Child Centered Parenting

Raising kids by leading by example is effective

Ted Cunningham
May 7, 2017    39m
If we are going to be raising kids by leading by example we must be aware of biblical principles. Our kids are watching us all the time and learning from our behavior. 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.

Linn Winters: 01:27 Yeah. Hey, I'm here to introduce someone, awesome, really special, and you're going to love him. He's gonna make you laugh. He's gonna hopefully give you some awesome advice as well. Um, Ted is a founding pastor over in Missouri, uh, he tours around. Maybe you've seen him marriage conferences and let me, let me, tell you this. You guys ever like see a speak and your like, "aaa-, I gotta check you out. See if you're an author." Right? So, you Amazon him. He has like five stars on two books. I mean pretty awesome guys. So I'm gonna introduce to you. Give a huge Cornerstone Welcome to Ted Cunningham.

Ted Cunningham: 02:06 All right, well good morning Cornerstone. So San-Tan, uh, Scottsdale, 5:00 PM. We are welcoming you. We're glad you're here. Here's what we know about kids. They see everything we do. They hear everything we say, they forget nothing, and then they repeat. Let me say that again. They see everything. They hear everything. They remember everything. They forget nothing. And then they repeat. My son and I, we love watching YouTube clips. His favorite YouTube clip is the German Coastguard. If you get time today, as a family, it's 30 second clip. Uh, the first time I showed it to my son, guys being trained, they want on the German Coastguard and the Mayday comes in. "Mayday, Mayday. We are sinking. We are sinking." "Ah, hello, this is the German Coastguard." "Mayday, Mayday. We are sinking. We are sinking." "Ah, what, are you sthinking about?" My son thinks it's the funniest clip he's ever seen. Falls over in laughter. And a few weeks later, we're driving down the road and I'm singing a hymn from my childhood that goes like this. "I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore," and from the back seat I heard, "and what were you sthinking about?"

Ted Cunningham: 03:24 And I went, "oh no." I said, "Amy, our kids see everything we do. They hear everything we say. They forget nothing. And then they repeat. Last week we kicked off this series and if you haven't had a chance to check out part one. I wanna encourage you to check out Linn last week when he spoke on as he was talking about the heart of the child. And, and there was this moment in the message, I don't wanna give a spoiler here, but when, it was at the end of the message, when they brought the child back over here to the parents and he said, "it's at that moment, you know, you have the heart of your child." And we all went, "ohhhhhh, yeah." I want to pick up from that today because I love talking about parenting. I love talking about the family. And uh, it's, it's an opportunity for all of us to ask this question.

Ted Cunningham: 04:03 What's more important in your home? The heart of your child or the behavior of your child? Whenever we talk about parenting, I'll always get one mom or dad that'll come up to me in between services or before the service starts and say, "ahhh, ahhhh, are you gonna be giving us discipline strategies? We need discipline strategies." Today, we want to declare that the heart of your child is more important than the behavior of your child. And the reason we can declare that is because the behavior of your child flows out of your child's heart. As parents, we should be very concerned about the heart of our children. And years ago, our kids, around five or seven. I was trying to find an illustration, uh, to bring into our home and to help my kids understand the value of the heart. And I, I remember when I was growin' up, if my brother and I started fighting, my dad would simply say, "work it out."

Ted Cunningham: 04:57 How many of you remember your dad or your mom saying, "work it out?" What that meant is we don't wanna be involved. "You're gonna have to figure out how to work things out later in life with other people. Why don't you start right now with your siblings?" But they, I'd come in and they'd be goin' back and forth and "hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, what's going on?" "Well, she started it." "Well, he licked me first." "Well, he picked the television show." I mean, back and forth and I'm like, "listen, the blame game, there's just no room for that in our home." I don't want the blame and the exhaustion. And all of that that comes sometimes with family, like we gotta figure this out. So I came up with an illustration that I wanna carry us this morning through this message. And I hope that you take this illustration home, steal it from me, take it home. Your kids aren't in here right now. You can use it as you teach them about the value of their heart.

Ted Cunningham: 05:40 So one day after the kids weren't getting along too well. Uh, I told them, "I've got something I need to share with them." And under our sink, we keep a clear plastic jug. It's called the love jug. Our kids have seen it so often now, when I pull it out, they know a lecture is about to begin. How many of you have a good parenting lecture? Can I just see your hands? Let me just see the lecturers of parents. Let me tell you how powerful this lecture is. Every time I pull the love jug out, I remember Car-, once when Carson was eight, he goes, "dad, would you please give us a spanking instead?"

Ted Cunningham: 06:17 Listen that's when you know your lectures are awesome. That's when you know, WOOOOO, they would rather have a spanking, than a lectu-, this is fantastic! But, I would pull it out and I would, I want to give it to you the way I would give it to our kids when we first started this. Because I want to give it to you with the animation of my, my children along the way. I would pull this out and I go, "what is this?" And Carson will be like, "huuuuu-, that is the love jug." And I go, "what is the love jug represent?" "Huuuuu-, it represents my heart." "Carson, who's responsible for your heart?" "I - - - - -, am responsible for my heart." "How much are you responsible for your heart?" "I- - -, am 100 percent responsible for my heart." "How much is your sissie responsible for your heart?" "Dad, she's zero, for you know the answers to all these questions."

Ted Cunningham: 07:08 I know, but I'm just enjoying this too much. "Yeah, your sissy's zero percent responsible for your heart." And then as a family, we would quote one of the first verses we memorize as a family. And if you've never memorized the verse of the family, I want to encourage you to start here with Proverbs 4:23. It says, "above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life." In other words, every word you speak, and every action you take flows from your heart. The behavior of your children flows from the heart. And I, we would quote this verse, we'd talk about the heart. My son Carson's with me out at the book table, uh, today. He can verify every story I'm going to share about him. But we would, we would then go over to the sink and we would grab the hose and we would start filling it up with clear water.

Ted Cunningham: 07:56 And I would say, "what does this represent?" And I would see as we started to talk about the, uh, Gods love. Their, their tone would change, they wouldn't be as exasperated. I go, "what does this represent?" And they would go, "it represents God's love. And I say, "why, why as a family do we talk so much about the Lord? Why do we pray together as a family? Why do we, uh, do devotions as a family? Why, why, throughout our day are we having so much conversation about the Lord? It's because he is our source of life and I want to make sure I am as full of God's love as possible. Because when I leave this home and even in this home, I'm going to be pouring into other people."

Ted Cunningham: 08:35 And so the illustration really gets fun after you talk over the heart. I then say, "ok guys, this is my heart," and I pull it full of fresh water. And I go over to the cupboard and I just started grabbing all sorts of glasses that represent all the different people, uh, in my life that day that I'm gonna be pouring into. And you can see this illustration takes a little bit of time. And I grab the first caus-. Who? Who is it tha-, who's the first person, as, uh, a husband, I should pour into? It's my wife and now I gotta tell ya. I grew up in an independent, fundamental, pre-millennial, King James version, only Baptist church. OK? This is not an approved glass, right here. K? This is a Cornerstone Glass right here. I want you to see that.

Ted Cunningham: 09:19 I asked Linn to bring me one from home. So, I'm gonna make sure I get it back to him right after the mornings over. But yeah, I wanna pour into my wife. I think one of the struggles we have often in marriage, if your husband's ever come home from work, and you're trying to ask him questions and he only responds with grunts or one syllable words. It's probably because he's pretty empty. Pretty empty, but I, I just kind of learned as we talk about the heart and our home. I don't want my wife getting my leftovers. I want her to get my choice, or premium, overflow of my life. After we, after we had been married for a little bit, we decided our life is missing something. What can we do to bring joy to our life and to fill our lives and to just fill us up, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week? And in the first service the guy yelled out, "get a dog."

Ted Cunningham: 10:17 Said noooo, not dogs; children. We're like, that's what'll fill us up and really make us complete. We need children, and then you have children, and you realize nothing sucks the life out of you faster, than a child.

Ted Cunningham: 10:31 Raise your hand if parenting's the most exhausting thing you've ever done, yes!!!! But then we, fourteen years ago we had Karin May Cunningham, and, uh, she's our pioneer girl. She loves knitting, and sewing, and crocheting. She loves raising the animals to harvest the fur, and uh, you know, spin the yarn. She loves it all. But I gotta be honest with you, she was an easy first born. Raise your hand if you had an easy, first born child. OK. Put your hands down. How many of you took credit for that easy first born child? And how did God fix that in you? He gave you a second child.

Ted Cunningham: 11:06 And that second child came out, hmmmmm (illegible). I, I hate usin' that illustration. I had somebody, uh, after last service said, "we were thinking about having a second child."

Ted Cunningham: 11:26 K, don't let this service keep you from having more children. That's not the goal of this parenting series. But yeah, we had Karin, and we had read the books. We had friends who told us, you know, "Oh boy, if you get this type of child or that type of child. I guess, first borns are strong willed," and Dr Lehman will be here in a couple of weeks talking about all that. Oh boy. But I'm like, she's really pretty easy, and we got cocky as parents. We're like, we're actually way better at this than our friends. Like, we're awesome parents. We got to not one night I'm actually sittin' around going, "babe, we should bless the earth with more of our children." And then we had Carson and decided the earth has plenty of children.

Ted Cunningham: 12:12 An, And I just want you to just, just pause here for a second, this is what I tell my kids. As a dad, as a husband, I haven't even left the house and I've poured out half of my capacity. I haven't even been to work yet kids and I'm at half, I'm less than half, because my desire is to pour into you. My desire is to give to you and to impress a love for the Lord upon your heart. So I just, I, I'm like, I'm halfway done, but my son, he's easy to pour into. I love pourin' and he's a bear (illegible) man vs wild. You know, when he was eight, I go son, "what do you want to do for the week?" And he goes, "Oh Dad, let's go into the woods, on an overnight trip with nothing but a knife and a canteen, and we'll survive."

Ted Cunningham: 12:52 I don't know if you can tell by looking at me; I don't scream survivalist. But we did, we went in the woods and we survived. What he didn't know, is we were surviving in the woods right behind Cracker Barrel. So it was really a pretty easy weekend for me. Now, my parents retired to Branson, Missouri fourteen years ago. They lived two streets over from us. I don't allow 'em to live on my same street because I, we watched Everybody Loves Raymond, uh, when that was on. But, my parents live two streets over and so I'm gonna pour into my parents and I, I go over to my dad's house. My dad retired 17 years ago. He turned 70 this year and for the past 17 years he has watched Fox News 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ted Cunningham: 13:34 And when I walk in the house and I'm like, "Hey dad, how's it going?" To which he responds, "WELL WE'RE GOIN' TO HELL IN A HAND BASKET. THAT'S HOW IT'S GOIN'."

Ted Cunningham: 13:46 And I'm like, "Hey dad, good to see ya. Dad, I told you you've got to start watching more Joel Osteen." Ya know: sad, happy, sad, happy. Can I just say? This is my only little rabbit trail of the morning. I believe the 24 hour news cycle is wrecking our nation. And there's a couple of Fox News people goin', "no it ain't! I am well-informed, fair and balanced." Well, pipe down O'Riley. Because I'm here to tell you, honestly, think about this. I don't care what news, I'll let you watch CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, whatever your news is. Watching the same news cycle, repeat every 30 minutes, all day, sucks the life out of you. It drains you. Look it, I see wives clapping next to husbands. (Illegible from the audience) Yeah, it does. Next time you turn on the cable news and you watch one complete news cycle, and you're getting ready to go into the next one. Here's the sound I want you to hear, (slurping sound). It's draining you. It's draining.

Ted Cunningham: 14:51 So my mom, she's easy to pour into. My mom's at the place she doesn't want any more stuff. Young people I just, I want you to know. You're like, "how do I show love and honor to my senior adult parents?" You know what it is? Stay connected to the family, speak honor over your parents when you're with them. My, they don't want any more stuff, "well, I send them a gift." They don't want any gifts. They've had plenty of stuff. They're likin' the downsizing mode right now. Every time I leave my parents home, I leave with a box of stuff. As I'm leaving, I'm like, "mom, you put your blender in here." And she'll say, "I'm done baking." Alright, ni-, nooooo, but she's just like it, it -. But all I have to do is walk in the house and go, "hey mom, I talked to Andy today, Andy's my brother, to which she says, "you did? Well, how's he doing?" "Like mom, you talked to him for an hour today too." She just wants me, to talk to her, about her other son. That's how I pour into my mom.

Ted Cunningham: 15:48 This little shot glass here, represents my mother in law (lots of laughter from the audience). You enjoyed that a little too much. And if you two need to step out and get some things straightened out, that's OK to do. It's not just honoring your parents it's honoring her parents as well. Now listen, if Linda Freetag, were sittin' on the front row, she would hate every single one of you that just laughed at that. And she would want me to tell you, "You tell them that is a punchline. You make sure they know I'm a party on wheels. You tell them that." I have to tell everybody that now, Linda Freetag is awesome.

Ted Cunningham: 16:41 Now, look, ya haven't even been to work yet and some of you are thinking about work right now; tomorrow's Monday. And some of you, every, I think everybody in here, at some point in your life has one person at work that sucks the life right out of you, right? You will get on an elevator, go down a floor, over and up, another elevator to avoid an office.

Ted Cunningham: 16:59 Now, here's why this is important. I am empty. This is what I want my kids to get about the heart. The textbook definition of codependency is excessive, emotional, reliance. It's, it's bein' clingy, and uh, uh, you know, if we, we look at this, Dr. Gary Smalley had a great definition of, of codependency. It was simply relying on people, places, or things, as your source of life. Carson, when you blame sissy for what you're feeling right now, you're relying on your sister as your source of life.

Ted Cunningham: 17:35 If you're right now blaming your spouse as the source of your problems, you don't realize you've done this, but you've automatically set your spouse up to be the solution. When your spouse is the source, and the solution, you are stuck. But there's a better way. The better way is what I tell my kids. I set the empty love jug down. It takes about a 20 minute illustration with them. I'm trying to condense it. Um, but I said, here's the definition of codependency for you guys. And, and they get this definition, excessive emotional reliance may be a little bit above where they are right now, but they get this one. Codependency is pouring into all of these people and sitting around with an empty heart waiting for them to pour back in to you.

Ted Cunningham: 18:17 And here's the bottom line, for the four of you that clapped, that was thank you, that was awesome. That was a golf clap if ever I've heard a golf clap.

Ted Cunningham: 18:30 Here's what you need to know about people, places and things, but let's talk about people. Here's what you need to know about people. People are limited supplies. People are limited supplies. And what do you do when you, when you cling to a limited supplies, your source of life, you become desperate. Do you remember the morning we all woke up to the dreaded news, Twinkies went bankrupt? You know where you ar-, I remember where I was. And I hadn't had a Twinkie in 20 years. But my very first thought, I yelled through the house to my wife, "Hey, we gotta pick up boxes and boxes of Twinkies. They're outta Twinkies."

Ted Cunningham: 19:10 (Illegible) Desperation kicks in and you lean in, anymore, and that's why when a marriage is stuck in the grind of life and you're blaming one another as the source of the problem and you turn each other into the solution of the problem. It gets worse because you just dig in even more. The guy knocks on your door. He said, "ma'am, we're doing some construction down the street. We have to turn the water off for, for an hour." Your first thought is, "huhhhhh, I'm thirsty." You're fillin' up sinks and tubs, for fear you're gonna run out of water.

Ted Cunningham: 19:41 I remember years ago, we were told we weren't gonna be able to buy light bulbs anymore. Does anybody remember that? I went to Lowe's and filled up carts, full of light bulbs, cause I love light. And I get home and now years later I go back. It's the same light bulbs on the shelf. I'm like, where, who put that desperation in me? It was Fox News, that's who did that.

Ted Cunningham: 20:08 Limited supply makes you desperate. You wanna know what the worst marriage on the planet is? The worst marriage on the planet are husband and wife connected to each other as the source of life. And you say, "well, you know honey, I just said the thing I know you like to hear. I just did the thing I know you like me to do. When am I going to get a little somethin', somethin' comin' back at me?"

Ted Cunningham: 20:30 And we plug into each other as a source of life and I'd probably for the first seven years of our marriage, you're newlyweds in here. You're probably right, bein' right in the middle of this right now, and then before you start your family planning and gettin' your kids all goin'. One of the greatest things you can do as a parent is fire your spouse as your source of life. I mean, because this is a misera- marriage. Do you know what the best marriage on the planet is? Best marriage, bar none, on the planet, a husband and wife firing each other as the source of life. Plugging into the true and only source of life and spending their days giving each other the overflow. That's a great marriage.

Ted Cunningham: 21:07 Why don't we do it right now? Raise your right hand. If you're married, raise your right hand and repeat after me, "I (state your name)," yeah, everybody should join the comedy tour. "Do hereby resign as general manager of the universe, and my spouse." Now point to your spouse for the very last time; you'll never do this again. Point to your spouse and simply say these words, "You're fired."

Ted Cunningham: 21:38 "You will no longer suck the life outta me." Don't quote that, I'm teaching now. I'm just, I'm onto the teaching part.

Ted Cunningham: 21:46 When we were plugged into each other, Amy and I, as the source of life. I mean we couldn't, I mean, I was so irritated in so many areas of life because I wanted her to change to make me happy. Am I any different than what I'm trying to teach my kids? I, I, I wanted her to change. I remember I did about seven years into marriage. I got ticked one day and I finally told her, I said, "listen babe, there's not a lot of adventure left for men in the world anymore. Would you please let me find my own parking space?"

Ted Cunningham: 22:22 I wanna do it all by myself. I wanna provide this for my family.

Ted Cunningham: 22:32 We pull in the parking lot, this is how petty we where. We pull in a parking lot, so we didn't have to say anything. I'd pull into a spot, pass her space and she would just look at me with those eyes that said, "you stubborn, stubborn man."

Ted Cunningham: 22:48 But then we said, "you're fired. You're not my source." I need to be full from the source of life and pour into her. And now when we pull into a parking lot, cause she's better at this than I am. She understand, "well he is never my source, never will be my source." When we pull into a parking lot now I still drive past the space she points out, I mean, I, that's Leviticus 12, uh, 26. I don't know the exact reference, but I go 20 spaces down. I pull into my own space and now wa-. watch what she does because I'm no longer her source of life. I pull into a space I found and she leans over and she starts massaging my bicep and she says, "you did this all by yourself. I am so proud of you. Kids, aren't you proud of your dad? Aren't you proud of what he's able to do? So good at gettin' parking spaces." And Carson 'll go, "way to go Dad."

Ted Cunningham: 23:55 You know what I caught her doing a couple years ago? And it was in a parking lot that this happened for the first time. She bought a , she knows those Andies candies at the end of an olive garden meal are like crack to me. I love those Andies candies more than anything. Well she bought a bag of 'em. She keeps them in her purse now for when I do something good. And it was in a parking lot she handed me my first Andy's candy and I rip that thing out of her hand. I'm opening it up and I realized, oh, my wife just gave me a TREAT.

Ted Cunningham: 24:29 She is rewarding my good behavior. I, I'm a dog, I was all right with it. I opened it up and I enjoyed it. You got to go with it.

Ted Cunningham: 24:40 Just to say to parents today, your children are watching your marriage. They're listening to your marriage. They're remembering and more than likely they'll repeat. They have a front row seat to your marriage.

Ted Cunningham: 24:53 The other thing we like to do though is plug into our children as the source of life, and here's what I'm, as a dad of as soon to be 12 and 14 year old. I am wanting to make sure my children know your dad is not your source of life. My job is to point you, to lead you, to, to show you, to model who your true source of life is. And, and the problem we have today is we plug into our children as the source of life and what happens, we go on Facebook and we use our child's attributes and accomplishments to try to impress other people.

Ted Cunningham: 25:27 We, uh, we create environments for our children to succeed rather than teaching them how to succeed in environments they cannot control. It's why for many of us, we, we, we treat our children like children right up until the very day we expect them to be an adult and we wonder why they have such a struggle once they leave the home. Well, it's because we have fallen for this faulty input/output theory of parenting. That says, "whatever I place into my child is what I will get out of my child." And there is a Hebrew term for that. The Hebrew term is, HA! In the Greek, it's bolog-Nay.

Ted Cunningham: 26:09 It's just not true. It's just not true. I, I, I think my job as a parent is to make sure my children are independent of me and dependent on the source. That's what I want. We read this, in, in Deuteronomy, Chapter 6. Here, here's how it lays it out clearly, Deuteronomy 6, Verse Four says, "hear o Israel the Lord our God. The Lord is one." There are four truths in that verse four, and here they are. There is a God. There is only one God. He is the Lord. He is our Lord.

Ted Cunningham: 26:49 Verse Five says, "Love The Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength." What do I do with that? Well, Verse Six says, "these commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts." We can't do a parenting series without talking about the heart of the parent. We can talk all day long about the heart of the child, but let me tell you, the heart of the child is impressed by the heart of the parent. This is why Moses says, "and remember in that day" they didn't have a Bible sitting on the dinner table.

Ted Cunningham: 27:20 The faith was passed on through parents speaking it to their children, through parents modeling it to their children. "These truths I give you today, there is a God. There's only one God. He is the Lord. He is our Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. These are to be upon your heart." And then watch what Verse Seven says, "impress them on your children." This is the model we have, a family discipleship in the scripture. How do you impress a love for the Lord and that he's the boss, that he is the source of all life? How do you impress that upon your children? The scripture says, "talk about them," when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, or drive down the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. Make this your conversation.

Ted Cunningham: 28:09 Years ago I told Amy, we had been through so many children's bibles I said, "if I see one more picture of Noah petting a zebra, I'm gonna punch myself in the face." I said, "our kids have gotta be able to learn more than this." And we created a devotional series, A to Z, and every night we started back at 'A' and worked up to a new card. And, and we had such fun with this because then as we walked along the way, I didn't have to carry cards with me, but our kids learned about the ant, go to the ant, you sluggard, consider his ways and be wise. Be of kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul, healthy to the body. The camel, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. As a dog returns to his mom, is kind of like the Hooked on Phonics for the Bible.

Ted Cunningham: 28:42 And our kids were learning it. On days where it was pretty rough. But this was the devotional set we created. I would go get the V and I'd, I'd tuck Carson into bed and I'd pull out this, just a little quick little devotional. I tuck 'em into bed. I'd get his pillow all fluffed and ready. And the main point here is respect for parents. And I would read just a quick verse, "Proverbs 30:17 son says, the eye that mocks a father that scorns an aged mother will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, and will be eaten by the vultures."

Ted Cunningham: 29:22 Night night, sleep good, OK buddy? And then I just say, having your eyes pecked out by ravens and eaten by vultures is a word picture for death. Not listening to your parents, making fun of your dad, treating your mom as your servant will cause you much pain as an adult.

Ted Cunningham: 29:31 The Bible is very clear that we're supposed to honor our parents even after we leave home. It's the first commandment with a promise. God gives us parents to prepare us for life in the world. The responsibility necessary for work and relationships. I want my kids to understand your dad's not your source. The true and only source of light, that's why we say in our home all the time, "Jesus is my source, not you."

Ted Cunningham: 29:55 Whenever the blame ga-, game creeps into our home, we simply say, "Jesus is my source, not you." You know what that does for us? That allows you to pour into people: your wife, your children, your parents, your whole family, your co-workers. You now get to pour into people, understanding that you have free unlimited refills. And, you can pour into these people in your life with zero expectation of anything coming back to you.

Ted Cunningham: 30:17 Wouldn't that be a great marriage? To go serve your spouse with zero expectation of anything coming back? I don't know about you, but I have a face that screams retail. I go into stores and restaurants all the time and I'm asking a question, do you work here? And I've been asked that so many times. I don't even fight it. I just simply respond with, "how may I help you?" I will help people with shirt sizes and shoe sizes, I don't care. But we were at one of our favorite little sandwich shops in Branson, called Sugar Leaf and my family was over here eatin' and I got up to use the restroom and I noticed a senior couple that they were pretty frustrated. Pretty, I could just tell there was heat in their conversation and I looked at my watch, and like, oh, I got a minute. So I walk over to their table and I simply say, "how was everything?"

Ted Cunningham: 31:00 And he goes, "I gotta be honest with you. We're pretty ticked off." I go, "ahhh, I hate to hear that." I said, "what seems to be the problem?" "Well, your sign outside said bratwurst. And we stood in line for 20 minutes waiting for a bratwurst. We get to the front and you're out of bratwurst." "Sir, I hate to hear that. What can we do to make this right?" And it starts to change his attitude. I said, "what if I get you a piece of Pie?" He says, "well, thank you very much." So I go, I stand in line. I buy him a piece of pie. I bring it back over, I set it down on his table. He starts asking me questions about the restaurant. I'm like, "hey, ho, ho, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I don't work here." I said, "that's my family over there." And my family all waves from across the restaurant.

Ted Cunningham: 31:45 And, I get back to the table. I'm fired up. I, I don't even know what's going on, but mans, I'm, I, it's like uh, it's like adrenaline's rushing through me. I'm like, man, wh-, wh-, wh-, what was, you guys see that? How awesome that was? And I want my kids to see it, "you know why that's so fantastic and so much fun. It's because you're doing something with no expectations with those people doing anything back to you." Jesus said, "I have not come to be served. I have come to serve." This is where, where, where everything goes wrong in the home is when we're like, I'm gonna say and do the right thing depending on how you respond to it, no I'm gonna say and do the right thing because my heart is connected to the true and only source of life.

Ted Cunningham: 31:45 That's the key.

Ted Cunningham: 32:26 In First John, Chapter Four, we read about the source of life and here's what it says. "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, God lives in him and he in God." This is the source, and so we know, watch this, and rely on, not relying here. We rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him. You're connected to the true and only source of life. Verse Nineteen says, "we love because he first loved us."

Ted Cunningham: 33:02 This is the key. We want our children connected to that source, and I think for some, maybe you'll wake up this morning thinking about a bad parenting move. I always love afterwards out at the book table I had several after the last couple of services that have come up to me and said, "oh, you'll never believe what I said or did," and I'm like, "ah, you'd be surprised. I probably said and done it."

Ted Cunningham: 33:25 And I think we, we focused too much on our parenting struggle and, and need to not waste too much time on the parenting struggle and focus more on the parenting responsibility. And this is the parenting responsibility, making sure your heart is connected to the true and only source of light and impressing a love for the Lord upon the heart of your children. That's your greatest responsibility. Don't stress, if some of you right now or in the toddler season and you're like, "oh no, it's bad. I am. I am screwing these kids up so bad. I can't even think straight and we're having another one. Like, and the first two were just practice. We hope to do a lot better with this third one."

Ted Cunningham: 34:03 Anybody here raisin' toddlers? Can I just see, anybody here raisin' toddlers? Rai-, you're raisin' toddlers? Ok, Who else raisin' toddlers? Let me see. Todd, lot of toddlers over here. Do we have any grandparents sitting in this section over here? Grandparents? OK. Would you do me a favor? Some of those with toddlers, come down and meet these grandparents afterwards. You know why? Cause you got an antibacterial product hanging all over your purse and she used to let her kids pick up cigarette butts and chew on 'em and her kids are fine.

Ted Cunningham: 34:35 Oh, you're not out of this one buddy because you know he used to let his kids sleep in the back window of the car on long trips. You now strap them in like your launching them to outer space. Right? Here we go. Oh, twelve hours. I can do 12 hours. You know what they used to do? And I'm sayin', you gotta talk to them. Their kids are fine, but they used to raise their kids in a play pen. They put three kids in one play pen with only one toy. That's where we got the idea for cage fighting.

Ted Cunningham: 35:08 And if the kids messed up, we took the kids outside the play pen. We turned the play pen upside down and we put it on top of 'em and their kids are fine. Those were good days. How many of you remember drinking out of garden hoses? Let me see your han-. WE'RE FINE. We're fine. Raise your hand if you've ever been shot by a bb gun? Oh, I'm in Arizona now. How many of you, you wanta lower the crime rate in this country, let your kid start shooting each other with bb guns again.

Ted Cunningham: 35:18 How many of you remember your parents standing in the kitchen, watching you and your brothers shoot each other with bb guns? No protective eyewear, and after you were done playing war, they what? They'd come out and your dad would help you build a ramp to jump your bike with no helmet, no pads. You fell down and got hurt. What'd your dad say? "Way To go, son. Good job."

Ted Cunningham: 35:59 How many remember when your parents couldn't figure out which of your siblings was at fault? So he just spanked all of ya? How many of you remember when your mom spanked you with whatever she had handy? Raise your hand if you've ever been spanked by a blow dryer. Every morning. How many of you remember when your parents sent you to your room, your dad sent you to your room to wait for your spanking? The wait was worse than the spankin'. I had a stubborn brother. He would, he'd sit on his bed over there and he goes, "oh, he ain't gonna break me." "I'm like, are you kidding? I'm screaming on the back swing. I don't want it!" How many remember when your parents gave permission to spank you to total strangers? Anybody remember that?

Ted Cunningham: 36:43 He gets out of line. Just kind of knock 'em, "mom we don't even know these people." How many remember getting spanked at school and then spanked for the same crime when you got home? I have constitutional rights, I would declare before that second spanking. How many remember when your parents told you the bell on the ice cream truck meant they were out of ice cream?

Ted Cunningham: 37:10 Those were good days. How many remember when your parents sent you outside to play all day? Said do not come home until the street lights turned on and then they didn't even care if you came home or not. How many of you remember when you used to be able to sign your kids up for sports without committing them to tournaments in Beijing? This is gettin' out of hand. I walked up to my son's karate class. I walked right up to it, and the master comes out, "oh, I got good news." I'm like, "what's that?" He goes, "we're going to the world championships, in Italy." I'm like, "HA, don't think so." He said, "why not?" I said, "well, I've never been to Italy. The first time I go to Italy will be with my wife not my son's Dojo, karate kid. That ain't happenin'."

Ted Cunningham: 37:55 Focus on your greatest parenting responsibility, the heart of your child, not your struggle. Would you pray with me? Father, it is in the name of Jesus. We thank you for this time. I come to you in the authority of the name of Jesus and through the power of the blood of Jesus asking for every mom and dad, grandma and grandpa that they would realize parenting never ends. That our children, whether they're at home or not, whether they are young or old, they are still watching. They are still listening. They are still remembering and more than likely will repeat. May we have a love for the Lord upon our hearts today, May that be the first question mom and dad asked today, where is my heart with the Lord and May, may they spend their days from the time they get up in the morning to the time they go to bed at night as they sit at home and as they walk and drive around town, that they would have this beautiful conversation about the Lord. We pray all of this and the name of Jesus. Amen.

Ted Cunningham: 39:14 Thank you, I gotta, Hey, it was the senior adults in the room that lead out on that. I could feel it. They're like, tell these young people somethin' listen. I'm coming back on Thursday night for the date night comedy tour. I hope you're making your plans to be a part of it. It starts at 6:15. I can promise you I'm coming with my friend Paul Harris. I can promise you three to five laughs per minute. We're gonna have a great time. It's gonna be great for your marriage and you to do that. I'll be out at the book table. I'd love to meet you. My son's out there as well. He'll take care of you. If you stop by and say hi. Thank you very much. Cornerstone.

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