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God's Not Mad at You
“My kids don’t believe. What did I do wrong?”

“My kids don’t believe. What did I do wrong?”

OCTOBER 15, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “My kids don’t believe. What did I do wrong?”

Steve Brown:
My kids don’t believe. What did I do wrong? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life, dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So, here’s author and seminary professor, Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers from the Bible, that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey buddy. How you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing really good.

Pete Alwinson:
Good, good.

Steve Brown:
We’re sitting in a recording studio and I’m looking out and it doesn’t look good. You know, lightning and thunder, that’s not a good, this is not a good place to be.

Pete Alwinson:
I know. Right. You better have.

Steve Brown:
I mean, you better have all this electronic equipment. We could die during this broadcast.

Pete Alwinson:
People do not know what we sacrificed to do this.

Steve Brown:
I know the bravery to come in here. At any rate, that’s Pete Alwinson, you know that. And go to ForgeTruth.com for everything Pete Alwinson and Jesus. It’s a great website and the name of the ministry is Forge. And if you’re in central Florida, you might want to participate in one of the three different meetings. Go on the website and check them out. It’s a guys thing. And they don’t let women in, but they wouldn’t kick you out if you showed up, would you?

Pete Alwinson:
No. No. Yeah. Yeah. Ladies can’t, but we’re going to be live streaming soon and they can watch us there.

Steve Brown:
That’s kind of sexist, but listen, I go with that, man.

Pete Alwinson:
They wouldn’t. Trust me. They wouldn’t want to be, at 7:00 in the morning, come on.

Steve Brown:
You don’t want to be with a bunch of hairy guys at seven o’clock in the morning.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Okay. Anyway, go to ForgeTruth.com. Pete comes in and answers questions on Fridays. And we’ve been doing that for 25 years. And, we love your questions. You can ask a question at any time you want by picking up the phone and calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, recording your questions. Sometimes we put those on the air. Or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

If you’re in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. And if you can help us financially, do. If you can’t, don’t. That’s enough. No, I promise we’ll be faithful with your gift.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
That’s enough.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s good.

Steve Brown:
Alright. Pray for us. And then we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Father, we come to you today at the end of this week and what a joy it is to be your daughters and sons, and to follow you. We honor you, you are good and kind and merciful, gracious. Oh, you give us what we don’t deserve, you withhold from us what we do. And in your power, you do work all things together for good. We need your power and Lord, you know every one of us that are listening right here, you know us better than we know ourselves. Father, you know those who are tired, you know those who are frustrated, who are sick, who are wondering about next steps in life. So, lead us and guide us in a way we should go, counsel us with your eye upon us, as you promise and help us to hear your voice. Lord, I thank you for Key Life. Thank you for our pastors, priests, teachers, leaders, those who are to stand before us and lead us in worship. Be with our worship directors as they pull their teams together. So, this week-end, as we come into your presence, we ask that you would be honored and glorified, and we would hear your voice and your truth. Set us free. And now we commit this time of Q&A to you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete let’s first go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
I am older and I’ve raised four kids. Two boys both around the age of 12 to 13, decided they did not believe in God. We were living in a tiny village in east Africa doing mission work at the time. We were seeing a lot of people we love die.. Oh, like, why do bad things happen to good people kind of thing. I always thought, Hey it’s okay. Cause I’m sort of a Calvinist and God is in control. And I’m going to hang in there. I’m not going to let it freak me out, even though it really did. I just keep thinking I must have done a lot wrong for my kids to not trust Jesus.

Steve Brown:
Well, I don’t know if I got all of that, but I got some of it. I got the gist of the question. I am, you know, I always say, because I believe this to be true. God isn’t finished yet. I really believe there are covenant family promises and I believe, and I’ve seen it and you’ve seen it too as a pastor. When the worst pagan kids in the world become preachers and missionaries, and I’ve seen it over and over again. So, God works in a covenant family, but there is this thing. What did I do wrong? If I had been nicer or more godly or read the Bible more or prayed more, my kids would be Christians and faithful. What do you say to somebody like that?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, you’re, you boy, it is a big issue and we hear it a lot. I’m going to do a men’s seminar up in Indianapolis later this year. And, and they asked me to deal with that subject too. So, you’re right. We get that a lot. And, there are just so many factors. I think one just theological base is we understand that no, no child will ever come to Christ, if the Spirit of God doesn’t do a work in their life.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, that first of all, all salvation really depends first and foremost, on the Lord, on Jesus.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
Secondarily, every parent messes up. And so,

Steve Brown:
Well speak for yourself.

Pete Alwinson:
except for you, except for the Brown. I mean, you’ve got all these doctorates and, you know, spiritual. So, there it is. But, but we all mess up and we all could look back on real practical times when we could have pushed our kids in the other direction. So I think, you know, mom, I mean, I appreciate, I appreciate her honesty though.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I do too.

Pete Alwinson:
I love, I love that she said, I’m a Calvinist and I, I try, acted like it didn’t freak me out, but it did.

Steve Brown:
You know, there is this. There was a time when we were an agrarian culture, when kids spent the great majority of their time working with their fathers and close to their mothers on the farm. And, there was a direct connection in those days, that isn’t today, a direct connection between how the kids turned out and the parents, if they did it pretty right, then the kids came out pretty right. But man, we have a culture that is, that sucks kids in and it’s dangerous and it’s scary. And I don’t go that route. I don’t think, I think you bring up a child in the way you should, and it’s going to turn out alright, Proverbs says. But we live in a very different kind of thing. And I think parents that go on major guilt, I loved what you said, when you said, we all mess up. You know, every kid that goes right, you can think of a good things that you did. And then you remember the bad things you did,. Every kid that doesn’t go right, you can think of the bad things you did and beat yourself up, but you can think of the good things too.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So, it really is God, isn’t it.

Pete Alwinson:
It really is, ultimately. And so, I think if there’s, you could go to your kids. I think one of the really good things to do, is go to them and say, you know, is there any residual conscious sense in you of what I didn’t do well or how I hurt you? And I’d love to talk about that, if you’re open to it. And see if there is, get bubble that up.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
But we also have to remember that this is, if you’re a conscientious parent, this is where Satan is going to go after you, big time. And he loves to throw our failures in our face and you and I’ve been following Jesus for a long time. The other day, he was throwing something in my face.

Steve Brown:
Oh.

Pete Alwinson:
Not on a parenting issue, but on another thing, I was like, yeah, and it just hurts so bad cause, why did I do that Lord?

Steve Brown:
I got, when you’re as old as I am, you’ve got a long list of things, that Satan can use and I tell him to go where he belongs. Leave me alone. I’m not his, I’m covered with the blood of Christ. I’m as pure as the driven snow.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And it’s hard to do, but we have to preach the gospel to ourselves.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. We really do. We really do. So, pray for your kids. Do the best you can. Trust God. Remember God works in families, and there is a family covenant and their covenant children. You gave them that covenant at the beginning, by your relationship with Christ and they can’t get rid of it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
They’d hate it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
There’ll be times when they’ll kick against the goads, but you haven’t seen the rest of the story yet.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright, let me follow up with this then we’ll move on. When I was in seminary, a great Old Testament professor was talking to another professor and I overheard the conversation. And he said, my 45 year old daughter just came back to her baptism. And so, it does happen.

Steve Brown:
Of course it does.

Pete Alwinson:
And even to people that are following Jesus closely.

Steve Brown:
There you go. Okay. Hope that is helpful. I have a question here on the five points of Calvinism, but I think I’ll save that for another time and devote the whole program to it. I hear you say that God’s discipline is always defined. What does that mean? How do we know if we’re being disciplined or not?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you said it.

Steve Brown:
Well, I believe it because I don’t believe God is a child abuser. You know, how would you feel if your father came in, when you were a kid, said come here son, got a belt and gave you a real discipline wacking up the side of the head. And you say, oh, I’m so sorry, what did I do wrong? And the guy and God, and the father would say, I’m not going to tell you, but you know. That would be a child abuser. That would not be God. And so, when God disciplines, he’s a Father, he’s wise, we know what it’s coming from and why it’s happening. We know it’s not going to last forever. We know that he’s good, that he’s not a child abuser and that’s how we know we’re loved. So, I just say that God would define it, when you’re being disciplined, you have the connection between where you are and what God is doing and why he’s doing it because he’s your Father.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Right. God disciplines us as sons

Steve Brown:
He really does.

Pete Alwinson:
and daughters, the Bible says. Yeah. So, I think that sometimes we deal. That’s good. I love what you said. I haven’t thought about this in a while, but the reality is, that as we suffer the consequences from our sins and our mess ups,

Steve Brown:
That’s a part of it.

Pete Alwinson:
he shows us mercy, but he gives us instruction.

Steve Brown:
I agree.

Pete Alwinson:
And so that’s discipline, right?

Steve Brown:
Yeah. But we’re neurotic. And I remember a player on the Miami Dolphins, in the hospital with a broken leg that ended his career. And he said, Steve, I think I’m being disciplined. And I said, cut it out. Let’s pray. And we prayed and it’s alright. We’ve got to go. But before we go, I’m looking at the clock and it blurs on me. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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