Summary: Pastor Steve O'Dell brings the first in the series honoring everyday heroes in our community. These people are often unsung heroes who deserve to be recognized for all they do.

Funny Parenting tweets - (Title Slide)

One of the reasons we are honoring parents today is very simple...parenting is often a hard and thankless job! So we want to recognize and thank you for your commitment to the task of raising your children.

I remember the first time I did a sermon series on parenting, I was 26 years old and planting a church. That’s crazy right? My knowledge about parenting then couldn’t have filled his diaper.

Today, I stand before you as a father with nearly 30 years of parenting experience behind me, but experience is not the same as expertise! In fact I’m not sure there is any such thing as a parenting expert. If you’re a parent you know there are days we get it right and then there are days that we…well not so much! Do we have any parents who are attempting to potty train their kids? (story about potty training Trevor) You think that was one of my parenting mistakes. You might even think I scared him for life but I’ll have you know that he’s 20 years old and to my knowledge has not had another accident in his pants. And the book I’m writing Where do you put your Poo? Potty training your child in 3 minutes or less is going to fund my retirement.

As a pastor I have had an opportunity to see parenting, the good, the bad and the ugly, up close and personal. (Story of Kipp and Sue Burgin don’t have sex but if you do use a condom)

No matter where you are in this parenting thing, in the early years, anticipating empty nesting, somewhere in between or maybe looking forward to GRANDParenting. God’s Word gives us incredible insight for parenting, I believe the things I am going to share with you today can absolutely make us better parents.

By the way, when I say “where you are in this parenting thing” I want to start off by showing you this chart…4 stages of Parenting…(slide)

Ages and Stages of Parenting

1-5 Discipline Years.

5-12 Training Years

12-18 mentoring Years

18-30 Coaching years

30+ Friendship Years

If you are in years 1-5 this is great stuff! Disciplining our children isn’t fun. But God’s word tells us loving parents discipline their children. Discipline early and it will make your life easier in the long run. When Parents don’t discipline in years 1-5 and then they are trying to discipline in years 5-12 or worse in years 12-18 it becomes extremely difficult. When they’re young you can make them do the things you want them to do. But when you can’t physically make them, and you are still trying to discipline them, you have a major fight on your hands. God’s Word says, (slide) “No Discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful but later on it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb 12:11

Many parents want to be the kids friends so bad that they can’t bring themselves to say No! Can I just tell you, you cannot be your middle schoolers friend, they need you to be their parent! But follow that chart and get it right and you can be friends later! And Remember later lasts longer!

I know I am talking to people at all different stages with all different ages. Some of you are parents who have yet to deliver. Congratulations Mike and Jenn Miller and Brandon and Ashley Taylor. Others of you have kids who have kids. And everything in between. But no matter where you are on the parenting spectrum one of the greatest challenges for Christian parents is to keep from getting drawn into the trends of culture, as it relates to parenting.

One trend is that if I just get my child the right (slide) EXPERIENCES, you know if they can make the soccer team, baseball team, basketball team or hockey team, then that will help them fit in, and build their self-esteem and they’ll be great.

Or if I can just get them into the right college. The right school and the right education will ensure their success in life.

If I can get them the things, I never had growing up. Right? I had to drive an old junky used car so I’m going to make sure they get a nice new car on their 16th birthday. Or… I never had brand named stuff when I was a kid so I’m going to make sure they have the right clothes, the right shoes.

These cultural trends try to tell us as parents how to ensure our kids turn out well. And there is nothing wrong with these things. But basing our hopes and dreams for our kids on these things is a shaky foundation for success at best.

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