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Training Next Season's Players

Read this message transcript from the "Proven Playbook: God's Plan for Family" message series

Matt Sturdevant: Parenting is both amazingly wonderful and incredibly challenging all wrapped into one. I don’t know about you, but I, as a parent, particularly enjoy parenting memes. I will confess that I follow a few hashtags that quite often share parent memes. I didn’t really understand them or appreciate them until I became a parent, but I really appreciate them now, especially if they are connected to movies I enjoy. So, I want to share a couple of my favorite ones with you, but I want to give you a warning that the two precious children that I’s a picture of them. They are not great sleepers at naptime or at nighttime or just anytime that it’s time to sleep. Several of these have to do with sleep because it just hits me in a spot. So, let’s take a look at a couple of my favorite parenting memes. How it looks and how it feels...this is when they’re really, really tiny, of course. Okay, another one I have to say that for me, I would probably replace this with Friday because given my line of work I’m up early on Sundays anyway. Friday’s my day off, so 5am on Friday is not so good. 

Let’s look at another one...they get a new birthday or Christmas present, and sometimes they’re more entertained by the box than what’s inside of it. Right? Okay, another one here...if I had hair, I guarantee that’s how I would look after they were finally in bed. Any other preschool parents here in the room? Raise your hand; let me see. That’s okay. Now, anyone here successfully raised a child past the preschool stage, let me see your hands? Okay, so there’s hope for us. Right? So that you can know as a pastor that I have children that are just as carnal as your children, they come that way. I want to share a story that happened not too long ago. It was one of those “embarrassing parent moment” type things. I don’t know what it’s like in your home, but for us, the mornings are generally pretty good. Then, there’s nap time, and after naptime, you can roll the dice. It might be a good day, or it might be a not-good day. You’re just praying, “God, let bedtime come.” And, it’s only 3pm. 

So, our kids love going to Costco, and we were going to Costco. Costco is like Disneyland if you live here in Fort Worth. We go to Costco, but it’s an afternoon trip. Things were kind of shaky to begin with. We go in; we get the cart. My wife and I and our two kids, we’re going in. The first place we’re going to start is all the way in the back with the meats and the produce and everything in the back. We’re going down one of those two big aisles on the sides to get to the back, and the situation is going downhill. I tell one of my children; I’m not going to tell you who because I want to keep the guilty anonymous here. I tell one of them, “If you can’t get it together right now, we’re going to have to go to the car.” They didn’t get it together, so I look at my wife and say, “You keep one, and I’ll take the one that’s not having a good time. And, we’ll go to the car.” 

So I picked up my surfboard, and I’m walking out of Costco. This is the long walk of shame, and my child is yelling and screaming and kicking. “I want Mommy! I want Mommy!” As I’m getting further away from mommy, I’m realizing this might look a little suspicious to some people. Now everybody who was right there by the cart saw what happened and was like, “Yeah, get them out of there.” I got further away. I decided I’m going to walk really slow and smile really big. I’m not stealing this child. This one’s mine; we’re just going to go to the car. We had a pretty big load to get that day, so I was in the car for quite awhile. The child continued to scream for at least another 45 minutes. So, there you go. That is one of my parenting stories. 

Anyone here who can relate to that? Had one of those days? Maybe it was yesterday; hopefully it’s not later today. I’m praying that post-nap today will be an amazing afternoon for my wife because I will be here all day for some meetings. Also I feel like I wouldn’t be a good dad of a daughter if I didn’t show you a picture of my daughter and I from last year’s Daddy-Daughter Dance. This is Kensi. She is four years old. This will be her fourth Daddy Daughter Dance. I think she was counting down the minutes since we got in the car last year until this one would happen. She’s got her dress; she’s got her shoes. She’s ready to go. As Brian mentioned, I want to invite all the dads, if you haven’t signed up yet, I want to invite you to join us. Those who put this on...basically guys, it’s the moms who put this together for us. They do an amazing job of helping us, as dads, be the heroes. Basically all we have to do is show up and have a good time with our daughter. It doesn’t really matter if you know how to dance or not. We’re going to do fun dancing, like the Chicken Dance, and they’ll teach us what we need to know. I hope you dads can join us next Saturday.

Last week, we kicked off the series, The Proven Playbook. We looked at “Teaming Together in Marriage.” Today, we’re going to, as Brian said, “focus on the family.” I call it family and parenting, so I’m titling today’s message, “Training the Next Season’s Players.” I began last week spending an extended amount of time sharing with you the approach that I’m going to take to this series. I’ve got that there at the top of your listening guide again. Just as a quick review, I want you to know that this is the approach we’re taking, that the Bible is God’s Word to us. God doesn’t think like we do, and we also have to navigate these two tensions that exist. There’s the tension between God’s ideal and the broken world’s real. It’s because of sin; it’s because of the reality of sin that we live in this broken world. Things are just not the way God intended them to be. We can experience goodness and beauty in this broken world, but at the end of the day, we are experiencing something less than what God intended. That’s why we have the tension.

I think that family life is one of those places where that becomes very evident. There’s God’s ideal for the way that He designed family, and then there’s the broken world’s real that many of us in this room are experiencing. I also want to encourage you that if you’re here this morning and you’re not a parent, I want to encourage you to fully engage. Don’t just turn off your brains right now and say, “Well, I’m not a parent or my kids are grown, and this doesn’t apply to me.” The reason is because I’ve got something in here for you. Also, I understand the reality of what it’s like to not be a parent. My wife and I, when we celebrated our 14th anniversary, a few days later had our first child. Prior to that, we experienced a season of unexplained infertility. What that means is that the doctors just don’t know why you can’t get pregnant. Then God, in His grace, gave us one child, and then He gave us another one. But, I understand personally that it can be painful to sit in a room like this and hear a message about parenting if you don’t have children and you really, really want them. I also understand, not from experience, that there’s another type of pain that you might have if you hear a message like this if you have a child that you’ve lost. So, I want to invite you to participate. 

I want to invite you to fully engage because we’re going to take a look at what the Playbook says, at what God’s Word says to us about family and about parenting. Really, the principles that exist here in this Playbook are principles that a lot of them are just about how we relate to one another as human beings. We have to carry that into our families, so there’s something here for all of us. Then, I’ve got a unique thing I want you to see later in the message in a way that you can be a part of this even if you’re not a parent right now. So, what does the Bible have to say about parenting and about family?

I want to take a look at some key Scriptures that we find in the Playbook that will sort of give us the big picture, a sense of what parenting is all about. Also, you’ll notice on your listening guide, I have listed a lot of Scripture for you. One of the things that I want you to know about me is that I want to practice what I preach, and I want to show you how applicable that the Playbook is to our lives. So, I’m going to give you a lot more to go home and look at than we have time to look at this morning. If you’re looking at the number of verses and asking, “How are we going to have time for all that?,” we aren’t. Let’s take a look first at three key passages that help us understand what family and parenting is all about. The first one comes pretty early in the Bible, pretty early in the Playbook, from Genesis 1:28. This is just after God created the first humans, Adam and Eve. He said, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’” 

Immediately after He created the first humans, He told them, “Start a family.” God is the One who thought up this thing of marriage and family. Whatever kind of experience that you’re coming here today from, whether it be really good or really, really challenging, I want you to know that God thought up family, and God is for your family. The next passage I want to look at comes from a section in Deuteronomy that sometimes is referred to just as The Shema. This is from Deuteronomy chapter six. Shema is the Hebrew word for “hear.” It’s not a passive hear, like you just sit there and ehh, okay. It’s an active listening. It means you are hearing for the purpose of doing. The reverse of that is that if you aren’t doing you actually haven’t heard. Let’s take a listen to what God has told His people to listen and thereby do. 

Starting out in verse four of chapter six… “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” Now verse seven... “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Basically what this passage is telling us is that we are to love God with all of us. We are to love God with our whole being, and this is something that we are to teach our children. Not just to sit them down in a classroom but something we are to teach them as we live, as we go about our day when we’re walking, when we’re sitting, when we’re rising up in the morning, when we’re going down at bed. It’s to be a part of our lives.

God’s people would recite The Shema every morning and every evening. It was sort of the “bookends” of their day. The reason that they did this is because they wanted to remind themselves of the things that are most significant, to remind themselves that they are to love God with all of them. The third passage that we’re going to look at comes from the prophet Malachi. A little context for you because we’re going to jump right in… The context is that God’s people as a whole have been being unfaithful to Him as God and not only that, but the husbands have been being unfaithful to the wives. Malachi says this, and when he says this, he gives us a glimpse into the purpose of family. It says, “Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.” 

Now obviously, the Playbook has a lot more to say about family and about parenting, but as we look at these three key passages, we get a general sense and an understanding of what it’s all about. Parenting is more than just feeding your children. It’s more than just changing dirty diapers. It’s more than just wiping runny noses. It’s more than just helping them with the homework even when you have no idea what they’re talking about. Many of us here… When we were in school, there are planets that were there when we were in school that currently don’t exist! Things keep changing, but that’s what it’s all about. For those of you who have kids in this certain age range, parenting is actually more than being the shuttle service or the Uber mom or dad to run them all around town for the activities that our kids are involved in. 

Society says that basically, family is the continuation of society and is biologically through reproduction and socially through socialization. That’s all it’s about. Is that it? Is that all that there is? Is there more to it than that? The answer is yes! When we look at the Playbook, when we look at God’s Word, you can summarize the purpose of parenting as this; the purpose of parenting is to raise up another Godly generation. That’s what we’re doing. We, as parents, are trying to raise up another Godly generation. Who will do what? Who will do God’s will in the earth? What's God’s will in the earth? We looked at this last week. It’s to honor God in the mundane things of life. It’s to love God and people, and it’s to advance His kingdom. At the core of what we’re trying to do as parents, the purpose of our parenting is to raise up another Godly generation.

That’s the Biblical definition of success when it comes to parenting, and that’s pretty different from what society says. Actually if you think about it as parents looking at the Biblical definition of parenting, we’re playing the long game. Because how do you know you were successful raising up another Godly generation? You can’t quite tell by the small step you made with your four year old that day. You’re making steps in that direction, but we’re playing the long game. The goal and the point and the purpose of our parenting is not to have your seven year old be a scholar and an athlete and a statesman. Not at age seven! That might happen later in life; that might be God’s plan for them. But if it doesn’t happen at age seven, does that mean that you’re a failure? Does that mean you’re not being successful in what you’re doing as you’re trying to parent? Knowledge of this, knowledge that our point and purpose of parenting is to raise up another Godly generation relieves one set of pressure, but then it adds another one. We’ve got to think about things differently than the world around us does.

The natural question we have to ask is “How in the world do we raise up another Godly generation? I want to look at some factors that are involved; some things I would like for you to consider when it comes to raising another Godly generation. We’re going to specifically look at this through the lens of parenting, but if you’re not a parent, please don’t check out. What you’ll find is, we’re going to the playbook. We’re going to see what the playbook has to say, not only about parenting specifically but how we are supposed to relate to one another. The way we are supposed to relate to one another is actually the way we’re also supposed to relate in our families. The principles that we are going to look at can apply and go far beyond just parenting.

Some key factors to consider… First, you have to consider your own spiritual journey. What is your personal commitment to follow Jesus? As parents, we cannot lead our children where we have not been. That may not be true of everything we need to teach our children. There’s something we need to teach our children that we don’t know; we go to our best friend, YouTube. Watch a quick “how-to video,” and sure, hey, here’s how you do that. Our kids, the younger they are, they think we’re geniuses. How did you do that? I have a secret friend called YouTube. But when it comes to our spiritual lives, when it comes to raising the next Godly generation, we can’t fake that. We can’t go to YouTube for that. We have to actually be doing it ourselves. We have to have our own commitment to follow Jesus. That’s number one.

Right behind that, we have to have a commitment to live and practice God’s Word daily. It’s got to be a commitment to live and practice God’s Word daily. In fact, Hope Church, you might be here exploring faith, and this is a great place to explore. We want to help you as you discover and experience God’s ways. But at some point, we finish the discovery, and we actually make a choice to make a commitment. Psalm 119.105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God’s Word illuminates things for us. It teaches us; it instructs us. It shows us the way, just like if this room was dark and we had a lamp that we were trying to find our way around. I want to share the summary data of two studies. Personally, I found this fascinating. If you like numbers and data, you’ll find this fascinating. If you don’t like that kind of thing, just bear with me for a minute. Okay? 

There were two studies done. The first one was done by the Center for Biblical Engagement. This is a world-wide study of over 400,000 people, 24 countries, over 75 different denominations. You want to know what they found in this world-wide study? It’s results are going to be shocking and mind-blowing. Remember, this came from the Center for Biblical Engagement, so you can guess what kinds of things they studied. Here’s what they found. “The findings consistently show that engaging the Bible four or more days a week is the single most powerful predictor of spiritual growth.” Then they went on and gave their definition of spiritual growth. “Our conception of spiritual growth focuses on ‘becoming less of the person I was before I committed my life to following Jesus and more like Christ in my thoughts, words, and deeds.’” MInd-blowing, right? If we spend four or more days reading the plays in the Playbook, we become more like Jesus in our thoughts, words, and our deeds. That’s the first study.

The second study was done by LifeWay Research. It was a much smaller study. They surveyed 2,000 American, Protestant parents of young adults, and they are trying to look back and find out what some of the key contributors and influencers are in the child’s spiritual growth and development. Here were some of their findings. “Only 9% of American parents feel like they will view their success (as parents) by their child’s Godliness or his devotion to Christian faith.” Now, wait a minute. We just looked at the definition of parenting from the Playbook. That definition was to raise another Godly generation. Yet, only 9% of parents feel like the devotion of their child to the Christian faith is going to be a measure of their success. Statistically speaking, if you had 100 people, only nine of them think that way. So what do we have here? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven… Okay, basically we’ve got more than 100 people in this room. This group right here of young men and women are the only ones out of the rest of you who think that the Biblical definition of parenting is actually what success is in your parenting. It’s pretty mind-blowing, right?

Well, they further found that “only 29% of kids regularly read the Bible and only 28% spend regular time in prayer.” They crunched all the numbers and did all the stuff, and they came up with the 15 influencers of spiritual health and spiritual development. You want to guess what the number one highest impact was? Regular Bible reading. But right after that, moderate impact was made through prayer, serving, music, and mission projects. This gives a new perspective on Deuteronomy 6. Once again we have science proving the Bible right. Why do you think God said, “You shall teach them…” The “them” were God’s words. Why does God say, “You shall teach them diligently to your children”? Why? Because He told them to write them on their hearts. Why? Because it’s the number one factor in walking closely with God. God knew this more than 3,000 years ago when He told it to His people in Deuteronomy. It’s still true for us today.

The only way to know and run the plays is to actually know the plays. Think for a minute; if you have a football team that’s put together and the coach has a playbook, but nobody else on the team has ever looked in that playbook, guess what? When that ball is snapped, what do you think is going to happen? Utter chaos, right? Everybody’s going to be going in their own directions. They’re not going to be working together as a team because they haven’t looked at the plays that the coach wants to run. We need to take our Playbook; we need to take God’s Word. We need to read it. The information goes through our eyes and into our minds, then into our hearts. Over time as we do that, we can experience real life change from the inside out. This is true for us as adults, but it is also true for our children. This is the number one factor in our spiritual lives, in our spiritual health, that we actually spend time in the Playbook. 

I want to quickly look at some other factors with you. The next one is how you are teaming in marriage. Last week we talked a lot about marriage, the fact that we’re to team together. How you are teaming in marriage has a lot to do with how you’re parenting. Again as we acknowledge that tension between God’s ideal and the broken world’s real, the way that God intended things to be, the way that He designed them, is that children are raised in a home with both a mom and a dad. I know that’s not the reality that everyone in this room is experiencing, but that is what God’s ideal is. That’s the way that God designed things before sin entered this world, and things became broken. The best thing you can do for your kids is to have a healthy marriage. The best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse. The best thing you can do for your marriage is to have a healthy, vibrant relationship with God, spending time with HIm regularly, getting in the Playbook on your own as you and your spouse do that. 

One of the ways that we as Hope Church want to team with you and help you and equip you is by bringing Dr. Nathan Lewis back this spring. He’s going to come back the weekend of March 27th and 28th, and he’s going to lead a seminar for us on relational practices that build unity and help marriages thrive. If you or someone you know is currently experiencing some difficulties or challenges in your marriage, this would be a great opportunity to take a timeout and to get some perspective and to get some tools. If you are experiencing highs in your marriage right now, maybe you just got married three weeks ago, and your life could not be any better right now. Why do you stay in shape in the off season in football? Because when it’s game time, you don’t want to have to get back in shape. So if you’re experiencing really good things in your marriage, if your marriage is already thriving, I want to invite you to come be a part of this so that when you face a challenge in the future, you’ve got more tools, and you’re equipped better to deal with those when they come.

Another factor is loving correction and guidance in the ways of God. Kids come knowing the ways of the world. If you have a two year old, you know that. Nobody taught him to say “no.” Isn’t that a fascinating thing? They just learn that. They come hard-wired, pre-wired for the ways of the world. We actually have to teach them God’s ways. Deborah Bullock, Pastor Harold’s wife, wrote a great book a few years ago called, Parenting: Is There an App for That?. This book was written with moms of younger children in mind, but let me tell you… The principles in this book because they are principles from God’s Word, because they are principles from this Book, actually apply to training and developing anyone. It’s got this great illustration of a kids mobile. If you wonder, “What in the world is a kids mobile?” Get the book; you can find it on Amazon. 

I want to quickly share three of the elements of the kids mobile with you. For those of you who know Deborah, she has a helpful, amazing acronym for everything out there, so this acronym is actually the word, “KID.” We’re going to take a look at KID. The K in KID stands for “Kindness.” Kindness is being considerate and good-willed and helpful. Kindness sets the atmosphere, so that you can enjoy the relationship. It also helps open up the child’s heart and mind to be able to accept instruction, which is the I in KID. Kindness sets the foundation for the I, which is “instruction.” Instruction is the stuff, all the stuff our kids need to know. We’ve got to have a vehicle to teach them stuff, for them to remember the stuff, for them to recall the stuff when it’s time to use it later on in life. In the book, she’s got some great principles and tactics on how you can instruct your children. Then, the D, stands for “discipline.” This is every preschool parent’s favorite part of the day or the hour or every fifth minute, depending on if we’re in the middle of a meltdown. One of the verses that for me, as a parent, is particularly convicting is this. It’s Proverbs 19:18. It says, “Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don’t, you are helping them destroy themselves.” 

We discipline because we are after the long-term results. When you use an appropriate amount and type of discipline, you can actually help your child learn and overcome behaviors and patterns and things that will lead to a long-term, destructive life. You have to use the amount and the type and the method of discipline that you feel is what you should use before God. So, I’m not going to tell you what form of discipline to use, other than the fact that the Playbook says to discipline. If we don’t, we are helping our kids destroy themselves later on in life. 

I said we were looking at all of this through the lens of parenting, but if you have no children and you have a job, you have to relate to other people. Perhaps you are a manager or a team leader or whatever. How do you use this? First, you start with kindness. That allows you to have communication. That opens the door; that opens the relationship to be able to be formed. Then, you instruct. If you’re a manager, you’ve got to instruct people in something. I remember when I graduated from college with a Business/Marketing degree. My very first real job out of college, I was a salesperson, and I was a salesperson for a technology company. I had never sold before, and I didn’t know anything about the technology when I said “yes” to the job. They had to have a process, a method, and a way to instruct employees, especially “newbies” like me, on how to do the work. We all have to instruct. Then, discipline looks different in the work scenario. We don’t send our employees to the office if they’ve just thrown a tantrum. Basically, discipline is about holding people accountable to fulfill the commitments they’ve made to the team or the company. So KID, works with your kids or works with your work situation.

The last one, the last factor, that I want to share with you, and I would strongly, strongly urge you, is don’t attempt parenting alone. There is an African proverb that says, “It takes a village.” Anybody ever heard that one? It takes a village to raise the children. You alone are your child’s parent, but you don’t have to parent your child alone. This is why I asked you to not check out if you’re not a parent in here right now, because we are that collective village for Hope Church. As you serve here at Hope and you’re a part of teams, you’re able to help us help parents raise the next Godly generation. By serving and being a part of what we’re doing, you’re helping raise the next Godly generation. In fact, I want to ask you right now if you serve in our nursery, our preschool, our elementary school, middle school, or high school, will you please stand right now, if you are serving in any one of those areas? I want to thank you. (applause) I want to personally thank you for the investment that you are making in my daughter, who’s in preschool, and my son, who’s there in the nursery. Thank you for the investment that you are making in the lives of all of our other children here at Hope. 

Parents, I want to encourage you. Don’t do it alone. Leverage your relationships. There was a gameshow on a while ago where you could get a lifeline, and you could phone a friend. Remember that? You sure hoped you had a friend who was smart.When it comes to parenting, most of the challenges and things that we deal with in parenting are actually pretty normal and regular, but we’ve just never experienced them before. So if you’re a parent and you don’t know what to do, phone a friend. Get help. Also, when it comes to leveraging your relationships, I’m told...I’ve got a four year old and a two and a half year old who basically think I’m wonderful and amazing right now…I’m told that later in life that may kind of wear down, and there might be a time period where they don’t want to listen to me. Or, they don’t think I know what I’m talking about, I’m clueless, and I’m out of touch with reality. But if there are other Godly men and women in their lives who are committed to doing life God’s way who have the same values and perspectives that I do, then I can have people speak into my children’s life. And, say basically what I would want to say to them myself. That’s why when they’re little, I want them to get to know my friends. I want them to be comfortable with my friends, so that they can talk to them later.

Some of you are here, and I’ve gotten to be that person in your children’s lives, so you understand the value of having another voice saying the same thing that you want to tell your children. Then let us partner with you as Hope Church. Do you remember that LifeWay study that we looked at and those other moderate factors? They were prayer, serving in church, listening to Christian music, and doing Christian projects and trips. That’s all included in our kids’ ministry and our student ministry. Let us partner with you. We can’t raise your children for you. If they’re involved in what we’re doing a couple of hours a week, you’ve got to do the rest at home, but we can partner with you. We can train you, and we can equip you to raise your children. In fact, one of our goals for Sunday is that it's the best hour of the week for kids. I love hearing stories of when parents come for the first time and their kids just had a blast and they have to drag their kids kicking and screaming. They have the Costco episode here on Main Street because their kids don’t want to leave. They had the best time. Then for those who are exploring church, usually the pattern is not to come every week and especially not the next week because you’re kind of checking things out. But then, I think that is where this meme originated from. 5am on Sunday the kid walks into the parents’ room and says, “Aren’t we going back to Hope Church today?” I love hearing those things. You don’t have to do this alone. 

Last week I gave you some game-changers, things to do when the clock’s running down and you’ve got to get some points on the board. Here’s some game-changers for parenting. First, want to guess what it is? Same as last week, pray. When you don’t know what to do, pray. Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do. In fact, I’m convinced that many American Christians spend far too much time worrying about things and don’t spend enough time praying about things. If we could train ourselves that when the challenge comes up, in the instant to stop and pray and ask God for help. Pray; when you don’t know what to do, pray. 

Next is consider your marriage. Consider your marriage. How are you teaming together? We talked about that last week, but consider the marriage relationship. Sometimes as parents you’re not on the same page, and that’s why you’re having trouble with your parenting. Your kids sense it; they know it. That whole play mom against dad thing, right? They ask mom something, and she says no. They go to day, and the two haven’t talked about it. “Well, Dad said ‘yes’!” Stay on the same page. Maybe you need a huddle or maybe you need a timeout.

Third game-changer...pick up that phone and ask for help. Chances are there’s somebody who knows the answer to the challenge that you’re facing, but what you have to do is humble yourself and ask for help. The final game-changer is something my wife and I committed to 18 year ago when we got married. That was that we were going to adopt the Heart Attitudes as the relational values of our family. You can choose to adopt the first four heart attitudes as your own family’s relational values. Basically, the Heart Attitudes are short summary statements of what the Bible teaches about how we’re to relate to one another. We practice them as a church. This is how we relate to one another as a church. It just so happens that those first four Heart Attitudes work really good in family life. In fact if you commit to these to living these within your family, you may experience a lot less conflict. But when you do experience conflict because we’re all broken people, all sinners, you actually have a framework to use to get through that conflict. 

So, this can be a game-changer for you. The purpose and point of parenting is to raise up another Godly generation.I want to encourage you this morning if you are a parent and if you are feeling overwhelmed. I want to encourage you with this… God gave you that child or those children for you and you alone to be their parents. Of the seven approaching eight billion people on this planet, He didn’t choose someone else. He chose you to be their parents. He wants you to help raise them to be the next Godly generation, and you don’t have to do it alone. There are others around you that can help you as you seek to raise the next Godly generation.

Would you pray with me? Father, thank You for loving us and creating us and for not abandoning us when we rebelled against You. Thank You that You created family, and You gave us Your Playbook so that we can know how to do family in a way that can bring success in the middle of the challenges. For the parents among us, I pray that You would please encourage them and strengthen them. Give them wisdom and power and strength to raise their children to be the next Godly generation to aggressively do Your will on this earth. For those of us who are not parents or who have children who are grown, I pray You would help us to team together to partner with the parents to help raise the next Godly generation. Please bless and encourage everyone who serves in our kids’ ministry and is a part of helping raise that next Godly generation. Thank You, Father, that we don’t have to do family alone but that we can partner and team together as a church. Please help us to look to You for help, for wisdom, and for strength, especially when we feel overwhelmed. In Jesus’ name, amen.