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Logo of GYC 2019: By Many Or By Few

How to be a Match-Maker

Ben Martin Brianna Martin


Do you feel the need to become equipped as parents to be able to disciple your children? Join Ben and Brianna as they explore the different facets and challenges of Christian parenting. You'll leave with actionable next-steps for your family discipleship plan.


  • January 2, 2020
    9:30 AM
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This message was presented at the g y c. By few in Louisville Kentucky for other resources like visitors on the right. Ok they've turned the volume up for sure so you should be able to hear it's better now. So here's the thing if we talk about what the main goal of parenting is I think it's something clear that we would all agree on I mean the simple fact that we're here at g y c means that this is something that we're passionate about and the main goal of parenting is to bring our kids to Jesus Christ. Anything else becomes meaningless in light of that so that is what we're going to spend the next 4 sessions talking about how can we as parents disciple our children to bring them to Jesus Christ how how can we better do that what are some tools and that So one thing that we sometimes miss the point on as parents is that we start. We might think about our goal but we start then working toward our goal and we always start planning with step one right. And that seems. Normal and natural but the thing is is. It's important to work backward it's important to start with a goal 1st and think Now main goal in mind I can't think of step one without thinking of the main goal 1st and foremost so we sometimes make a plan with step one and then we sort of hope we end up at the goal but you've got to keep the goal in mind and work backward from that so. So as parents that's important to do so every day you wake up with your goal in mind that's what you're praying about that's what you're thinking about and the steps follow from the goal and not the other way around you don't reach the goal from the steps does that make sense to everybody so we're working backward a little bit in education we call it backward design and it makes a lot of sense not just for school but also for parenting and for life and it's really easy really easy to get bogged down in the details in the my new show of parenting the little things that take up our time in our energy emotionally and physically and feel like those things are the point. But we've got to keep the goal in mind so that we stay focused on what the actual battles that we want to fight what are the actual things that we want to focus on that are getting us to our goal with our kids that saving relationship with Jesus Christ. This is definitely a biblical idea and Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verses 4 through 9 we have what's called the. And. This was immediately following the 10 Commandments as they are found in Deuteronomy but here it reads. Hero Israel the Lord is are gone the Lord alone you should love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might keep these words that I'm commanding you and your heart recite them to your children and talk to them about when when you're home and when you are away when you lie down and when you rise bind them as a sign on your hand fix them as an emblem on your forehead and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. I just want to spend a couple moments unpacking this what is it. That we're passing on to our children. This is not a rhetorical question What what is it that we're asked to pass on the are. His words Ok the love for the Lord that relationship Ok and so it is starting out with that late that's what you're supposed to pass on and when when do you do it absolutely every moment I mean and here it uses bookends from when you lie down to when you wake up you need some pens Ok and where do we do this. Absolutely everywhere Yeah when you are at home and when you're away that that covers it either you're at home or you're not and so realize that discipleship parenting means that. There is no off time there are no breaks there's no space where you are not responsible. But then also we have to use every possible tool. To bring our kids to Jesus. And one of those tools is discipline how do we discipline in a way that brings our kids to Jesus. So before we get into this too far I just want you to talk to each other again you guys are at round tables because we want this to be an interactive experience so. We learn better when we talk about the things that we're learning so I want you to just share with the people at your table what comes to mind when you hear the word discipline and it means a lot of different things so just take maybe like 30 seconds and share with each other what 1st pops into your mind when you think about the word discipline. Ok so so who's willing to raise their hand and just let us know what comes to mind what would you guys talk about punishment Ok Anything else who else thought punishment actually 1st of all yeah Ok that's pretty normal Yes self-control discipline is self-control obedience Ok Anything else yes building character for your life a positive thing Ok how many of you think of discipline as a positive thing 1st and foremost Ok you can tell your parents yeah might be different if we asked just the kids but. Ok things we just want to get an idea because discipline meets different things to different people and it's a word with more than one meaning. So we're going to talk about another word that came up which is punishment and discipline and punishment are often closely related but they're not the same thing. But unfortunately we think a lot about. We think a lot about punishment when we're thinking about discipline and. And so I would just wanted to talk a little bit about the differences so I'm not sure if everybody can see this it's also on the resource handout for this seminar so you can download it on your devices. But this is available for you guys. But discipline involves teaching and learning Ok discipline and disciple have the same route. And they come from a word that means people are student discipline is really about learning and discipline discipline is about teaching so as a parent we're teaching our kids and our kids are learning. Discipline is training for future behavior when we're talking about discipline we're talking about looking forward we're talking about giving giving our kids the tools that they'll need in the future to be successful in this life and in the world to come and disappoint his ongoing discipline never stops just because we're not kids anymore it doesn't mean that as parents we don't need discipline ourselves we're constantly learning we're being taught by our experiences by wiser people around us by the Holy Spirit discipline is ongoing. It never stops. It's it's essentially positive it's a positive thing we don't ever want to stop being disciplined because because we want to keep learning and growing. Punishment on the other hand is a lot more negative. And it's a penalty for an offense. It involves pain or suffering now I don't mean it's not always physical pain that punishment involves a lot of times it's emotional or psychological pain some kind of pain and some punishments are are much more intense pain than other punishments right but it involves some sort of pain because if it doesn't hurt a little in some kind of way it's not really a punishment is it. And then punishment it's punishment doesn't look forward punishment looks back it looks at what has happened and it focuses on that offense. And it's a reaction punishment hopefully is not an ongoing lifelong think it's it's a reaction to something that has happened so there are some key differences now often. With discipline comes some kind of punishment. Whether that's a natural punishment that occurs it's some kind of a natural consequence some consequences are punishments and some are not but so we're not looking at punishment as necessarily like an evil horrible word but it is a very different word than discipline and so. What we want to what we want to. Say is that to build disciples to grow our children into disciples so we really want to focus on discipline because discipline does the heavy lifting of character development punishment doesn't. Punishment keeps us looking backward at the things that we've done at the things that our children have done and parents often actually even punish ourselves we punish ourselves for the mistakes that we make as parents and for that. You know when we're in barrister or sad at the mistakes our children have me we tend to punish ourselves sometimes but what we really. Could focus on to be more. More positive and more constructive is really focus on the discipline and moving forward how can we do better and that's what the basis of loving Christian discipline is. And I think I skipped something before. So. Skip that yeah Ok so I just want to go back to this parenting for discipleship which is our main goal is Christian parents it means we're teaching we're guiding our kids to grow closer and more like Jesus every day disappointing does the heavy lifting in the work not so much punishment. Ok so some basic tips these are super general because different parents different families have different dynamics different personalities but in general these are really good tips you want to stay calm as much as possible usually at least in my case no good ever comes of me losing it with my kids with my spouse with anybody it doesn't usually help the situation if you can stay calm as a parent it goes a long way toward toward working toward discipline with our kids and actually staying calm in the face of or the face of defiance or in the face of anything that our kids present to us that might be an issue or a struggle. It actually demonstrates to them. Discipline. Our own discipline so staying calm is a practice of discipline in and of itself. Firmly addressing his behavior now and saying that we're focusing on discipline and being positive and constructive doesn't mean that we don't address misbehavior because behavior is important. And you can't have discipline without. Instruction and addressing things that are not going well. But you can be firm and calm at the same time yelling doesn't equal firm. And being quiet doesn't equal soft on crime. And we can teach better responses so if we want our kids to not scream at each other. Or not hit each other or not. You know slam doors when we tell them no that they can't do something or. You know whatever it is we have got to teach them what to do instead and a lot of times we go straight you know we go straight to the punishment you know. You're grounded no devices whatever it is sit in the corner whatever it is that you guys do a lot of times and I do this too we go straight to the consequence and we don't look back time out is over you say your apology you say don't do that again but we forget that our kids are still kids and they're still learning and we need to actively and intentionally teach them what it needs to happen the next time so instead of slamming the door you could express your discontent another way you know you can say you know you can tell me why you're upset that you can't have the i Pad for 3 hours every day you can tell me why you're upset that you can't go to the mall I will listen to you but you need to speak to me respectfully or you can say you can go to your room and take a moment without me sending you there and teach your kids how to have a time out for themselves that's constructive or we've given our our son permission to tell us I kind of want to take a little walk with you to calm down. He doesn't utilize that one too often but but he has done it a few times and it's not going to I mean it's not a magic bullet it's not going to happen instantly that our kids pick up on these things and you're never going to have the issue again but we need to be intentional about teaching better responses and that's a step that a lot of parents miss and. Even I may say a lot of times because because in that moment we're not thinking about our main goal we're thinking about you disrespected me you punched your brother you keep saying brother because I have 2 boys. Sisters do bad things too I know I have one but. But. If I just use boys because the that's what I have so I'm always getting boys in trouble but. We need to teach better responses and that is not something that just happens by accident and if we blow up and say you just yelled and screamed at her brother without asking him nicely you know. That's teaching the wrong lesson so teaching better responses through our responses and then also intentionally saying hey this is what I want from you in this situation next time. Show grace and mercy how many of you have received grace and mercy at some time in your life all of you have because God is good great. Well as parents we don't always dole out grace and mercy freely and and and I think there is something to. Being more gracious and merciful. Our son has received some grace and mercy recently. And. It was not easy to get there because we were still pretty upset about the way he had been acting but but you know it teaches our kids a good lesson to show grace and mercy sometimes and without saying this is only because I'm really merciful. But it's hard to resist doing that. And then the last that brings me to the last one which is a little tricky to. Move on and let go. I don't know maybe you guys are really good at this but how many of you you don't have to raise your hand for this one how many of you have said to your kids and last week you did that same thing and then 2 weeks ago you did it and then you did it yesterday and now you did it this morning 3 times you know. Ok yeah and I mean does it feel good when somebody points out every single time that you've made a mistake in your whole life it doesn't and especially for the little ones those last 2 weeks are basically their whole life that they remember very well so. You know we can remember very well the offense's of our children but we don't often when they say Thanks mommy for the yummy meal and you don't say last week you said thank you and 2 weeks ago you said thank you 2 times you know we don't do that so you know when we keep a record of our children's wrongdoings it doesn't necessarily need to come out and we don't need to speak that to them. Because if they don't remember it's because they're little and they don't remember and if they do remember they don't need us to remind them most of us don't need reminding of the wrongs that we've done. You know to our spouses to to anybody in the past we don't need constant reminding we usually do good job of that ourselves so once once the offense is committed once you've addressed it firmly and kindly and shown some of grace and mercy because our stood our kids are still growing and learning then we can really move on and really let go and not keep bringing it back to our kids. And all of these things it's really simple to like write them in a list it's harder to do with them on a daily basis but but parenting is it's work. And it's actually kind of hard work. And so you know it's going to take some time and effort but it's going to be worth. Oh it's still me Ok. So basic steps to form an intentional disappoint plan. It's so much better if you have a plan guys it's easy to wake up every morning and wing it but if you have a plan it's so much easier so 1st step in the plan is pray because all of the things that we have to do are hard and God makes it easier. And he's listening and he's helping and he is the ultimate parent so pray that's the 1st step it's pretty self-explanatory for wisdom as for calm peace ask for love ask for grace and mercy yourself and ask to be gracious and merciful to others. You know and also ask for sanity. Remembering your shopping list and all the other things that you need to. Number to use backward design start with a goal in mind and go from there don't start to step one every day think about that saving relationship with Jesus that we're working toward for our kids and start from there. Number 3 discuss discipline strategies so talk about it with your spouse with your co-parent with God If you are a single parent talk about it. Because I'm bouncing it off of somebody makes it a lot easier if you are in a 2 parent home and you have a partner with you that's raising your kids with you then get on the scene page with them if at all possible because that's going to make your life 100 percent easier I think we've probably all been in situations where mom and dad handled a situation differently or in a way that. Might have even disgruntled the other parent I mean we don't ever get disgruntled. Just kidding. But it's so much easier for on the same page. Our kids know when we're not on the same page and we feel it deeply as well so if you can discuss it with your partner figure out what's going to work for both of you to be consistent that's going to make it so much easier on your kids and it's going to make it so much easier on yourselves so if at all possible work it out with your partner and number 4 this is kind of a subset of number 3 actually use common language so. So if you say you know that is disrespectful and respect is important and your spouse says that's rude I don't want you to be rude well. You're both trying to teach the same lesson but for I mean depending on how old your kids are obviously older kids are going to have an easier time with that but for my little 2 year old rude and disrespectful he doesn't know that they both mean the same thing. It can be confusing our kids are really smart they're really fast kids learn very quickly but we can make it easier on them by using consistent language so you know trying to think about how are we going to phrase these things so that they understand what we mean so that they learn very quickly from context what we mean when we're saying that's disrespectful. And so if you're using a common language with your spouse and even with other caregivers if you have babysitters or things like that that will make things easier as well common language and one way you can use common language is to. Make a list of family core values and we'll talk about that a little bit more in a different section basically when it comes to kids there are 2 philosophies and I mean there's lots of different philosophies but I'm going to basically take everything and put it into 2 camps and that is one your children are born sinful terrible beings and the other is at the hip have a human nature but how do we raise them only knowing Jesus and so the one we believe like Ok we've got to convert our children and we've got to discipline them in such a way that it pushes them to Jesus and the other is how do we raise them knowing only Jesus how do we leave them to Jesus and so. Bottom line discipline is a way of teaching our kids to find their way to Jesus it's not about hurting them to Jesus it's about leading them into that saving relationship and if you read through what Ellen White says about parenting there's no question where she stands on this it's this idea of raising your kids in a world where they grow up only knowing Jesus. I mean let's be honest sin entered the world because of Knowledge of Good and Evil How can we raise our kids as close to good as possible. And so it's introducing them to Jesus at every possible moment Deuteronomy 6439. When you're at home and when you're away every possible moment every method and discipline is one of those methods it is not the only thing we do to bring our kids to Jesus but it is a tool that we need to use how can we as parents expect our kids to grow up only knowing Jesus if we're not setting boundaries if we're not helping lead them on that journey. So we have an activity you know me to do this are Ok so what I want you to do is turn to the person next to you and I want you to give them an object Ok it can be your pen and this is not for them to keep said don't worry they'll they'll give it back but I want you to give them an object Ok that was easy right in fact as I watched a lot of you were able to do it with little to no communication you can give an object without speaking the same language you can give an object without knowing that person or anything about them it's easy giving an object no problem. Ok so your next task is a little bit trickier it's. Put it up on the board it's to give your partner your person that you're sitting next to. Some new knowledge that they do not already have so I mean it might be your name if you haven't talked about that yet it might be your you don't have to share your deepest darkest secret I guess you can if you really want to it can be you know interesting fact about yourself or where you're from anything new knowledge so you have a few seconds to share some brand new knowledge. Ok We're going to bring that to a close I feel like when it comes to sharing information some of us could go on a while so. So who learned something new. Ok some of you good good now this process of learning new information it it's a little bit more difficult task isn't it it's going to take some communication. I work with junior high students and I have them do this as well and there's always one or 2 who tries doing it with no talking. And that's fun to watch but it it takes a little bit more effort when we're when we're sharing information it's going to involve communication we're going to have to have shared language we're going to have to. Maybe have some back and forth it can't all be one way to make sure that we're comprehending and so forth. Now. When we talk about giving a relationship I want you to just talk to the person next to you if you were to share with them a relationship. How would you do that. Give it a try try to make the person next to you really love your best friend the way that you do or. You know your mom is a really awesome help the person next to you love your mom as much as you do give it a go I will give you a whole minute for that. Ok so. How many of you even tried. Yeah not so many Ok because. Thank you for trying. Some of you need to work on your obedience. But we'll address that in a later session but how many of you manage to I mean how many people feel at least a little bit of affection for this new person that you didn't know about before Ok a little bit of affection Ok how many of you are you know willing to move across the country to to be with this person. All right well yeah it's really hard to pass on love for someone else right that you don't know that you haven't met you don't have any context for this person or at least not much that's really tricky it's really tricky and that's what we're trying to do with our kids we're trying to pass on a relationship with Jesus and it's not something that we're going to accomplish in a day or a week or a month or a year. We're a decade and we have a limited amount of time with our kids don't we. Know it's not an easy task we thought we'd end with this very discouraging piece of news that it's a hard job. Yeah it's not going to be it's not it's not going to get easier so just king we're not really ending with that but. But. But you can see at least a little bit of the enormity of our of our task great as parents as parenting for discipleship and I mean the good news is is that God is even greater than your mom or your best friend or your spouse or the person that you're trying to make the person next to you love so much. God is amazing and he speaks for himself. So that's that's the good news you know there's no question about it Relationships take time and so if you're wanting to pass on a relationship you're going to have to have a lot of time but also you have to have a relationship to pass that on. And so easy it's so easy as parents to get caught up in those moments that we neglect our own relationship with Jesus it's so easy as parents to get so worried about behavior that we miss the relationship and so I think I want to just to take a moment and at our tables How did Jesus discipline because Jesus I mean. As far as the greatest disciple maker ever he took 12 men and changed the world so how did Jesus discipline take take a couple moments and talk about that. Now that the papers I handed out are for something that's coming next. Ok so what what are some instances that we've come up with what are some instances that we've come up with some examples of Jesus his discipline. Unconditional love Ok yeah definitely a personal example Yeah the way he lived. Always being true to what you say Yeah now there there was no question about it everything Jesus did was preparing for that moment in Matthew 28 when he was going to send the disciples out like he he was continually preparing them for that. There were definitely some times or a did some rebuking. Let's let's not pretend that because Jesus is loving that he was never Stern. I mean I can think of a couple examples with Peter that come to mind straight up looks at Peter and says Get thee behind me Satan that's real. I mean and there are times as parents you kind of feel like saying that your children. But that wasn't the sternness rebuke that Peter got at the cross 2 disciples completely betrayed Jesus we often just focus on Judas but Peter did too at Jesus is deepest darkest moment Peter says I don't even know him Peter completely and totally rejected Jesus at the moment when Jesus was completely and totally giving his life for Peter and the way Jesus addresses that is mind boggling. He addresses it by saying Peter do you love me and Peter says yes he says Peter do you love me yes Peter do you love me. And then they moved on it's easier said than done. But if our main goal if our main goal is bringing our children to Jesus Christ it's got to inform the way we discipline it's got to inform the way we live it's got to inform every aspect of our lives the way we interact with our kids and we're going to mess up we are going to fail but the beautiful thing is. Our failures become another example of how we can show God's grace our failures become another example of how we can draw our kids back to Jesus. Another example of how we can model. That unconditional love. Well where we're going to wrap up in just a few minutes our 1st session and before we let you go. Then passed out one piece of paper to every table and this is free to do one more activity with them the 1st thing I want you to do is draw a line down the middle of the paper doesn't really matter which direction you can choose We're flexible that way just use one piece if you have an extra one just leave it at your table will use it in another session that's fine. So draw a line down the center of your paper you can choose one person to do the writing or you can take turns how every we trust you to figure it out. Then on one side of the paper. Write what we learned so just say what we learned at the top that's the title and on the other side of the paper. What we want to know. So on the other side of your line you can write what we want to know so you can each respond you can respond together as a table it doesn't matter to us we just kind of want to get an idea of if you didn't learn anything new you can write on the what we learned side you can write. A point that you liked or that you thought was interesting or that you particularly had never thought about before anything so don't write every single thing that you learned probably but just you know the main idea that you're going to take away from this session if you're not going to take anything away. Don't tell us I'm not taking anything away just leave it blank it will hurt less. And on the other side of the paper if you have any questions we're going to do a question and answer session at the end of the 4th session so you know you can save your questions for then but if we know ahead of time then we can kind of plan to answer questions that seem like common themes and that will help us out a little bit so if you have any questions for us that you'd like us to address we will do that in the 4th session you can write that down on the question side of the paper so everybody have everything that they need to do this. Ok couple minutes and then we'll close with prayer before. We forward. This message was recorded at the g y c conference by many or by Hugh in Louisville Kentucky do you I see a supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church seeks to challenge and inspire young people to take a sacrificial initiative for Christ to download other resources like this visit us online at www dot.


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