Parenting Roles

Parenting a child requires rules to be set

Linn Winters
May 28, 2017    46m
Parenting a child effectively requires strict rules and consequences when they're young and coaching when they're older. 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: 00:43 Linn Winters is an international speaker and author. His leadership and influence stretches around the world his passion is to equip others with real life answers that are true to Gods word. We know him as our senior Pastor. Cornerstone please join us in welcoming this morning's speaker, Pastor Linn Winters.

Pastor Linn: 01:08 Hey guys, Okay so I have to do this whole disclaimer, if you're here visiting for the first time, we don't do that every week. Okay. No actually we're in a parenting series and we wanted this to feel more like a conference together and so part of it was we went out and got some amazing outside speakers to come in and be here as our guest, and man last week Kevin Leman. How many enjoyed Kevin Leman. Was that pretty cool?

Pastor Linn: 01:33 There's just something about being an old guy that you could like say really mean things and have people laugh at you when you do it, and you just need to hear I haven't gotten there yet. So all I can do is say mean things. So you're stuck with that today. Hey, we're, uh, we're landing in a parenting series this week and next week. And just trying to be really, really super practical with you about, hey what does this mean, how would you do this, how would you and I set ourselves up for the greatest chance of success in raising just remarkable kids in a not so remarkable culture and world that you and I live in right now. And so we've been trying to answer that together. The truth is, if you and I think about it, there really are two kind of competing parenting styles that are out there.

Pastor Linn: 02:17 There's one style that would tend to be a little bit more authoritative and they would say, "Look my role as a parent is to work on my kid's behavior, I'm supposed to set standards. I'm supposed to call my kids to those standards. When they don't meet the standards, then I'm supposed to come in and reprimand and get them back on online. And really, a big huge part of my parenting is to help them just learn how to behave and be a good citizens in this world." It'd be a little bit more the authoritative style.

Pastor Linn: 02:45 And then there's a style that say's, "You know, I think parenting is more kind of a coaching thing." This will be a little bit more lenient style that would say, "I don't think it's about trying to get my kids to behave a certain way. I think it's about helping my kids kind of discover what they were built to do, what brings them the greatest satisfaction in life, how they're going to be the most satisfied. And as they kind of discover that for themselves, I'm kind of a life coach along the way to help direct them as they live that part of discovery for themselves."

Pastor Linn: 03:15 So let's survey real quick. How many of you say I probably land a little more authoritative side of the parenting thing? Okay, how many would say I think I land a little bit more on the coaching, more lenient side of parenting directly. All right, good deal. So here's something to really, really encourage you. Neither of them works.

Pastor Linn: 03:31 It's a real simple thing. It's called teenagers. I'm just telling you, whichever one of those styles that you land on, you say, hey this is my style, this is what we're going to do at home. You get to teenage years. I'm just telling you, it's gonna mess up everything that you've ever thought about parenting. Here's something interesting. It's actually the combination of the two. It's actually an understanding that during seasons of my parenting I need to be more authoritative, and during seasons of my parenting I actually need to be more coaching in the way that I parent my kids. And that having the wisdom of when and how to do that changes my outcome as a parent. And so we just want to go after that a little bit today. And say, hey, what would that look like for you and I to get a better handle on, hey, when do I set the rules and hold the rules? When do I go after this idea of guiding and helping my kids to understand who they are and what they are in their lives?

Pastor Linn: 04:25 So grab your bibles because I think there's a passage in scripture that kind of nudges us in this direction. It's (Proverbs 22) if you're unfamiliar, if you just simply go to the middle of your Bible, you're probably going to run into a book of Psalms. Proverbs is going to be just to the right of that. (Proverbs 22:6) and my guess is there's a bunch of us in this room and you've probably have run into and heard this verse at some point. (Proverbs 22:6) Here's the interesting thing, if you were here last week when Kevin Leman was here, one of the things that he said out loud as he said, "Hey, there aren't a ton of verses that say, Hey, here's how to parent your children." And he's exactly right. Proverbs though is an amazing book because proverbs is written by a guy by the name of Solomon. Who we've been told is the wisest man who ever walked the face of the earth. And Solomon actually writes the book of proverbs to his children. And so we get to peek in, and although he didn't write it to us to say here's how to be a parent, you and I get to watch the wisest man in the world as he's a parent and we get to look at some of the principles into some of the things he's taught and glean real wisdom out of that moment. So here we go. This is what Solomon said (Proverbs 22:6) He says, "Start children off in the way they should go." Some of your versions are going to say, "Train the in the way that they should go, and even when they are old, " they will not turn from it." Now, here's what you need to know about the book of proverbs. The book of proverbs is not a book of promises. It's a book of principles, which means simply this, Solomon is not saying here to you and me, hey, if you're good parents and you raise your kids right, then your kids are absolutely gonna live wonderful Christian lives. That's not what he's saying because the book of proverbs is not a book of promises. It's a book of principles. What Solomon is saying to you and me is this your best chance, your best shot at having remarkable kids is that while they're in your care, you train them in the way that they should go and chances are once they leave your house, even even if they go off the rails, even even if they walk away from everything you've taught. When tough times come, when life begins not to work, your best shot is that because you trained them well when they were with you. That they would come back to the faith of their parents, to the teachings of their parents and Solomon saying, this is your best chance at raising remarkable kids. Train them while you have a chance.

Pastor Linn: 07:15 So this is me. This isn't Solomon. I wanted us to talk today for a few minutes. What are the most critical things that you and I train our kids in a. In other words, if you and I missed every other lesson, what are those that are most essential for our kids to turn out right now? Here's the deal. If you get really mad and walk out on the service, or if you decide to go get a cup of coffee and just don't come back in, or if you just fall asleep, here's the punch line. Here's what you go after.

Pastor Linn: 07:44 Two principals, ready? Number one is, that your children would understand how to respond to authority. What do I do when I've got a crummy boss? What do I do when I got a great boss? What do I do when I don't agree? How do I live under authority? Because I'm just telling you when they leave your home, they are still gonna live with authority in their lives. How do I navigate that? And then second principle, how do I make wise decisions? Cause you realize not everything's perfectly spelled on the scripture. There's going to be moments when what I should do is going to be a little bit fuzzy. How do I make good decisions when good decisions aren't crystal clear? And if you can help your children with those two things. How do I live with authority? Even when my authority is crummy? How do I navigate making wise decisions when wise decisions aren't clear? Your kids are going to be well trained ,well on their way to be able to live without you outside of your household. Here's going be my suggestion, that in order to train your kids in those things, you and I are actually gonna use or we're going to adopt different roles as parents. It's like we're going to put on and then take off multiple uniforms on the way there as we begin to train up our children in these two values.

Pastor Linn: 09:01 Okay, here we go. First uniform. First thing that you and I as parents are going to do is that you and I are going to be our children's ground crew. How many of you know what this is? What is it? Chalk line? Someone's, said it's just, it's a cedar is not a cedar. It's a chalk line and what you may or may not know that long before you ever go to a sporting event. The grounds crew has already been there and what they've done is they've taken something like this and they have marked the lines on the field. They are defining, hey, you go past here, you're out of bounds. You stay on this side of the line, you're free to keep playing. They're also going to make some other lines in which they're going to say, hey, if you get the ball past this, you get more tries, but if you come up short, you lose the ball that goes over to the other team. It's the groundskeepers who actually define the game. And guys, you need to know that before you even begin parenting a, you got to do the work of a ground crew. You got lay out good, clear lines that are easily defined, that your kids understand.

Pastor Linn: 10:14 Now, let me tell you why this is a challenge. Because I can almost guarantee you that in your home, one of the parents is more strict than the other one. Can I get an amen? And which one's wrong? OK? All right, the other one. All right so here's the deal, and what you're going to have to do is you're going to have to compromise. Which is just a horrible, horrible thing because I guarantee you, if you're the strict one, you're going to go if we do...Ohhhh. And if you're the more open one or the more lenient one, you're going to go, man, that is so harsh. Why are we imposing that on our kids? And you're going to have to come and meet somewhere in the middle. And the truth is neither of you is going to be totally happy with where you place the lines. So here's my suggestion. Before you even begin parenting you, your spouse, you go off to the bedroom. Because hopefully they're actually happy moments to remember there before you begin to navigate this. Then you're going to talk this through and you're gonna come to an agreement. You’re going say, all right, if they go beyond that, then that's a disciplining moment. If they stay on this side of that, we're not going gonna do anything. It's just going to be okay. That's part of what we're going to allow in their lives.

Pastor Linn: 11:31 For instance, when we come home from the grocery store, are the children are required to help put the groceries away? So here some will say well absolutely, they need to learn the responsibility of being a member of the family. That's a big deal and if they go off and twink around and don't help out, then that's a confronting moment. That's a discipline in moment. And someone else is going to say, wait, wait, wait, wait, by the time we get home from the grocery store we got like an hour and a half, sometimes two hours of them just being bored out of their skulls. Hopefully they have obeyed and been pretty reasonable and then we're going to impose something. I mean, let them go be kids. That guy goes, I don't care, I don't care. What you got to figure out is it a line? Is this something we're going to make a big deal about? Is this something that we're going to just be okay about? We're gonna agree on the line. Because are you're ready for this, because we've got to decide what happens when you cross the line and we both have to be enforcing the same rules. It is 10 times more important that you agree on the line than it is that the line is in the perfect spot. Let me say this again. It is way, way, way, way, way more critical that you agree on the line and that you both enforce the same line than it is that that line is in the perfect place.

Pastor Linn: 12:58 Think about this. You have never met an adult who says, the reason I'm so screwed up, my parents lines were like 10 percent off.
I'm just telling you, they just ruined me. But you know what? You have heard. You've heard this multiple times. Man my dad, my dad was so harsh and so strict. I'm just telling you, he'd walk in the room, and we'd all sit up a little straighter. Everybody would pray that he didn't notice us and he'd come in with the whip and he'd be hard and leave the room. Then we'd all go running to mom and mom would sit there and comfort us and just console us. It was as if she was saying, okay, your dad really is a jerk. Or you'd have the moments where you'd say, you know, it was mom, it was mom who was strict and it was like she was always on us, always on us, always on us. Then there was passive dad, sitting over there pushing the remote control. Couldn't even tell that the family was happening around him. And I lived my entire life with two different standards.

Pastor Linn: 14:10 Guys, I'm just telling you it doesn't matter. It's not very critical where you get the line is that you agreed to the line and then you both enforce the line the same way. When we step over it, I mean is that a big infraction, is that a little infraction? Is that one day being grounded? Is that a week being grounded? What do we do? So that there's a consistency in how we enforce. So here's what I'm going to say to you. If you haven't laid out the lines, you're not ready to parent yet. And if you are right now living in a household and you've got children and the lines aren't clear and they're not defined. The first thing you do today is you go home, you get in that bedroom and you discuss and you come out with clear lines well defined. So question number one, do you have clear, consistent rules enforced by both parents equally?

Pastor Linn: 15:15 Let me tell you another place this is a big deal, blended families. It's so easy in blended families to go, hey, whoa, these are my kids and we've already established the line with my kids and now you're coming in and so you're kind of an interloper. You're the new one to the thing and you don't agree with the line. So I'll tell you what, you let me manage my kids. I'll let you manage your kids. There is no surer way to bring chaos into your home because either they will be more strict and then those kids will end up resenting your kids because you are more lenient. Or you'll be more strict and your kids will say hey, what's going on? How come all of his kids always get away with... Guys I'm just telling you that when you invited him in, when you asked her to marry you, you invited them into the line discussion. And you get into that bedroom and you have that conversation and you don't come out. And now you ready for this? The lines are going to move. They're going to be different than they were all the way up until now. But you decided that when you decided to blend your family. Here's one that's even harder. We've got single moms and single dads in the room and every time you send your kids to them, they decided they wanted to be the party one. They wanted to be the one that made the kids all happy and excited and they buy things for them that they shouldn't have, and they let them get away with everything while they're gone, and load them up on sugar and send them home. You're going, oh great, so I get to be the wicked witch of the west. You need to make a phone call and you need to say hey, can we have a cup of coffee right away, and is there any way for us to agree on lines? For the sake of our kids, is there anything we can do? And if you can't, you need to know this is going to make all of it from here forward a lot tougher. Because one of the most powerful things we do with our kids are clear lines that are well-defined in their lives.

Pastor Linn: 17:10 There's a second role. We started out as grounds keepers. There is a second role that you and I are going to take on. You and I are going to become our kids referee isn't that exciting? How fun is that? How many of you love referees? Exactly. Isn't it true? You know we've got the home team. We like our team. e kind of dislike the other team, but the people we really hit on the field are the referees. I mean they never get the call right, right? They screw up the game and they're always intruding. The referees are like the police of the field, oh yuck, and yet a part of the role that you and I do as parenting is been our children's referee.

Pastor Linn: 17:46 It's because during that moment, you and I helped them understand, how to relate to authority in their lives. It's a critical lesson for our children. Matter of fact, so much so, that Solomon says, "if you neglect the lesson of discipline, if you fail to put on the referee's uniform for your kids, you do them a huge disservice." Grab your bibles again. Go with me to proverbs. We're going to stay in proverbs the whole time. (Proverbs 13) Again, this is the wisest man talking about parenting. (Proverbs 13:24). Now let me say this out loud. When we read this in a minute, it's going to bother some of us deeply. Some of us are going to go man, wow, and it's going to sound harsh. I'm just going to tell you that right now, before you check out and before you go hey I don't think I agree. Ask this question, why does the wisest man who ever lived say that discipline is such a big deal? It's a good question. Here we go (Proverbs 13:24) here's what it says, "Whoever's spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful, is full of care to discipline them."

Pastor Linn: 19:22 Solomon just says this discipline issue, this, what do I do with authority? How do I respond to people who are over me when I don't like what they are doing. This is a big, big lesson in the life of your children, that will cause them to struggle as they navigate the rest of life. It's as if you hate them. If you don't prepare them to handle authority in their lives. Which simply is going to mean this. You, ready? When you see a foul, you have to call a foul. When you see your child misbehaving, you have to respond to it. How many times we've sat there and it was like the thirty seventh time and I'm just worn out. If you see foul, you've got a call a foul.

Pastor Linn: 20:02 Imagine this. Imagine you're watching a football game on TV and in in the midst of it all the sudden as the play gets over, one of the players stomps on the other player's helmets and the referee comes running over blowing his whistle. And then he says to the offending player, "Hey, we've talked about this. I thought we were going to check our heart and have a happy heart. Why are you stomping on his head? Now let's not do that again, okay?" Then a few plays later, all of a sudden he's grrr, grrr on top of someone's chest and the referee blows the whistle. Comes running over, "You disappoint me so bad when you do that. You understand you could be hurting him, and it makes him sad when you do that. If you do that again, I'm going to have to throw a flag." Or how about this? How about better than this? He's, he's standing on top of him and he'd go, "I'm going to give you to the count of ten to get off of his head. One, two."

Pastor Linn: 20:47 Guys, how many times do we do that? It's called threatening, repeating parent. I'm just telling you, there is no better way to lose authority with your children, then to threaten and repeat. To see a foul and not throw the flag, not enforce the penalty on it. Matter of fact, you actually embolden the child to do it more. That's how you get to the 27th time today cause you didn't throw the flag the first time. It's one of the reason we talked about this idea of first time obedience. Which actually, if you stop and think about it, is in some ways a little bit of a blend between being an authoritarian and being a little bit grace filled in the moment. Because what you're saying, when they do it the first time is hey we're going to call it, we're going to say, hey, we don't do that. You know, we don't punch our sister, we don't whatever that is. And if you do it again, I'll inflict the penalty. So you and I are at least are having the grace to repeat the instruction and discipline, the moment they move past. It's called first time obedience. When you do it, I'll call you to obedience. You do it again, I'll enforce. It's throwing the flag. It's enforcing the penalty. And guys, let me give him another nugget on this. Reserve your biggest penalties for attitude, for attitude. I can't tell you how many times I see parents and they're like, Tommy, don't take that cookie, and what does Tommy do next? And then all of a sudden it's Tommy, no, no, you're not going to do that. You can't do that. And what does Tommy do? He falls on the floor and start screaming, throwing a fit. You realize that fit is more important than the cookie. You get that right? It's why, think about this, even professional sports reserve their greatest penalties for attitude penalties. You cuss the coach out, you pushed the umpire and that gives you the biggest penalties. Because you realize what your kid is doing when your kid throws a fit? Your kid is trying to discipline, you know, let that sink in for a second. When you're a kid, throws a fit, they're trying to discipline you. That kid, in that moment is saying, how dare you tell me I can't have a cookie! Who made you the boss of me? Get back in your proper place mom and dad, cause I am the boss. And you realize that when they throw a fit, they're actually trying to discipline you back in to where you belong.

Pastor Linn: 23:48 When Josh was a child and he would start to throw a fit. We had an interesting conversation we'd always have with Josh. It was simply this. He'd throw a fit. We'd watch him for a few moments.

Pastor Linn: 23:58 Then we say, "Hey Josh, what are you doing? "

Pastor Linn: 23:58 He'd go, "Throwing a fit."

Pastor Linn: 24:10 What do we do to fits? You spank them, okay so what's your next move? Can I just say, it was remarkable what happened next. Matter of fact out of the probably the five or six times in our entire time with Josh that we had to have that conversation. There was only one time he blew through it. Lisa was driving him to church one Sunday morning and they were running late and they passed a McDonald's. All of a sudden Josh sees the McDonald's and was like, hey, I want to just go to McDonald's. Lisa says no, we can't go there. We're running late. And Whyyyyy in the backseat of the car.

Pastor Linn: 24:42 And Lisa turns around and says, "Hey, you need an attitude adjustment. So are you going to fix it or am I going to fix it?"

Pastor Linn: 24:50 And in that moment, four year old Josh said to my wife, 'You".

Pastor Linn: 25:02 [inaudible} Lisa, to her honor, on a totally busy road pulls over the bike lane up onto the curb so she can get her car out of oncoming traffic. Runs to the back of the car where Josh's child seat is. Anybody want to guess what Josh is doing as she approached?

Pastor Linn: 25:18 "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Pastor Linn: 25:21 To which my wife simply said, "Too late, you already made your choice."

Pastor Linn: 25:29 Boy it's just amazing how few fits we had to deal with because the moment there was an attitude issue, we dealt with the attitude and the attitude was more important than the offense. Save your biggest flags, your greatest penalties for your child's heart. Because at the end guys isn't that what we're after, is their heart? If your kids don't recognize your authority? How will they recognize God's? Let me just say this again because this is critical. This is why Solomon said to you and me, if you don't teach your kids about authority, it's as if you hate them. If your kids don't recognize your authority, how will they recognize God's? And guys, I'm just going to say this to you out loud when your kid is young, please, please, please do us all a favor. Stop explaining to them. Stop. You don't need to tell a four year old, hey, you can't have a cookie because it's bad for your dinner. Because you know what your four years is going to say? Well, it's not as bad for me as the macaroni and cheese you're going to serve me in 15 minutes and they're probably right. You got to establish that look, this isn't up for discussion. This isn't about you agreeing with my cookie rule. The bottom line is I'm mom. I'm dad, which simply means I've asked you not to and that's enough. Let me tell you why that is so critical.

Pastor Linn: 27:06 You get that there are some things in the Bible that are kind of stupid. You're going oh you’re a pastor, you cannot say that. Let's just be honest. There are some things in the Bible that when you and I first read and we go, hey, how come God put that in there? What was he thinking? And we figured out later on that he was really smart, but on first glance we're going, I don't think I would've done that if I was God. And if in that moment you believe that God's authority is up for debate you're going to say, "I don't think I agree with that rule in scripture, so I'm not going to do it until I'm convinced of it."

Pastor Linn: 27:39 Which is why when you get to date and scripture says, Hey, a Christian shouldn't be dating somebody who doesn't know the Lord Jesus. You should be only dating other believers. You're going to go, that's just a dumb rule. The unsaved guy I'm dating, he's actually nicer than a lot of the Christian guys I know. I'm just going to date him. I'll fix him eventually. And you know when you're going to figure it out, that that rule was a good rule? About 15 years into your marriage when you are struggling like crazy and none of your priorities line up and you're in the throes of absolute unhappiness. And then you’re going to go, wow, That was actually a pretty good rule. And guys, if you wait until you agree with God to obey God, you'll build the biggest regrets in your life. And if you teach your children that you can challenge authority and tell people that I don't agree and I don't like what you're saying, and you don't have to obey until you agree, You are setting them up for failure after failure after failure isn’t that the truth? Guys let’s just be honest for a second. Aren't some of the biggest regrets of your life moments that you knew what the Bible said about the topic and you said, I don't think I agree. And if you had learned the lesson of authority, it would have saved you a ton of pain. That's why Solomon says this is a big lesson. It's important thing for our kids.

Pastor Linn: 29:00 Final uniform. You and I are going to be groundskeepers for a while. We should've gotten a size bigger. We're going to be referees for a while.

Pastor Linn: 29:13 The final role that you and I are going to pick up, is the role of coach. It’s that part where we go, hey, it's not about the rules as much anymore. It's about improving your game. It's about helping you understand that the way you played that play last time, the decision you made, that wasn't the best decision. It wasn't the best way, and I'm going to coach you up. I'm going to help you understand that moment a little bit better and as matter of fact think Solomon kind of gives us a little bit of a nudge in (Proverbs 1) so just turning over a few pages (Proverbs 1;8) here is what Solomon says, ‘Listen my son to your father's instructions, do not forsake your mother's teaching.“ Listen, notice he didn't say discipline, notice he didn't say rules. He's now in this mode where he’s saying, hey guys, there's some lessons in life. There's some instruction that you need about how to make good decisions, about how to be wise in moments, and if you'll take that in, you'll learn how to navigate this, you’re going to be blessed. Matter of fact, he says, if you will listen, they will be like a Garland of grace on your head. It'll be like a crown that you wear, he said, or a chain that adorns your neck. A chain that says, hey man, I have the status. I mean I'm one of the select few. He says If you can learn to make good decisions. If you can learn from the instruction and training of your parents, this is a huge blessing to your life.

Pastor Linn: 30:56 So here's what you and I need to know parents, as we move into the coaching mode. It's this, coaches don't get on the field. The players play the game. Part of what you're going to have to shift you in this moment is that you're going to have to say, hey, I'm going to let my kid learn this lesson for themselves. I'm going to let them do this, and then I'm going to coach them afterwards. I'm going to help them understand it better. Which means you ready for this? You're going to allow them to make decisions with limits, significant help. This is what you wish they would decide, this is what you're going to allow. It's not what you would do if you were making the rule, this is what you wish they would decide. But this is what you're going to to allow them. You've got a 13 year old and you've decided that, hey, the best time for you to go to bed is probably 10:00 every single night. But now you go to your 13 year old. Hey look, here's the deal, I'm going to allow you to make some decision. You can decide when to go to bed all the way up to 11:00. So in other words. It's room to decide with limits. Anybody want to guess what time that 13 year old's going to stay up next? 11;05 right? I mean that's just. That's just what's going to happen and then they're going to go to school the next day and they're going to be tired in school is going to be an absolute grind. As they try to get to the end. They're going to come home from school. They will be all cranky. They're gonna fight with their sisters. They're going to get grounded three times in the afternoon because they're all tired and spent out and not at their best place.

Pastor Linn: 32:40 And now you get a chance to parent. You're gonna go, hey, "So how'd your day go?"

Pastor Linn: 32:40 "It was pretty rough."

Pastor Linn: 32:44 "Well, why do you think it was rough."

Pastor Linn: 32:44 "I was tired all day."

Pastor Linn: 32:48 "Hey, do you think there's any chance that the reason you were tired all day, the reason that school was such a grind and the reason you got in trouble over and over again and we're so short with them, you think maybe it was that last hour you stayed up?'

Pastor Linn: 33:01 Just ask him. And guys, I don't know what they're going to do the next day. But you realize you're parenting happened in between allowing them to make a decision, and ready for this, and fail in your presence. Because guys, one of the most powerful things that you do for your children is allow them to fail while you're still in the room, so that you can coach them all there in the room. Because you don't want them failing when they're gone.

Pastor Linn: 33:26 Let me ask you if this helps. Some of you are looking at me like, huh. So let me see if I can help. Alright dad's, dad's, we're going to delve into your deepest nightmare right now okay? The length of your daughter's skirt. Okay, so here's what we're going to pretend, we're going to pretend that this is the length that you wish your daughter would wear. You wish that all of her skirts came down to here. Now I know some of you in the room are going no I'm thinking Amish. You know that, that's the length, but we're going to make you a little more reasonable dad. You wish this was the length that your daughter would wear her skirts. Anybody want to guess what length your daughter wants to wear her skirts? This is the smallest piece of material I've ever seen. How do they put this on? I am so glad to be a man right now.

Pastor Linn: 34:43 Can I get a woman to come help? No, I'm teasing. All right, there we go. Okay so here's the length of skirt that she wants to wear. You are going AHHHHH. Every dad was just freaking out of his mind, so you got a choice. You can stay in the referee mode and you go, hey, this is the rule. This is rule, this is what you're going to wear. That's what you're going to do. As long as you're in my house. I'm deciding this for you. Dad, dad, dad, you realize she has a secret weapon. See some of you some of you naively think this is a purse. This is not a purse in the hand of a 15 year old girl. This is an entire wardrobe. And you're going, oh, you are so dumb, there's no way you can fit a entire wardrobe in there. My point, exactly. I'm just telling you, she may walk out of the house looking like she's conforming. She just won. Ladies, am I right? Yeah I'm right.

Pastor Linn: 36:17 How much wiser? How much wiser, if I grit my teeth and I say, all right, so here's the deal, I'm not going to enforce what I want. Instead, I'm going to allow. I'm going to allow you to make a decision. I'm a dad. I'm a dad. All right, I'm going to allow you to make a decision. All right, I'm gonna make it up there, so it's not what I would hope for you, but it's what I'm going to allow you to do. Anywhere in here you can make it. Anyone want to guess where she's going to buy her first skirt? Right there, but that's okay. That's okay. Ready for this? Because the difference from here to here is where I get to parent. See this is early in the morning and we're having a cup of hot tea together. We're driving down the road, just the two of us. And I get to say, hey, you know, right. You know that some of the skirts, you know where you're pushing the line? You know they're not my favorite right? Do you know why they're not my favorite?

Pastor Linn: 36:17 "Oh, Dad."

Pastor Linn: 37:47 "They're not my favorite because the difference in the quality of boy who looks at you with this on. and the quality of boy who comes after you with this on is night and day. This boy is much more inclined to look at who you are as a person. This one's more inclined to look at who you are as a body and my hope is you'll date really good quality boys."

Pastor Linn: 38:20 Guys, I'm just telling you the difference between what I want and what I allow as I coach is parenting.

Pastor Linn: 38:32 Let me tell you two stories that will maybe land this whole discussion for us. When my son is six, I'm refereeing. And when he's six I have a neighbor who comes walking up to my house one day rings the doorbell, holds up in front of me a sledgehammer. To which he says, "Do you recognize this sledgehammer?"

Pastor Linn: 38:32 And I said to him, "It's a vaguely familiar, why?"

Pastor Linn: 39:01 And he says, "Because your son and my son took your sledgehammer to my wall."

Pastor Linn: 39:07 Now we were living in southern California at the time, and I don't know what this was, but the culture was in our neighborhood everybody had these little pony walls right on the property line. It was a little like {inaudible} Well just to say this is my side of the grass. I don't know what that was, but we did. So on the top of the pony wall, every put ornamental brick all along the top. And my six year old son and his six year old son had played a game that day called destroy the wall, and so they'd gone down the wall knocking that top row of bricks off the entire wall. Girls, I get it, you don't get this. But I'm just telling you for a little boys, destroy the wall is a legitimate game. It's a game.

Pastor Linn: 39:48 And so now I go to my son Josh and I say, "Did you do that?"

Pastor Linn: 39:48 He says, "Yes I did."

Pastor Linn: 39:53 Remember? Call the foul, throw the flag, I said, "Okay Josh, so here's the penalty. Here's what's going to happen. Saturday was supposed to be a family day. We were going to go and have a lot of fun. You're spending Saturday morning fixing the wall. You're going to be down there with the neighbor mortaring those bricks back in place."

Pastor Linn: 40:14 Saturday morning came and I could tell my son's heart was sad, and his eyes were hanging low. And I said, "Look, Josh, here's what you need to know. This isn't about me being mad at you. This is about me saying you're not going to behave that way. You're not going to do that and teaching you a lesson. And here's the lesson, Josh. It's not that men never make mistakes. It's that real men clean up their messes. And Josh, you're going to go down the road today and clean up your mess." So Josh spent his Saturday morning putting bricks on top of the wall. I called the foul. I made the decision. I was the ref.

Pastor Linn: 40:56 Fast-Forward, now, Josh has 16 and I'm no longer reffing, I'm coaching. We'd helped Josh buy a truck, and it was a truck with a little stick shift. We thought that'd be kind of the safest thing to start him out in. But Josh had this problem, every time he parked the truck, he would pop the stick, shift out of gear and leave it in neutral, and forget to put his parking brake on. So literally, ready for this? Six or seven times he came out of our house ,or came out of the school to find his truck had rolled back into somebody else's car. Now the good part about it was that by chance it had been on fairly flat low grade surfaces, and so there hadn't been any damage up until now, until one Sunday. And Josh somehow found, in our parking lot, the steepest place to possibly park. Popped that thing out of gear, didn't put on the emergency break, came into church and when he leaves church, sure enough the truck has rolled backwards into a brand new BMW. And now there's damage. The family was a family in the church, long-time friends, and they said to Josh, "Hey Josh, don't worry about it. Just don't worry about it. I give you a pass." You realize what they just did? They just put the skirt here. Because they just told my son who's already been reckless. Who's already done this six or seven times, and now this is the eighth time and now there's damage. And he just said to him hey, you get a pass. Don't worry about it Josh. If I had still been in referee mode, what would have been my answer? Josh I don't care. I don't care what they said. I'm the ref. I'm calling the foul, I'm enforcing the penalty, and the reality is you're going to pay that deductible, dude. But I was in coaching mode. My son was 16, and so here was the conversation I had with him. Hey Josh, I know you're off the hook, but it's not that men never make mistakes. Real men clean up their mess. And so I'm hoping you're going to do what's right. Josh went back to that family, and paid half the deductible. Hey guys, you already know, right? You know, I wish he would've paid the whole deductible. You want to hear something more powerful? The half he paid was nothing but honor. It was a young man making a good decision in his life. Which was better than if I had forced him to follow my rule, and I had a chance to coach.

Pastor Linn: 43:56 So here we go. Here's my questions. Here's my nudges to you. Hey, do you have clear rules consistently enforced by both sets of parents? And if you don't, you're going to leave this place today, you're going to establish clear rules that you agree on and enforce equally. If you've got young kids, give them the blessing of understanding authority. Hey, you've committed the foul. I'm going to call the foul. We're going to enforce the penalty. You're going to learn there such a thing as consequences. I don't care if you agree. I'm your parent. I'm not your friend and I'm not a member of the debate club. I'm your parent and I'm asking you to do this. And then finally, if you've got older kids, it's time to start coaching. It's time to start saying, "Hey look, here's what I wish you would do, but I'm going to give you the ability to make decisions and here's what I'm going to allow you to do. I'm going to coach you in between those two, so that I can train you for when I'm not here."

Pastor Linn: 45:03 Let's bow our heads. Hey, dear Lord Jesus, we simply come before you and thank you for the words of an incredibly wise man who said, "Train up your kids. Do your very best to prepare them for life without you." And God I just ask for our parents in the room. God, give us the courage to take on the roles that a parent has to have. Help us to be a grounds crew that has clear defined rules. A mom and a dad who agree and enforce together equally. God help us to put on a referee shirt. Help us to be willing to be unpopular with our kids and say, no, no, no. When I see a foul, I'm going to call a foul. I'm going to go enforce it. We're just gonna live with authority. That's what it is. God. Help us to be wise about when to become coaches, and to begin to be able to speak to our kids and say, "Look, you know what I wish you would do, but I'm going to give you some margin to decide. I need you to start learning how to make really, really wise decisions with your life, because someday I'm not going to be in the room to help." And help us to coach our kids in wisdom. God, we ask all of this so that our kids would have the best chance. The best chance to go out into a really broken world, a really screwed up, messed up place, and live remarkable lives. And all of 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