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I love the topic of today’s episode. It’s so counterintuitive, but it’s so biblically based, and it’s so necessary in our lives.
Lord willing, by applying what you’ll learn today, you will be able to take at least one more step in becoming the parent God wants you to be.
But before we get into today’s topic, I want to make you aware of a couple fundraisers we’re running this summer, and they both have to do with conferences.
The first is a brand new opportunity to give so that I and other members of TeamTLP can attend more conferences. It’s called the Conference Attendance Fund and it’s really important for a couple key reasons.
First, these opportunities are instrumental in our training. God uses conferences like these to equip us to minister to you.
Second, the networking opportunities are very important as we meet other people who do what we do or who need what we offer.
And that leads to our second major fundraiser of the summer — the First Impressions Fund.
Whether we’re setting up a display at a conference, church, school, or in a meeting hall, we want to present Truth.Love.Parent. in the best light. Now, I could tear up some cardboard boxes and put some sharpies to good use, but I think we can do better than that.
We’d like to purchase a custom display from one of the many quality companies out there. If you’ve ever seen an exhibitor display then you know what we’re talking about. It needs to be eye-catching, but it also needs to communicate who we are as succinctly as possible.
So, while TeamTLP and I are working on the design, you can donate to help us purchase the final product that will help TLP make a great First Impression wherever we put up a display.
Just follow the links to TruthLoveParent.com/donate and click on the “Give Now” button. That will redirect you to PayPal where you can select the fundraiser to which you’d like to donate. You can give to our Conference Attendance Fund or our First Impressions Fund or any other fund you may like.
And while you’re at TruthLoveParent.com, you can check out our free episodes notes and transcript.
And — with that — let’s learn how to turn up our biblical parenting.
Back in the 90’s my parents purchased me an accelerated reading course called Reading Genius. It was created by Ed Strachar, and I believe it’s still available for purchase today. The program was wonderful and increased my reading speed and comprehension immensely.
But what I loved the most about Ed was his philosophy of education. Ed didn’t only teach accelerated reading, he taught world class chess players, tennis players, hockey players and olympic swimmers.
One of the tools he used to teach tennis players was to shoot one hundred tennis balls at the student as quickly as possible and require the player to return as many of them as he could. He’d do this for weeks and only slowly start decreasing the number of balls after the student was able to return the vast majority.
But my favorite story is how he trained people to play chess. He’d blindfold them and have them play twenty games of chess at the same time. They’d make a move on one board and then move to the second, then the third — all the way down the line until he’d made one move on all twenty games. And they he’d go back to the first. The student would have to remember each game. He’d have to remember where he and his opponent moved. Can you imagine that?!
After a while he'd only play fifteen games at a time, then ten, then five, then eventually he’d play one game blindfolded. Imagine what happened when the chess player fairly took off his blindfold. He was a machine. At that point, playing a single game of chess with both eyes able to see what was going on was incredibly easier that playing twenty blindfolded.
This is the way I like to illustrate Ed’s philosophy of education. Imagine three roads all running parallel to each other. One car is driving at 70 mph on the left road and one car is driving 30 mph on the road to the right. Eventually they both exit their roads and pull onto the middle road. Now, the speed limit on the middle road is 50 mph. So now both cars are driving the exact same speed, but because the car on the left just exited a road going 70 mph, it feels like 50 is much slower. Whereas the driver from the righthand road had to speed up to 50 mph from 30, so to him 50 mph feels much faster.
Isn’t this so often how life works? Two people experience the same dramatic circumstance and yet one seems to weather it with grace, patience, and peace, while the other is losing their mind. So often we learn that the peaceful individual had been through similar situations before . . . potentially even worse ones.
Here’s my application for us: do you remember the Ambassador Parent from episodes 26 and 27? The only Christ-honoring parenting style is to have high biblical expectations for yourself and for your children.
And it’s those high biblical expectations — those divinely high expectations — that are the key to what we’re talking about today.
Now, if you have’t listened to episodes 26 and 27, I highly suggest you do so because I don’t want you to misunderstand what I’m talking about when I say “high biblical expectations.” This is not some dictatorial parenting I’m encouraging here. So, please listen to those episodes it you haven’t already.
I’m talking about parenting 100 miles per hour.
If we have low expectations for ourselves and our kids, and we parent at 30 mph, then the 50 and 70 mph situations we encounter — that require us to parent like Christ would — seem too hard. We panic, we overcompensate, we do what Natasha Crain illustrates in her new book, “Talking with Your Kids about God.”
In the introduction she writes: “When we have no discipline and no direction, we’re leaving our kids to wilt spiritually. This happens when we’re inconsistent in ‘watering’ their spiritual lives (no discipline) and when we don’t understand all that they need to thrive (no direction). It’s an easy trap to fall into when we’re busy. Our spiritual training ends up being a mealtime prayer here and there, a wishy-washy commitment to church, and occasional references to the Bible thrown in for good measure (especially when someone’s behaving badly). If guilt takes over, we may ‘drench’ our kids with more church activities or devotionals for a while, but for many kids, it’s too little, too late.”
This is perfectly describing someone who’s been parenting at 30 mph and — upon realizing it was no good — tries to put the pedal to the metal, only to swerve spastically in their parenting — often smashing against the guard rails and spinning out of control. And the result in parenting is generally as destructive as it is in driving.
But when you’re used to parenting at 100 mph, then the 50 mph and even the 70 and 80 mph issues in the house seem much less scary.
This was probably been the greatest benefit I received from working at Victory Academy for Boys. The issues I had to parent in the five years I was here with all the teenage boys puts the loudest temper tantrums, fights, lies, and direct disobedience my kids can muster into a very clear perspective.
Now, the concept is easy enough to understand. In order to parent 100 mph, we need to learn to consistently and successfully parent with extremely high biblical expectations.
But how do we do this? Let me give you some important steps that are a little easier than moving into a home for at-risk teens.
Now, before I continue, please understand that this driving metaphor doesn’t mean that we run ourselves ragged — literally running around like a crazy person. No. There’s a time for haste and a time for rest. This metaphor is describing the passion and intensity we have for God and His Word. It describes our personal refusal to live for self, to be lazy, and to abdicate our parenting responsibility.
So, we need to know God’s Word and rely on the Holy Spirit to fulfill His will in our lives. And we need to be ever vigilant. There’s no small sin. We won’t ignore our kids’ bad attitudes or blindly stand by while our kids fill their lives with unChrist-like influences.
To that end, I want to remind you of our parenting course called “26 Days to Becoming a Premeditated Parent.”
It’s like couple’s retreat and parenting workshop all rolled into one. It’s pretty intense, but since it’s email based, you can take your time if 25 days seems too short to tackle the assignments. Either way, I encourage you to parent 100 miles per hour. Daily dig into God’s Word. Daily throw yourself on His mercy and grace. Daily and vigilantly be watchful of your children. Daily parent them with Godly fervor. And Daily work to “present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).
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