Participants: J.D. Quinn (Host), Mike and Gayle Tucker
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000267
00:30 Hello, I'm J. D. Quinn with Issues and Answers.
00:33 Welcome to our program today.
00:35 Today we're talking about
00:37 marriage and the family. I have
00:39 some special guests with me today that I know that you're
00:42 going to enjoy. I always like to start off with a scripture.
00:47 Today's scripture is taken from Proverbs 22:6 and I'm sure that
00:50 most of you know this. Train a child in the way that he should
00:54 go and when he is old he will not depart from it.
00:59 What a wonderful promise that is. My special guests: Welcome
01:04 to 3ABN, welcome to Issues and and Answers. These are Pastors
01:09 Mike and Gayle Tucker from Arlington, Texas, right in the
01:13 midst of the Metroplex, the future home of the Dallas
01:17 Cowboys and the Texas Rangers. So anyway, we're glad you're
01:22 here. Share something about yourselves with us.
01:26 We have been married for 31
01:28 years and we have two adult
01:30 daughters who are just the joy
01:32 of our lives and now we have a
01:34 son-in-law as well. All three of them are involved in church work
01:40 and we're just thankful for that. They love the Lord Jesus.
01:43 Of course we have pastored together in Arlington for the
01:46 last 14-1/2 years and thoroughly enjoy that and for the last
01:49 several years I've been involved with Faith for Today as the
01:53 speaker/director. So that's kind of a little bit about us.
01:56 And you're the senior pastor. You're the associate pastor.
02:00 I am, and I enjoy being able to be there and to minister
02:04 together. It's just been a great gift really that God just put in
02:08 our laps and so we enjoy it a lot.
02:10 Yeah, I was reading your story and it's just absolutely a
02:14 miracle. In 25 words or less growing up you knew that you
02:18 wanted to be a pastor but then time came when you thought well
02:21 I don't know if I really want to work that hard.
02:23 That's right. Yeah, I was struggling with this. I didn't
02:27 want to be a pastor even though I knew I was called for it.
02:31 So I compromised with God. I became an academy Bible teacher.
02:35 That's pretty close you know. So as I was doing that I came home
02:39 one day and opened the mail box and there was a ministerial
02:41 license. The conference gave it to me. Then a couple years later
02:45 they told me, oh by the way, we're going to ordain you.
02:48 I was still teaching and had never pastored a church and it
02:51 was like God had just said, no you're not getting away from me
02:54 buddy. Then I tried to leave denominational employment
02:57 as I went into business with my dad and the conference asked me
03:01 to just for six weeks take this little church over here, it was
03:04 130 members, 200 members, something like that, just
03:07 interim pastor for six weeks until we find a permanent
03:10 replacement. I was there for 7-1/2 years. From that time on
03:15 I've been hooked on pastoral ministry. I dearly love pastoral
03:19 ministry. So the Lord just wouldn't let me go, he wouldn't
03:23 let me go. It's just unbelievable. I mean
03:29 he had this plan before the foundation of time and you were
03:32 trying to do it your way but he wasn't going to let you get away
03:36 It's amazing how often he wins. Thank goodness. It's a good
03:40 thing. It is a good thing.
03:41 Now I know that besides having your church you're both
03:45 counselors. Okay, I know that you're a licensed counselor.
03:50 I know that you talk about marriage and the family, too.
03:55 You guide people. But how about your own family?
04:00 I mean, do you have warts in your own family?
04:04 Of course we do. We're about as human as anybody else. We have
04:08 warts in our relationship and if you were to ask my children
04:12 privately they will tell you that although they think we were
04:15 pretty good parents, they'll know that we weren't perfect
04:17 either. They could probably share with you a few of the
04:21 mistakes that we've made along the way. But our joy is that
04:24 our children still like us and they love the Lord greatly.
04:28 They have such admiration and respect for their mother.
04:33 These girls call her regularly whether they're cooking or
04:37 teaching or no matter what it is they call mom for advice.
04:42 And their dad too. Yes, from time to time yes they do.
04:46 I think the thing with parenting is that when you each day, every
04:51 day, spend time with the Lord
04:53 and try to do the very best that
04:55 you can that day and what you
04:56 think the Lord wants you to do
04:58 with those children then in the end what they will remember will
05:03 be mainly the good things. Their life will be in accordance with
05:09 what God's will was and they're not going to remember the
05:11 foibles along the way as much as they remember that they had a
05:14 good home that was founded on the Lord.
05:16 Yeah, the thing that I remember so often and I guess everybody
05:19 does it, you know, but we were poor growing up but we didn't
05:22 know it. You know there's something special about that
05:26 kids are adaptable. Yeah they are. As long as they
05:30 are happy and they feel secure, they know that they are loved,
05:33 there's a purpose and a direction to your life as a
05:36 family children are happy whether they've got a lot or a
05:40 little. To know that they are loved and valued, to know that
05:43 mom and dad love each other. That's one of the things that
05:45 Gayle and I really focused on was making sure that our
05:48 commitment stayed strong and that we had time for each other
05:51 when our children were small. You know, kids are kids. From
05:54 time to time our kids would try to play one against the other.
05:57 They'd figure that one was a little softer touch than the
06:01 other. But Gayle and I worked as a team and so we always had an
06:04 agreement that whenever the children would ask us for
06:06 something, especially if it was somewhat suspect, we would
06:09 always ask the question, have you asked your mother, or she
06:12 would ask have you asked your father? So the children would
06:15 come to me, Daddy, can we do such and... Have you asked your
06:18 mother. Daddy, you're the head of the household, you've make
06:21 this decision. I'd say, ah ha, you've asked your mother haven't
06:24 you? Daddy, you always ask that. I'd say yes I do and there's a
06:27 reason for that. One day you're going to grow up and leave me
06:30 and I'm going to spend the rest of my life with that woman and
06:34 I'm not going to make her mad now. So we're a team, we work
06:37 together as a team and the children in the long run I think
06:40 valued that. Absolutely.
06:42 I think what's important is monkey see, monkey do.
06:46 Yeah, that's true. They will raise their children the same
06:48 way. Exactly, so you know you are the
06:49 role models and it's very important because whenever they
06:53 get their back backed into a corner they're going to come out
06:56 and do what mommy and daddy did.
06:57 Yes that's right. Yes whether they realize it or
07:00 not often you say to yourself, man, I hear my mother's voice
07:04 coming out of my mouth or my father's voice. Things that you
07:08 thought, I'll never do that, but you do it because it's ingrained
07:11 and so we need to be aware of that when we're parenting that
07:16 we are passing on things to our children and to our
07:19 grandchildren. Our children both are teachers
07:22 and they will tell us, they say every now and then I hear myself
07:27 saying something that mom would say. I hear myself saying
07:30 something that dad would say. They will giggle about it but
07:34 then they say, you know it's not all that bad because these are
07:37 good things and things that we've learned as we grew up.
07:39 First of all, y'all been married 31 years and both look younger
07:44 than that. Aren't you nice.
07:45 We're going to hang around here a lot.
07:47 She was 12 when I married her.
07:48 I'll bet that's right and I would believe that.
07:51 So you're children are probably 20 or 25?
07:59 They're 24 and 26. And our son- in-law is right between them.
08:05 He's a Christian teacher as well so we're really thrilled with
08:09 our family. But you know we have learned some things along the
08:14 way; some things that we think are valuable when it comes to
08:19 raising children. The first thing that I learned about
08:21 parenting is that it's the most guilt-producing thing I've ever
08:24 done in my life. I've never done anything that made me feel any
08:27 guiltier than raising kids because no matter what I did, I
08:30 always knew that I could have done better. There was always
08:34 that sickening feeling inside and whenever I blew it with the
08:37 kids, man, you know I owe them better than that. I owe the Lord
08:41 better than that. But even though the guilt was there, now
08:45 that I'm at this point in life and I see my children and the
08:49 beautiful young women that they are, I know that God had his
08:52 hand on us and in spite of my short-comings God was able to
08:57 take my best efforts and turn it into pure gold in the lives of
09:01 those young women because they are just a joy to us, a joy to
09:06 the Lord and a joy to us. We thank God for that. So it is
09:10 guilt-producing but... It is. But when we look back
09:14 and we try to form some principles that would help
09:17 people along the way I think probably the biggest thing is
09:21 to do the hard work when they're young. Do the hard work when
09:26 they're a year old, 18 months, two years old and it is hard
09:30 work. I think we get very
09:32 exhausted with it. You know,
09:35 they say that mothers get tired
09:37 the day their children are born
09:38 and they don't get over it until they leave the house. And it's
09:44 really true. I've been tired ever since and I think because
09:48 it is exhausting, we tend to kind of take the easy way out
09:53 sometimes. But children especially in those toddler
09:58 years are focused on getting their own way because that's
10:01 born in us, it's ingrained in us and so they're trying to get
10:06 their way and often we will give up. You know, they'll outlast us
10:10 with their tantrum or whatever it happens to be and we'll just
10:15 give in and that's the worst thing we could every do. We have
10:19 got to stay with it and make sure that if they're throwing a
10:24 tantrum that that never gets for them what they wanted.
10:29 They never succeed with that. You have to stay with it.
10:33 You have to not let them outlast you. Because if you do that hard
10:39 work and day to day to day just make sure that you are the
10:44 parent, that you give them the guidelines, that you say no when
10:49 you need to say no and say yes as often as you can, as often
10:54 as you possibly can. Then they will grow into a childhood that
10:58 you can enjoy from then on. Do the hard work when they're under
11:03 two or under three years old and then you'll enjoy the rest of
11:06 their childhood. But I'll tell you what, if you don't do that
11:10 hard work when they're little and you take the easy way out,
11:14 you will have a hard time their entire childhood and their teen
11:18 years you'll just be so sorry that you didn't do it earlier.
11:24 I had a young mom in my office last week and she said, I'm so
11:29 determined that I want to help my baby, who is just a few
11:35 months old right now. She said, I want her to grow to be a woman
11:40 of God and how am I going to know how to help her make the
11:44 decisions that she needs to make in her life. And she said, I
11:48 know maybe it sounds silly to ask this question now because
11:51 she's not grown. I said, no this is the time to ask that question
11:55 this is the time to have a plan and know that you're going to
11:58 guide her and that you're not going to get exhausted, that
12:02 you're going to always do that hard work while she's little.
12:06 Then one of the best ways to make sure that they will be able
12:11 to make good decisions when they're older is to give them as
12:15 many choices as you possibly can all the way through their
12:19 growing up years. When they're real little you don't say to a
12:23 child, do you want to have a sandwich now, if you want them
12:27 to eat. What you say is do you want your sandwich to have a lid
12:31 or no lid? So they get to make a choice. We all want control and
12:35 children want control. So they have got control right there.
12:38 They can decide, does my sandwich have a lid or not have
12:41 a lid. And they learn to make those decisions. A little bit
12:44 older it's do you want to wear the green outfit or the blue
12:47 one. Do you want to go to Chuck E Cheese or Pizza Hut?
12:54 You know, whatever it happens to be. As they're growing you
12:57 give them as many choices as possible but those choices are
13:01 always within the parameters that you have set up. You know
13:04 that either choice they make is going to be okay. Then the older
13:09 they get the more you broaden those boundaries until finally
13:13 you're not making the choices at all, they are making them.
13:17 But they've learned by making choices. Sometimes, you know,
13:20 I wish I hadn't chosen that, I wish I would have chosen the
13:23 other one. You let them make some mistakes as they go, but
13:26 you keep that protective boundary around them until the
13:30 point when they're grown and you remove that and they learn
13:34 because they've always made choices.
13:36 That's right. They find the habit of making choices so that
13:40 making choices is not something new to them. If you prescribe
13:43 every decision, every choice, through their childhood years,
13:46 when they reach teenage and they start to leave you then all of a
13:52 sudden they've never had the opportunity to make a choice.
13:54 They don't know how to make a right choice and they're going
13:57 to make some very bad choices. But if you've trained them in
13:59 the process of making choices
14:00 and give them a foundation for
14:02 making those choices. As our
14:04 children were growing, especially when they hit the
14:06 early teen years, they would come home at times and say
14:09 so and so did such and such. Why would they do that. That just
14:13 seems so foolish. I can't believe this. And we would have
14:16 the opportunity to say you know you have a foundation for making
14:19 choices. When you don't have the foundation for making a
14:21 choice, you're going to make bad choices. But you have a
14:24 foundation for your life and that is Jesus Christ. You know
14:28 right from wrong and that's what enables you to make wise
14:31 choices. You can decide and you can decide well. They've not
14:34 made those choices because evidently they don't have that
14:38 foundation, but you do. And that was encouraging for them.
14:41 We also were able to tell them that we were proud of them for
14:45 making those choices and then it let them see the contrast.
14:48 You know, I'm not in trouble, my life is happier because I've
14:52 made good choices versus these other people who have not made
14:56 good choices. I think that also the other thing that we learned
15:00 as our children grew is that rules should be few, they should
15:04 be well chosen, consistently enforced and that those rules
15:08 should always spring forth from a foundation of a relationship
15:13 of love. My children should first know dad and mom love me.
15:18 They are tender towards me, they are gentle with me, they care
15:22 about me, they praise me, they're proud of me, they love
15:26 me, and because they love me they want to protect me and
15:29 there are some rules. As a family we keep those rules
15:33 basically because they help protect us. It's important that
15:36 we have an explanation for the rule. If you can't explain it,
15:40 you may not need it. So there's a reason for the rule. But that
15:44 rule needs to be wise, there need to be as few rules as
15:48 possible but consistently enforced so that every time
15:52 the boundary is crossed there is a consequence. And if we let
15:56 them cross the boundary repeatedly without consequences
15:59 then they learn that this is not actually a rule after all; this
16:02 is something that dad said that he doesn't really mean and so
16:05 they don't take dad or mom seriously. But there need to be
16:08 consequences. Then as they grow we enabled our children to help
16:13 choose what those consequences would be and sometimes we'd even
16:17 sit down and help choose the rules together. So what are our
16:20 rules going to be about this and we'd kind of negotiate back and
16:23 forth. The final decision is always mom and dad's, you know.
16:28 We are a generous dictator but we negotiated back and forth and
16:33 then we'd decide the consequence and so that would be an
16:36 agreement and then if our children chose to break the rule
16:41 my response was you know I love and respect you so much that I
16:45 would never withhold from you a consequence that you have
16:48 freely chosen. You chose this on your own and I have such respect
16:52 I would never withhold from you this consequence. You've chosen
16:56 it for your own And that's biblical.
16:59 That's life isn't it? That is life.
17:02 We chose consequences. So although they didn't like that
17:07 ultimately they liked the end result which was they recognized
17:11 that to some extent they were masters of their own fate.
17:15 I can choose this, I can choose this and if I'm willing to pay
17:18 the price, I can chose this. But that price is pretty heavy
17:22 and don't always want to do that and it doesn't make me happy.
17:26 So instead I choose this. The best thing about all this was
17:30 that when our oldest daughter especially reached the age, she
17:35 was a senior in academy. Some of her friends were saying boy as
17:39 I graduate I am out of my parents' house. I am gone, I'm
17:43 going to do this, I'm going to do that. I'm going to get my own
17:46 place. They looked at Allison. They said how about you?
17:50 She said no. Why? Well I've lived my life pretty much the
17:54 way I want to and I'm happy and mom and dad are paying for most
17:58 things, so why would I leave? She had learned to make choices
18:02 that we were happy with and that was now her lifestyle, that's
18:06 how she wanted to live. We weren't involved in helping her
18:10 make most of those choices, she was doing it on her own, she was
18:13 self-governing and she realized this was an easier life right
18:16 now. Until I'm out of college and can support myself, I'd
18:19 rather stay at home and so she was happy being with us because
18:24 she had learned to make choices along the way. And both of our
18:27 daughters ended up doing the same thing. They liked being at
18:31 home and that was fine because they'd lived their life pretty
18:34 much as they wanted to because they had learned to live those
18:38 lives within parameters. And that's what gave us joy was
18:41 watching them become young women who made those kind of choices.
18:44 Well the one thing that I keep
18:46 picking up in your relationship
18:48 as well as your children's
18:49 relationship is consistency.
18:51 There is consistency so consequently if you look behind
18:54 door number one, you're not going to be surprised.
18:56 You know we talked a little bit about learning things from your
19:00 family of origin and I think for me that definitely came from my
19:04 family of origin because I knew, I could have even articulated
19:08 to you when I was a child that if my mother said I was going to
19:12 get some such and such a consequence for doing something
19:16 it would absolutely happen. There was no doubt about it.
19:20 If she said this was going to happen, it would happen. I don't
19:24 know how she did it because she had four children and she worked
19:29 and she... well she didn't when we were real little, but later
19:34 on she did. But if she said she was going to do something, she
19:38 would do it. For me I think that was one of my most difficult
19:42 things only having two children. I couldn't hardly keep up.
19:46 Well what did I tell them about such and such. I told them there
19:49 was going to be a consequence for something and I would forget
19:54 because that wasn't my sole focus. But with children it is
19:58 their sole focus and they will remember. You know, mom said
20:04 this and then she didn't do it. They remember that. I'm sure
20:09 if you would talk to my mom she would probably say oh I
20:12 struggled with that too. But in my mind she didn't. If she told
20:15 me such and such was going to happen, she was so consistent
20:19 about it. I did learn that I could bluff
20:20 my way through at times. When they would do something and I
20:23 didn't remember what the consequence was, I'd look at
20:25 them and say, now what did I tell you the consequence would
20:29 be? Because I knew they would remember. Well Daddy, you said
20:34 ...all right that's happening. Then they thought I had
20:38 remember as well. I think the other part of it too
20:42 though is to always mix it with mercy. The gospel is all about
20:47 grace and grace is undeserved favor, something that we don't
20:53 merit, we don't deserve it, and there are times when just
20:58 because you know that it would do that child's heart good, you
21:02 don't follow through with the consequence as stated but you
21:06 talk it through with them and
21:08 you say we're not going to do
21:10 this because and you give them
21:12 grace so they see what it's like
21:14 what is God's grace like. God's grace is giving me something
21:17 that I totally don't deserve. That's right, and withholding
21:21 what I do deserve, which is the consequence. And that is his
21:25 grace. I can remember that happening
21:27 with some kind of a paper that one of the girls was supposed to
21:31 write and she'd gotten to the last second and she hadn't done
21:34 it and you know the consequence should be that she just goes to
21:38 school and suffers the consequence and instead, I could
21:43 tell this was really hurting her heart. So I just went in and I
21:47 said okay let's get this done and I worked on it together with
21:51 her practically through the night so that it could be done.
21:55 You know that means a lot to a child; oh my mom cares, it's not
21:59 all just about consequences and punishments and things like that
22:03 My mom loves me, she wants the best.
22:06 Children need to know that they are cherished, that there's a
22:10 tenderness between parent and child. I think that's
22:13 particularly true of dads. Obviously we are the stronger
22:18 supposed to be, of the two sexes and we represent justice and
22:23 judgment to our children, but there also needs to be that
22:27 grace and that tenderness and
22:29 respect in dealing with our
22:30 children. So we would endeavor not to embarrass our children
22:35 in public if indeed they deserve the consequence we might wait
22:39 until it is more of a private time and then we'd share with
22:42 them the consequence so as not to embarrass them in front of
22:45 their friends, because we wanted them to know that we respected
22:48 them, respected their feelings and we respected who they were
22:52 as individuals. And that's a part of the tenderness and the
22:55 gentleness. Then when I would speak to my children I tried to
22:58 make sure that I did not raise my voice at them, I didn't
23:00 scream at them. I've seen people scream at their children in
23:03 malls and at church and everything else. That doesn't
23:06 show respect for the children. It also tells me that the parent
23:08 has not learned to act. They scream and they don't act.
23:12 If you act, you don't have to scream in most cases.
23:15 Now obviously there will be variations on this rule because
23:19 there are children who have some emotional or physical problems
23:23 but for the most part if you act you don't have to scream.
23:27 Screaming is usually a sign of a failure to act and a failure
23:31 to do the hard work when they're very young. And so we would
23:35 withhold the screaming and instead treat them with dignity
23:38 and not try to make them feel like they're terrible people
23:42 but respect them. John Eldridge in particular in his books talks
23:46 about the role of the father in the lives of children and
23:49 this is key and I find this over and over again in my counseling.
23:52 What I end up doing now is refathering young adults who
23:57 were fathered poorly or whose fathers were absent. That is
24:01 such a tragedy. But basically it is the father who tells the
24:06 boy when he reaches manhood, you are a man. I'm proud of you.
24:11 You measure up, you measure up to your peers, you are among us
24:15 you are a man. If a father never really sends that message to a
24:19 son his son spends the rest of his life struggling to measure
24:23 up, looking for that acceptance, looking for that acknowledgement
24:26 that I measure up, that I am a man. I shared this with a
24:30 member of our church who has a lovely relationship with his
24:33 son and his son was away at college. I shared that little
24:36 concept of John Eldridge with him. He said, oh I'm not worried
24:39 about that because my boy knows, he knows that I believe in him.
24:42 But he got to thinking about it that night and so he made a
24:45 phone call to his son that evening while he was away at
24:48 college. He said, son you may think that I'm silly for saying
24:52 this but I just got to thinking about this after a conversation
24:56 with the pastor and I just want you to know how proud I am of
24:59 you. I want you to know that you are a man, that in my eyes you
25:03 truly measure up, that you have arrived, you are a man. He said
25:07 that there was a long silence on the phone after that and then
25:10 his son in tears said Dad you'll never know how long I waited
25:15 to hear you say that. That was a seminole moment in that young
25:19 man's life because dad had done the work of fathering and now
25:23 said you measure up. There are probably lots of
25:26 fathers out there who never do
25:28 that. That's right. And that is important.
25:31 It's also the father who tells the daughter you are a princess.
25:34 You are to be cherished and respected. You are someone who
25:38 deserves to be pursued, and you are to have enough respect for
25:42 your own body and yourself that you are to expect them to pursue
25:47 and you should be respected. You are a princess and you are
25:50 desirable. That is the father's job as well. When that doesn't
25:54 happen, the young woman develops father hunger and she may work
25:57 it all sorts of ways in order to try to fulfill that longing in
26:01 her heart. So it's important. Dads have a very important role
26:04 to play. Yes they do, I'll tell you.
26:06 Well here once again we're running out of time. We've got
26:10 about another minute and a half. Can you sum this up?
26:14 I would say one of the main things we need to remember is a
26:19 respect for our children. Respect them as individuals that
26:23 God created that God gave us and love them the way God loves
26:28 them. Take time to talk with them. Do the hard work when they
26:32 are little and be consistent with them. Let them know that
26:36 they are loved and cherished and that they are a part of your
26:39 family that you are eternally grateful for.
26:43 And I would add to that it's important that parents not be
26:47 afraid to be the parent. I think that there's been a lot of times
26:50 where people have said don't damage their psyche. No. You
26:54 have a responsibility to teach values and to lead by example
26:58 and to show your children that God loves them just as you do.
27:02 Don't be afraid to set boundaries, don't be afraid to
27:03 be the parent. It's always wonderful to have
27:08 you here. I just love what you've got to tell us. It's just
27:11 so practical. The good thing about it is that you've been
27:14 there and you've done that. You should be so proud of
27:17 yourselves in that your children have turned out well.
27:19 Well thank you. We're proud of the Lord and what he's
27:21 accomplished in our lives more than anything else.
27:23 Thank you, it's been a joy. Well I just want to thank you
27:27 both for being here because you're just so precious. I just
27:29 want to share with you before closing one of my favorite
27:34 scriptures. I Thessalonians 5:16-18. Basically it just says
27:38 Remember that the will of God is for us to rejoice always. Pray
27:42 without ceasing and to give all thanks to him for everything
27:47 that we have in our life. We love you here at 3ABN.
27:50 We always welcome you to tune in.
27:54 God bless each and every one of you.