Release Your Child to the Lord

Date Preached: July 29, 2018
From the Series: The Three R's of Parenting
Notes: Download PDF
Speaker: Gary Combs


Godly parents recognize their call to be leaders who make disciples. If we want to be effective, we have to match our parenting style to every child’s situation.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul told them that he had discipled them like a parent according to their situation, sometimes gentle and affectionate like a mother and sometimes strong like a father in order to release them to live up to God’s calling. We can parent our children following God’s Word to match our child’s situation with a goal of releasing them to the Lord.

(Note: due to a technical issue, only audio is available for this sermon)


Below is an automated transcript of this sermon

Thanks for listening to the podcast from gary combs and the preaching team at wilson community church in wilson north carolina check us out on the web at for more and now here’s the sermon

Good morning church good to see all of you here this morning we’re concluding our series continuing the three r’s of parenting today a couple of items i’d like to cover before we dig in is one welcome back to the guatemala mission team give them a hand they got back last night and we look forward to next sunday night when they will bring a report to the church so i hope you can show up for that and hear the stories of their work in guatemala

the other item i’d like to bring to your attention is that you received a couple of invite cards in your seat as you came in this morning and this is an opportunity for you invite people to the next sermon series that begins next sunday we’ll be talking about the new community that we have in christ and and how we are the family of god because of christ so we will be talking about the four devotions for real community anc what it looks like to live in an authentic christ centered community we will launch that service next week and so this is an opportunity for you to invite people these couple of items keep in mind

now we’re not talking about the three r’s of education reading, writing and arithmetic but we’re talking about how the bible shows that children are really a gift from the lord and how we are called to be stewards not owners they belong to god and so we are to raise them the way god wants us to he’s the creator and he’s given us an owner’s manual and we’re to raise them according to that that’s kind of been the theme behind the series and the idea being that we receive them from the lord and so i’ve tried to give you this picture of what that might look like so you received them from the lord and then you raise them up towards the lord or to the lord so now now you are their connection they don’t know the lord yet you’re hanging on to the lord depending on him and you’re raising them up

this week you release them to the lord that’s the move that’s often as difficult as the other two are and it’s this idea of how to release them we’ve come up with this time period we call adolescence

now if you go back in the bible two thousand years ago they really didn’t have that season of life but this is something that’s come into being since the industrial age this idea of thirteen to eighteen being the teenage years or the adolescence although some have said in the millennial phase that it’s more like thirteen to thirty i’m not sure if that’s true but that this season called adolescence and so what does it look like to release them in other words to invite them to live adults what’s that phase look like and that’s kind of what we are unpacking this morning

so as i’ve done in weeks gone by I have gone to the internet to try to find some advice for us and so here are some tweets on teens looking for advice tweets on teens so here’s a tweet from sara she says i shut my teens bedroom door to make my house feel cleaner okay so there’s a little parenting tip on how to keep your house cleaner from sarah here’s one from wendy she says I just changed the netflix password so my teenager has to come out of his room to talk to me tips on communication with your teams here is one from windy i like just the handle that this one uses sarcastic mommy the great thing about having teens who sleep until noon is I only have to feed them two meals a day yeah benefits of raising teens looking on the bright side here’s a tweet from steve at the airport I just kissed thirteen year old son on his cheek and he reacted like dracula getting impaled by a wooden stake that’s the kind of parent i aspire to you right there embarrass your kids in public. That’s all day long. here’s another from stephen when your children are teenagers It’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you. And here’s one final one from a person who’s handle is cheese boy twenty two i don’t know i just think his handle is funny okay so spend quality time with your kids force them to hold your hand and skip with you do this with your teams do it at the mall i like this good tips good parenting tweets for teens

parents have a lot of questions and i often get questions from parents practical questions about how old should they be when we first start disciplining them when should we shift to a different form maybe from a less authoritative form of parenting to more of an influence i have a lot of questions practical questions about potty training and things like that so as a pastor i get some of those

i get more of the spiritual questions more questions like when do i start talking to them about god and when are they old enough to make their own decision about their faith when are they old enough to confess jesus and get baptized and take communion and these kind of things you know kind of spiritual questions and parents want to know how to do these things in fact the reason some of you even came back the church because you left the church when you went off to college or you went into the workplace and then you had a kid and just the overwhelming way to that caused you to say i need help so that’s why you came back in the first place was because of being a parent

we want to know the answers to these kind of questions and what i would say to you is i believe the bible offers some valid helpful encouraging answers to these things and so these are the kinds of questions that we can relate to at this age so that’s kind of where we’re at in this third segment of the series is that one style of parenting will not fit every age that there’s a style of parenting that’s appropriate when they’re small then there’s a shift you have to make in your parenting when they’re seven to twelve and then thirteen to eighteen there’s a completely different shift in parenting

when i started thinking about this some years ago because i used to work in the corporate world and i’ve got a lot of training on leadership and so forth out there and i had studied a book called situational leadership about dr paul hershey and by ken blanchard so i kind of had that in the back of my head when i first became a pastor and then i started thinking I may write a book called situational parenting because as i was raising kids i started noticing how leadership principles go hand in hand with parenting because that’s really you being a leader but there’s different styles and i saw that and then i found out someone already wrote the book so i didn’t get to write the book so i’ll recommend it the title the book is situational parenting

a fella named ron campbell partnered with the founders of that leadership system and wrote the book situational parenting the idea being that your child has a level of readiness as it grows up that is important that your parenting style matches their level of maturity readiness here’s kind of a quick graph that i’ll be popping up over and over again it’s on the back of your notes the finished version of it is because i knew many of you are going to be like can i get a copy of that? You’re going to be asking me for that and so i put it in your notes so you can see it so we’ll be looking through this you can see the child’s readiness down here starts off that they are unable and unwilling that’s how children start off they’re not able to do what you say nor are they willing to do what you say that’s how they start off

in r one readiness needs a situational parenting style right here and so on how the chart works okay, it looks kind of complicated when you first look at it but it makes sense so i’ll be referring to that often throughout the sermon this morning you have that in your notes with some of the blanks filled out so that would be helpful

here’s the thing i started noticing so i’m using the word leadership for parenting but then the bible really uses the word discipleship the idea that you’re making disciples in fact that’s what jesus commands the church to be about as the family of god we are to be making disciples and as a family as a mom and a dad your first discipleship group are your kids you’re to make disciples of your kids

i’m going to look at the book of first thessalonians where we see paul as a disciple maker as a man who’s making disciples of jesus in the city of thessalonica how he uses a parenting style in fact he uses three different parenting styles to disciple the church at thessalonica and as we look at this i think we can learn from these three parenting styles and with the help of the holy spirit we can apply them to the way we parent our children

you might say i don’t have any children right now i’ve already raised my children i’m a grand parent you can coach others because young people are always looking for mentors if you are grand parents or if you’re single you can apply this to the way you make disciples because if you’re making disciples you can use this approach so there’s many reasons you can learn this approach and be enabled

look at the text today first thessalonians chapter two will will read how paul applies these three different parenting styles and how we can learn from them as well okay verse seven of chapter two but we were gentle among you like a nursing mother taking care of her own children so being affectionately desirous of you we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of god but also our own selves because you had become very dear to us for you remember brothers our labour and toil we worked night and day that we might not be a burden to any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of god you are witnesses and god also how holy and righteous and blameless was their conduct toward you believers for you know how like a father with his children we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of god who calls you into his own kingdom and glory this is god’s work

so we’re looking for these three parenting styles and how it helps us release our children to the lord here is the first parenting style it sounds like something you would use in preschool show and tell show and tell when they are young here’s where we’re getting the three styles look at verse twelve closely again and you’ll see that paul in his conclusion here of how he discipled that he used a mother and a father based on where they were at and what they needed

he says in summary in verse twelve he says we exhort we encourage we charge that’s where we’re going to get our three styles right there two thousand years before he wrote on situational parenting it was already in the book right here here are the three styles

the first was based on the word exhorting now that’s a strong word that includes an idea of hands on that you’re constantly with the child and you have your hands on them it’s a great greek word i’ll give it to you quickly (greek word) para (greek word) it means called alongside you’re in a season where you’re right beside them showing them and telling them what to do it sounds like the word that jesus uses in john four ten where he says i must go so that the father can send the comforter the advocate the helper which in the greek is paraclete or paracletos and you’ll see it in an old hymn you’ll be singing an old hymn and it will talk about the paraclete what’s the paraclete it is the holy spirit the one who’s called alongside but in this phase of exhortation we’re called to be alongside our children constantly this is a highly laborious season of parenting

he describes it in verses seven through nine that when he was in this season of exhortation he couldn’t do that from a distance he had to be right there with him and he says i had to be gentle like a nursing mother taking care of her own children i mean it required gentleness because they didn’t know anything yet and you had to be very patient and gentle

then he says in verse eight so being affectionately desirous of you i had to deal with you in a relational way so that you trusted me because at this point he’s talking about new believers who don’t know anything about the lord yet and he’s bringing them along right but see that’s the way we parent that’s the way we’re supposed to parent we’re bringing them along and this is the highly relational highly affectionate gentle phase we’re ready to share with you not only the gospel of god but our own selves so this is a intensive season of parenting

verse nine really summarizes it you remember brothers our labour and toil we worked night and day have you brought a baby home from the hospital it’s like a bomb went off at your house your sleeping patterns your eating patterns everything about your life just blew up and now it all revolves around this little person who eats sleeps and messes their diaper that’s what they do oh and cries and cries and cries who knew that you could bring home a baby like we did when we brought little steven home

first he was a colicky baby look it up he constantly had stomach pains we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him for three months so he just cried all the time i would come home from work and my wife would hand him to me he’d be crying as i came in the front door she would say it is your shift like that wow you know one way you can find out that you’re not that good of a christian have a baby that little baby will reveal to you your selfishness it will be revealed to you that you haven’t become as self less as you thought you were because it will take from you every last drop

this is the season i think it’s zero two five or a zero two six season where there’s no short cuts its labor work night and day hands on show and tell and it’s not just tell them what to do do as I say not as i do but it’s both and do as i do and as i say look what the apostle paul says to the church in philippi

He says pattern your lives after mine and learn from those who follow our example he’s basically saying do what i do follow me as i followed jesus those little ones that god entrusts to us those those little zero to three zero to four everything they say the accent in which they say it they get it all from us they get it from mom and dad they get it from the family they get it from the older siblings and that’s a scary thing because it’s like looking in little mirrors and you’re looking at yourself every time because what they’re getting they got from you so this is a season that should scare you so bad that you would fall to your knees and get right with jesus and completely give your life to him so you don’t just mess up your life and you’re messing up theirs too if you don’t are you with me are you staying with me here this is season number one situation number one this is the one where you’re just pouring out and this is not a season where you let them choose what they want to be and what they want to do this is the season where you tell them what to do

in first corinthians paul says what do you wish shall come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness he gives you do you want a spanking or a kiss i mean he’s dealing with them with that first level where they need to be corrected in fact i think it’s kind of both and during this season highly affectionate highly relational every child is born with some sort of a legal mind it’s like they are little attorneys and they’re ready to convince you for their position stop arguing with the zero to six year old they’re going to beat you anyway because they work according to their own logic

here’s the thing about that little mind that little mind needs to be taught two things what we learned last week obedience honor and respect honor teach him to obey teach them to honor that’s what you’re teaching them you’re not teaching them choices that’s for later you’ll do that later this is where they have a very concrete way of thinking their little minds are not in an abstract way of thinking can i pop this chart up that’s kind of helpful? This is a spiritual formation and mental development chart and the zero to two to five zero to two to six very concrete and their thinking is very literal as they get older see here’s where they need rules, they need to be told this is right, this is wrong. This is not a debate don’t do that, you’re teaching them the rules here they’re more becoming relational now they’re doing it because they love you not because you told them see now they trust you you’ve taught them the rules now they’re more doing it because you are mommy and you are daddy and now you want to teach them

the question they’re going to start asking why actually they start asking why back here back here you do it my mom used to do it because i said so why because i said so but right in here they’re starting to be smarter about abstract thinking now you start introducing the why because in god’s word it says this now i’m popping these dates up for these age groups up because it’s generally true but children’s maturity varies but it does progress in this order ultimately you want your child to have its own resolve for doing god’s will so it’s no longer you telling them what to do but ultimately they now have made their own decision for the lord and no matter whether you’re there or not they’re going to be your little disciples they’ve grown up but now they’re actually disciples of jesus not you so that’s that’s where you want to move now

that’s one reason by the way that our children’s ministry curriculum for the younger kids uses a very concrete bible story approach we don’t teach them themes we teach them stories because when they get the stories they know who moses is they they know who jonah is they know who jesus is they know the stories of them when we start teaching them the themes they have the concrete stories to connect them to if you flip it over and you tell a three year old they need to ask jesus in their heart they start trying to figure out how to get that picture of jesus in their chest because they are concrete in their thinking they don’t understand metaphor yet you with me so teach them concrete things

if you want to talk to him about having a relationship with jesus you say here’s what daddy’s done i’ve decided i’m not the boss jesus is my boss and so there was a time in my life that i realized it’s not good for me to be in charge because i keep doing the wrong things because i’m a sinner and what that means honey is sometimes i make mistakes and go against what god wants for me and so i needed jesus to forgive me and to be the boss like that and someday i want you to let jesus be the boss of your life too and so you get it out of the metaphoric in the zero two six phase and you get it in the concrete language use real words small words and they know

The mistake i see is i see someone at chick fillet with their two year old having an argument about what they want on the menu and whether or not they should sit still in their seat and these kinds of things whether or not it’s optional to be strapped into a car seat in these kind of things it’s not your job to make them happy it’s your job to make them holy to disciple them to be like jesus

i heard this from one of our members as they were leaving today and i said i wish you to told me in the first service but i’m going to give it to the second service when they are children if you spoil them, you’ll have to raise your grandchildren, but if you’ll raise your children, then you can spoil your grandchildren If you spoil your children, you have to raise their children because they won’t know how but if you raise your children to be holy and to follow jesus, then you can be good grandparents give them back when you’re finished right

let’s look at that diagram again from situational parenting and i want you to t see that what we’re talking about is this first readiness phase, they are unable and unwilling, they’re unable physically to do what you say they’re unable they don’t know how to tie their shoes they don’t know how to go to the bathroom when they’re supposed to strangely enough, some of my grand kids get verbal abilities before they get physical abilities, and so they will speak in complete sentences i don’t want to go do number two in the bathroom I mean, like buddy, if you can talk about it like that, you ought to be able to go do it, you know

we do this thing every year we got a tradition in our family. Now that when the grandchild is potty trained, they get to go on the grandparent trip that you might say, well, why do you do that? Because i’ve already changed diapers , and i’m tired of that, and i want to do the next thing. Let the parents change the diapers. Once they get that figured out, i’ll take him on the grandparents trip . We now have four children out of our seven. We’ve got number eight expecting in october of our grandchildren, but seven of them four out of seven are now potty trained and have qualified for the grand parent trip, which takes place in a couple of weeks pray for us. The other three are working on it

In this phase you’re teaching them to do the right thing and this is the season right here it’s real directive and its strong on the discipline and authority side because you’re teaching them to obey so teach to obey teach to honor that what’s in red is my addition to the book because i’m coming at it from the bible more specifically than the book did the book is more general observation about the psychology of children but i’m saying teach them to obey that’s quadrant one right there and then it’s not so much teaching them to honor its teaching them to obey, so that’s what we’re talking about in the book of ephesians it says this

this was from last week’s sermon children obey your parents honor your father mother so those are the two words that i’m driving here this is from a book entitled don’t make me count to three by ginger plowman she says to set the standard of obedience we should expect instant obedience from our children teach them that god wants them to obey all the way right away and with a happy heart and so we want to teach him in this season to obey

i used to work in the corporate world as i mentioned before and so that didn’t mean that i wasn’t busy trying to serve the lord and in that phase robin and i are both musicians, so we sang in the choir. Remember back in the days when churches had choirs, we were in the choir and that this church we were at, uh, the choir didn’t leave the choir area. You stay there for the whole message, so the pastor would preach , and you’re still sitting in the choir because you had to stand up and sing the thing at the end or the decision song and all that. So we had kids, three kids, and we’re both in the choir and this church we were going to did not have children’s church. So stephen was five years old and there was no children’s church, so he’s sitting, we assigned him to a family. Every Sunday we would ask someone would you watch stephen and please sit, you know, like in the second pew, so we can see him here’s, why we wanted to see him, because by the time he was five, i had given him a standard of obedience to the point where i didn’t have to speak. I only had to look to get him. See that not all of you can do that. I could do that if i do that to stephen he’s, thirty five years old today. If i do that to him, he’ll go what? Yeah. So Stephen would be sitting in the second row and he was sitting there with a family they had a little boy about his age they start poking each other and i’m in the baritone section i’m back there and the pastor’s up here preaching i would lean my head out past the pastor look it stephen and go like that and it would straighten up people all like first row second row third row finally stephen would look at me and all the blood would run out of his face he knew as soon as we get in the car daddy’s going to get me man because i would tell him before we got to church if i give you the look you’re getting a spanking because i can’t get to you just be well behaved but if i give you the look you’re getting it and so he’d be like i’m dead i’d have people come up to me after church and say are you mad at me about something no no i’m good i’m good i was looking at stephen

you gotta teach them to obey the look teach him that you no longer have to even touch them they know you’re the authority this is the phase you do that now when is my child old enough to spank old enough to correct

here’s what dr ted tripp says in his book shepherding your child’s heart he says when your child is old enough to resist your directives he is old enough to be disciplined if they’re old enough to rebel against what you say they’re old enough to be corrected and that’s usually around eighteen to twenty four months somewhere in there is when they will look you in the eye and do the opposite of what you told them to do and you’ll go oh boy i got myself a little rebel right here, right? by the way dr ted tripps book is the book we give out at our parent child dedication service it’s also for those of you that have been asking me more specific questions because a lot of you have

this fall starting in september on thursday evenings we are going to be offering a parenting class based on dr ted tripps book shepherding your child’s heart it is going to be taught by tim and evelyn jenkins if you’ll wave your hands or you’re in the house right now they’re going to be teaching that in the fall

this is an opportunity for those of you that are saying the three week’s sermon series really helped me but i need more that’s why i have recommended books every week and that’s why we’re offering this more intensive class in the fall where you can continue to sharpen your parenting skills and so we recommend that to you parents children zero to six somewhere in that age group they need a firm parenting style paul calls it an exhortation style

here’s number two coach and encourage as they grow coach and encourage this is the second parenting style that paul used based on where his disciples were in their maturity look at verse twelve again verse twelve says we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you so here’s the word encouraged now this word is less push and more pull push is the authoritative style hands on whereas pull is the influence style see now you’ve given them the concrete right and wrong you taught them that you’ve taught them to obey now you want to pull them to where they choose to do it because they love you so now you’re raising the honor that’s because they love you and because they love god you obey mommy and daddy because the bible says that if you don’t then you are sinning you’re breaking one of the ten commandments and because mommy and daddy love you we’re taking care of you and so now it’s moving from rules to relationship seven to twelve years old where you’re at now depends on the child

children mature in different stages paul says he switched to a coaching encouraging style as a new believer begin to know the bible and begin to know right from wrong things begin to start going okay now here’s how you apply that it is not just knowing it now, here’s, how you apply it and so that’s what’s going on in that season of seven to twelve thereabouts.

This is a sweet season this was my favorite age group seven to twelve they still call you daddy and they still call you mommy I used to have this thing i did on saturdays where i would stand at the bottom of the steps we live in a two story house and and three bedrooms are upstairs where the three kids were and we had the master bedroom downstairs they would be upstairs and i would stand at the bottom of the steps early on saturday morning after breakfast and say, stephen, you want to go with daddy and he comes running downstairs he’d go with daddy and the others would want to go too but I would tell them i want you to desire to go with daddy, but i’m taking stephen this time and so i have one on one time with stephen, he would go with me Stephen was seven or eight years old at that time then somewhere i don’t know when he was like ten or eleven hey, steven, you want to go with daddy he goes no, i’m good hey, jonathan and he would come down the steps excited to go with daddy and then somewhere around nine to eleven. I’m good. I mean, stephen, we’re doing this where we have plans, you know. And then, erin, it was her turn. She was like, waiting. I’ve been waiting a long time for this daddy. Hey, erin, because i won’t even wait because here’s what they would say, where you going? When they asked that question, i go to the next kid, stephen, and he would say , daddy, where you going? What you gonna be doing? Jonathan, you want to come daddy, where you going, erin , you want to go?

Erin figured out what we were doing all saturday morning. We were going to the church office to fold bulletins and vacuum. But Stephen and Jonathan had already figured out that ain’t all that fun you know that’s a lot of work but Erin i loved it because she was the only girl and she got to be with daddy and she would fold the bulletins and answer the phone and i taught her to say hello this is wilson community church may i help you you know she’d do that answer the phone fold the bulletins vacuum i give her a work list and I would pay her five dollars when we hired my wife robin to be the church secretary Erin comes home one day from school and tells her mom you took my job she was so upset she didn’t have the daddy saturdays anymore

teach your children now it’s relational seven to twelve it’s the relational phase come and go with me make a date with each child if you have two or three make sure you have one on one if you have five or six it’s more work but make sure that you focus on each child because they’re all unique god doesn’t do encores everyone’s an original spend time with each one this is highly relational but l you’re not finished with discipline i would say the spanking age depends on the kid eight to ten spanking no longer really gets the result after about eight or nine you have to move to different styles and then some kids it never works timeout there’s other disciplines that’s why you should go to the parenting series this fall that’s why you should read the books to try to think about different disciplinary methods

there’s that phase where you haven’t completely let go of discipline but more and more you’re using influence more and more you’re using that relational style he says in verse ten and eleven he says you are witnesses of how holy and righteous and blameless our conduct has been towards you like a father with his children and so he says you know that i didn’t just tell you what to do but i’ve modeled it

when you do wrong that seven to twelve year old age group is when they start noticing that you didn’t do it the way you taught them to do it daddy said a bad word yeah well i hit my thumb or your attempted to make an excuse but that’s your opportunity right there to say you’re right honey i should not have said that you’re right that’s a word i told you not to say you’re right please forgive me and please do not tell mom. You heard me say that. No, i just kind of threw that in they’re going to tell mom they’re running straight to mommy trust me did you say this yeah i guess i did so apologize and say daddy’s not perfect either and i need to ask for forgiveness you should pray for dad he doesn’t say that word anymore i mean they’re like little mirrors and seven to twelve they start comparing what you taught them zero to six
They start trying to decide if you’re following the stuff you taught them so we influence and are relational really important in this phase

galatians says fathers do not provoke your children unless they become discouraged so you don’t want to discourage your children hebrews talks about considering how to encourage each other so that they show love and do good things so this is a season of encouragement and coaching

Look at the graph again that we’ve been using this is this season right here it’s still highly parent directed they’re unable to do everything you tell him because they are still learning how to tie their shoes ride a bike etcetera do there’s behaviors they haven’t learned how to do so they still have some ability shortcomings but their willingness is now high they’re unable but they’re willing why are they willing because you taught them obedience they’re willing this is high their ability is still here and there, still high and obedience, but not as high as it was here. See it’s going down a little bit, but really high. And now, teaching them to honor you, relational okay.

This is the season seven to twelve, when your child is most open to following jesus and understanding what they’re doing now. Zero to six all three of my kids prayed to receive jesus every night before they went to bed. I mean, because we talked about it so much honey, what is sin? Uh, have you ever sinned? And then they look at you like i’m not telling you stephen had the same prayer he prayed every night and we said it’s time stephen you’re seven years old now it’s like time to start praying more specific instead of now lay me down to sleep i pray the lord my soul to instead of praying that one pray for your parents and pray and so on then we said you know when you pray god forgive me my sins you should be more specific like say god forgive me for hitting my brother today so that night after we talked I was waiting for that moment i’m down next to the bed we had captain’s quarters so jonathan’s in the top bunk listening in like let’s see if steven comes clean because i know the dirt on it man and so i’m down on my knees with stephen praying and stephen gets to that part he came up with a new way of praying it was god forgive me for my sins especially the ones i forgot that i did because he did not want me to know so then i kind of said well stephen, i i kind of get the impression you don’t want to confess your sins in front of your dad but please do that with lord be specific about it and i was teaching him you know in that season right there okay so this is the season where they’re more spiritually minded

if you do a survey of people that were brought up in the church most would say that was the age they were seven to twelve when they confessed jesus it’s also the age where they began to know they have a dream of who they’re going to be when they grow up that’s actually pretty close to what they will be

i started thinking in that age group that i was going to be a chicken farmer i still really like chicken but i never did become a chicken farmer but my granny who i used to spend summers on the farm with would say gary here wait i think you’re going to be a preacher in fact the way she said it because we’re from the appalachian mountains she’d say gary i think you’re going to make a preacher that’s what you’re going to be when you grow up because you just love the bible so good and i really did i love the bible from my earliest memory i think you’re going to make a preacher I would say no granny I want to be a chicken farmer with papaw but i wasn’t and she was right you’ll often see the shape of a child in seven to twelve and you begin to be part of what god’s doing the mold them and encourage them

if you see that they are artistic, my daughter is a photographer i bought her a thirty five millimeter camera when she was five, because i saw her coloring and i loving art, and i thought, oh, she’s got something, and so she needed something separate from me that i didn’t do with the boys. So we did photography together, i wanted her not to feel excluded because she was a girl. Just think about each talent steohen was so musical. By the time he was twelve, he already could play the piano and the guitar that both robin and I taught him. He wrote his first song when he was in the sixth grade. It was about a girl. He could play it t on the piano. I think robin and i both know the words. This is a specific season. Ahh i love this season.

Then they turned thirteen. This is the final season number three charge and send as they mature charge and send as they mature this is verse twelve he says and i charged you to walk in a manner worthy of god who calls you into his own kingdom and glory this is where you’re getting ready to release thirteen to eighteen thirteen to seventeen that right there now you’re taking the training wheels off you are releasing and it’s less about obedience and more about relationship and honor and this is the season that you’re charging them you’re saying remember what i taught you now go live it but they are still at home so you get to watch them try

ephesians chapter four verse one paul says therefore a prisoner of the of the lord i urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you’ve been called he says i urge you i’m i’m charging you and second timothy says you then my child be strengthened by the grace grace that is in christ jesus and what you’ve heard from me in the presence of many witnesses and trust to faithful men who are able to teach others i’ve taught you now you get ready you gotta pass on what i’ve taught you i’m releasing you now he says to timothy and then john in the book of john chapter twenty jesus does the same thing with the disciples he says as the father has sent me i’m sending you i’ve raised you up now now i’m sending you

see that’s the big goal it’s not that you keep them but that you release you raise them up to be like jesus and then you launch them that’s where you aim you are raising them up to maturity so you can launch them at the target that god has for their life and the one thing that all of us have in common is god wants us to conform to the image of jesus he wants us to be like his son so that we can be members of his family

one of the things that i see parents get wrong that exposes itself in the teenage years is they use s one leadership when they’re supposed to be using s three remember the chart look on the back of your bulletins and if you forgot so they flip it so when they’re zero to six they’re trying to be their little buddy and give them everything just to stop the crying that’s my goal in life is to get you to stop crying so here look at this ipad for twelve hours a day here take this shortcut just don’t just don’t mess my life up i’m trying to do this over here it used to be in my day it was stick them in front of a tv set now every child has his own personal ipad

we had steven and caroline’s kids all week because they were in guatemalan so cadence would be seen with an ipad and her headset on and i would go over and go what are you watching oh papa i’m just watching i don’t know what it is but that’s like a teenage girl you’re watching so while you’re in papaw’s house you can watch little kids shows she likes to watch other little kids play a video of other kids point like go play yourself when i saw her watching a teenager or something that worried me and so i didn’t take the time to listen to it necessarily i just said don’t do it because she’s you know she’s only eight and she’s in my house and i just said don’t do it and so she’s a sweet little girl she stopped okay papaw

we get lazy in the early years when we need to be working night and day and then when they become teenagers we go oh no what have i got now then we turn into prison wardens we flip our styles here’s what you need to do if you work really hard in the first and second season you can begin to release when they’re teenagers you can begin to release don’t get that backwards, here’s what it should look like. Look at this chart. This is my attempt at a chart you can tell it’s my attempt at a chart, but it still makes sense. This is the age of the child. This is the child maturing. This is the level of how much you use of authority and influence authorities. The redline influence is the blue line authority is you make them do it, you order them to do it. You make sure they do it it’s obedience! Whereas influences about relationship authorities pushing influences follow me, here’s, what we’re going to do and so when they’re little very little influence so zero to five to six its authority, you’re teaching them to obey and this is growing as this declines and somewhere around thirteen tp fourteen you’re going to move now to you’re leading with influence. You’ve already put all the good stuff in them now you’re pulling them to to follow what they already know. If you flip that the other way, get ready for really painful adolescence with your child.

Some of you are sitting here right now saying i’m there well it’s not too late it’s not too late to give it to the lord and ask forgiveness and to start praying for your child wherever you’re at right now it’s not too late wherever even if you’re single it’s not too late to learn this stuff it’s not too late to apply it pop up these two charts quickly because i’ve been using these charts i think it’s important so now in this season it’s really high on influence and it’s declining on obedience so really high own honoring and so you’re seeing here is where you’re headed you’re headed to the point where you’re going to pass them off so this is the charge and coach phase and then go to the next slide and this is where you’re headed to the release and mentor phase because you want to switch from being the person who tells them what to do to the person who advises them and ultimately when they leave home start their own family it’s time to buy a house or they’re about to have kids or they’re getting ready to buy another car you get the call why? Because you were a daddy you were a mommy when you were supposed to be now you could be a mentor and a friend but if you try to be a friend when you’re supposed to be a mommy or daddy you won’t get to be a mentor when they’re older

They will call so hey dad I am about to buy car can you go ride with me or we’re looking at a house would you go look at it these are the kind of things that i have the joy of doing at my age now of where they call and ask hey will you go with me because they trust my wisdom they trust that i know things hopefully they know and i think they demonstrate they know i don’t tell them what to do anymore so wego look at a house i go well here’s what i see but it’s really up to you because i’m not going to try to make them obey anymore it’s not my job my job is to completely mentor and influence

remember the basis for this whole series it’s in Psalm twenty seven unless the lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain if you try to build your house by your own strength and wisdom it’s empty it won’t work if you’ll follow god’s way and his goal is that you received them from him he raised him up to him and you release them back to him they’re His kids they’re not yours you are only a steward raising them up for him if you’ll look at it like that and let him help build the house and remember what it says that children are a heritage they are a gift the fruit of the womb it’s a reward they’re like arrows in the hand of a warrior where do you aim them aim them at jesus aim them at jesus he is the bulls eye are you’re constantly taking them to the cross tell him about jesus and letting them know i need jesus too come follow me as i followed jesus that’s how you do it that’s how it’s done that’s how you parent you do it through the power of the lord jesus christ

how about you what is the lord telling you as you’ve heard this message have you been obedient to god’s word are you ready to turn your family and the foundation of your family over to the lord lets pray let’s ask for his help

first i pray for that person that’s here today that doesn’t know you i pray for them first because that’s the beginning point you can’t raise a child to the lord if you don’t know the lord is that you my friend would you receive jesus today would you say lord jesus i am a sinner i need you to save me i believe you died on the cross for my sin that you raised from the grave i believe that i believe you live today will you come and live in me will you make me a child of god, i want you to be my lord and savior. If you prayed that prayer something like that prayer, what matters not is so much the words of your mouth, but the attitude of your heart that you really by faith are turning your life over to christ, if you prayed that prayer believing he’ll save you, you see that’s the key right there that you get your life right? You can’t be a good mom or dad if your life isn’t right, so get right with the lord. Others are here today and and you’ve done that. You’ve received jesus as lord and savior. You know him, you love him. But as you’ve been listening to this three week series you see places and listen, all of us all places i’ve seen places as i’ve looked at this and had places where i felt i fell short and have asked the lord to forgive you and then say, lord, thank you that i’m forgiven. Now help me to live the way you’d have me live, lord exhorting, encouraging and charging my children and my grandchildren and the people i’m discipling for you help me to do it with your strength in jesus name amen.