May 28, 2021

The most important relationships: an interview with Ginger Hubbard

The most important relationships: an interview with Ginger Hubbard

Ginger Hubbard is one of those people who inspire me. She is an amazing mother, and someone who puts Christ in the center of her life. She is the author of several books on parenting and even hosts her own podcast, Parenting with Ginger Hubbard. 

She is impressive in so many ways. But what impresses me most about Ginger is her vulnerability and honesty about coming to Christ. 

In this episode she tells her family's story about coming to Christ when she was in high school, and how Jesus helped her change from good to Godly.

If you're interested in Ginger's books, here are some links (affiliate links):



Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/balancingthechristianlife)

Transcript

Kenny Embry:

In this episode, we talk about dealing with difficult teens and overcoming our own sin. Welcome to balancing the Christian life. I'm Dr. Kenny Embry. We'll talk about how to be better Christians and people in the digital age. Let's go. So how are you and your Christian walk? If you're honest, I think you probably think it could be better. None of us are perfect. And I think it's very healthy to look at both our successes and failures every once in a while, whether you're being a parent or just walking a godly life. In Episode 38, I started looking at a concept I call wonderfully broken. As my friend Iris Hadfield has said before, we often judge our insides by other people's outsides. But God's Church isn't comprised of people who don't have problems. And Luke five, Jesus says this, it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. I have believed for a long time Jesus needs us to recognize our brokenness, so he can help heal us. which is how I stumbled on ginger Hubbard. I heard her story on another podcast, and knew I needed to talk to her. Ginger is a best selling author of books on Christian parenting. Her titles include how to lead your child to Christ. Don't make me count to three wise words for moms. And I can't believe you just said that. I'll leave links to all these titles in the show notes. She has been profiled on many radio shows such as Focus on the Family. She's also the host of parenting with ginger Hubbard, another podcast you might want to check out. But what impresses me most about ginger is how honest she is about her own Christian walk. That topic she talks about most in her podcast and writing is being a mom. But this conversation focuses on her story about her family accepting Christ. Ginger was in high school when that happened. And in her own words, it didn't go smoothly. She is someone who went from being a good person to becoming a godly one. But in the process, she had to recognize some of her mistakes. So you know, we talked about her having an abortion during this time. We are not graphic. But this is a topic, I don't think is discussed very often. I am openly pro life and ginger is as well. But I want you to hear what forgiveness sounds like. Remember, Jesus didn't come for the righteous. He came for sinners, like us. So how you doing? Hi, Kenny,

Ginger Hubbard:

I am just fine. How are you today?

Kenny Embry:

Not bad. You say that you were a rebellious teenager, when you were growing up? I think all of us go through a time when we're just you know, we're breaking away from our parents. What What makes you think that you were so rebellious?

Unknown:

Well, you know, actually, I wouldn't say that I was rebellious until my parents came to know, Jesus in their early 40s. So I was a teenager, when they started changing the way that they were raising me, you know, I've been raised this certain way. And then all of a sudden, things were different. And I wasn't too happy about it. And so I rebelled, you know, just all the sudden things like they wanted me to go to church with them. And I didn't want to go to church with them. And they wanted me to start spending time with kids in the youth group. And I wasn't too happy about doing that as well. And so that was also about the same time that I started making some really bad choices in my life as far as doing some things that I really had no business doing. And so all of that came at about the same time. And that is what brought on my rebellion.

Kenny Embry:

I guess that's kind of understandable. I mean, while you were going up for most of your life, your parents weren't Christians. And then all of a sudden, they did become Christians. I mean, how did that affect you?

Ginger Hubbard:

Yeah, definitely a huge difference. And so like I said, they were in their 40s. So I was 18 years old when my parents came to know the Lord. So for all those growing up years, we were all pretty much on the same page and saying that I mean that they liked spoiling me and I liked being spoiled. And so I didn't grow up in a Christian home. But Kenny I did grow up in a very loving home, and I had a daddy who wanted to give me everything. And so he pretty much gave me everything. Just to give you a just a very vague idea. By the time I was 17, I was on my third car, which was, if that tells you anything, and that third car was a fire red 300, zx with T tarps and an airbrush tag on the front that rent spoiled, rotten. That was, but when my parents became Christians, they decided that spoiling me probably wasn't the best idea in the world. And that allowing me to have all of these freedoms that they were giving me also probably wasn't the best thing in the world. You know, and let me just add here that even before my parents were crazy, They were very moral people who really lived a more conservative life than a lot of the church going people we knew, which is interesting. You know. So as a family, we viewed Sundays as a day to to sleep in and unwind and just do whatever we wanted to do rather than a day set apart for worshipping God. And we pretty much viewed as a family, people who chose to attend church on Sundays, I would say at worst as hypocrites, and at best as people who just needed to feel better about themselves. For me, personally, I did believe in God, just because God creating everything that just made more sense to me than evolution. But as far as have, I guess, you could say I just didn't have enough faith to be an atheist. I think that's actually a book. Yeah. But as far as heaven and hell and where people would spend eternity, I just figured that if I lived a reasonably good life, and I tried to be good to people and tried to not do anything really bad, that I would go to heaven. And that was pretty much my parents philosophy as well, until someone explained to them that, you know, it really doesn't matter how good of a person you are, because the only way to heaven is through Jesus. And so someone explained that to my parents. And course, as soon as they begin to really know him, they began to love him. And they wanted nothing more than for me to know and love him to what it boiled down to for me as I just didn't want to change the way I was living. And I sure didn't want to spend my Sundays going to church. That's where my rebellion begin. They knew the Lord and I didn't know the Lord. And that created some conflict for the first time in our relationship.

Kenny Embry:

Yeah, I understand well, you know, kind of going off what you're just saying there, I'm my guess is there's probably a lot of Christians that are sitting in a building right now. And they probably felt a lot like you did about Christianity, and they're in church.

Unknown:

I guess there's people that that attend church, and they really still don't know the Lord, you know, they're just there because they think that it might be making them a better person and getting it God's good graces and winning them some brownie points. But aside from knowing Jesus, personally, there's really no point in going to church, we go to church, because we know him, and we love him, and we want to worship Him. And we want to give him that glory and that honor, and we want to fellowship and encourage one another. And I think a lot of people, you know, are some of the ones that perhaps my family and I knew before we knew the Lord, and they were going maybe for the wrong reasons, just to be better people. But you know, it's all about really knowing Jesus and having a personal relationship with him.

Kenny Embry:

How did your parents respond to you when you started hitting this rebellious phase?

Unknown:

Well, when I begin to resist their authority, I remember my daddy came into my bedroom one night, and he knelt beside my bed, and I won't never forget what he said. He took my hands in his and with tears just streaming down his face. He said, a little girl, that's what he called me always call me a little girl, he never said ginger. He said, I need to ask your forgiveness. He said, I have been a failure as a father. Because I've tried to win your love by giving you everything that you ever wanted. But I have left out the most important thing. And that's Jesus Christ. It was just such a defining moment in my life. And I'll never forget it. Because in all my years, I had never, not one time seen my daddy cry. And to be honest with you, I didn't like see any crop. And I didn't like the God who was making my daddy feels like a failure. And so I wrapped my arms around the man, I assured him that he had not been a failure in any way, but that he had been the best daddy in the world. And so as my parents developed a closer relationship with the Lord, they found this verse in the Bible that they sort of adopted as our family theme. And that verse was Joshua 2415, which says, For me and my household, we will serve the Lord. And they had no intentions of compromising their newfound faith in God. And so they very much wanted me to share in that faith with them, but I wasn't doing that. They began to tighten the reins. And I think it's because they knew the kind of life that I was living, they knew that I was involved in under age and irresponsible drinking, and they had found evidence of what my boyfriend and I had been up to. And you know, it's interesting, Kenny, because so many people think that teenagers rebel, and make bad choices because of peer pressure. And, you know, I would I would tend to agree with that. I would say that probably a lot of the time with most of them. That's the case. But I can tell you that with me, that was not the case. I was the peer pressure. I was one of those people, I did exactly what I wanted to do. And I had a way of talking everybody else into doing what I wanted to do. I was one of those kind of people always the ring leader and the life of the party. And so But back to my parents, they knew the kind of life that I was living And I knew that I was headed for destruction. And they just couldn't convince me. Try as they might to surrender my life to Jesus. So all they knew to do was just try and protect me. And so they just began to lay down rules. And when I didn't comply with these new family rules for the first time in my life, my daddy, unforced consequences, he took away my freedom. And he took away my car, and suddenly, he wasn't the best daddy in the world anymore. And so I didn't like what was happening in our family. And so I actually left home my senior year of high school.

Kenny Embry:

Oh, my, basically, in your own words, you got what you wanted. And suddenly, you didn't get what you want. Yep, you got the opposite of what you wanted. Yep, everything. How did you feel about your parents during this time?

Unknown:

Well, I was angry, because I felt that, honestly, I felt like they had gotten wrapped up in some sort of a cult. Yeah, because I didn't understand their decision in these changes in their lives. Because I didn't grow up in church. I knew nothing about God or the Bible. I mean, I don't even know the Simple Stories. I didn't know that David killed Goliath. Jonah was swallowed by a whale and and over the symbolism of the stories in the Bible in nothing. And so I just thought that religion was religion. And I had no idea that there was a difference and being a religious person, and actually having a personal relationship with Jesus. And so I, I was mad, I really felt like my parents who just completely gone off their rocker and cotton mixed up in some sort of a cult. And it's actually funny because I remember praying to a god, I did not know to please get my parents out of this cold. But thankfully, God didn't answer my prayers the way that I wanted him to, because I began to see these drastic changes. And my parents, and most of them were changes that I didn't like, because I didn't get it. You see, as a teenager with a pocket full of money and plenty of freedom. I didn't appreciate these new family roles, like having to attend church and Sunday school every Sunday, and I didn't like that all of a sudden, I was having to answer all of my parents, ridiculous questions. I mean, you know, Kenny, you've got kids, those ridiculous questions. parents ask teenagers like, Where are you going? Are you going with? Yeah, no, I don't want to answer all that.

Kenny Embry:

It one of the things that happened to you, I think this has happens to a lot of people is they're believers in God until, until something God says conflicts with what they actually want to do. And so all of a sudden, the conception of God changes. Yeah. And it did for your parents. I mean, I can only imagine, during this time, you didn't see God as an answer to the problems that you needed to get fixed, which was, let's get your parents out of this cult. Right? Because your God wouldn't want them in this cult. Right? You see God differently now? What made you shift gears from going to the god that was going to get you get your parents out of a cult versus quite frankly, a god that was going to get you into one?

Unknown:

Yeah. Oh, that's good. I love that. Well, one thing I can say for certain is that one of the ways God softened My heart was through my parents, it was through their unwavering love for Jesus and their commitment to him. I mean, they, they've so serious business for them. Yeah. And you say, I knew that my parents loved me, we had always been a super close family growing up, and I knew that they loved me. But I watched my parents for three months actually put their love for Jesus, above their desire to appease me. And because of that, I knew that he was real. And I knew that his love had to be more powerful than any love that I had ever experienced. And I think that's one reason why walking with Jesus and not compromising in our commitment to him is so powerful is because it shows other people how real he is. So God used my parents obedience to Him to ultimately convict my heart. And Kenny, you know, I think that's crucial for us as parents to understand. Our kids, especially our teenagers, won't respect our willingness to compromise our faith to appease them or to avoid conflict. And so I'm so thankful for my parents and the way that they ask God for wisdom. And I'm also thankful for how they were obedient to act on that wisdom. And which let me tell you, you know, that was a really hard thing for them to do, because during that time that I left home as a high school student, my parents really struggled with letting me come back home and just living however, I wanted to live because they miss me. I mean, like I said, we had always been a really close family. And so this separation was, it was very hard. It was it was hard on all of us. And because it was so hard on them, especially with me still being in high school. There were many times that they were tempted to pick up the phone and compromise and just say, you know, okay, you don't have to obey our rules. You can live however you want to live. We won't say a word. We just want you to come back home. But instead, they remain faithful to stand on the truth of God's Word. And they put their trust in Him to do a work in my heart. And so when you ask, you know, where did those gears shift? Here's that defining moment for me, I had been gone for about three months moved out, and it was actually after midnight, and I'd already gone to bed and my parents, they were just completely exhausted emotionally and physically and just beyond discouraged to the point that they were just about to break down and call me and tell me that I could live however I wanted to live that they just want to be back home. But instead, they did what they always did. And they got down on their knees in the living room, and they cried out to God, and they prayed about this new verse, every verse they found in the Bible, they would pray about it. And so they found this new verse that talks about God being faithful when we're tempted, and that Versa is first Corinthians 1013. It says, I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. And they were in so much pain, but in in their pain, they were just honest with God about it. And they told me that it really seemed like more than they could bear. But at the same time, they wanted to trust him. And they wanted to follow his lead. And Kenny is they prayed for God's strength. They said, this total peace washed over them. And it was at that very moment that I came charging through the front door, a broken person completely broken, who needed hope and healing. A person who, two weeks earlier, had walked into an abortion clinic and bought into one of the biggest lies of all time. And I remember so well, that night that I went home and how God softened my heart. Like I said, I was already asleep. It was after midnight, I'd already gone to bed. I wasn't even considering going back home. It wasn't even on my radar. And I just all of a sudden woke up feeling so depressed, and so empty, and so hopeless. And I just absolutely hated myself. And I was miserable with guilt over all the choices that I made, especially the abortion, I was really struggling with that. And so I woke up just out of the blue. And I just started thinking about my parents, and about the peace and the joy that they had found in Jesus. And it was a peace and joy that I wanted. And so when I woke up that night, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. And I thought, why am I running from this? What am I running from? Yeah. And so I called my boyfriend and he gave me a ride home because I still didn't have my car. Remember, daddy had taken my car away. And it was after midnight, and there were no cell phones back then. And so his mom answered their house phone and bless her heart. She was thrilled to go wake him up and let him come get me and take me home. Because she was one of the many Christians who had been praying for me to come to know the Lord and to go back home. And when I got home, I walked into the living room where my parents had just been crying out to God. And I said, I remember what I said exactly. I said, You know what? I'll follow your rules. And I'll do whatever you say, because I want what you've got. And I said, I want to know Jesus. But I don't know how

Kenny Embry:

you talk about you talk about having the abortion. I can only imagine that, that you were scared that you were nervous. What did you feel? And did you tell your parents? What do you feel now?

Unknown:

Yeah, well, of course, when I first found out I was pregnant, I was scared, devastated. And now I'm in high school, I'm only 18 years old. Back then, I mean, now it doesn't seem to be as shameful as it was back then. But, but back then it was even It is a very shameful thing. But back then it was looked down upon so much more than it is today. Not to underscore, you know, someone that's in that situation. In today's time, I really didn't understand why abortion was wrong back then. Because again, I didn't grow up in church, I'd never heard anything about how God's ditched us together in our mother's womb or about the sanctity of life. All I knew about it was what the counselors at the abortion clinic told me about it, when I called them, you know, just to sterically crying and upset and scared to death and confused and thinking, you know, that my life was ruined, because I just didn't know what to do. So I called them for help. And they told me that being pregnant and having a baby at my age absolutely would ruin my life forever. And that the simplest and the easiest solution would be a very minor procedure. That's how they described it. They told me that it would be quick and that it would make all of my problems go away, and that that's what I should do. And I was still upset and confused. And because something in my heart was just really tugging there. But they consoled me and by telling me that it wasn't a baby at all. They said that it was just a blob of tissue and that there was just nothing thing to be upset about and that it was something that could be taken care of very quickly. And then I could get on with my life. And I believed every word they said. And I bought into that lie. But as soon as it was over, and as soon as I left the clinic that day, Kenny, I knew in my heart that everything they said, wasn't true. And I knew that I had just made the worst and the most selfish decision that I had ever made. And I knew that I was going to regret it. For the rest of my life. It didn't bring the relief at all, like they told me that it would have the clinic. In fact, it brought brought on the complete opposite of everything that they promised. It brought on a what I would define as a suffocating and consuming bondage, of guilt and shame. So when I went home that night, and my parents led me in a prayer, and I asked for his forgiveness, and I surrendered my life to Him. Words really can't express how freeing it was, it felt good, because what I've been experiencing before, wasn't freedom. It was bondage, and it was miserable. And, you know, I actually didn't tell my parents about the abortion that night when I went home when I prayed to receive Christ, but I did tell them about it a few weeks later, because I was still really struggling with just tremendous guilt about it. I mean, I could, I could barely function, I was just eat up with guilt. And I vividly remember that night as well. When I told my parents, I went into my parents bedroom, and they had already gone to bed, I think they were actually already asleep and went in and I was just crying and shaking, because I knew that they were going to be so disappointed in me. And I climbed up in their bed, and I lay down between them. And I remember Mama told my daddy to turn the light on. And I remember I said, No, daddy, don't turn on the light. Because I don't want you to see my face. I don't want you and Mama to look at me when I tell you about something that I've done, because I'm so ashamed. And because I know you guys are going to be ashamed to. And so in that dark room. I told them about what I had done, I told them about the abortion. And in that dark room, the light of Jesus Christ exploded in my heart, as my parents wrap their arms around me and talked about the forgiveness, and the grace and the Atonement of God, it was so beautiful. And they explained to me that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and say, I'm still a baby Christian. I didn't know all that. And so it was just so freeing because they forgave me just as Jesus forgave me. And I felt that forgiveness now, do I still regret it today? Sure I do. But I know I'm forgiven. And I know where that baby is. And I know that Jesus took care of all of that.

Kenny Embry:

God bless you in that. I think it experienced like that. Well, frankly, it makes a lot of us uncomfortable. uncomfortable, because we simply don't know what to do or say to help. I feel like we all want to be helpful to people in in situations like this, but we don't know. We don't want to mess it up. We don't because you are forgiven. How can we support people that have made decisions like this, that and and avoid from putting our foot in our mouths?

Unknown:

Yeah, it's really hard. Well, I mean, I think my parents did a great job with it. Obviously, they were they were such new Christians, but man, they were just so full of the Holy Spirit. They spent so much time in the word and praying and in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit just came on them so radically, that I think that he just took over for them. And the way they responded was exactly how he would have them to. And so I would recommend that if someone came to you feeling that guilt and that shame and that sorrow and remorse that I felt that the best thing we can do is to point them to the Word of God and His promises, and to help them understand, like my parents did that, that Jesus forgives them, and that they have to forgive themselves because if they aren't forgiving themselves, but instead of walking in condemnation, that is not God's will for their lives. Anyone who cries out to God and confess their sins is freely given forgiveness and atonement. And we're told in verse john one nine, that when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to purify us from all unrighteousness. So I think that's the greatest hope that we have and that we can that's the hope that we want to point someone to who's hurting with remorse and regret over an abortion.

Kenny Embry:

With the exception of giving a teenager 300 zx your cell your prayer It sounded amazing.

Unknown:

And that's all Jesus. They were great parents before, but he really did radically change the way that they did things. And and so when obviously there was that rebellion at first, but their obedience paid off and, and they didn't know what they were doing, but they just kept seeking the Lord. And he answers when we seek Him He answers and he gives us direction.

Kenny Embry:

Yeah. What did they do? Right? What lessons did you learn from them with your own parenting?

Unknown:

I'm so thankful that my parents kept talking to me about Jesus and the difference that he was making in their lives during my rebellion, because even though I didn't want to hear it, I didn't like hearing it. I didn't want to hear it. But they just kept telling me about the scriptures that God was speaking to them through and about the freedom and the joy that they had found in Jesus, and how it was so much better than just the shallow and bleeding satisfactions of the world. And even though I didn't believe as they did, they just remain faithful, then sharing their daily testimony of who Jesus is and what he was doing in their lives, and what he's done for all of us. And Jesus used their testimonies to draw me to himself. And you know, I think as parents with rebellious teenagers that if that's key, because teams can argue when we try and force, we know that from experience, they can argue, and we try and force our own convictions on them. But you know, what they can't argue with our personal testimonies about who Jesus is to us, and the difference he's making in our lives. And so my parents, they didn't back up, let up or shut up, about the love about their love for Jesus and about what he meant to them personally. And because of that, I came to know him personally. So I just tried to follow that same model that that same example with my kids that my parents said,

Kenny Embry:

I'm a college professor, the one of the things that I see a lot is that that transition from home being where your parents are, to home being to where you are. And really, those two new teenage years represent the shift from your family orientation to kind of an independence, that's an important shift to to have happened. Knowing what you know, now, as both somebody who was rebellious teen, and then grew up and started having a family of your own, what do you think you would tell a teenage ginger?

Unknown:

Well, if I were talking to a teenage ginger, I think I would very much encourage her to read the Word of God, pray about what you're reading, ask God to reveal Himself to you and surround yourself with Christian friends. think any of your teenage listeners out there, and I hope some teenagers are listening, think they might be encouraged with how God changed my life after a surrender to the Lord. And after I made some really, really hard, but good decisions about my friends. Because the more I read in the Bible, and the more I prayed, the hungrier I became to know Jesus. And the more I knew him, the more I loved him, like my parents, and the more I wanted to serve Him, and the more I really wanted to tell other people about him, I wanted to share his light into the lives of others the same way that he had used my parents to shine his light into my life. And so I knew, in order to do that, that I needed the encouragement of some Christian friends to help me do that. Hebrews 1024 through 25 says, Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another was over a weekend when I came home in the middle of the night that night, and surrendered my life to Jesus. And I knew that come Monday morning at school, that I was going to have a choice, I could either act as if nothing had happened, jump right back in with my friends, all of whom loved so much. We've been friends for years, and I just adored my friends. And I knew that I could jump right back into my old lifestyle with them. Or I could take a stand for Jesus and risk my friends, not understanding and turning away from me. And I'm sure you remember how important friends are at that age. Oh, my friends are always important. But I don't know to seems like in high school that there just seems to be a certain level of maybe dependency that we have on our friends that are that's a little different from any other time in our lives. And so yeah, so for my friends, I mean, they had been my life for years. And I was so afraid of how they were going to respond to my new commitment to God, but at the same time, I cared too much about them to let my fear keep me from telling them and from living out that good news of Jesus, I wanted them to know the joy and the peace and the freedom that I had found. And so I chose to take a stand, and I will never forget that moment in my life. Obviously, I'm from Alabama. Some of your listeners may have already figured that out by now with that Southern Except that I can't hide. And so I actually went to Auburn high school here in Alabama. And when this took place, this stand that I took it was in the Auburn high school cafeteria. And I was actually late getting to the lunch room that day. And I just got my tray of food. And I looked over to where my friends were already sitting. And I saw that they were all cutting up and laughing. And I knew they were probably talking about all the unwholesome things that went over, went on over that weekend, and probably making plans for the unwholesome things that would go on the next weekend, because that's what we did at lunchtime. And they're in the middle of all of my friends was one empty seat. And Kenny, that is where I had always sat, it was the place where I was comfortable. And then I looked across the tap cafeteria, and I saw what I had always referred to as the Jesus Freak table, or the Holy Roller table. Obviously, this is where the Christians SAT. And this is the group that I had openly ridiculed and made fun of for years, they always sat together, and everybody knew that they were Christians, because they always held hands and prayed before they ate. And they're in the middle of them, was, of course, one empty seat. And I knew what God wanted me to do. But, you know, I can't say that it was easy. As a matter of fact, I can't even begin to describe the battle that went on in my heart that day is I stood in the middle of that cafeteria, holding my tray of food and trying to decide which path to take. It was such a pivotal moment in my life. And I just stood there thinking, well, do I take the path back to my old life, where I'm comfortable? Or do I take the path of God and take a stand for him. And I remember, my entire body was shaking, and I was crying pretty much uncontrollably, because it was so hard. But I finally walked over to the table where those Christians SAT, and I took my place in that empty seat. And I didn't know any of their names, but I felt certain that they knew mine. To say that they look shocked would have been an understatement. And again, I was so upset, I couldn't even eat. And we all just sat there in this uncomfortable silence for what seemed like an eternity. And then finally one of them spoke up and he said, ginger, can I ask why you decided to come and sit with us today? And he actually looked a little bit afraid, or what am I saying. And I just explained to him that I wanted to know Jesus better, and that I needed to be around people that could show me how to do that. And right there at the table, that Auburn high school cafeteria, they all took turns praying for me that I would find strength in my new relationship with Jesus. And you know, but let me just throw in here. This isn't to say that we should have nothing to do with non Christian brands. Because whether we're 18 or 80, we can't lead them to Christ if we shut them out of our lives. But at the same time, we shouldn't blend in with our lifestyles either. We need to draw strength from Christ centered friendships, ones where we spur one another on toward love and good deeds like the scripture say. And then we can let the overflow of that encouragement pour out into the lives of our friends who are lost. Because if we want Christ to rescue them from darkness, we need to be able to shine his light into their worlds. And we can only do that by being different by being set apart. By making the decision to live a life surrendered to Him.

Kenny Embry:

You're in a different season now. You have your own family. You have your own children even have some stepchildren and you have the perspective of both having been the rebellious teen and now quite frankly, very vulnerable parent which which is all of us. Yeah. For parents who are tired of fighting over a curfew of revoking cell phone privileges of a fight of trying to define what is and isn't fair. What advice you have for Christian parents who are tired of the struggle, but there's not really a clear end in sight anytime.

Unknown:

Yeah, no, it seems like His endless battle, does it not? Yes. Well, here's my advice. First off to parents with rebellious teens are really parents even with young children who have either not yet accepted Christ or are still really young in their faith. I encourage you to speak up about who Jesus is to you, and what he's doing in your life and pray that he would use your passion and your love for Jesus to win their hearts. Talk about Jesus and the life giving truth of his word as you sit at home as you walk along the road as you lie down and as you get up, as the Scriptures tell us to do and remember, no matter where you're starting, whether it's with a rebellious teen or a young and impressionable child, God's word does not return void, which means His Word will accomplish what he said. It is out to do. Our most powerful tool in parenting is the word of God. And you know for specifically for parents who are fighting over curfews and fighting over cell phones and what's there and what's not bear like we all go through with our kids. Let me just say that parenting is hard work. And we can become tired from the efforts of training them and what's right, especially when it seems like we're training them in the same issues and facing the same battles over and over. And we can very quickly become weary in doing that. But let's all be encouraged with Galatians six, nine, that verses let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up that was my life verse for parenting.

Kenny Embry:

One of the most consistent metaphors God uses when he's describing his relationship with us, his family. I mean, he calls himself Our Father, what is being a parent and being a rebellious child taught you about God.

Unknown:

It's taught me that his arms are always open wide with forgiveness and with grace for those who seek Him. But when we don't seek Him, and we're not repentant, and we continue to rebel against his will for our lives, whether we're children or, or adults, he he disciplines those he loves. And so I think that metaphor is the same with our children. When our children rebel, we need to train, instruct and discipline them with that same love, that our Heavenly Father trains, instructs and disciplines his children, we also need to be just as quick to offer forgiveness and grace just as our Lord does. And speaking of parenting, I would love Kenny, just to take less than a minute here and tell your listeners about my new podcast, which is on parenting. It's called parenting with ginger Hubbard. And we actually launched our podcast in early February. So we are now in our third month, I think we're on episode either 12 or 13 right now. But just in a nutshell, our primary goal for the podcast is to encourage and equip parents to reach beyond outward behavior, to address the issues of the heart and to point their children to the transformational power of Christ. And from a practical standpoint, we love to help parents move past the frustrations of not knowing how to handle issues of disobedience and defiance and into a more confident and biblical and well balanced approach to raising their children. So I hope you guys will tune in wherever you listen to podcast, it's parenting with ginger Hubbard, and we do a new episode every Monday, super practical, super biblical, very encouraging. We're getting a tremendous response. We are just so thankful for the opportunity to get to encourage so many parents to reach the hearts of their kids for the glory of God.

Kenny Embry:

I end all my podcasts with a quote from Abigail Adams. Basically, she summarized Christianity as being good and doing good. What's good,

Unknown:

apart from Christ transformational power in our lives, there is no good in any of us, we are all sinners, and we all fall short of the glory of God. So I would say to the extent we are good is to the extent that we die to ourselves, take up the cross, and let the power of Jesus flow in us and through us. The more we empty ourselves of ourselves, the more and the more we pursue Jesus to fill us, the more of his goodness will consume us and overflow out of us.

Kenny Embry:

This has been a great conversation. If somebody wanted to get ahold of you, Ginger, how could they do that?

Unknown:

Well, a great way of course for the weekly encouragement is through the parenting with ginger Hubbard podcast where you can listen anywhere podcasts are aired, and I'm also very active on Instagram, offer lots of parenting advice and encouragement there. And so on Instagram, you can find me at ginger dot Hubbard, and we have some really fun big giveaways coming up on Instagram too. So I hope your listeners will follow me there and I'd love to connect with them there. And where else can they find me? My website? ginger hubbard.com. Also on the podcast we do several episodes. Well actually one episode a month we do is called Ask ginger and that's where folks can go to my website, Ginger Hubbard calm and they can actually ask parenting questions and we address the questions and so that way we can interact with folks and encourage them and man the questions that are coming in are just fantastic. We are having a ball we we were so afraid we were going to run out of material because I have several parenting books and I thought well once I kind of go through all the stuff and in the material in my parenting books were going around the material but with these questions coming in, we are not going to run out of material. So Lots of great questions coming in through my website. So those are excellent ways to get in touch with me the website and Instagram.

Kenny Embry:

Well, thank you again for doing this. God bless you in what you're trying to do with the website and with with your own podcast.

Unknown:

Thank you, Kenny. Thanks for having me on.

Kenny Embry:

I hope you learned something from Ginger. I so appreciate her journey and her perspective on being a Christian mother being rebellious child and being forgiven. Thank you, Ginger for what you do. As for what's making me happy right now, I'm gonna put in another plug for Emerson's chapter day reading Facebook group. We just finished my favorite gospel Luke and started acts. Emerson and I are administering the group but I'm so grateful for the comments and support going on in that group. I think it's wonderful. But if you aren't a part of that, please join others who are doing the same. Jason Hartman has a wonderful group. Mark Roberts has a great reading plan. My buddy Hal Hammons is also doing something similar on Facebook. I am so grateful for good people, using good tools to do good things. Another thing making me happy are my children. Today was Abby's last day in elementary school. That means we don't have any children in elementary school anymore. My son Jake just graduated from high school. My daughter Emma just graduated with their Associate's Degree in college and is looking forward to her next chapter. And can't Well, he just grateful to be out for the summer. I think people like ginger helped me recognize the blessings we have in our families. Next time, I've planned to continue my series on digital literacy, where we'll focus on developing our identity and image online. I hope you've enjoyed that series so far. I also have an interview with Jeremy Andy Cantrell, and Keith Stoneheart, waiting to be released. I hope you're getting something out of all this. If so, do me a favor, and share this with your friends. So until next time, let's be good and do good