically, where's your cup? And he responds, Verse 13 and 14, Jesus outlines the difference from drinking from a well that satisfies for a moment and drinking from the source that satisfies forever. Because here's the weird thing about sources, the love of family does satisfy for a moment. The likes from social media do satisfy. Have you noticed, for a moment, only to keep you coming back? You see Jesus satisfies forever. Will you let him? He outlines the difference Verses 13 and 14. Then she brings up, basically like this, "Sure, give me a little bit of this so-called water, so I don't have to keep coming back here to draw water." Verse 16, He told her, "Go call your husband and come back." She responds, "I have no husband." And he goes, "You know, you're right when you say you have no husband. The fact is you've had five husbands, and the man you're currently living with? Not your husband." By the way, Jesus knows all love you, and still pursues you. You see, she wasn't even looking to go after him. Some of you weren't actually here for him. Maybe, you're here out of obligation, or duty, or because someone made you. But, Jesus goes after you. She goes, "You know, you talked about this living water. Sure, I'll take a little bit." And then, Jesus goes there. Why does he go there? Here's why. Because God won't be part of your life. You see, he wants to be the whole thing. So, he goes, "There, go, grab your husband and come back." "I don't have a husband." He goes, "You're right. It's not one man. It's men, and they've been running your life for years."

Megan Fate: 23:13 And, I've read this story, um, basically, a lot of times throughout my life, and I've always thought I can't relate to this woman. In fact, when I looked at my sin, I play the comparison game, but I played, "Well, hers is way worse." I saw my sin as about this big. Do you know how big Jesus wasn't my life during that season? So, he goes there, and I sat in this passage and said, "Lord, what do you have for me for your glory on this woman? What is it about the men? What is it?" As I sat there quietly, three words that resonated very deeply with me. It's this, I, like her, deeply long for love. Can you relate? l, like her, deeply long for acceptance, and I, like her, deeply long to be significant. Anyone else? And after sitting with the Lord and this passage, I recognize something, those longings, your longings to be accepted, your longings to be significant, your longings to be fully and completely loved, are not bad longings. They're only problematic when you run anywhere else to have them satisfied. You see Jesus goes there and, to be honest, I think you need to also, where have you been running to satisfy your spiritual thirst? Where have you been running?

Megan Fate: 24:57 And I invite you, this sounds crazy, but I invite you to confess in one moment, in one encounter, with the living God who's active, and I do this not to invite condemnation onto you. I do this to invite you into freedom. I bet in a room like this, everyone probably knows that they're forgiven, but yet, are you walking in freedom? It's time. And see, confession is a way that we can break the chair and chains and barriers that false saviors have on us. Then you go, "No, no, no, you are not stronger than I am. Let me empty out my cup of all these other things. Let me call my husband, or look at him, and apologize for making him the source of my life, and then, apologize for putting him there. Because spouses will be crushed under the weight of the savior-like expectations. But man, when you, like her, encounter the living God, you tilt your cup upward. Then, the overflow is how we're meant to love. It's how we're meant to parent. Where have you been running?

Megan Fate: 26:09 I have really good news. If you're in this room and you've ever chosen to put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrifice of what he did on the cross on your behalf, if that's you, I have really good news. In Christ, you are completely accepted. You don't have to run anywhere else. Secondly, you, right where you're at, are significant. Do you want to know what God's up to in your workplace? It's you. You know that thing you're passionate about, God, what are you doing about so and so? It seems like you put a passion in you for a reason about that. You are significant. You're a part of the most significant story, and then thirdly, you're loved. And that one, I'm sure you've known for awhile. You're loved. To which you might go, "Hey, I know that. Move on." No, no, no, I don't want to. You're loved, as you are right now, no matter what you've done, where you've been, how often you haven't come here, you are loved, loved, loved. You can stop running. Start receiving, so that you can overflow Him to a thirsty world. This world is so thirsty, and this world doesn't need you, but it needs Him. Your Kiddos, they don't need a perfect parent. They need a parent who leads them to a perfect God. Can't change them. You can love them and then show them where you go when you need changing, because things are caught, not taught, but also taught.

Megan Fate: 27:53 Deuteronomy, Chapter 6. And here's why it matters. Verse 28, basically, Jesus reveals who he is in Verse 28. It says this, "Then, leaving her water jar, leaving all the other places she had been running, the reason she thought she was there, leaving the reason you think you're here." Leaving that, the woman went back into the town and said to the people, "Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" She looks a lot like Jesus. Why? She starts with a question, and she goes, "Hey, come on back, but how do I know transformation has begun?" Here's why. Because she's now running into town to the very people she was hiding from, and she's starting with the very thing she was hiding. Your past will either be Satan's greatest weapon against you or God's most powerful tool for his kingdom. Which is it? She...oh, by the way, it's not just your past, it's your present struggle, even in the midst of your family, will either be Satan's greatest weapon against you, to keep him from God or God's most powerful tool for his glory. And your future longings are either a weapon against you or God's powerful tool. Longing for family, longing for healing. Want to know why else it matters? Because, every single thing that happens to you is never meant to stop with you, is always meant to go through you and into the life of another.

Megan Fate: 29:42 Verse 39. Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." So, when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words, many more became believers. It matters that you go there. Don't just sprinkle, "Sure, I'll take a little bit of what you're offering and try harder out those doors." It hasn't worked, has it? I believe every time we open God's word, he calls us to respond. And so, very simply, I want to pray with you, and I want us to immediately, and here's the funny thing about prayer, we immediately start with God, so I don't know if responding for you means confession, confessing the places you've run. Maybe. Maybe it's, "Thank you, Jesus, for pursuing me today." So, it's worship. But I'd say this, it would be crazy for us all to gather for significant amount of time and not spend time with the one we're talking about.

Megan Fate: 31:03 So, let's stop running everywhere else and in this minute, let's pray and respond. Heavenly Father, here we are with our cups in your direction, and if it is confession, Lord, give us courage. If it's worship, allow us to praise, so it doesn't become pride. If it's just gratitude for family, Lord Jesus, would we give all gratitude to you? Hear our prayers, Lord Jesus. Lord, teach us to pray, to walk in step with you, and to overflow you to a thirsty world. We love you. And all God's children said, Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286