37. Basic training for the family


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In this episode, pastor and author Dr. Gary Phillips discusses a topic he has titled “Basic Training for the Family: Biblical Principles for Navigating Cultural Minefields.”

Gary is senior pastor of Signal Mountain Bible Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he and his wife, Betsy, have served since 1985. Gary earned degrees from Vanderbilt University, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Grace Theological Seminary.

He’s also the guest speaker at White Sulphur Springs Conference Center during Week 5 of Summer R & R, which runs from July 5-12. If you haven’t made plans for that week, or for the rest of the summer, be sure to check out the White Sulphur Springs website for details about how you can get signed up for Week 5 when Gary is speaking, or get more information on all of our summer sessions.

What we talked about

Gary talks about how he has seen the military family change during the roughly 36 years he’s been involved at OCF and as a speaker at WSS. What’s different? What’s still the same?

The topic of basic training for the family has been divided into two parts: first, goals for marriage, and second, goals for parenting.

Goals for Marriage

What should be some goals for marriage?

“The very best gift that might wife ever gave to me was to begin a journey into a very deep devotional life on her own—not dependent upon me. And that produced amazing fruit for our marriage.”

What type of “basic training” is needed to help us reach those goals, or at least put us in a good position to reach them?

What cultural landmines do families face when it comes to reaching these goals for marriage?

How can a couple navigate the minefield, and either avoid those landmines or recover from a direct hit?

Goals for Parenting

What are some goals to have as parents?

What’s the “basic training” needed for parenting?

What are some landmines that families face when it comes to parenting and reaching those goals as parents?

How do families navigate the minefield together?

Recommended Resources

“The Meaning of Marriage,” by Tim Keller

“The Marriage Builder,” Larry Crabb

“The 5 Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman

"In His Image," by Jen Wilkin

“Thriving, Not Just Surviving,” by OCF (Or contact the Home Office for info about how you can purchase a copy: 800-424-1984)

Gary offers one final takeaway for listeners.

Gary shares more about himself, his involvement with OCF, and how God put it on his heart to minister to our military men, women, and families.


Remember, if you have an idea for a guest, topic, or story you’d like us to consider on a future episode, send an email to me at podcast@ocfusa.org. Thanks for taking time out of your day to spend it with us, and we hope you’ll join us for the next episode of OCF Crosspoint.

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