“The Family is a Trauma Center”
By Ed Young
April 23, 2017
In the case of a medical emergency, if we have a broken arm or our child’s fever spikes, we know exactly where to go. Doctors and nurses, technicians and staff are trained at any hospital to help us through our crisis. But many of the crises people are facing today are non-medical. So where do we go for the urgent care most of us need?
In this message, Ed Young looks at God’s Word to show us how the family is set up as a trauma center. It is only there that we can receive the personal care and attention we need to help us through whatever emergency we may be facing in life.
INTRO: I was on a flight recently, seated next to an ER doctor. We had a great conversation, he was a really really nice guy and he began to point out to me and tell me about the growing business of free-standing trauma centers, free-standing emergency rooms. And when he said that, I thought, well I’ve seen those places all over Dallas, Fort Worth, and Miami, and other places that I’ve traveled. They’re everywhere. I mean, you can’t drive very far without seeing a free-standing ER.
It’s really comforting, we live in such a great nation where if we ever have any physical problems, any aches and pains, we know 24 hours a day, boom, we can go in and get help, there’s a qualified staff to help our family and friends. There’s ERs, there’s trauma centers all over the place.
Where do you go, though, when you have a non-medical emergency? Where do you go when you have a shattered self-esteem? When you’re freaked out with fear? When someone has messed you around? Where do you go?
Wouldn’t it be great if we had trauma centers for the non-medical emergencies. We could just check ourselves in, the qualified staff, bandage us up, give us maybe some medication or whatever, and we’d be on our way, wouldn’t that be great?
Well, we do. We have trauma centers everywhere, and they’re called families. Your family, and my family is, a trauma center. An emergency room, we literally can check ourselves in and it’s a place to process pain, difficulty, the questions of life. Your family, my family, think about it, it’s, at least it should be, a hospital.
You might be saying, ‘a hospital? Man my family’s a mental hospital, not a hospital, it’s a haha house.’ Well, I want to talk today, about this subject. Your home is a trauma center.
Thank you so much for showing up this weekend. You know last weekend was Easter and you realize we have 20,000 less people here this weekend than last weekend, it always puts a pastor in depression. I always think they’re coming back, I know they will, no that’s okay, that’s okay, they’re the Poinsettia and Lily crowd. That’s alright, that’s alright.
But anyway, I’m kicking this series off called Family Business, today I’m talking about your family is a trauma center, next week, you’ll love it, your family’s a corporation. And we’re going to get into some interesting topics and discussions like, who’s the CEO? Who’s the President? I mean, who’re the shareholders? That’s next time. Then the third week, we’re talking about your home is a gym. Most of us go to the gym, we want to train and work out, and do all that, whether it’s crossfit or pilates, we can talk about that. The family should be that kind of place. And then finally, Mother’s Day, the fourth week, Lisa is going to speak, so you know it’s going to be awesome. And, we’re trying to get her 90 year old mom to be here at Fellowship as well. And they’re going to talk about your home is a university, huh. So thank you guys for showing up.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a single parent, doesn’t matter if you’re in a blended family situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about your future family, it doesn’t matter if you’re an adult, child, this series is for you, because we’re going to talk in the raw, and the real, we’re going to talk about this divine design. The family, say divine design with me. Divine design, it is a God thing. We’re going to talk about this – here’s the definition – divine design that should develop full court followers of Christ. That’s the purpose of the family, it’s a divine design.
Now, it was not thought up by evolution, an anthropologist didn’t say, ‘oh yeah, there’s a people group ‘and we have to have people groups to survive.’ I mean whatever, the real deal, the skinny on the family is it’s a divine design to be used to develop people who love God with the totality of who they are. So we send our kids out with great trajectory and they in turn, develop those little hospitals themselves.
The family is how God works, have you ever thought about that? I mean yeah, he works through nations, and he works through leaders and all that and that’s fine, but really, it’s the family. So the family is a supernatural entity, it’s not just a family, it’s like woah, this is a transcendent unit, ordained by God to do great things. Your family is a hospital.
ILLUS: I was thinking as I was preparing for this talk, okay, when was the first time I discover that family was a trauma center? I was thinking about that, and I encourage you to think about that as well. And maybe you’re like, man my family is not an ER, well that’s okay, but the first time that I thought about it in my family, I was in the fifth grade, fifth grade, I had a very tumultuous fifth grade because my family moved from a very small town, like this picturesque little safe environment, small town, to this city. And I went from this elementary school that was like perfect to this maximum security prison, the elementary school I moved to. It was like going from Bach to rock, from classical music to, I don’t know, heavy metal, head banger, I mean truly in this elementary school the inmates were running the asylum, I promise you.
Lonnie B Nelson, we were one of these experimental schools, there was only a couple in America. And here is what was vogue back then, they used Lonnie B Nelson as kind of a, they were beta testing to go, alright, kids, if you give ’em total freedom for the most part, let them learn on their own. Well that was horrible for me. I’m ADD, ADHD, you know I have processing problems, I mean it was bad for me.
Anyway, this is terrible to confess this but the first day of school, in the middle of the school year, in this new school. This school that was rough and tough. I show up, and my mum picked this outfit for me, wearing white shoes, white shoes. What was I smoking?
So I walk into Lonnie B Nelson and I meet the fifth grade teacher, Mrs Blackwell, she stood about 5″10, weighed maybe 100 pounds, she had the worst coffee breath and cigarette breath ever. She was like, ‘hi Edwin,’ wow. ‘Welcome to the fifth grade.’
So she said, ‘come on in,’ and I walk in, and it was, I mean people were going buck wild. She goes, ‘there’s your desk.’ There’s an empty desk there, so you know I had school supplies and stuff, I walk in with my cool white shoes I thought. Put the books down on the desk, and this kid walks up to me. He was a crazy looking kid, remember the movie Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey with the, yeah, little bangs up there, that crazy look. He took my books, boom, throws them against the wall, I’m like oh my gosh, surely Mrs Blackwell will send him to the principal’s office. She was just like, ‘welcome to Hell.’ I mean, it was that bad.
So, I was thinking, I’ve got to make it to recess, I’ve got to make it to recess, recess, you know I’m kind of an athletic guy and you know I can meet some people and whatever. So recess, we’d this big old dirt playground so I’m walking around just trying to make eye contact and you know. So I see these kids playing, and I’m just standing there, looking, about this far away. And this big guy stands, he’s even bigger than me. Blond curly hair, steel blue eyes, said ‘what in the blank are you doing?’ He was like growling, ‘you better get your ‘blankety blank out of here, if you don’t I’m ‘going to get your blank all over the playground.’
I was going like, woah, it’s the first time in my life I’d ever been cussed out. Now I’ve been cussed out many times since then but that was the first time. So I was like backing up going man, this is, this is brutal. So I’ll never forget this. I walked to the edge of this playground and the playground stopped, this is back in the day where, I don’t know, safety wasn’t really a thought. And the playground ended, it was dirt, and then there’s the street. No fences, no security, I mean it was again, wheels off. So, I just walked around the edge of that playground for 30 minutes looking down at my white shoes, I remember this like it was yesterday, kicking sand going, why did mom and dad move us to this place. This is the worst place ever.
Well I made it through the first day, mom picked us up, and it was the most excited I’ve ever been in my life to see her blue Impala. I was sprinting for it because that was like safety, dove in, then my brother dove in. He was in the third grade and aw, we burst out in tears, ‘oh it’s horrible why did we move here, ‘Tell dad let’s move back, this is the worst.’
That night around dinner, I didn’t realize it at the time but mom and dad begin to ask us questions about how we felt, what was going through our minds, what made us feel good, what made us feel bad. They were doing CPR on us and I didn’t even realize it, now looking back, my home, although imperfect was and is a trauma center.
Where do you go for a shattered self-esteem? Where do you go when your fear is fractured? Where do you go when someone has bullied you online? Where do you go? Well, if your home is not a trauma center here’s where we go, let me talk to the guys.
Some of us, if we are not really getting our pain processed in the family, we’ll go on into achievement binges. Maybe an illicit relationship. Maybe we’ll hit the bottle or all sorts of stuff. That’s what we do, that’s what we do, if that’s not happening in the family. And I think many of us would go yeah, yeah.
And ladies, the same is true with you, if your needs aren’t getting met there, what happens? You can, if you have kids throw yourself into the lives of your kids, you could, pills, the bottle. Maybe you sleep in the wrong bed as well.
Then if kids are not getting their needs met, it can get scary, they can bottle up the stuff, the pain. And what’s scary is it doesn’t come out until 20’s/30’s and so often we meet people today who are dealing with stuff that goes all the way back to their family of origin. And the other times, what do kids do? They’re not getting those needs met, if the home is not a safe environment, they’ll turn to their peers who’ll give them answers to questions but they’re not always the most mature answers.
Your home, my home, is a trauma center. You might be going, ‘well how do ‘I make my home a trauma center? How do I say okay, I want to establish ‘my house as a hospital, how do I do that?’
Well I’m going to give you four quick suggestions. And your homework tonight is, whether you’re at our Miami campus, whether you’re in south west Florida our brand new campus, in Northport, whether you’re in downtown Dallas, Fort Worth, prosperous Atlanta, gorgeous Grapevine, east Texas, Wherever you are, Keller Southlake, this can be your homework because I want you to talk about these things. And I’m going to just do a brief, quick flyover.
Number one, the first way, first thing you can do, you can think about regarding turning your home into a trauma center is, you must have and ask yourself this question, do I have a motivated staff? I mean the staff, who’s the staff? You’re the staff. Mom and dad, you’re the staff. You’re a single parent, you’re the staff. You are the staff, you’re the chief physicians. You know what’s funny, they call Jesus the great physician, have you ever thought about that? In John 5.
And then one time Jesus said in Mark 2:17, ‘it’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. ‘I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.’
Galatians 6:2, talking about a powerful text, with the family being a trauma center. It says, ‘share each other’s troubles and problems, ‘and so obey our Lord’s commands.’
Then in Hebrews 3:13 (TLB), I’m going to give you the theology, the foundation for this, build called the trauma center. ‘Encourage one another daily, as long ‘as it’s called today, so that none of ‘you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.’
Mom and dad, you’re the chief physician. The most important relationship in the home is the marriage. You do a Google Earth look at the book of Ephesians, Ephesians 4-6. God is God, marriage is marriage, kids are kids.
Parents, we would give our lives for our kids. I know that, you know that; so goes the marriage, so goes the family. We’re the physicians. I’ve been in many hospital situations where I’ve seen doctors, you know, draw away from the family and they’ll have a conference then they’ll come back because they’ve got to be, I mean they’ve got to be on the same page.
Mom, dad, that’s one of the most challenging things that we do, I mean Lisa and I, we have four kids, we’ve been married 35 years. Kids, they know how to separate and dominate, don’t they? They know, and kids want lines, they want discipline. They want love, but also they want to experience consequences, it provides them a safety net. It’s part of being in the hospital. Remember though, it’s about the marriage, it’s about the marriage.
ILLUS: I went through a time several weeks ago, I had a hard day, man I felt like I had the crap beat out of me. Well Lisa discerned that and she took me out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, we sat there, we chilled, we talked, we had a wonderful evening. She did what, she allowed me to check into the trauma center.
How do you like this pocket square? Do you like this? Yeah, you know, pocket squares are in style now. It’s hard enough to tie a tie guys, now they’ve thrown the pocket square in. What do you do with these things?
But Lisa had this cool thing. Lisa wrote me a love note, is this cool? She wrote me a love note and had it printed, made into a pocket square. She gave it to me for Christmas. So now it’s right by my heart. So I want to read this to you, because you know, full disclosure. ‘Dearest Ed, the day you called my house ‘and took my breath away was the beginning ‘of the greatest adventure. ‘You’re the most important human in my life. ‘You’re my spiritual leader, my love, ‘my favorite person on Earth, I love you. ‘Thank you for making my life amazing. ‘I love you, Lisa.’
Notes like that– Well, I don’t know, notes like that mean the world to spouses. And those notes, even on pocket squares can be like medication can’t they? You’re feeling down, you’re feeling blue, just think about that, think about that. So, as parents we should be cheerleaders, we should encourage one another. We should bare one another’s burdens, and teach our kids to do that as well, because kids will argue, they will fight. We all know that. But often times we need to say, kids, I dig it, I understand it I fought with my brothers and sisters too but here’s the deal, we’re on the same team. Your patients and also interns we’re on the same team. We’re on the same team, remember that.
Motivation, motivation, why the motivation? We’re doing it for God. Because God’s way works, God brought the family up. So, a motivated staff, is your family motivated? Good question, let’s talk about that tonight for homework.
Number two, we need to take an educated approach, we need to be educated. You know, there are more books, there are more YouTube videos, there’s more posts, more blogs, great ones about the family today than ever before. I mean, I have no excuse as a father to go man I’m just clueless, I don’t know what’s going on. No, any great doctor, talk to, I’m thinking about a lady I know from Houston who’s a world class doctor. She is right always on the bleeding edge of knowing what’s going on, she’s always reading, always studying, always going to seminars.
Wise parents, I mean we got to do the same, we got to do the same. Make sure you know what’s going on, just in our resource centers, our book stores, all of our campuses. Lisa and I have written numerous books, articles, I’ve done who knows how many lectures on the family. I’m not saying the stuff I do is the best, but there are many many other great resources for the family, lean into those, get into those and it will serve you well. Make sure you’re educated.
When you’re educated you can discern between drama and trauma, you know in the family we have to validate all feelings. It’s not like, oh you feel that way well you’re crazy. No, every feeling matters, now we have to separate feelings from facts, validate the feelings and then you go okay here’s the reality. Here’s the reality, so we study and we have discernment. Drama you know– Is different than trauma.
ILLUS: I grew up playing basketball, I was a pretty good basketball player, I got a full ride to Florida state, and when we had kids you know I always had a basketball around, and the most of the houses that we’ve lived in we’ve had basketball goal. So I taught the kids how to play basketball.
Our twins, I call them the twin towers, they’re now 22, when they were in the ninth grade they played for their school. And they were pretty good, so they would practice and go to games. And one day I said, do you guys really love the game? ‘Dad we like it, y’know we like our uniforms and we like–‘ ‘We like the crowds at the games.’ I said, ‘no no, do you love the game?’ Well I don’t know, I said, ‘Laurie, Landra, you’re going to have to practice. ‘Now I understand you go to practice at school, ‘that’s important, but we have a basketball goal at home. ‘Spend about 20 minutes a couple times a week ‘working on that sweet jump shot, dribbling, come on. ‘Because if you do it, I’m telling you, ‘you’ll have more and more playing time ‘and you’ll do really well.’ ‘Yes sir,’ because we taught our kids to say yes sir and yes ma’am, I know it’s old school but we like it.
Well, I was taking them for home from practice several weeks after that discussion, basketball practice, and they were sitting in the back seat, and Landra goes, ‘hey dad, Laurie ‘and I want to tell you something, we’ve been talking.’ I said, ‘okay.’ ‘Dad, we really feel like you’re trying to ‘live your life through us.’
I said, ‘Landra, Laurie, no I’m not.’ ‘I don’t want to brag but I was ten times better than you.’ ‘When I was in the ninth grade, I had college ‘coaches talking to me in the ninth grade.’ So that was just drama. It was not trauma.
Sometimes though, in a conversation like that, maybe that would lead to, oh I didn’t realize that. Take advantage of those special times parents. Bed times are major when the kids are small. Go into their room, just let them talk, ask some questions, you won’t believe what you’ll hear. You can help them in this family hospital. Meal times, when we have meal times, we have collect-nology, what-the-hecknology. You know what I’m saying don’t you? No cell phones, none. Let me say it again, no cell phones, none. Because we need to learn how to talk and converse questions, and here’s what happens.
When your family becomes a trauma center, everybody can be a part of the healing process. It’s a safe place to dump your stuff, your deal, your agenda out there, and you just have a fun time.
Also, not only do we have bed time and meal time, play time, play time, even when the kids are older. Have fun, laugh, the family that plays together, I know this sounds you know, corny, but stays together, where they play. Have a good time.
So an educated approach, an educated approach. Are you educated? That’s why again I applaud you for being here today. So motivated staff, educated approach.
Number three, a dedicated plan. Go to the doctor again, go to an ER, they have a plan for your wholeness and your health. It’s not just like, ‘well hopefully it’ll work out. ‘You know, man, sure am glad I’m not you.’ No no no, they’re helping. They’re encouraging. And there’s got to be trust involved, trust, trust. Have you ever thought about this? We go to the doctor, we’re sick, the doctor writes a prescription we can’t read, we go to the pharmacist we don’t even know and swallow a pill we don’t understand. Trust, we have to trust one another. And we have to build trust. Can I ask my doctor questions? Yes, I can, basic questions. But can I really ask him brilliant questions? No, now if I went 11 years to medical school, I could ask maybe some really bright questions. But my questions and your questions aren’t going to be that great.
We have got to trust, hey kids let me say it again, your parents know more than you know. I know you don’t think they do, I know you think they might be weird. I know you think they dress bad, they’re not cool, the music they listen to you think oh my goodness gracious. But I’m telling you, they know more than you know. Trust your mom and dad. Now I know there’s some exceptions, but by and large, 99% of the time your parents have your best interests in mind and they have a dedicated plan.
What’s Gods plan? You know what Gods plan is for parenting? This is straight from scripture. Parenting is the process of teaching, Deuteronomy six, and training, Proverbs 22:6, your kids, Genesis chapter 2:24, to leave. Spouses stay, kids leave, kids leave.
Now once a parent, always a parent, I get it. Once a child always a child, I understand it. And even adult kids, hey, even your parents in their 70’s/80’s, it works this way still for me, they can still help and heal and deal with pain. It’s a beautiful thing, the family is beautiful when we’re doing it Gods way. And you can do it another way, it’ll be okay but we want to reach the ultimate, we want to have ultimate success, and that’s doing it Gods way.
So again, motivated staff, talk about that tonight. Educated approach, how educated are we honey? Let’s talk about that. A dedicated plan, what’s our plan, what’s our plan? I think it’s funny, that kind of brings up this story.
Talking about doctors again, alright, let’s say you had heart surgery. You had to have major heart surgery. Heart surgery is pretty common. And you go to this rockstar heart surgeon, and this guy wheels you in and he goes ‘okay, ‘we’re about to put you under anesthesia ‘but you know what’, he says, ‘when I do this heart procedure ‘I’m going to do something totally different man. ‘I have picked five of my patients, and they’re scrubbing ‘in and they’re going to be there over on the right side of ‘the OR and I’m not going to do anything ‘to your heart until they vote, and the majority rules.’ ‘So, what should we do?’ Would we freak out? I would be like, ‘get me out of here, this is crazy.’
Isn’t it true, so many families are run by kids. The kids are the head physicians. What the kids do sets the whole course and the dine for the family, the kids. Now I understand that sometimes we do what the kids want to do but can you imagine if kids voted on where to eat every meal? You’d go to Chick-fil-A three times a day. Except on Sunday, I think they’re closed. But you’d make, you’d have the most immature people running the show.
The family is not a democracy. No no no, it is a theocracy, theos, God-led. God, God is God, marriage is marriage, kids are kids. And as long as the kids are under your parental authority mom and dad, as long as you’re providing a roof over their head, clothes on their back, food on their table. When there’s no real issues, I mean yeah there’s some issues, but you crash through those courting points.
You know, when I was a kid, I had a drug problem. My parents drug me to church. Every Sunday, I didn’t have an option. And looking back, I’m glad, I mean even now sometimes, I’m the pastor, I don’t want to go to church every week. But I do and every time I go, I say God, I’m so glad I did.
Last thing, we need a saturated system, a motivated staff, an educated approach, a dedicated plan, a saturated system.
We have an opportunity to allow the church, the ministries here, small groups, our children’s ministry, our student ministry to assist us in making the home a trauma center. Lisa and I have intentionally leaned into Fellowship Church for the years and years and years and years that we’ve been here and Fellowship has helped our family immensely. We don’t have a perfect family, you know that. But our family’s amazing, four adult kids, granddaughter on the way, they love God, they love his church. And it’s a testimony, obviously to God, but also to this great church.
Because if you think about it, just for a second, stay with me, we’re a little bit over time. What entities really highlight and underscore family values, I mean, those transcendent values given to us by God? Think about that. Okay, you might say our educational system, by and large I would say no, no, I mean there’s some exceptions but for the most part, no. How about government? Doubtful. How about arts and entertainment? Family issues, those transcendent values? Not really.
So that leaves the family pretty much alone with the church, which is the only institution that authentically highlights and underscores all of Gods transcendent values in the family. So I thank you church, for being the church, as your home, a trauma center.
ILLUS: Oh yeah, let me finish the story about the bully that cussed me out, I left you hanging. After the family meal, where my parents administered CPR. Dad took my brother and I down to the basement and he said, ‘Ed, Ben, strap on the boxing gloves.’ He said, ‘I’ve never taught you how to do this, ‘but you have to defend yourself. ‘Go to your teachers, you know, and the administration ‘but if someone hits you, you’re going to have to open up a can.’ Dad goes, ‘your grandfather,’ I didn’t even know this, ‘knocked out the guy who knocked out the world champion, ‘he was a bad man, he was a boxer.’
So Dad would begin to show us some moves and stuff, and we began to box, I was like yeah.
So the rest of the year I evaded the blond haired guy with the steel blue eyes, the bully. His name was Billy, I evaded him, sometimes he would look at me and he would– We were in different classes, I was like man this guy.
So the last day of school, the bell began to ring and I’m like, ‘yeah I made it.’ So I was walking down this long tile hall, all these kids, and I see again my moms blue Impala. And I’m thinking, I made it, I made it without having to deal with that bully. All these months I evaded him, all these months I shied away from him. So I’m walking towards my mothers car.
Who do you thinks walking right towards me? With the look on his face, this guy in the fifth grade had a big goatee, tatted up. No no no, I’m kidding, some are like, ‘he did?’ No, he didn’t, no no.
He’s walking right toward me, I’m going wow. And so I just kinda walked and he got next to me. Boom, pushed me, dropped my books, picked ’em up. Took a step forward towards my mothers car then I said, ‘no, I’m not going to live this way.’ I turned around and we went at it. I even did some professional wrestling moves. No no, I didn’t, I love professional wrestling.
Anyway, I beat him up, I pounded the guy, kicked his butt, oh he was bloody nose. ‘Stop hitting me, stop hitting me.’
So, teacher drug us to the principal’s office, and the principal said, ‘what happened, what happened?’
I said, ‘sir, this guy’s been bullying me all year ‘and he pushed me down against the wall, ‘and so I just defended myself.’
He said, ‘what’s your name?’
I said, ‘Edwin.’
He goes, ‘Great job Edwin! Go home and have a wonderful summer.’
And you know what, Billy Truesdale and I became good friends. We went to junior high together, high school together.
But that story has meant to world to me because it was the first time I realized that a home is a trauma center. Make it that way for you. Discuss those issues, and I don’t know if you realize this or not, but the outline spells MEDS, did you know that. Motivated, educated, dedicated and saturated. Take your meds and it’ll serve you well.
[Ed leads in closing prayer.]