Firm Foundation

Parenting techniques that work

Linn Winters
Jun 4, 2017    41m
The greatest spiritual impact parents have on their children is how they live out their faith. Pastor Linn shows us some parenting techniques that will help our kids to be prepared for the future. 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.

Pastor Linn: 00:00 Hey Cornerstone. How are you doing?

Pastor Linn: 00:47 Hey, we're landing this conversation that we've been having about parenting today, and in just a few moments. If you came for a deep theological talk, bad Sunday. But if you came for some real practical help, I mean the stuff where you're going to walk out and go, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, that's going to change things around my house, this may be the best Sunday you've had in a long time. Because we're just talking about the four things I wish somebody had told me before I started being a parent.

Pastor Linn: 01:13 And it's an interesting moment in my life right now, I find myself starting to parent all over again. Some of you know the story that Lisa and I, years ago, adopted one of the little gals who was at the orphanage in Harooma . Which is one of the main places that we support through missions here, and through a set of circumstances, and then decisions about those circumstances, there just came a moment when it was determined that our little grandchild through Sylvia there was going to come and live with us. We're not sure how long or what that is, but right now I am parenting all over again. I think we've got a picture of Catalina right here. So I'm parenting Catalina which is a lot of fun and, just a little bit scary because she's smarter than I am. Anyways, so we're, we're just gonna we're gonna do this together as fellow travelers on this journey okay?.

Pastor Linn: 02:08 Just real quick, before we start, I just want to do a shout out to San Tan, to Scottsdale, to everybody that's over in The Venue right now to make room in this room to the 5:00 PM service.

Pastor Linn: 02:18 Guys, just glad you're here for the conversation, hopefully it helps, it helps, it helps. Now you need to hear me say straight up, I am not the world's most perfect parent, I am not. Matter of fact, I used to tell Josh all the time when he was growing up "Dude, when I get done with you, you're going to need counseling and on a pastor's salary, you're out of luck. So prepare yourself." Man I made plenty of mistakes along the way. I remember in particular one time, Josh was about three. Our sister, my sister in-law, was living with us at the time. One evening she said "Man, I am so sick. I don't think I'm going into work tomorrow." So I asked her, I said "Hey is there any chance, I know you're sick, but is there any chance that since you're staying home that Josh could stay home with you? That just feels better than him being in childcare all the time?" And she said "Oh absolutely, no big deal." So sure enough she stayed home, Josh stayed home with her. I came from work at lunchtime and brought him lunch and t worked out really cool. So then that night I went to her and said "Hey, how are you feeling?" And she said "I'm still just sick as a dog." I thought okay well two days in a row, so lunchtime comes the next day and I drive back home with lunch in tow again. Only to find, you're ready for this? My three year old son sitting on the floor alone with a box of cereal poured out on the floor because he had navigated getting into the cupboard, pouring the cereal on the floor, and had been eating it so he could survive. He is just weeping, and I think what a horrible sister in-law! What reasonable adult leaves a three year old child alone? Maybe she went to go get lunch, I don't know, but what was she thinking? And just as I am going through my mind and coming up with the 30 things I'm going to say to her the moment that I see her, I remember hearing her blow dry her hair at 5:00 in the morning and she'd gone to work and I had left Josh alone until lunchtime.

Pastor Linn: 04:24 So I just say, guys, I'm not the perfect parent. And right about now you're going "So why are you talking to us?" Valid question. So here's the deal. I was a youth pastor for 17 years, which gave me the privilege of watching literally dozens upon dozens upon dozens of parenting styles, hundreds of parenting decisions. The other is I am really old, which means I've lived long enough to see how those decisions turned out. And so guys, maybe somewhere in this, maybe there's a nugget of wisdom. Something that's going to be helpful for you as you navigate this thing of parenting. And guys just want to see in the room, even if you're an aunt, an uncle and you don't have your own kids or you're a grandparent and you go my parenting's done. No, it's not. I guarantee you've got young ones in your life that you have the opportunity to make a huge, huge effect on them. And the reality is if you are in this room today and your a parent, chances are nobody's going to have the effect that you have on your own children.

Pastor Linn: 05:27 Here's something that's interesting. If you take all the time that kids spend sleeping and all the time that they spend at school, you still end up with about forty six hundred hours every year to parent your children. Now take away the artificial parent, TV and video games. Anybody want to guess how many hours the average kid spends watching TV and video games every year? Sixteen hundred hours, non parenting hours. But even when you take that away, you get that you and I still end up with the majority of time. You and I are still left with about 2,900 plus hours to influence and parent our child. And chances are what you and I do will have the greatest effect on how our children turnout in the end. You are God's biggest leverage into your child's life.

Pastor Linn: 07:01 So with that in mind, I just want to talk about what are four things that I wish I had known as a parent, before I started to be a parent. That you could steal and use, you could leverage into your child's life. You ready? So the first one is simply this. I wish somebody had told me that I should prepare my child to obey. Let me say it again, that I should prepare my child by giving them a margin of time in order to prepare them to obey me. How many have ever experienced this? Your kid's been a halfway reasonable for most of the day. You're going, hey, this has been a good day. You get to bedtime and you say to your child, hey, it's time to get ready for bed and your child instantaneously melts down. Alright nobody, so which part of that did not agree with? The part about being fairly good the rest of the day? Was that the part that? All right, but you've experienced the meltdown, right? You've experienced ahhhhh and the head spins and green stuff comes at you. You've experienced that moment, right? And you go, where did this come from? How did that happen in my child's life? And I'm just going to suggest to you it's possible that's happening because you've just asked for instantaneous obedience. Because you realize that the moment you became a parent, you probably didn't sense it at the time, but you know it to be true, God somehow gave you the sixth sense in your life that whenever you ask your child to obey, it's at the worst possible moment.The best thing that has happened on TV is happening in this moment, Gi Joe is almost ready to save the world, and now you come in and say, hey, it's time to...fill in the blank. And that somehow you have this uncanny gift to ask for obedience at exactly the worst possible moment and you're asking for it in the moment instantaneously. Which leaves your child in a position of having to decide what my two options are disobey or miss the best moment of my entire day. Which sets your child up for dilemma every single time. So my suggestion is that you would say to your child in preparation for obedience "Hey, in a little while, in 10 minutes I'm going to come and it's going to be time to get ready for bed." Which then gives them 10 minutes to plan obedience, to prepare their hearts to wind down the TV, to do whatever they're going to do to prepare to obey you.

Pastor Linn: 09:33 Guys, I'm going to suggest that Jesus did this all the time with his disciples. How many times do you think about it if you are familiar with the Bible that Jesus said, hey guys, guess what? In a little while, I'm not going to be here and it's gonna get harder, and I just want you to prepare your hearts to do the right thing in the hard moment. Jesus would say, hey, you just need to know you think you've been tempted now, there's going to be a moment. Satan's going to tempt you like crazy. So don't be surprised, don't let it freak you out,. Start preparing your heart now for the moment when that happens. I'm just simply suggesting that you and I are super wise, when we do the very same thing for our children's heart. When we say "Hey, in 10 minutes I'm going to ask you to obey." I'm going to ask you to carry out the trash. I'm gonna ask you to clean your room. Because the good part is maybe commercials come on and now they can go run gets pajamas or they can carry the trash and come back. It gives them a chance to prepare to obey. Then the bigger the thing you're asking, the more lead time you need to give. If you're planning on Saturday morning, them not being able to play with their friends, but instead they're going to do housework with you. Then guys start on Tuesday. Hey, I just want you to know this Saturday, the whole family is going to spend the morning cleaning the house. That's, that's what we're gonna do and we're not going to stop until it's done. So I just want you to be aware. I mean you're a wise parent if several times during the week, Thursday, Friday, you say hey guys we want to remind you, Saturday is family clean day. I just want you to be ready and you're preparing your child to prepare their heart not to meltdown when you call them to obedience.

Pastor Linn: 11:18 So I'm a youth pastor. I knew there was going to come to season and Joshua's life where he was going to suddenly decide that his parents were idiots and all of his friends had suddenly blossomed with the wisdom of the ages. You know what I'm talking about it's 13, that's that moment. And so we started early. We started at six or seven saying, "Josh, we're just telling you right now, there's going to be a moment when you're going to think that mom and dad are really dumb and you're friends are way smarter than us. You just need to know that in that moment you're going to need to be prepared to do what mom and dad say." And Joshua said to us, "That'll never happen." We go, "No Josh, you know, just prepare your heart. Get ready." Sure enough, 13, he gets invited to a party and the party 's all about swimming and they're going to hang out and then when most of the party goes away, uh, there were five guys that were going to then go out skateboarding after curfew. Lisa and I just simply said, "No, you're not going to that party." and Josh says "Oh, dad, all my friends are doing it. And, and their friends, their parents are so cool because all my friends parents are letting them do it." Don't you hate cool parents? Don't you just hate those people they just ruin parenting for the rest of us. They go all my friends. parents were so cool, they're going to let them do it. We just said, "Josh, no, you're not going to do it." Ah are you are kidding me? You're running my life.

Pastor Linn: 12:40 And we just looked at Josh and said, "Hey josh, remember that moment when your parents became really stupid and your friends and everyone else were all smarter than us?"

Pastor Linn: 12:40 He goes, "Yeah."

Pastor Linn: 12:40 I go, "This is that moment."

Pastor Linn: 12:40 He goes, "No, it's not."

Pastor Linn: 12:40 No, "It is."

Pastor Linn: 12:40 "Are you sure?'

Pastor Linn: 12:40 "Yes, I'm sure this is that moment."

Pastor Linn: 12:58 You want to hear something interesting. I'm not telling you that's the only time that we dealt with Josh on that, but I'll bet you we only had that conversation two or three times in his life. Because we prepared him for the moment when his friends sounded smarter than his parents. And guys, I'm just telling you, I wish somebody had told me this before I started parenting. Take the time to prepare your child for obedience. Hey, in a little while, I'm going to ask you to clean your room.

Pastor Linn: 13:26 Second thing. Second thing, I wish somebody, I wish somebody had told me about parenting before I had to do this thing called parenting is simply this. Teach your kids to other o, t, h, e, r. To other, others. To care about how they were affecting and what they're decisions meant to the people around them. To teach your kids to other. I'm flying back from Seattle, a little while back and, unfortunately I get put in the very back of the plane. Which already feels a little bit like a prison sentence, let alone that bathroom door each time it opens, right? And so I'm going, oh man. And so I started a prayer vigil. God, please don't let anyone sit next to me know, just let me have some room, you know, all that stuff. And lo and behold, you ready, a family with four munchkins comes in and surrounds me. Dad's in front of me and the wife's over here with two other kids on the deal. And I'm just telling you, they were children from...they were children of challenge. Let's just say that. The little girl in the family apparently had discovered this brand new game which was called scream at the highest little girls shrill voice you have, and then laugh and then do it again for two and a half hours. I'm sitting there going, are you kidding me? And so I'm waiting, I'm waiting for the parents to do something. And the mom, the mom did the first three out of 300 times that the little girl screamed. She said, "shhhhhhh." Dad sat there in absolute passivitly. I'm in the middle of a parenting series. Do you know how bad I wanted to lean over and go, "I can help you with that."

Pastor Linn: 15:23 Here's the dilemma. Mom and dad had never learned othering. See mom and dad had grown up in that culture that says hey, whatever's good for you, whatever makes you happy. They decided, hey, this is just who my kids are. I'm going to let my kids express themselves. Could you let your kids express themselves at home please? So it didn't matter that their kids we're imposing upon every single person on that plane because they had no sense of othering in their lives.

Pastor Linn: 16:01 Grab your bibles because this is a big deal. It's (Mark 12) and if you're not familiar, if you just go to the back of your Bible and work to the left, you're going to find this passage in (Mark 12:30). Let me set up the moment. This is Jesus and the Pharisees have come to him, and they're trying to stump him and come up with questions that he can't answer very well or make them look foolish. So on this particular occasion they say to Jesus, okay so what's the greatest command? What's the most important thing in the Bible? Because whatever he says, they're going to find fault in it. Jesus's answer is in (Mark 12:30) Jesus replied to them, he said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength." The second is "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." So stop and think about something they just asked the creator of the universe, what are the most important commands in scripture? And God said, "Well You got to figure out God first, and then you got to figure out others next, and if you can do this, almost everything else in your life begins to fall at least partially in place. This is the true north of how to live God first, others second.

Pastor Linn: 17:31 Have you guys ever seen that {unintelligible} about how to have joy? Have you ever seen that one? Joy comes when you have Jesus first, others second and your third. And really that's just a biblical principle coming right out of (Mark 12) It's what Jesus just said. And yet this is so counter culture because our culture says, hey you first, we'll try to figure out if God even fits in and then hey, as long as you don't bother others too bad. Nothing could be further from the truth. So one of the commitments that we made, and I'm just gonna encourage you, is to teach your kids this practice of othering and othering comes when I begin to recognize the fact that there are others who came before me, there are others, around me, and there are others coming after me.

Pastor Linn: 18:44 When Josh was a kid and we were out on a hike one day, he began to go along the trail that had been marked with, you know, kind of medium size rocks. And he was picking up the rocks and throwing them over the cliff because a very valid boys game is destruction and destroy, right? That is a legitimate guys game. And so he's throwing the rocks off cause he can. And we had a moment to sit down with Josh and say, Josh, no, no, no, no, no. Here's why we don't do that. Because we think of others and there are others who came before you who put lots of time, lots of effort in to bless us with a great trail and you are dishonoring others when you take for granted all their work and make it for not. It's why we don't destroy and throw rocks off the trail.

Pastor Linn: 19:32 Kid's running around the patio, running into old people with canes, bumping into people with coffee.

Pastor Linn: 19:39 And how do you explain to a kid running around the patio, "Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. We don't do that."

Pastor Linn: 19:39 "Why?"

Pastor Linn: 19:46 "Because there are others on the patio. See, when you run real, real fast, even if you don't bump an older person, they're struggling with balance. Them walking is a pretty big deal. And your little missile like body flying past is, I mean, they're wobbly. When you bump into people with coffee you have the potential to hurt people and we have to be aware of others around us. And before we make a decision or before we act out on their behavior, we always consider others."

Pastor Linn: 20:22 Othering. Hey, why do we not throw trash and leave it? Because others, others are coming after us, and if I trash an area, if I decided to graffiti something. You realize the people coming behind me will never enjoy this the way that I had the privilege of enjoying it. Because I left it less, than when I encountered it. And there are people coming behind me. It's why we need to make our culture better. It's why we need to make life better while where here. Because there's others coming behind us and we have no right to leave it worse than when we found it.

Pastor Linn: 21:07 Lisa and I made a commitment in our lives and said hey, we want Joshua to see us othering on a consistent basis. And so here's what we decided. You're gonna think it's weird. It is, but here's what we did. We decided that whenever we went to the grocery store, we were always going to put our cart away. Guys, I'm just telling you, this is Arizona, so that was a big decision. I mean, you've got to remember there are seasons of the year, ones that are coming shortly where it gets to like a 114-115, add that to black asphalt and you might as well be pushing the shopping cart in a microwave. I mean, it's just horrifying. And the thing you want to do, isn't it true when you get out, you've got stuff that's melting and you just want to get in your car, get that air conditioning on as quick as you can and drive away. But that's exactly what everybody in front of you did. That's why there were four carts in that parking spot and you couldn't use it. It's why when you pulled in and stopped, all of the sudden a cart came out of nowhere and hit the side of your car. Because everybody else was thinking of themselves when they left the parking lot, and so we just said, hey, no, no, no, we're gonna model in front of Josh an attitude of others. That there are others who are coming after us and we're going to consider them, and so we did time and time again, no matter how far that crazy thing, and do you realize whoever designed those parking lots does not know what they're doing? They always put that thing just the furthest away from your vehicle as possible on the other side. And yet we're just made it that we're are going to always do that.

Pastor Linn: 22:27 And we had moments when we were saying, "Josh, Josh, will you please take the cart?"

Pastor Linn: 22:27 "Well why?"

Pastor Linn: 22:38 "Because there are others coming after us, and we want to honor them when they come."

Pastor Linn: 22:45 Incredibly powerful lesson for our kids. I wish, I wish, I wish, somebody had told me that before I started parenting. OK, so give your children time to obey a. teach them to other, to think of others more highly than themselves, to love others like themselves.

Pastor Linn: 23:02 The third thing I wish somebody would have told me before I started this journey of parenting. It is your purpose as a parent to help your child find their purpose in life. Let me say this again. It is your purpose as a parent to help your child find their purpose in life. You're going, oh no, we're good on that. Do you realize how often we lie to our kids? How many times have you caught yourself saying, "Hey, you can be anything you want to be." You realize that's a lie. Your child cannot be anything they want to be. If your child's in the eighth grade and already gone through their growth spurt and they're still 4'2", they are not going to be Lebron James. I'm just telling you, that's a lie. If your daughter is 6'2" and has the bone structure of a triceratops, she is not going to be a ballerina. She is not going to, I'm just telling you that's a lie. A kid cannot be anything they want to be. They can't be anything they want to be, but they can still be amazing. If they discover what God intended them to be.

Pastor Linn: 24:05 Grab your bibles and go with me to (Ephesians 2). (Ephesians 2) is going to be just a little bit to the right in your Bible from where we were in Mark. If you closed your bibles, go to the back of your Bible and just start working in the left. (Ephesians 2:10) Here's what it ready? "For we. You, me, our kids. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Which God prepared in advance for us to do." Which means guys, think about this for a second. Before your child was born, God already knew what he was planning to do with your child's life, and based on that plan, he equipped your child with gifts and abilities so that he could live out and fulfill that plan. That's why guy, guys. That's why your kid is good at math. That's why your kid can throw a football further than the rest of us. That's why, you ready for this? That's why your kid has a sensitive heart, whatever that equipment is, whatever that building is was not so your kid could be whatever they want it to be. It's so that they can be what God intended them to be. And if you spend time, think about this guys, if you spend your time telling your kids, Hey, you can be anything you want. You realize secular people, tell that to their children, who have no regard for God and no thought of a plan. Why would we ever tell our children that? How much more powerful to say to our children hey, "You can't be anything you want to be, but you can surely be what God intended you to be and you can't be anything but you can be amazing if you discover what it is that God wanted for you." Isn't it true that your biggest struggles with God have been the fight between your plan and his plan? And how much more would we set up our children if we sit with our kids and say guys, guys, guys, let's figure out what God, lets figure out what he intended for you, and you've already help them to navigate and focus and say, hey, my life's purpose is not to come up with my plan, but to discover God's.

Pastor Linn: 26:32 They'd be a mile ahead of you if you did that. Man, Lisa was so much better at this than me. I'm kind of a sports guy. So when Josh was born and Josh is a pretty healthy kid and strong and muscular and I just went, I, you know, I, I've got my retirement figured out. He can, he can go into sports. Right? And so I would enroll him in every sport that was out there. And he would always like under produce and I am going Josh, what's with you? You to get your heart in this, you need a better attitude and go, go go. You can't be anything you want to be, but you can be what I want you to be. You could do that. Lisa would keep coming to me and say, "Hey, I think we're missing this," but I'd go "No, no, no, we're not missing this." You know what my son kept wanting to do? Play instruments. That cannot possibly be God's plan. Have you met musicians? I mean, you've seen what they're like, right? And I'm just going, no, no, can't be. My son's one of those kids, who no kidding, he would pick up an instrument, walk into his bedroom, come out five days later and they could play it. I'm just like that's an apparition that cannot possibly be God's gifting to him. Came time for college, ready for this, for college.

Pastor Linn: 27:53 My son had a four year all his way paid and he said "Dad I'm not going to college. I want to go to the conservatory."

Pastor Linn: 28:00 I said, "Son, you're in sin. You're just wrong, you've got to be wrong."

Pastor Linn: 28:09 And Lisa came in and said "Linn, this isn't about what you want him to be. It's about what God equipped him to be. And I think he's got even a better sense of this right now than you do."

Pastor Linn: 28:19 And my son went to conservatory, passed with the highest ranking in his entire class and today, today he serves as a worship and production coordinator at church. I would have missed it because I was too busy making my son what I wanted him to be instead of allowing him to discover what God wanted him to be. And I'm not saying that your kids are going to minister. That is not what I am saying, I'm just saying how much more powerful is that as we raise our kids, say to them, you've got gifts, you got abilities, and let's begin to wisely look and say what is it that God intended for your life? Because you can't be anything, but you can be amazing if you discover God's plan for you.

Pastor Linn: 29:05 Fourth thing. We already said give your kids time to obey. We've already said, hey, teach your kids about othering others. We've talked about this idea of helping your kids discover the purpose for which they were born. But the fourth thing that I just wish somebody had really, really drilled down into my head was simply this. Kids tend to look like their parents. They just do. And you realize that it's not just physically right? It's behaviorally. You've heard the old expression, the apple didn't fall far from the tree and it's usually meant negatively, right? You know what, he has anger issues, his dad had anger issues, but you realize there's a positive to that right? Man, he is a God follower. His Dad was a god follower and he's passionate about Jesus. His parents were passionate about Jesus. Because the apple doesn't tend to fall far from the tree. You, in all likelihood will be the greatest influence in your child's life. It's how God set this thing up and chances are your kid will end up modeling you. When they get angry, they will probably respond to anger the way they watched you respond to anger. When life starts to fall apart and now they're freaked out of their mind. They'll probably deal with adversity and fear the same way you dealt with adversity and fear. And if you did it by going to a bottle to solve your problems will probably go to a bottle to solve theirs. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Pastor Linn: 30:35 So God gives you and me some direction. It's deuteronomy, so go to the front of your Bible. Genesis, exodus, leviticus, numbers, deuteronomy fifth book of the Bible, (Deuteronomy 11), (Deuteronomy 11:18).

Pastor Linn: 31:05 Here's what it says, "Fix, attach, attach these words of mine in your heart and your mind. Tie them as cymbals on your hands and bind them to your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them. When you sit at your home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." And you get what God is saying, he saying, look, look, look, here's the most powerful way to teach your child. It's live your life in front of your child. Your child will learn these things while they're walking with you down the road, while they're traveling with you in the car, when they're watching how you navigate a difference between you and your spouse. They will learn life by seeing you do life, because you are potentially the greatest influence on them.

Pastor Linn: 31:57 It's interesting how many parents bring their tough kids to church and they say, "Hey, fix my kids." How many of you went to church every Sunday last year? Didn't miss a Sunday. How many are perfect attendance? Like three, good for you guys. There's like three of us, but that's good. That's good. The rest of us we were like 51 right? We were close, we just couldn't raise our hands in honesty and integrity right then. But even if you think about this, even if you did perfect attendance last year, your kids came to church every single Sunday with you. Didn't miss a single Sunday for sickness or travel or anything else, an hour every Sunday, right? Fifty two weeks. That comes out to 52 hours that the church had an opportunity to work for your kids. This cannot overcome this. Guys, you will be the greatest determiner, in all likelihood, in the life of your child as to how they navigate life. Because they'll have watched how you modeled. You want to hear something really interesting, sports. Now we've got this big thing, kids are getting into sports. Remember I told you I'm a sports guy. I get it. I love it. Anybody want to guess or the average number of hours we put our kids in sports every year. If it's non competitive, I mean competitive. That's a totally different story, but non competitive sports where there's almost no practices. It's just show up and do sports, right around 200 hours.

Pastor Linn: 33:48 Running the risk of sounding like a jerk. Where do you think your kid has the best opportunity to figure out how to be a loving spouse? How to navigate peer pressure, what to do with temptation, how to overcome fear, how to live a life that matters? And a sports guy is going to tell you. The best they could ever get as an intro, not an explanation. So let me just push in. I mean if you are the primary model, if they're going to take. Here's two things I'm going to ask you to do as a parent. Number one, live out your faith with authenticity. You cannot be a different person when you come to church and on the way home. You can't be the really, really good Christian while you're around us. And the really, really average apathetic Christian around your kids. Because immediately remember kids see everything black and white and the minute they see you one way here and some other way the rest of the week there at home. Guess what? They're going to label you a hypocrite, and they're going to start believing that everybody they encounter at church, every other adult they know is a pretender Christian too. And you will literally remove all of this influence from their lives because of this influence.

Pastor Linn: 35:18 Second thing. Your kids have got to see you trying, they've got to see you attempting to grow. Let me explain why. Do you remember how old your parents look to you when you were a kid? They were dinosaurs, remember that they were old. You're, oh, I'm a young parent. I'm young heart. I'd get on the trampoline with Mike Kid. No, let me give you news. Your old. In the eyes of your children, you are oil, and let me tell you something even more alarming. As they age, you're gonna age twice as fast in their eyes. By the time you get done, you're going to be ancient and if they see you taking your Christian walk casually, if your Christian walk is something you kind of sort of maybe do sometimes kind of.

Pastor Linn: 36:05 If you give the sense of, hey, I kind of figured this out and I've arrived on a plane to places comfortable with me and God, then guess what? Your kids are going to do. They're going to go, you know what? I plan to be just as good as a Christian is my parents. I do, but I've got a million years to get there. I have plenty of time to go live in rebellion. I have plenty of time to go waste on sin and make all sorts of. Because I've got hundreds of years to catch up to my casual believing parents.

Pastor Linn: 36:36 Think about how powerful it is when your kids see you striving for Jesus, when they see you deciding to take it to the next step and the next step because you're not cooked yet and now your kids go, oh my goodness, my parents are a hundred hundred, hundred, hundred years old and they're not even done with Jesus yet. I better get started now if I'm ever going to catch up guys. Your kids need to see you moving forward in your faith so that they know it's a lifetime of moving forward in theirs. So I'm just going to push in. Here's a couple of things I'm just going to suggest that you and I can do. Leaving the room right now. What if you and I decided to double up? What if you and I decided to take some of this time and put it on the church time because here's the deal. Here's what I'm saying. Church time is pretty powerful. It is. Even if it will ever make up for this, but boy, It can sure supplement this and there's probably no better place for you to invest your time, then here. So what if you doubled up? What if you said, hey, this next year we're just going to carve two hours of our week into following Jesus. I don't know if that small churches, I don't know if that's joining a small group. I don't know if that's coming to the mine or going to a men's ministry, women's ministry. But what if you just said, hey, I'm going to take my kids to see me doubling up and taking it to the next level. I already know some of you are going to go man... Two hours of Bible. I'm just going to be a little longer okay?

Pastor Linn: 38:33 You take your kids to sports, which means you have to plan ahead of time. You have to pack a lunch and a bunch of Gatorade to get out there. You have to put it all in the car along with the awning so that you can go sit for several hours on the field when it's a hundred and eight degrees. You can cuss at the other parents and then eat a snack, come on home, unload it all, chances are you spend four hours every time you go to a sporting event of your kids. And you're telling me that it will break you if you actually spent two hours in an air conditioned building learning the Bible. It's just the wrong answer it's the wrong answer if you're trying to influence your kids. So what would it mean for you to double up?

Pastor Linn: 39:24 And then the second thing is this, I want to challenge you for the next 30 days, for the next month, to have family devotions. So here's what we've done here to help you. If you've got a grade school child here today, every one of your children's receiving a mat and on that mat is a little Bible study that you can go through as a family. My challenge is this for the next four weeks, one day out of the week. I don't care when you do it, you have dinner together and you take the five minutes it takes to do that little Bible study together at dinner. Your kids would see you moving forward. They'd see you authentically trying to follow Christ. If you've got a teenager, we've got some devotions that our own team wrote for you for the next four weeks. One day of the week, for the next four weeks, dinner together. You get it by simply going to the website cornerstone for devotions, setup for teenagers. Once a week, having a meal together. We'd surprise our kids wouldn't we.

Pastor Linn: 40:46 Let's pray. Dear Lord Jesus, man we get it. We get that it's a big deal. That you have set us up to be the greatest influence in the lives of our children, and this isn't something that we can do with half a heart or a partial effort. That the reality is this is something we've got to do our very best to get right. So God we're just going to start considering what it means to give our children time to obey, to teach them to other, others. What does it mean to discover the purpose for which you created them and put them on this earth, and they're going to figure this out because they're going to watch a mom and dad who chase after God. We're going to set the example. We're going to blaze the path and hope our kids don't fall too far from the tree. God, this we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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