When my oldest son, Clayton, was in high school, I found him lying on his floor instead of finishing a big English project.
“What’s going on?” I asked in disbelief. “What about your portfolio? Are you already done?”
He responded with a groan.
“Mom, I’m just overwhelmed,” he told me. “This is too much. I’m too tired. There’s not enough time. I just can’t do it.”
He was paralyzed by his project. It seemed bigger than he was, and instead of forging forward, he was ready to quit.
I got down on the floor with him, feeling helpless to motivate him. No pep talk from Mom would change a thing for him that night.
When you’re low on hope, dogged by failure, and your motivation is running on fumes, you need more than happy talk. Instead, you need a first step out of your dilemma.
Sometimes our family relationships can feel like Clayton’s English project, can’t they?
We can feel overwhelmed, tired, and like some of the relational challenges we face—whether in our marriage or in our parenting—are too much. So, what can we do when we feel low on hope and maybe even dogged by failure?
You and I can get super practical and take the first step to revive those family relationships!
And, sister, that’s exactly what we’re talking about on the 4:13 Podcast with this week’s guest, Kirk Cameron.
You may have first met Kirk as “Mike Seaver” on Growing Pains. Or, maybe you know him best through his documentaries or his movies. But he’s much more than an actor. He’s a down-to-earth, insightful, and humble guy who shares his own growing pains when it comes to marriage and parenting.
He and his lovely wife of 28 years, Chelsea, even have an incredible online course right now called, The Heart of Family. Oh, friends, I love it! It’s super, super practical and doable.
So, listen in as Kirk talks about his Growing Pains audition experience, what it was like to work on the film, Fireproof, and as he gets gut honest about how to revive your family relationships by doing a personal and family reset. 4:13ers, this conversation is so good!
How to Revive Your Family Relationships
- Have a regular family reset. Kirk says he and his family have regular family “resets.” What does he mean by that? Just like sometimes our phones don’t work right and we need to reset its operating system, Kirk says the same happens in our relationships. We have all these thoughts about our kids, our finances, our health concerns, and our marriages, running in the background like apps do on our phones and it affects our interactions with one another. We can have difficulty processing issues well and we need to reset.
Kirk shares how a reset is when you get together with your family members. You talk about who you are, remind yourselves what your goal is as a family, and talk about how you’re doing. You can gather in the living room, around a campfire in the backyard, or just at the dinner table, and talk openly about things whether it’s forgiveness or about what it means to cherish one another in a marriage.
How often are family resets needed? Kirk shares that in his family there have been seasons. Sometimes that’s meant resets are a once-a-day event. He and Chelsea have found that as their kids get older and more independent, the more impactful their decisions become and the more they need to have family resets.
- Start with a personal reset first. Kirk says that sometimes when he can’t process issues well, he finds himself reverting to selfish or impatient responses. So, before he gets together with his family to reset, he starts with a personal reset. He goes to God and says, “Lord, help me understand what my perspective ought to be. Help me to examine my reactions and my motivations. Help put me on the right road of wisdom and patience. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak.”
Before the reset happens in your family or whatever relationship you’re concerned about, it needs to happen in your own heart. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” When you do a personal reset and ask God to help you evaluate your motives and perspective, it helps you live out these words of Scripture more effectively in your family relationships.
What Kirk Cameron Would Say to His Younger Self
When I asked Kirk what advice he would give to his younger self, here’s what he said:
I didn’t grow up going to church. I was an atheist before I became a Christian at 17 years old. So the best advice anyone gave me is the advice I would give to a young version of myself and that was, “Trust God with all of your heart. He is faithful. And, if you choose to sin, you’re choosing to suffer. Don’t go that way because it’s not good for you. God wants you to flourish, and so the path of obedience is the path of blessing. Draw down on the strength of God. Obey God. His ways are always the best ways. And you will live a meaningful, purposeful life that will bring Him honor and glory and bring the best results for you and others.’”
Friends, reset represents hope, second chances, and do overs. So, if you need to pause and start over, or your family is currently in shambles, or your marriage is needing a little refresher, there is hope. You can reset because God “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
So, remember, no matter how you feel or what you face, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books by Jennifer Rothschild
- Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
More from Kirk Cameron
- The Heart of Family online course
- Fireproof DVD
- Left Behind: The Collection 3-DVD set
- Still Growing: An Autobiography
More from Jennifer Rothschild and Kirk Cameron
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What was your favorite part of my conversation with Kirk Cameron?