Have a New Kid by Friday

Good parenting requires being an authority, not authoritarian

Kevin Leman
May 21, 2017    40m
Being an authority to your kids is essential to good parenting, but we don't want to be an authoritarian to themm and certainly we shouldn't be over permissive. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Kevin Leman: 00:13 -video playing-

Kevin Leman: 01:03 Hi. Good morning.

Kevin Leman: 01:07 Oh, I tell you, it's fun to be an alive church. You guys are great. Uh, I've had so much fun here. How can you have fun when you're preaching? Well, you can have fun preaching in a church like this. Wow. I'm just excited to be here.

Kevin Leman: 01:20 A couple of things. I've been married for 49 years, in a row. To the same lucky woman that just wrote a brand new book called "Have A New Sex Life By Friday". And, our kids are chagrin to think that mom and dad could possibly still... Yes, children, it's true. The joys of life. Um, I have five children. All boys, except 4 girls. And uh, I live in Tucson. Um, I am starting a charter school here in Chandler, one year from this August, August 18, Leman Academy of Excellence, where we preach authority in a classroom, teachers hand. And trust me, that makes a difference. We're a classical school, which means we have high expectation for your kids, your grandchildren. We don't take excuses from you, your children, or anyone. Excuses make the weak weaker. And we've just been able to pull that off. But I'm only telling you this because I'm going to be talking to you about the word "authority' today, as we talk about having a new kid by Friday. That's a topic, and "Have a New kid By Friday" is a New York Times best selling book. I've written, I think, 58 books now, or something like that. But um, the "Have a New Kid By Friday". Planet Middle School, you know what they are like, you have just normal kid and all of a sudden they hit age 11. To quote Mrs. Upington, the woman I've lived with for 49 years, she says, "The 11 year old female is the worst creature walking the planet." As a former coach of girls junior high basketball team, I can tell you they're very weird, and you cannot speak to them like you do young men, and then have a new teenager by Friday. So these three books, most of what we're hearing about this morning, and there's talk come from those three books, also brought a book along called "The Way of the Shepherd". If you, if you lead people, trust me, just go online and read the reviews before you buy the book, but it's a wonderful little book about what true leadership is all about. You obviously have a lot of leaders in this school.

Kevin Leman: 03:58 But, I got to tell you quickly that I graduated. This is the humorous part to me. I graduated fourth in my class in high school in a place called Williamsville, New York, outside of Buffalo, and unfortunately, was fourth from the bottom and not fourth from the top. So, one of my vivid memories was sitting in first grade. Remember those little chairs where you would sit around a little circle, you know? And back in those days, it was politically incorrect America. They didn't care. We had the red birds, the bluebirds, the yellow birds. I was a crow. We knew who we were. Well, one of my vivid memories is looking at the girl next to me. She's eating white paste. Remember the three inch jars of white paste? Well, I'm looking at her thinking, "I know I don't belong in this group." But, that's where I started off. So, all the things that we're doing, building schools and all that, and an author and all that, I got to tell you what happened, because I couldn't get in college. Finally got into college on probation with a 12 unit load. Got thrown out a year later for stealing the conscience fund. I wish I had time to tell you that one, but I don't. Came down to Tucson where my parents had just moved because my brother was a graduate student at Arizona, and um, my life changed one day. Now, Gentlemen, you got to trust me on this one, and ladies just listen, because this is a male skill, but I was a janitor, 19, smoking my Salem cigarettes, being about as cool as one could be at 19. And uh, one day, this five foot, nine inch gorgeous, knockdown, slender brunette walked down the hallway. Ladies, whether you like that or not, that's a male skill. And, long story short, I've got to shorten it, the first words I ever spoke to my wife were in the men's restroom of that hospital. She was the trigger that God used to turn my whole life around. God gave me motivation, went back to school full-time, worked full-time, got on the Dean's list, and never looked back.

Kevin Leman: 06:06 But, here's the thing, God, if she would've shared with me, uh, the four spiritual laws, I wouldn't be speaking to you this morning. She just loved me as I am. She said kissing me was like kissing an ashtray. She hated it, but she saw something inside of me that was good. And I'm truly grateful for that, because I wouldn't be here today, if it wasn't for her. So does God use ordinary people do extraordinary things? He does, every day, keeps doing it. So the Ministry of this church, I know we think it comes out of the pulpit, by the way you should chip in and get a real pulpit, but the Real Ministry of this church, the real ministry in his church, starts when we go outside those doors, and we just love people as they are. It's hard to do sometimes. But again, our topic is "Have a New Kid By Friday", and I love the, that kid they put up there, you know, on "Grounded for Life"? That kid's expression is great. I mean, I could take that kid on the road with me. "We have seen the enemy, and they are small." Yeah, they are.

Kevin Leman: 07:13 But, let me get us on track, here. I can get carried away, sometimes. Um, there's not a lot of scripture. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, that really deals specifically with rearing children and all the God's work. There's a few in Colossians there, a few little places, here and there, but this is one I think we can hang our hat on. Listen to it. This is Ephesians, Saint Paul, he says in the sixth chapter, starting in that first verse, "Children, obey your parents. This is the right thing to do, because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother." This is the first of God's Ten Commandments, and it ended with a promise, and this is the promise, "If you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing. Now, the key word in that, and the reason I like the Living Bible, which this happens to be, in fact on my Bible, it says, "Margaret Horn." Margaret has left us. Dollar, dollar, one dollar at a yard sale, because I wore out my other one, but I love the word "authority", and you've all seen the bumper sticker that says, what, "Question Authority." The word "submissive". People hate the word "submissive". I got news for you, if you're a married, you better understand what "submissive" means. And Gentlemen, when your wife says, "Do you want to stop for ice cream?" She is not asking you a question. When she says, "Honey, we need to talk." No words are needed by you, sir.

Kevin Leman: 08:47 But, this is what I want to tell you. What's made our schools so successful, and again we'll be here in Chandler next August 18th, is we put authority in the classroom, teachers hand. You will never be successful in your school until you get there. Teachers must have authority in the classroom. And uh, we're trying to change that model and want to do that all across the country. Uh, but here's what I want you to understand, and hold me to this statement, there's only one way to rear a child. Now, I've just painted myself in a corner, right? Only one way, Leman, right? One way, you gotta be kidding me? There has got to be a lot of ways to rear a kid. Well, there are a lot of bad ways to rear a kid. There's the one way to rear kid that's consistent what the word of God says in Ephesians 6, and we're going to get to that. But every place I go, I'm greeted by parents, "Oh, Dr. Leman, we are so glad you're here, because we, too, want happy, happy, happy children." I mean, I can quote myself in the book, "Have a New Kid By Friday", here's the quote, "An unhappy child is a healthy child." Think about it. An unhappy child is a healthy child. There's times your son or daughter has to be unhappy. Why? Because they bad mouth you, they ragged on their brother, they stole something, they disobeyed you. So, part of growing up is holding kids accountable for what they do, what they say, and there's times in life they're going to be very unhappy. There's going to be times you're going to be not the most popular person on their block. Why? Because this is a God-given right to you to stand, in authority, over your children.

Kevin Leman: 10:19 Now, here's the kicker. Most of us in this room grew up with authoritarian parents. We all did, for the most part. We were Irish Catholic. The Lemans. Lemans were Irish Catholic. My mother was a Protestant. She was the one that dragged us to church, and I hated church I had no, I should tell you this, straight out, I had no use for God in my life, but more about that later. But anyway, uh, my dad, uh, he just, he was the authoritarian. He'd say things like this, "Hey, 8:00, 8:00, translation, bedtime." If you didn't move, he'd follow it up with, "Hey, you want to go to bed on your own power, or do you want me to be ricocheted to bed? "But the point was, what, you're going to bed. But see that was the authoritarian. The authoritarian ruled with an iron hand. You know it? Some of you ladies, your dad would just, "Oh, they told me don't walk over that line. That's a sin in this church, right there." Some of you, "Mommy's telling me that when you were little, your dad would just give you the "look". And when you got the "look", your little heels clicked together, and your whole body tightened up." And somebody said, "Hey, it wasn't my dad, it was my mom. She had a "look" that could kill." But the point is, the authoritarian knows what's best for their child. OK? They, "Hey, you want something to cry about? I'll give you something to cry about. Don't made me come over there." See, here's, this is the authoritarian parent. OK? And, you just sort of run over kids, and if you're consistent enough and strong enough, years ago, you could make that work, and we did it under the guise of "this is a good way to be a parent". My Dad would threaten us with a shillelagh, and he'd say, "You want me to get the shillelagh?" And I remember as a nine-year-old kid this, "No, don't get the shillelagh. I'll do whatever you want me to do, just don't get the shillelagh." With God as my judge, I didn't know what a shillelagh was. I never saw a shillelagh. I was a sophomore in college when I discovered a shillelagh was like a walking stick. But as a kid growing up, I lived in fear of the shillelagh.

Kevin Leman: 12:58 And take a four-year-old at the mall over here, a four-year-old at the mall wants a treat and mom and dad says, "No, it's too close to dinner." Whatever. Four-year-old throws a temper tantrum right there on the marble carpet. Okay? What is a parent to do? You step over the child. There's a great temptation to step on the child, which is very illegal, don't do that. But if you walk over the child and start walking away, 9 out of 10 times, that kid will pick themselves up and do a belly flop in front of you a second time. What that kid is saying by way of their action is, "I am in authority over you, and you, as a parent, are going to do what I demand." And today, kids are hedonistic little, powerful suckers, and like fools, we have made the mistake of trying to bring kids up to feel like they're the center of the universe. Now I'm not that smart folks, but I figured this one out, if you bring a kid up to feel like he's the center of the universe, where's the room for Almighty God in the kid's life? And, I can answer that question. There's no room for God if this kid feels like he's the center of the universe. In Leman Academy, you walk in and we've got pictures of kids who were voted on in their class as most encouraging to one another, so one of our mantras is "Be kind to one another. Encourage one another." I walk into class, second grade class, what kind of class are you? They'll say in unison, "We're a kind class, or respectful class." I'm telling you folks, we can do this. This is not something that we can't do.

Kevin Leman: 14:28 Now, here's a traditional mother, cold winter morning in Phoenix, Arizona, the Valley of the Sun, home of the Sun Devils, and the Cardinals. The temperature plummets to a bone chilling 66 degrees. What does mom prepare for little Buford on that Saturday morning? Oatmeal? Cream of Wheat? One Lady told me it was a love pat for the tummy, it was so cute. Anyway, here comes little Buford. He's just four and a half years old. Got his blankie, comes out. By the way, it's like church. I always sit the same place. You ever come to church and someone's in your seat? "Excuse me, this is four rows back, on the right side." Well, kids are the same way. Anyway, he looks down at the bowl of Cream of Wheat, and he says, "Yuck, I don't want that." Or, if he's sophisticated, "That's gross." Now, what does traditional mom say to little Buford? "Honey, eat it. It's good for you. Eat it, and you'll be big and strong, like your 133 pound father." If that doesn't work, then we tell them about people over in Bangladesh, who would love to have that food. If your kid is of average intelligence, or better, they'll say, "Hey, mom, send it to them." But see, this is the traditional thing. We know what's best for our kids, and it's very benign, because if I push you on it, you could tell me what's best for your kids. The problem is, God made all of their kids differently. The first born turns left, the second born turns right, or vice versa. I wrote the birth order book. I know something about that. Check this out. Identical twins, identical twins have the same DNA. They're genetically the same person. This blows my mind. They have different fingerprints. Why would Almighty God give identical twins different fingerprints, to help the FBI? Or was this God's way of saying, "You are my son, you are my daughter. You are what? You are different than everybody else." So, that's why we have different bedtimes and different allowances. Gentleman, I'll pick on you. Okay? Alright, 9:00. I want everybody in bed now." Why do you say that? Because you want to fool around with the wife, tell the truth. You want the kids out of the way. It makes much more sense to grant the birthright to the oldest child. Let them stay up a little bit more, put the youngest to bed first. In biblical times, the firstborn son, talk about sexist, they got more than their fair share of Dad's farm, dad's estate, whatever it was. And so again, keep in mind that God doesn't treat us the same. State of Arizona, it's not going to treat your kids the same. 16 year olds driving, 14 year olds wishing, 9 year olds dreaming. So, get ready for it. That's the way life is.

Kevin Leman: 17:34 Now, here's the question of the morning, is God... In fact, on tv, those guys, those guys on tv that drive me nuts, they don't say "God", they say "Go-da." How they get away with that "Go-da." Well, here's the question, is God an authoritarian? That's the question. He's not an authoritarian, but he is the supreme authority. In Scripture it says, "Every knee shall bow." He doesn't grab us by the scruff of the neck. He doesn't twist our ear lobe and say, "You will acknowledge me." That's how much he loves us. He gave us free will. Do you see what I'm saying? Don't align yourself with authoritarianism. There's a lot of people who wrote books on rearing kids who really reinforced the authoritarian nature of the parent. Unfortunately, it doesn't line up with who God is, so you need to keep in mind that there's three basic types of parents. You've got the Authoritarians, but if you go way over here to the other side, so fairly far removed from that authoritarian, you'll find the new avant-garde, permissive parent. They're a dime a dozen. You'll step on them every five feet. These parents can't wait to make their kids happy at every turn. They want their kids to win. They're fearful they're going to fall through the cracks, and so, they do things like this, and say things like this, "Hey, would you kids turn that music down. I'm trying to finish her homework." Yeah, or how about this one? "Oh, Dr. Leman, Frank and I feel very strongly about this. We believe in non-competitive sport, so we've enrolled Melissa in a non-competitive soccer. We believe every child should get a trophy. Every child should be a winner."

Kevin Leman: 19:38 I'd like to meet the person who came to Jesus Christ this morning out of victory. I've never met that person. You come to Jesus Christ, who came just like I did, out of failure, out of realizing, "Hey Lord, we sang the words today, 'I want to give all myself, or something of that, to you.'" That's the deal that God makes. He doesn't he doesn't make bargains on that. He wants all of you. He's a jealous God, and so, we see the Permissives. You know, I mean, they snowplow the roads in the light for kids. They do things for kids they shouldn't. They let them off the hook. And here's the thing, if you're bringing up your kid the authoritarian way, you'll sow the seeds of rebellion in that kid's life. Go way over to this extreme, be the permissive parent that's knocking yourself out, trying to make your kids happy at every turn, and good luck with that, you're going to sow the same seeds of rebellion. Each extreme rebels. So, the obvious conclusion is if you're that balance parent in the middle that's in authority, and I give it, it's hard to do. It's hard to do, because our initial reaction is to revert back to what we were brought up with. How many of you will admit that you've told yourself as a parent, "I will never say that to my kids." Not only do you say it, but you say it with the same tone and inflection your parents said it to you. "Don't poke your eye out." When was the last time you saw a kid poke his eye out? "If you don't sit up in that chair, you're gonna break your neck." I mean, we say all kinds of things that are repetitive because that's what our parents said to us.

Kevin Leman: 21:26 Here's part of the problem, and we won't get into marriage, but I love marriage, two people walk down a flower-strewn aisle. How many people just got married? Sir, how many people? Two, you're four off, but I enjoy your effort, because there's at least six people who just got married. Where am I getting the six from? You marry your in-laws. I'm glad you're sitting down for that one, but do you know what I'm saying? That if you bring into marriage all kinds of baggage, and your dad didn't affirm you, and you have that critical eye, and you're always picking flaws in your firstborn, you're not going to have a firstborn who's successful. You're going to have a firstborn who is cautious, who doesn't start new things, who fears criticism so much they don't even try anymore, a whole other topic, but I should stay on line, because I'm running out of time already.

Kevin Leman: 22:42 So, back to the permissive. "Um, Brittany, Brittany, honey, it's 8 o'clock. Have you chosen to go to bed, yet?" Little different than, "Hey, 8 o'clock." Neither of those are great, but in the middle, Okay, we hold kids accountable, okay? We build-in things in the home that build responsibility. We let kids get back to the family. Eleven-year-olds should pay every bill in your family online. Every bill, 11 year olds. Why? They need to know how much rent is. They need to know how much your mortgage payment is. How much a car payment is. I call it reality discipline. Okay? And that's missing in our country and Canada, as well. They're as bad as we are. So, working towards holding kids accountable. Teenagers, they're an interesting group. Teenager says to his parents, "Get off my case. Get out of my life. Give me space. Chill out. Back off, man, don't have a cow." Six foot, one inch tight-end, over at, local school over here, in Tempe. Hour and a half later, "Hey, Dad, can I take the car? I want to go over with Jake's house and shoot some hoops." "Well, uh, I'd love to help you, son, but right now I'm, uh, out of your life." Do you see? Do you see the teachable moment? And, ladies, you represent everything to your son. All womanhood to your son. Want to do your son a great favor? Don't take any crap from them, to put it bluntly. None. Zero, Nada, Zip, Zilch. Dads and daughters, be careful. Girls can manipulate their daddy up and down. So, key relationships in families, mothers, sons, daddies, daughters. Husband and wife must be on the same page. If they're not on the same page, it makes it awful tough for kids. It makes kids make all kinds of choices that aren't good for them.

Kevin Leman: 24:36 Here's a little four-year-old coming home from preschool. I love this example. He's only four. These kids know where they get every fat gram and every carb between their preschool and home. They know every Dunkin' Donut place. They know, I mean, you name it. And so, the kid wants to stop for a treat, and mom says, and mom's like many moms today, she works at home with her computer for company, and she says, very matter of fact, "Honey, we can't stop for a treat today. We've got to go straight home, but we will have something when we get home." And the kid goes ballistic. He won't accept that, and he has a meltdown in the back seat, a power tantrum. Now again, power tantrum, okay? What's the purpose of nature of the Tantrum? To show you as a parent, "I'm an authority over you. That I'm the boss. I call the shots." St. Paul says just the opposite. So, this kid has a meltdown. I don't make these examples up, this is real life, and this four-year-old kid screams, out of the backseat, to his mother, "I hate you. I hate you." You pushed, ladies, for nine hours to give this little sucker life. He went through the birth canal. Now, I am not an expert on birth canals, but I know they're smaller than the babies. Now my question is, what do you do when your own flesh and blood says, "I hate you." Do you pull off the highway, change his name to Isaac, and try to kill him right on the spot? Not a good idea. So, what this mom does is she holds her cool. She comes home, pulls into her carport, lets the kid out. Okay? Four-year-old comes in looking for the cookies and milk, and they're not there. What's the kid do? Does he stick his hands in his pockets and say, "I'm out of luck." No, he goes and chases down his mom. "Mommy, mommy, where's the chocolate chip cookies and milk?" "We're not having chocolate chip cookies and milk today." You know, he won't let it go. They're hedonistic little suckers. He'll come right after you, "Mommy, I just don't understand. We always have chocolate chip cookies and milk after school." And now, you got to, and now his ears are open. Now, his heart is open, so to speak. What do you do? Pow, right in the face. No, you don't do that. You do not do that. Please. If you are hearing impaired like me, don't do that. Okay? But you tell them. You let them have it with words, "Honey, I don't like the way you talked to me in the car. I never want to be talked to like that again." You let them know it. Okay? Now, when you say that to a kid, he'll belly up, okay? He'll start crying, "I'm sorry when I said.." Snot all over them. It's not a nice look, even. But once he gets his little act together, okay, and he said, "Mommy, I'm sorry." Listen to what this little sucker has to say, "Mommy, can we have our chocolate chip cookies and milk now?" And the answer is, survey says, "No." Well, he did apologize. "Hey, lady, come on. Get a life, here." Do you understand what's happening? He's working you. We'll talk cookies tomorrow. We'll see if he's learned that over a 24-hour period. So, don't be so quick to make everything right, and fuzzy, and wonderful. That's why I say an unhappy child is a healthy child.

Kevin Leman: 28:13 Now, do you ever feel like an imperfect parent? Like you don't measure up? Feel a little guilt come into your life? Check this out. Flaunt your imperfection. Be the first to say, "I'm sorry. Honey. I misspoke. Would you forgive me? I was wrong." We model that forgiveness in the home. I met these people in the Bible, and they weren't the brightest bulbs in the tree, to tell you the truth. There were 12 of them, and they called them the Disciples. These are the people that walked and talked with Jesus. Saw Him feed the 5,000, change the water into wine, healed the blind man. And by the way, Jesus always did things perfectly right. When he healed a blind man, you didn't hear the blind man say, "Well, I can see the big "E"." Jesus did things perfectly right? He's the perfect one. You and I are imperfect, flaunt your imperfection. Okay? It's as simple as that. But these disciples, who we all look up to, where'd you find them after Jesus was nailed to that cross? Parading the streets saying, "We're friends of Jesus?" No, they were hiding behind locked doors, and what does Jesus do? And by the way, why did Jesus allow so many people to see him on that first Easter? Why would he later that week speak to a crowd of 500 people? Do you think it had something to do with the fact that he knew how difficult it was for some of us to believe? For example, "I'll believe it when I see the nail prints in his hands." Have a look. How does Jesus appear to the disciples? Does he knock on the door and say, "I'm going to huff and puff and blow this door down if you don't open it up." Does he just say, "Fellas, fellas, I'm home." No, in a supernatural way, as only Jesus could do. All of a sudden, he appears in their midst. That's what the Scripture says. I'm telling you, these great pillars of the church were checking their pants. They couldn't believe what they just saw, because they saw their master nailed to that cross. They saw him die, and here is alive, and what did he say? "In three days, I'm gonna fill myself up." There he is. You ever feel like you fall short as a parent? Fall short in your faith? You're in good company, because the Disciples did the same thing, and they saw all those miracles before their very eyes. Saint Paul, pretty important person, you know how churches are named after Saint Paul throughout the US and Canada? It's unbelievable. He calls himself wretched. If he's wretched, what are you and me? And what I'm trying to tell you is Jesus came to Earth to put an end to religion. It's all about Jesus. You worship him. He's the way, the truth, and the life. And so, all these things, whether it's our parents, our marriage, our, our checkbook, our banking account, Jesus has to rule over all things. You have to fork it over, but here's the human condition, and this is what you'll do, if you're like Lehman, okay? "Oh Lord, you're the potter, I'm the clay, but I do have a few suggestions." Doesn't work like that. "Oh Lord, I'm yours. All 96 percent." Allowing us to hang on to that four percent. That's what gets us in trouble right there. God is a jealous God. He wants all of us. He wants us to fork it all over, so that He can start a work in us, okay, so that we become a blessing to our own children, to others in our community.

Kevin Leman: 31:35 And if I could just get parents to understand a couple things. Number one, there's a great difference in responding versus reacting. The doctor says to you, "Hey, you reacted to the medicine. That's not good." If this will help you remember, remember that. Reaction? Not good. Response? Very good. Okay? I'll pick on you single moms. You're having breakfast with your nine year old son. He looks up at you and says, "Mommy, I want a pony." "A pony? A pony?" She's got a deep voice. "A pony? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of, and I'm telling if a bird had your brain, he'd fly sideways. What is wrong with you? A pony? Where do you get ideas like that? You are outrageous." That's a reaction. Let me give you the response. "Mommy, I want a pony." "A pony? Wow. Can you imagine having your own pony? Can you imagine, in the morning, riding your pony to school? Going by the kids at the bus stop, getting down to the school, tying up your pony outside of school? Bell rings, all the kids go the cafeteria, like trained rats, not you. You gotta go outside. Check on your pony. Nine-year-old says, "Yeah, mom, but we live in a two bedroom apartment. We can't have a pony here." The kid will figure it out. Respond, react.

Kevin Leman: 33:05 My son comes to the dinner table one night and shouts out, "I'm getting an earring." I mean, my wife, the Baptist, Mrs. Upington, I call her, because she's the classy one. Likes five-fork restaurants. I like one-fork, plastic is fine, but she looks at me like this when Kevin is not looking at me. She says...she wanted me to tell him that he's not going to get an earring. I couldn't care less if he gets an earring. That's a molehill. That's not a mountain. So for three days, my wife is on my case. The third day, I took matters into my own hand. I went and got an earring, and I thought for sure he'd nail it right off the bat. He didn't. He's wolfing down to dinner. He's not paying attention to me. So finally, I did one of these things where I reached in front of him, and all of a sudden, it got his attention. His eyes narrowed and he looked at me. He said, "You look absolutely ridiculous." I said, "Really? Your mom likes it?" Well, I'm glad to report, he's in his thirties, and he has not had an earring yet, so I think we're safe. You know, in the book "Planet Middle School", I try to tell parents, "How do you sidestep some of these? Kids get weird. They just get weird, to put it bluntly. They say weird things. They act weird, and all that. So when a kid slams the door, what is the authoritarian parent say, "Hey, no one should be slamming a door in this house, young lady." The parent I'd like to re to, to recreate is the authoritative parent that would say something like, "Excuse me, honey. I'm not sure what that slammed door meant. Does that mean you're sick of living in this four bedroom home, with premium wifi?" Or your kid rolls her eyes. "Hey, don't you be rolling your eyes in this house, young man." "Hey honey, do that again. Oh, that was so good. Do that in slow motion. That was so cool. Give me five." I mean, they're kids. They're dumb as mud. That's why God has given us parents to help guide these kids through these tough times. It's bad enough being a kid out there. And I'm telling you, if you don't talk to your kids, my advice when kids turn music up too loud, go walk in there and say, "Hey, turn that up." Don't tell them to turn it down. And then, make a fool of yourself, bop around a little bit.

Kevin Leman: 35:32 I don't know. It make sense to me. Has all my life. I've got five kids, who love each other, have each other's backs, and guess what? They like hanging out with the old folks. It doesn't get better than that, folks. I'm telling you. But how do you do that? You do that because you've put the time, the effort, into these kids lives. My daughter made the mistake one day of calling our firstborn, who we practiced on, she called her stupid. It coincided, when parents had to go to school and each kid got a chance to introduce their parents, "This is my mom and dad, Dr. Kevin Leman and, uh, Sandy Leman." "Well, thank you, Holly." We joined hands, and we said, and we sang a little song to the class, "We are Holly Lehman's stupid parents. We are Holly Leman's stupid parents." You can write me a nasty email about that, if you want. Holly is in charge of 21 schools. Holly is an English teacher by trade, happily married, and did she ever call her parents stupid again? No, she didn't.

Kevin Leman: 36:51 Praise and encouragement. Real quick. God is worthy of your praise. Your kids aren't. Encourage them. Don't praise them. Don't praise your wife. Don't praise your husband. God is worthy of your praise. Encourage other people. Your kids bring home, your kid brings home five "A's". Traditional parent, "Oh, five "A's". We are so proud of you. I'm calling grandma right now, and Aunt Martha. Oh, she's going to want to know how well you did. Oh, I am so proud of you, honey. Here's $20." That's praise plus reward. Let me give you the difference with encouragement, "Wow, five "A's", honey, you gotta be proud of yourself. All that work you put in there, it looks like it really paid off. Congratulations." And you just saved yourself $20. You want that kid to connect the dots, and parents don't always connect the dots. It's like my friend, [inaudible], who goes into seventh grade and asks the question to seventh grade boys, "Hey, boys, what's green and says "ribbit"." Nobody says a word. "Hey, boys, come on? What's green and says "ribbit"? Finally, a kid ponies up. He says, "Well, I think it's a frog, but I'll say, Jesus." Jesus? I mean, you see that disconnect? We have to connect the dots. We're the parent. You got four aces in your back pocket, play those four aces, be an authority over your kids. I'm hurrying as fast as I can.

Kevin Leman: 38:14 Can you be a better Christian? Sucker question. You cannot be a better Christian, you either believe or you don't. Revelation 3:20 says, "If you're lukewarm about me, I'm gonna spit you out of your mouth, out of my mouth." So, you either love God or you don't. Okay? And that has to come across in your family and how you articulate true loved your kids. I think as God looks at us this morning, He sees these little incomplete pictures. How many of you have pictures your little kids drew, and they're on your refrigerator door someplace in the house? Here's the question. Are those any good? "Good? They're downright precious, Leman. My grandson drew that picture of that airplane right there for his grandma." "Ma'am, I talked to Timothy, and that's a dinosaur." "Well, it's still precious." I think that's how the Almighty God looks at us this morning, folks, as little, incomplete pictures. Yes. You don't have it all together, so don't act like you have it all together. Be the first to say, "Honey, I'm sorry I ran over your feelings." That Holly I told you about, at age 11, and I'll never forget the words. I ran over her feelings big time, and she said to me, through her teeth, she said, "You know what you ought to do?" And, to show you how stupid I am, I said, "What?" She said, "You ought to read your own book."

Kevin Leman: 39:34 Let me pray for us, we're overtime. Lord, what an awesome responsibility of being a parent. It's a tough journey for so many, especially for those single moms and single dads going it alone. Lord, we're mindful of the fact that Your grace is sufficient, and I think about the fact that you've given us so much, and that is grace. Sometimes I ask myself, "Why does God give us so much grace?" And I've come to the conclusion, we get so much grace, because we need it, each of us need it. So Lord, as we continue this journey of parenting our kids, yes, we'd take a bullet for them, we love them with all of our heart. Lord, I just pray that people will get it, that we need to be an authority over our children, without being an authoritarian, and certainly not being a permissive. So Lord, thank you for this vibrant church that's alive. Continue to pour your bounty out upon them. Bless every family here, be with us on this day, which is your day, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286