Letting The Truth Set You Free
About the Guest
Difficult childhoods weren't going to prevent Jack and Lisa Hibbs from passing on a strong spiritual legacy to their children now that they were new creations in Christ. The Hibbs share how they tried to be intentional with their daughters, Ashley and Rebecca, who join them on the program.
Jack and Lisa HibbsJack and Lisa Hibbs founded Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, which now ministers to thousands of people each week. Jack hosts a worldwide radio broadcast encouraging listeners to develop a Biblical worldview that is practical both in and out of the home. He serves on several national executive boards including that of the Family Research Council in Washington D.C., a nationwide advocacy group defending America's faith, family, and freedom. Pastor Jack and his wife, Lisa, have been married for ove...more
Jack and Lisa Hibbs share how they tried to be intentional with their daughters, Ashley and Rebecca, who join them on the program.
Letting The Truth Set You Free
Bob: What is it that helps husbands and wives stay connected and stay on track in their marriage? Jack and Lisa Hibbs believe it’s reading the Bible together, out loud.
Lisa: We had an argument about something. We were actually both in bed, laying there. Finally, I think you said, “Well, I guess we should go read our Bible.” I go, “Well, yes, I guess we should.” So, we got up, went out on the couch—
Lisa: —opened—I go, “Where are we reading?” He said, “I don’t know; First John?” “Okay.”
Dennis: “If we say we have no sin”—
Lisa: First John—come on!
Dennis: Oh, yes. [Laughter]
Lisa: We got a few verses in. We’re like, “Oh.” You know, your tone slowly starts to change. You realize His Word is what changes our hearts.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, May 23rd. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll talk with Jack and Lisa Hibbs today about the things that keep couples together. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today.
Thanks for joining us. Do you ever wonder, when we get guests who come in and they’ve written some book about marriage and family—
Dennis: All the time—[Laughter]
Bob: Do you ever wonder—
Dennis: —because I wrote a book too; you know? I wonder about—
Bob: —you wonder what life back home really looks like for those guests?
Dennis: Yes, I do. So, today, we’re going to put it to the test.
Bob: What do you mean?
Dennis: I don’t think we’ve ever done this in the history of FamilyLife Today.
Bob: Ever done what?
Dennis: Well, let me introduce our guests. Then, I’ll tell our listeners kind of—“Just leave the driving to us. You’re going to enjoy the broadcast today.” This is going to be—
Bob: I’m a little nervous now.
Dennis: —this is going to be fun. Jack and Lisa Hibbs join us on FamilyLife Today. Lisa, Jack, welcome back.
Jack: Thank you.
Lisa: Thank you—nice to be here.
Dennis: Jack and Lisa founded a church—a little start-up church there in Southern California called Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, which has blossomed to—now have about nine to ten thousand adults attending it. They’ve written a book called Turnaround at Home. They’re talking about the heritage they were given and the legacy that they want to leave.
Basically, what they are saying is—they want to leave a different legacy than the one they were given.
So, we decided we would call both of their daughters and just let them share about the legacy they were given, as children of a pastor and pastor’s wife.
Bob: Oh, you’re not nervous at all now; are you?
Jack: Oh, this is amazing! [Laughter]
Bob: We’re going to put your—
Jack: Where’s the door?
Dennis: And so, I think we have Rebecca on the line. Rebecca?
Bob: Rebecca’s on here?
Bob: Rebecca, welcome to FamilyLife Today.
Rebecca: Hi, thank you.
Dennis: You’re a good sport, Rebecca.
Bob: Say, “Hi,” to your mom and dad.
Rebecca: Hi, guys!
Jack: Hi, Becca.
Lisa: Hi, Becca. [Laughter] This is fun!
Bob: Yes, keep saying it over and over again, Mom—just keep saying, “This is so much fun.”
Dennis: So, Rebecca, your mom and dad have shared a little bit of their background and kind of where they came from and their desire to leave a legacy.
And I know that they don’t want some kind of pie-in-the-sky, airbrushed, photo-shopped—
Bob: Yes, we want the real dirt on your mom and dad! [Laughter] That’s why we’re calling, Rebecca.
Lisa: I think we like the airbrushed better. [Laughter]
Dennis: So, Rebecca, just unpack a little bit of—what would you say best describes the legacy you were given out of this family you grew up in?
Rebecca: Well, definitely, Christian—godly, godly example—always—everything we did was always like that. Our friends were Christians. As we got older, guys that we were interested in dating—they had to be Christian. And obviously, we’re carrying that on with our three-and-a-half-year-old daughter—putting God first.
Bob: She can only date Christian guys at three-and-a-half?
Rebecca: No. [Laughter] No, no. If Daddy has his way, she won’t ever be dating. [Laughter]
Bob: I’m just curious because you grew up as a P.K.; right?—you are a preacher’s kid. Did you ever feel that P.K. pressure and like—
Bob: —“I don’t want to—I want to be in a new family”?
Rebecca: No. No, I had a great experience with that. My mom took—made a huge sacrifice. I was homeschooled with her from kindergarten through eleventh grade. I really appreciate that. That’s something that I’m going to continue with my daughter when it’s time for her to do school—is homeschooling her. I just think it’s so much better. I’m very thankful that my parents did that for me.
Bob: Did you feel pressure like, “I’ve got to be Polly Perfect”?
Rebecca: No. No, I didn’t.
Rebecca: I didn’t. My—I don’t—I guess you credit my parents for that! I know a lot of pastor’s kids have that urge to rebel, too, against all that. I didn’t feel that. I was—I enjoyed it. I was happy. Maybe some of the things I didn’t enjoy about being a pastor’s kid were—everybody kind of, maybe, looks at you and holds you to a higher standard. That’s something—
Rebecca: —difficult to deal with, but I didn’t have anything negative about that—homeschooling or being a pastor’s kid.
One of the words that I would use to describe—might seem a little odd—but to me, it’s a good thing—is “uneventful.” It was uneventful in a good way—I was sheltered / I was protected. I didn’t have any horrible tragedies or bad things that I had to go through. And I credit a lot of that to my parents. I don’t regret that at all. I’m very blessed to have felt that; you know?
Dennis: Rebecca, this is Dennis. I have to tell you about a phone call I received last night from daughter whose name is Ashley—like your sister; okay? Ashley called me last night at about 9:30. We saw the phone ring and we thought: “Oh, they’re pregnant. We got another baby on the way,” [Laughter] because we don’t get a phone call at that time of night. But she got on the phone. She just said, “I just want to thank you.” She said, “I just came from a bunko party, and”—
Bob: And is that where they are playing a card game, or is that where—
Bob: —they sleepover?
Dennis: Yes, it’s a card game; alright.
Dennis: And it’s a bunch of moms who kind of have a moment of sanity in the midst of their month to kind of get together and have fun.
She said, “I was the only woman in our group who had never seen Pretty Woman.” And she said, “You know, I don’t feel weird about that at all.”
Dennis: “I want to thank you for that.” So, that’s what I hear you saying.
Rebecca: I can—yes, I totally understand what she is saying, yes. And it’s not a bad thing. Maybe, going through your teenage years, you might think you’re different; but when you get on that other side of 20-plus, you’ll realize what a blessing it was and how you want to do that with your kids. [Laughter]
Bob: Rebecca, you had a chance to read your mom and dad’s book before it went to the publisher; right?
Rebecca: No, I did not. [Laughter]
Bob: Oh! Oh! So, have you read it since it got back from the publisher? [Laughter]
Dennis: This is bad to confess on radio here!
Rebecca: Hey, you wanted it—right?
Bob: I wanted the pure, unvarnished truth. [Laughter]
Lisa: That’s right.
Bob: So, have you read it since it got back from the publisher?
Rebecca: I have not; but I will say, “I haven’t been able to read many books yet,”—so, nothing against their book. [Laughter]
Bob: Okay, you do have a copy. You don’t need us to send you a copy?
Rebecca: I do. I do have a copy of it at home. I do. [Laughter]
Bob: I’m just checking on that.
Lisa: He’s going to send you one.
Dennis: I’ll loan you mine if you don’t. [Laughter]
Bob: Rebecca, you’re a good sport. Thanks for doing this. We’re about to talk to your sister, Ashley. Is she going to—is she going to say anything differently than you just said; do you think?
Rebecca: I would assume so because she and I are pretty different personalities. So, I think she will. [Laughter]
Bob: Well, let’s find out. We’ve got Ashley on the other line. Ashley, I understand you’ve been changing a diaper. Welcome to FamilyLife Today.
Ashley: Thank you.
Bob: Everything okay with the diaper? We just want to check that out first.
Ashley: Yes, it’s good now. It was a little scary for a minute. [Laughter]
Dennis: So, on a 10-point scale, you’d put it up on the higher parts of the scale; huh?
Ashley: Yes, it was a bad one! [Laughter]
Dennis: Well, we just wanted to find out—you know your mom and dad have written this book, Turnaround at Home. They’ve been talking about the heritage they were given from the families they grew up in. We just talked to your sister and got all the dirt on your parents.
Bob: Well, and we found out that she has not read the book yet. Have you read the book yet, Ashley?
Ashley: No. I share that thing with her. [Laughter]
Bob: That’s alright. But you do have a copy at home; right?
Bob: Put it by your night stand, and it’ll put you right to sleep every night.
Ashley: There you go. [Laughter]
Dennis: And every mom across the country is angry at us for asking both of these moms, on the radio, if they’ve read their parents’ book. How would you describe the family you grew up in? What kind of legacy were you given?
Ashley: It was actually a fun home. We did a lot of fun stuff. My parents were always there with their time. They just were constantly attending to us. My dad is always—when he was home, he was ready to play with us.
He wasn’t just absent or tired. My mom took the time to homeschool us. So, they were always just around and there for us. We never felt like we were raising ourselves or just didn’t have anyone around. They always gave us that time and made things fun and took us on vacation every year—camping—and just really gave us their time and attention.
Bob: Ashley, I asked your sister about the whole P.K. thing—you know, growing up as a preacher’s kid.
Bob: Was that hard for you being a P.K.?
Ashley: For me, it was. My sister, she’s more social—and the attention and everything was fine for her. She kind of enjoyed it and had a ton of friends all the time. I was very shy—so, people wanting to get to know us kind of made me cower away a little bit and even be introverted a little bit more.
Bob: Yes, I have a daughter like you. It’s like—anybody turns the spotlight anywhere near her—and it is like, “Get me out of here!”—right?
Ashley: Yes; yes, exactly.
Bob: Just getting you on the radio—we’re lucky for this; aren’t we?
Ashley: Yes, very. [Laughter]
Lisa: It’s a first!
Dennis: I want to ask—you know, you have a newborn son. I guess he’s—what?—a year-and-a-half old now. Is that right?
Ashley: Yes; yes.
Dennis: What do you want to pass on to him that you got from your parents?
Ashley: Honestly, I’m already talking about homeschooling him and how good that was for us. By the time I actually went to school—my parents had just established in us like a good sense of who we were and what we believed in and why. So, by the time I went to school, I did not deal with peer pressure at all.
All my friends—they still were drinking, and partying, and having fun.
I just never once was tempted by it because it just hadn’t been something that, up until that point, carried any weight with me because they’d given us so much time. I really feel like I want to do that for him. I want him to have that confidence—and just like giving him a good life—and, obviously, getting into ministry, and finding his gifts, and all of that is huge for us too. So—
Bob: Well, I’ll tell you what. Your parents have told us already that both of their girls are amazing moms, and amazing daughters, and that what they see you doing with your kids is so far ahead of what they did with you when you were little. They’re just so excited about what God has in store for you and just how you are being a woman of God in your home.
And I think just the fact that you picked up the phone when we called is evidence of God’s abundant grace. [Laughter]
Lisa: Yes. [Laughter]
Bob: You want to say anything to Ashley before we say goodbye to her?
Lisa: Thank you.
Jack: Thank you, Ashley. That was very kind.
Lisa: That was awesome!—very cool! Good to hear.
Bob: And we appreciate you being on FamilyLife Today.
Dennis: And Ashley, I want you to know—that after you’ve finished your job of being a mom—I don’t know how many more children you’ll have—you’ve got a future in radio.
Lisa: There you go!
Dennis: And I know—
Bob: You just call me. I can get you fixed up with a job.
Dennis: Wait a second, Bob. Now, wait. Anyway, I know you’re good at being a graphic artist; but you’ve been very kind and very descriptive with your words to kind of allow us to interrupt your day. So, thanks for being with us.
Jack: Thank you, Ashley.
Ashley: Thank you.
Lisa: Thank you. Thank you.
Bob: It has got to be—for a mom and dad to hear your daughters just reflect back and say, “You know, it was good.”
Lisa: Yes! Yes!
Bob: You kind of go: “Really?!” because, in the midst of it, as parents, you don’t feel that way; do you?
Dennis: We’re aware that it’s not perfect—
Dennis: —as parents.
Lisa: And you know the decision to homeschool was huge because that was at a time when I didn’t have the support that, now, homeschoolers have. Homeschooling was—I was cutting-edge, back then, in the mid-80s. I mean, there wasn’t many doing it. To hear both of them reflect on that—how important it was to both of them—because I remember being frustrated, as a young mom, and thinking, “Uh!” I used to threaten them with public school. [Laughter] They didn’t know what public school was; but when they acted up, I’d say: “That’s it. You’re going to public school.” “No, I don’t want to go to public school!”
Bob: They are going to go to jail or something.
Lisa: Exactly, they had no idea what it was. But the Lord used to always remind me—when I would have those days where I was losing it and didn’t want to do it anymore—and I would hear from Him—tell me that the fruit was not for now. It would be later. I would see fruit later.
Lisa: And now, I just heard it! So, I am blessed.
Dennis: And you did. And I was watching your face as you were listening to that.
That was pretty powerful to hear both of your daughters say, “You know, I recognize the sacrifice that my mom—
Lisa: And it is.
Dennis: Yes, it is.
Lisa: It’s huge.
Dennis: —“and the investment.” And like your daughter, Ashley, just said, “If you want to defeat peer pressure, homeschooling is one of the most powerful ways to do that.” It’s not that you remove them from all the pressure—it’s just that you give them a very strong sense of—
Dennis: —identity in Christ and around your family so they can stand strong in the midst of the winds.
Lisa: That’s right.
Bob: You know, with all of this focus this week on how we can purposefully and intentionally pass on a more important / a more vibrant legacy to our children, I’m wondering what you do if you are sitting down today with Dave and Stephanie—the couple that you outline in your book.
Here is a couple—both of them coming from broken, damaged backgrounds. They get together. They get married. They think it’s going to be great.
Two years in / three years in, they are ready to chuck the marriage. They don’t recognize what is going on. How do you intersect with a couple like that, in that moment, and carry the message of this book to them to give them a fresh sense of hope?
Jack: Well, the number one thing to realize is just by changing your mate is not going to fix a thing. What happens when someone says: “You know what? The grass is going to be greener on the other side. I’m going to bail on this.” What you are really doing is you are jumping out of a redeemable situation; and you’re dragging the very same dilemmas, problems, issues into a brand-new one.
Jack: It’s not—
Dennis: Plus more.
Jack: Plus more—good point. And it’s not going to be any better. That’s why the statistics are overwhelming. When a marriage is broken up and then someone remarries, the percentage of second, third, fourth marriages are greatly increased. Why? You are bringing the baggage in.
The greatest thing to do is to honor the institution of marriage designed by God—work at it—work hard at it. Look, none of us at this table have done it perfectly; and we would never confess that. The great thing is our God is perfect.
Jack: When you begin to lean on His power, His strength, His resources—and the fact that it’s His will that your marriage be recovered—with that, you can, I believe, do anything.
Bob: Dennis used to talk about the fact that—you used to have what you called the prayer of the helpless parent; right?
Bob: And what’s the prayer?
Dennis: “Help!” [Laughter]
Bob: Yes. It is.
Dennis: I mean, seriously.
Dennis: “I do not know what to do!”
Lisa: That’s right.
Dennis: “I’m at my wit’s end,”—and whether it’s the prayer of the helpless parent or the prayer of the helpless spouse, it—I think one of the first places you’ve got to start in a marriage turnaround, like you talk about, is begin to put God first. One of the ways you do that is by praying every day with your spouse—
Dennis: —and bringing your junk and your stuff before God every day. That was the thing we did last night before we went to sleep. We prayed about a couple of needs that are taking place in our family. We brought them before God. And we left them there. Now, did I wake up thinking about it this morning? Yes. And I brought them back to God again this morning; but every family has got its stuff—its dysfunction that it brings in—and got issues that you’re dealing with today.
Lisa: Years ago—years ago, we were in a tough spot in our marriage. We decided to write down three things that I was needing, or lacking, or something in the marriage; and he wrote down three things. And instead of concentrating on those three things, we exchanged it. That became the prayer requests. I am now praying about his three needs instead of focusing on my desires or whatever my needs were.
It was more about doing what the Bible says, “Esteeming others higher” / “dying to the flesh”—all my desires. I’m to be promoting and blessing him with—it’s hard sometimes! It’s really hard.
Dennis: Galatians 6 talks about bearing one another’s burdens.
Jack: You know, what she is saying is—it is really hard to stay in an argument or to perpetuate an argument when you are reading the Scripture together. If a couple will commit to: “We’re going to read the Bible no matter what kind of day we’re having,”—it’s pretty amazing because we can be at each other, and then, do our—what feels like, at the moment—our routine Bible reading—
Jack: —and God’s Word and His Spirit is so powerful that, by the time we get done with our daily Bible reading,—somebody might say, “Well, it’s so simple—a daily Bible reading.” Hey, listen! It’s kind of hard to perpetuate an argument after reading the Word of God. It’s amazing!
Bob: Yes, but does one of you ever go, “I am not ready to read the Bible”?
Jack: Oh, absolutely!
Lisa: Well, listen, I have to tell you this quick story. This is probably 15/20 years ago. I mean, we’ve been married almost 35 years;—
Jack: I know where she’s going to go.
Lisa: —but we had an argument about something. We were actually both in bed,—
—laying there. Who knows what we were arguing about—but we were laying there. Finally, I think you said, “Well, I guess we should go read our Bible.” I go, “Well, yes, I guess we should.” So, we got up—went out on the couch.
Lisa: “Open,”—I go, “Where are we reading?” He said, “I don’t know; First John?” “Okay, 1 John.” So, we open it. We’re going to read every other verse.
Jack: Out loud.
Lisa: Yes. So—
Dennis: “If we say we have no sin—
Lisa: —First John.
Dennis: Oh, yes.
Lisa: Come on! [Laughter] We got a few verses in; and we’re like, “Oh.”
Bob: We confess our sin one to another; right.
Lisa: You know your tone—yes. Your tone slowly starts to change. You realize it is the Word of God who starts—His Word is what changes our hearts.
Dennis: There are different voices we can listen to in our marriages.
Lisa: Yes; yes.
Dennis: And the voices from the culture are not the right ones, but the voice of Scripture will remind you of the truth and remind you of your responsibility—
Dennis: —in the most intimate of all relationships.
Bob: And the truth is—you can have a different, healthier, stronger, more vibrant legacy to leave to your kids than the heritage you received; right?
Lisa: That’s right.
Dennis: There’s no doubt about it. You guys have demonstrated that here, as we’ve kind of pried open your family and allowed your daughters to tell us what kind of home they grew up in. And I want to turn to the pastor of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills and say: “Okay, pastor. You’ve got one last shot at a listener who’s feeling hopeless in their situation.”
Jack: Yes, I have felt hopeless in my situation. If you’ll just allow the power of God to come into your life—this is what I want to leave you with—that the greatest setbacks that you can enumerate in your life—the things that you might hang onto, and the things that you might even justify your bad attitude or your position on—is the very thing that, if you give to Him, He makes the strongest stepping stones out of those things. They literally become your victory if you let Him have them. They’ll either pull you down to the pit or, if you give them to Him, He’ll use them to raise you up. God is our Redeemer.
Dennis: And I love redemption stories. Yours is another one.
Dennis: I’m going to go home smiling today just because of hearing how God’s worked in your marriage, and your family, and through your ministry.
Bob: And because of what you shared here and in your book, I think there are other legacies that are going to be impacted. And I hope our listeners will get a copy of Turnaround at Home: Giving a Stronger Spiritual Legacy than You Received by our guests today, Jack and Lisa Hibbs.
You can go to our website, which is FamilyLifeToday.com, to request a copy of the book. Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click in the upper left-hand corner where it says, “Go Deeper.” You can order a copy of Jack and Lisa’s book from us, online. Or you can order by calling 1-800-FL-TODAY. Ask for Turnaround at Home when you call 1-800-358-6329.
That’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY.”
I don’t know if you have any special weekend plans; but we always look forward to the weekend, especially this time of year, when usually the weather is nice, and maybe there is yard work to do, or plans for Sunday after church. But we’re hoping, before the weekend really takes over, you would consider doing something very special for FamilyLife Today.
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“Thanks,” in advance, for whatever you are able to do in support of this ministry.
Now, we do hope that this is a great weekend for you and your family—that you are able to worship together this weekend. I hope you can join us back on Monday. It’s a special Memorial Day edition of FamilyLife Today as we take time out to salute those who have sacrificed in service for our country and for our freedom. I hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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