“Don’t Be A Performance Driven Parent”

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Episode Summary

Let’s make sure our homes are love vs. performance-driven homes.

All of us can inadvertently create a performance-based culture in our homes. It could be what contributes to so many children in their adult years feeling that their parents and even Christians are hypocritical. God isn’t performance-based when it comes to loving us. We have to make sure our children don’t feel that our love towards them is performance-based. It could alter how they view their relationship with the Lord.

Main Points From This Episode:

  • The pursuit of perfection is the enemy of real connection
  • The right balance prevents us from falling into the over-correction and ignoring the issues of ditches in the road.
  • Performance-based culture could make your children feel like they will never measure up; never be enough to receive your love.
  • Never compare your kids to their siblings or other children.
  • People yearn for real connection. Don’t let perfectionism hurt your connection with your children.
  • Listen to receive the courageous parenting challenge

Scripture From This Episode:

Jeremiah 31:2-3 –Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

Romans 5:6-8 –For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Genesis 1:27 –So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

1 John 4:11 – “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 –Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

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Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom.

And I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible.

We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting and the following. Hey, welcome back to the podcast. Hey, guys, so glad you’re here today. We’re talking about don’t be a performance driven parent. This is very important. It’s important for us. We just preparing this was introspective for us.

Totally. I mean, it usually is where we talk about like, hold on a second, do we need to go and just catch up with that kid and make sure and and like, oh, we should ask these questions.

So we’re going to give you the challenge at the end that we ourselves are going to do with our own families.

It’ll be called the Courageous Parenting Challenge. So you’ve got to stay to the end to get those questions that we’re going to recommend you ask your kids.

So we’re going to dive in. We’re going to talk about the problems with this. We’re going to talk about how there is no perfect family and parents and so forth. And some of the issues in that, one of which which is this relates to this episode, which is why so many children that launch from Christian homes fall away from the faith and use the word hypocritical, hypocritical parents, hypocritical Christians, hypocritical church and these kinds of issues we definitely want to avoid in this episode has to do with that. And then finally, we’ll talk about starving for real, how everybody is, and we’ll give some practical tips and then the challenge. So, hey, we’re so glad to hear.

Hey, guys. You know, and on that note, thanks for being with us. For a while now, we were just reflecting on how literally in weeks it’s going to be our four year anniversary for this podcast.

So, I mean, every single week through multiple COVID sicknesses, through pregnancies, miscarriages.

Loss, yeah.

Through moving through everything, no matter what.

Every week married.

We make sure this gets out and sometimes it’s easier and sometimes it’s really hard. And but praise the Lord that he has allowed this to happen every week. And I think consistency is important. There’s been a couple of times where the episode was late getting out on the same day we made the day, but for whatever reasons and we get messages, we say, you know, is it coming out or is my player broken? Everything okay over there? And I’m like, Whoa.

My players are broken.

Our voices don’t work. I love that, though. It’s like that, you know, it’s like you’re you know, you’re a show you may watch. And what if it didn’t come out when it was supposed to? You know, it’s like we take it that seriously. You know, it’s got to come out on time every week.

Yeah, well, I would say you’re better at that than I am, for sure.

He’s Mr. Steadfast in that consistency, for sure.

I know when we’re postpartum, letting you heal. I think I did four episodes in a row myself.

Yes, you did. That was quite the dedication, because we had we had batch recorded a couple at first, but then so you had a couple of weeks.

Off, like now we’re going for it.

Yeah, that was impressive. That was very impressive. Well, so.

I didn’t say it to be.

Impressive. No, no, Just we.

The Lord’s good and given us things to keep talking.

About, you know, and that. Can I just say that, that the fact that we’ve been able to come up with topics, that’s not us, you guys, that’s you guys. That’s the body of Christ giving us ideas, messaging us, emailing us questions. We are so thankful that you are transparent and real with us. We know that that is a gift and that you trust us with that and it helps us to help you and it helps us to help other people. And so if you’re sitting right now listening and you’ve got a question in your head or you’re struggling through something and you’re thinking, I must be the only one that’s alive from the enemy, would you please reach out to us and be willing to share that? Maybe it’ll be something that we are prompted to teach on. I know that that’s super helpful, but hey, let’s let’s talk about today’s topic a little bit. Okay. So we just this topic, don’t be a performance driven parent, okay? This concept of performance based acceptance of ourselves is something that Christians sometimes struggle with in their own personal identity. And I think that as parents, we need to that are purposefully and intentionally raising children up in the Lord as parents who want to disciple their children to Jesus. We need to recognize that how we love our kids and how we parent them can actually either be something that puts in their mind this temptation to struggle with perfectionism and maybe even legalism, or it can help them to break free from that temptation. Because I really do believe it’s sin to be legalistic, performance based. I mean, the Bible talks about how there’s nothing we can do to earn our way to God or to salvation or eternal life. It was Jesus Christ and what He did alone on the cross, which we’re going to read about that in a second here in Scripture.

But could we believe that but be projecting something different to our children?

Yes, that’s the question. Yeah. And so, yeah, we’re going to ask you guys some hard questions today. Because I think it’s always good to be reflective. Don’t we want to be humble as parents? I know that sometimes it can be a hard thing to talk about something that maybe we’re even struggling with. If you’re a parent and and you also are struggling in your walk with God and maybe you don’t realize that you also were raised in a way where you were constantly wanting acceptance from your parents, wanting them to say good job and pat you on the back and you never were able to be good enough. Did you ever feel that way? And if you struggled with that, I just want to encourage you that God, the Father in Heaven does not parent that way. He doesn’t love you that way.

And a little tip forgive your parents because until you forgive your own parents, it’s going to be very hard to be that parent you really desire to be from a loving and acceptance perspective. And so that’s so important. Hey, I just wanted to thank you guys for being part of the 10 Million Legacies movement. There’s a lot going on. Be courageous Ministry dot org is where you can find everything. It’s your gateway to the app and information about the app and why. That’s one of the most powerful growing biblical communities out there. Full social media platform to connect with others in amazing content. The Courageous Coffee. Look at the video of why we’re doing this. We’re part of the parallel economy and we’re for profit for social good organization to preserve freedom of speech, to be able to continue to say biblical things without repercussions as we go down into the future here. And so we just feel conviction. It’s so important. And the coffee is an upgrade. People are loving it and it supports the ministry so everything can be found there. You can find show notes, free resources as well, and our shops, of course, with the hats and different things.

You know, I love that you were talking about the parallel economy. Isaac and I created a short little video on the website. Would you watch that video? I think it’s like three or 4 minutes. And it really we’re sharing our heart and our passion. As for why, I mean, obviously, if you’ve been watching the podcast for for almost four years, like I said, we’re about to hit our four year anniversary. We always have coffee in our mugs and people will oftentimes they’ll see them and be like, Hey, where’d you get your mug? And different things like that? And so it just made sense that we would do coffee because we do love coffee, but you guys, it’s actually really special because there are a lot of companies out there that don’t They don’t love you, actually, they hate you. Can I just say that? And we’ve been encouraging people, if you’ve been listening to the podcast, to try to come up with new entrepreneurial efforts that are going to be options for Christians and for conservatives so that they can actually like get good products but from people that they want to support. And so that’s what we’re trying to live what we preach here.

So not complaining, but providing solutions. And those solutions also help the ministry. And, you know, sometimes you support things and you get an inferior product. We’re not going to be that. We 100% are always going to put out something that’s high quality and that’s what people are experiencing so far. So praise the Lord on that. Let’s dive into this. You know, it is so important. Let’s just say this, that children understand that we love them no matter what, no matter what.

No matter what they do or don’t do. Because isn’t that how God loves us? In Romans chapter five, verse six and eight, says, For while we were still weak at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly, for one will scarcely die. For a righteous person, though perhaps for a good one would dare to even die. But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That is remarkable, that kind of love. Now you’re not enemies with your children. Or at least I hope you’re not. And I’m sure that you would lay down your life for your kids. I know I would. I know. I feel like I’ve had to lay down my life even just to birth them in some regards. But do your kids know that you Would you love them that much? Do your kids know that God loves them that much? And the reason why this is an important question is because, you know, we’ve mentioned a few times that as parents, we are image bearers to our children of God. I’m going to share we’ll share a scripture with you about that here in just a second. But but truthfully, when we love our kids the way as best as we can, the way God loves, I mean, obviously we can’t fully because we’re not God, but when God abides in us, we’re able to love them more the way God loves them. Right? And we need to understand that we have a responsibility, a jurisdiction, a duty as Christians, God calls us to love one another the way that He loved us.

And right here in Genesis 127, in this Bible, the very first page in the Bible. So God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him male and female. He created them.

I love that because everyone is an image bearer of God. And so this concept is an important thing to also teach our children. But I think for us on this topic, this is more something that we tuck away as a parent going, Wow, I’m an image bearer of God to my kids. How I love my kids helps them to understand God’s love. And then we need to go. So am I showing them God’s love as best as possible, or am I throwing in some flesh along with that where, you know, maybe they’re they’re perceiving and it may not be that we’re intentionally doing that. I have to say that Isaac had this saying when he was in the business world, and I started I adopted it for my parenting as a stay at home mom, which is perception is more important than reality. And I think that what that what that meant to me was so there is a reality like on this topic, there’s a reality that I know in my head and in my heart about how much I love my child. And that’s all well and good. But if I don’t express that and verbalize that and communicate that and when I say communicate, I’m not just talking about verbalizing. That’s why I use the word verbalize and communicate. Because you communicate love in many different ways. But if I don’t communicate, the love that I know is inside me, my child is not going to know that unless I communicate it somehow. Whether that’s verbally through the different ways that each person are feel most valued and loved, that’s important to know our child.

But if we are doing something that’s completely the opposite, we’re going to potentially send the wrong message to our children, which is what we’re talking about today, which is if perfection is more important to you and it’s become an idol in your own heart, as a parent, there’s going to be an element of control. Control of child’s behaviour, for example, could become overtly demanding and and it could send a message to children that you care more about them being perfect in their behavior than you do love them. Now, they may not be able to verbalize it, but that’s the message that’s being perceived over a long period of time. And that’s why this is such an important topic. Because if they believe that that’s how you love them and you are an image bearer, that is a truth. That’s not something that you sign up for. It’s something that that is has been created in you from the time God created you. It’s just a truth. It’s a spiritual phenomenon that is no one can escape. We are image bearers. So when we are acting in a certain way or we’re portraying something in a certain way, it does reflect on God. And I know your heart is probably like my heart, and I would never want my children to view God harshly or incorrectly, thinking that He expects them to be perfect when he just loves them because of who they are.

And we’re not saying don’t correct your kids or anything like that. There’s a balance to this, right? It’s just making sure that your children know that you love them no matter what. And in fact that you have boundaries and you do have expectations also can and should show love if it’s done from a loving place. But what happens sometimes is we have in our minds of how things should be all the time. And sometimes we have in our minds how things should be when we’re with other people or we’re in a different place and we actually sometimes change how we are with different people, or when the whole family is, let’s say, a church or out in public or or something like that, it can be a very performance driven thing. And so we just want to warn you on that we should care about glorifying God. Yeah. And so children are blessing and of course, prep your kids before going in places and things like that.

Then let’s show people or our blessing.

Or is it a fear of how you look that’s driving you and it’s performance driven and so it’s inauthentic to what actually is happening at home. And so it’s like two different families. It’s like you’re at home and then you go out and you’re putting on all the niceties, a show and what that can do. That’s a very performance driven.

Culture.

Culture in your family. And what will happen is they will get so good at that. You’re literally raising them to.

Put on their asses.

An act.

Yeah, I never even thought of that. That’s such a good statement. You are literally training them how to be fake. You’re training them how to be Pharisees to only be good in public, but not in real life.

Right now. We all know, you know, when you’re just your family, there are some different dynamics, right? We’re our guards are down a little bit more perhaps, and you’re more.

Comfortable.

More comfortable each other. And you’ve heard us say familiarity can breed contempt, meaning the more familiar with people. The sometimes the not so good side of us can come out sometimes. Right. But what we’re saying is nobody’s perfect of this. But what are you showing your children and how are you prepping them for things and how are you treating them differently when they’re home versus when we’re out and those kinds of things. And there really shouldn’t be a difference. We should.

Be the.

Same. We should be the same. There should be integrity with how we are.

You know? And on that topic, can I say, if you’re doing your job well now, I didn’t say perfect. I said, Well, okay, but you’re being intentional. You’re being as consistent as you can be. You’re discipling your kids. You’re being an intentional parent all the time because that’s part of your character and that’s truly who you are in your being. You’re not having to strive for something. It’s just who you are because God is residing in you. That’s. Way less work. I just have to say this way, less work when you’re when you have when you’re used to worshiping God in the things and you have so much of God’s word written on your heart that you’re doing the dishes and maybe you’re having a bad attitude and you recall scripture, or you preach to yourself, have joy in this moment, because I want to be a good example to my kids. And also I want to do it for the Lord, like, you know that. And so then all of a sudden you’re humming while you’re doing dishes and then guess what? You see your 12 year old humming Ethan is always humming when he’s doing dishes.

And I just I like that to me brings me so much joy because I used to hate dishes and I used to do it grumbling and complaining when I had like one little kid at home because I was like my mom and mama, you know? And that was something that I was convicted on as a young mom. And now I look at how the fruit has completely changed in our family with like, you know, and I just go, praise God and so have patience with yourself also and understand that God doesn’t love you more or less based upon your attitude when you’re doing dishes. But we should want to be have teachable hearts and we should want to be grown in spiritual maturity and we should want to be glorifying God and being more like him, right. Which would be having more fruitful attitudes. And when you’re doing that daily work in your home and then you go out into public like Isaac’s talking about, it’s less difficult because you’re actually the same in the home as you are in public.

And you’re going to do your intentionality, you’re going to take your kids more places, and there’s all kinds of fruitful things. So one of the problems as we’re talking to our problems here is you may become less involved if you’re making it difficult by having to be different in influencing your kids, to be different all the time.

And then maybe you’re going back into your old pattern of ways when you’re at home, where maybe I’m just going to I’m not saying this as you. I’m just saying this could be maybe you’re more of a lazy parent or a lazy homemaker or you’re not as intentional. And then you go out and you try to portray that you are and your kids are like chaotic and you’re embarrassed by that. Well, if if that is the I’m this is like a scenario. And if that is your reality, like, you know what, praise God that there is a spotlight on that right now because we need to take a good, humble look at that and go, Lord Jesus, I repent. And would you help me to be more focused on my home? And would you help me to to know how to train my children biblically so that they so I really actually I don’t have to tell myself to delight in them because I just.

Do I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already. Is the date night one sheet? It is a beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date night to just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to parenting dot com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything at courageous parenting dot com. And I also just want to share real quick about the parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at courageous parenting dot com.

Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children. But Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal. This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world. It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids biblically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of the heart. We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind. It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is. Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more. We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise lights to be leaders for the next generation.

And as your kids get older, one of the problems is if they see you acting different with different friends, let’s say you have a more conservative friend than you have a more liberal friend, and you’re acting different in those two different scenarios. That’s a big problem. They are watching.

They’re learning how to be a chameleon.

You don’t want to be hypocritical. You want to be the same solid throughout. So it’s really, really important if you stand for a. One place and not another place. At least talk to your kids about it. If there’s a good reason. But that’s a problem. Another problem is if we’re performance driven, we can tend to have rose tinted glasses on, which, you know, you hear us talk about a lot. But that’s just looking at things better than the reality in our children. And so let’s just be careful about that as well.

You know, before we dive into more of the problems, there’s a verse in Jeremiah 31 I just wanted to share. It says, at that time, declares the Lord. So he’s declaring something. So verse two, it says, Thus says the Lord, the people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness. Wow. So are we offering grace to our children when they’re struggling? When Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. Here’s the verse. Ready? I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you and everlasting love. And everlasting, unconditional love is what God offers. And so when our kids screw up in the little things, for example, right? Do we handle it and then do we confront the issue and then also anchor strongly with our children this profound, everlasting love for them? Like, do they know that what they did has nothing to do with how you view their identity and it doesn’t change your love for them? I think that that really is the core question that we all need to be asking is like, so when something happens and our kids lose emotional self control and we’re trying to help them to have to to get out of that right, to have self control, to grow and being calm and and to be able to talk about it when we’re dealing with a situation like that with a toddler. Does the toddler hear from us? I love you. Do they know that the reason why you are helping them to understand that the way they’re acting is wrong is because you love them? They should know that. They should know that you love them, because if they don’t know that, then it can lead to other issues that we’re going to talk about in a minute.

And really, there’s we’re looking for balance here. There’s really two dishes on either side of the road. We all want to be going down, I think you’ll agree, which is one ditch is completely overreacting and the other dish is completely ignoring the issues to keep the peace, a fake peace. Right. If you listen to the last episode. So it’s really important that we’re going down the middle. And if you’re a performance driven, you’re probably going to go into one of those ditches.

Yeah, it’s interesting because depending on the parent and depending on how they were parented themselves, I think that could have an impact. Either they just do what was done to them or they recognize what was done to them. So they do the complete extreme opposite. Right, which can happen. But we really want to find the middle road between those two dishes, which is more biblical, right? So we’re not so we are correcting we’re not overcorrecting, right? We’re correcting sin when it happens, not ignoring issues like the other ditch. But it’s it’s one of those things where different kids could actually be a different story. Right? Maybe you feel like you’re correcting one kid more than the other. And so I just want to say, when you’re evaluating yourself, evaluate overall, are you the type of person that is overcorrecting to where your children feel like they have to be perfect? Are you overcorrecting to a degree where your children are scared to actually share any kind of sin and confess anything to you because they’re going to be punished? And this is a really important conversation that we need to have with you guys, because there there is different kinds of fear based parenting. We talk about them in the Parenting Mentor program, which I have to say, we’re not going to be getting into that deeply today. If that’s something that is intriguing to you, please go find out about that and be courageous. Ministry dot org. We’re going to be starting another class here pretty soon, but we need to understand that we do not want to be invoking fear in our children as we parent them to where they don’t feel like we’re a safe place for them to come and confess their sin.

So let me give you a little scenario here. We’ve been doing a little bit of role playing. We’ve shared a couple of stories. If, let’s say, a ten year old comes to you and confesses something that they let’s say they lied about something, right? Maybe you saw something was not taking care of like maybe of an animal and the animal wasn’t taken care of. Right. And you say to the kids who didn’t take care of the animal this morning and that child didn’t take care of them and they just stayed quiet and they didn’t say anything, or maybe they lied. And let’s say a couple hours go by and they come to you and they confess that they lied. When that happens, you’re in a position of do I move forward with punishing this child or do I do I not punish them? Because clearly there’s genuine remorse, because they’re confessing, I would tend to go towards that latter one, because clearly the Holy Spirit has convicted their mind and their heart and their soul, and they’re coming to confess something. And if I punish absolutely, absolutely everything for the sake of it. Now, I mean, if it was something that was like involving someone else, I would say you need to go make it right with them. And that might feel like a consequence, right? Like if they broke someone something and they need restitution and they need to go buy them a new one, right? Like they’re going to have to sacrifice a little bit of money to replace that.

That’s a different kind of scenario. But you’re going to talk to them about doing the right thing and and kind of lead them to the right conclusion themselves to where they’re making the right choice. We’re talking about older kids. My point is, when you are overcorrecting and you punish for absolutely everything, then the kid is going to learn. I’m not going to confess because I’m just going to be punished, even if it was a mistake and not a purposeful sin of like laziness or something. Right. And that is a culture that is something that is a culture factor in your family that as parents, we need to evaluate because we need to nip that in the bud in ourselves and we need to confess that to our kids. And we need to say, I’m so sorry and just you guys know, I want you to know if you confess something to me, I’m not going to always punish like that. Maybe I shouldn’t have. Or you know what I mean? Like, there needs to be some kind of acknowledgement. If you have been doing this wrong and you recognize that you’ve kind of screwed up in this, and maybe there is a performance based, acceptance driven thing happening in your family, maybe you need to have a family meeting and you need to talk to your kids. You need to apologize. For overcorrecting. Right? If you’re in the ditch.

Remember, the Bible says obey your parents and the Lord for this is right. Why are children supposed to obey their parents? Because the Lord wants them to. Because it’s the God loves them and is giving them direction. So it goes well with them in their futures.

Right. And a lot of that is because God created the parents and he knows the relationship between a parent and a child. He knows that unconditional love that is there. And he trusts slash interests us as parents. That goes for you, too. He entrusted you as a parent with your child knowing you would love them, and he knows that you’re not going to ask them to do something outside of loving them. Like if you ask them to do something or you commend them not to do something, it’s because you love them and you want what’s best for them. That’s why he says children obey your parents because they love you.

So we have to be more concerned about their relationship with God in the situation versus how it makes us look, how disrupts our agenda, how I’m personally offended. While those things are also important, they’re not as important as what’s really going on. The heart issue of this and if you’re performance driven, I think the heart issue thing is kind of go out the door and we’re more focused on ourselves and how it’s personally offended. It disrupted our agenda, these kinds of things.

Yeah, I think that the other side of the dish needs to be talked about a little bit to just say ignoring issues. You brought up rose tinted glasses and I think that the first step for a parent who maybe is struggling with this is to just literally remove those, fold them up, put them away, throw them away. This is something that I think people who maybe are wanting a perfect family or, you know, and I’m just going to I’m just going to say I think that people who maybe are not used to being transparent struggle with this right. Where they it’s easy for them to put on a show. Well, it’s not easy when you have kids to put on a show. Praise God, right? Because God doesn’t want us to put on a show. He doesn’t want us to be Pharisees. We know what he said to the Pharisees, right? And we should not want to be raising modern day Pharisees, nor be them ourselves. And so when it comes to ignoring issues, which is the other ditch, when you have the rose tinted glasses on and you so desire perfection, sometimes parents will literally ignore the sin and pretend that it doesn’t exist. So and not deal with it.

Because if they deal with it, then all of a sudden their idea of their perfect family is shattered in their mind. Well, I’m sorry. Shatter it in your mind because it doesn’t exist. And we need to recognize that these are two big ditches, I think, especially within the Christian community. I think that there is something that we can learn from from just watching how children are transparent and real. The younger they are, they just are real and they’re raw with their emotions. I’m not saying we should be having temper tantrums. Don’t misunderstand me. My point is, is they aren’t fake. And so we need to while we need to teach our kids self control, we also need to make sure that we are anchoring with our kids, that it’s important that they feel safe to be real. Right. And when they are struggling with their emotions, they can verbalize that. I even think about yesterday Solomon came to me or he was sitting at the table and he was really struggling and I was talking about nap time because as veterinarians and here’s my six year old, he goes, Mom, I’ve been having a really emotional day and I don’t know why.

Yes, my six year old said emotional day and I don’t know why. Yeah. And I turned around and I said, I’m so proud of you for telling me that. And this is not a consequence of any kind. But I think that maybe you should nap today. What do you think? He’s like, I don’t want a nap. And he got kind of emotional. And I just said, That tells me you really need it, but maybe you’re having a growth spurt and your body just needs to grow, grows one, it’s sleeping. And we had a really good talk about it and he eventually was like, okay, I’ll do quiet time and look at my my books and my Bible, and then I’ll sleep. And he did. He was up there for about an hour and a half. And I but I, but it took a conversation, is what I’m saying. It took time. I had to stop what I was doing. Look at him in the eyes so that he knew I wasn’t mad, made sure that he understood that there was love there, and that I was saying what I was saying because I love him and I want his body to be healthy.

Remember, the pursuit of perfection is the enemy of real. So think about that for a second. The pursuit of perfection is the enemy of what’s real. We should want to walk in righteousness. We should want the culture of our family to improve. We should want to treat each other well, honor Christ, glorified Christ by our family, right. And our marriage and all these things. That’s awesome. But just realize, you know, sometimes that performance driven is really pursuing something and people can feel like they’re walking on eggshells. I wonder sometimes if kids feel that way and we want to create a safe environment, comfortable environment too, for them to live in. And yes, they’re going to be corrected, but in love. And sometimes that performance driven starts comparing. And this is what you never want to do because your kids will never feel like they measure up. If you ever compare your kids, if you say things like, why can’t you just be like those kids in that family? Why can’t you just be like your sibling, your sister or your brother? That is the worst. That is a sign of a performance driven environment that is comparing based on behavior.

And can I also say that when you do that, you just brought something up. When you say, why can’t you be like XYZ kids or whatever? If you want your kids to even have a relationship with those other kids, you just ruined it. You literally just ruined it for your kids to have a relationship with them because now they’re putting them on a pedestal that they are never going to live up to because no one’s perfect and it’s just awkward. Right? And so I think that the comparing game is so dangerous. I even when you were talking about eggshells, it reminds me of something that I share in the Parenting Mentor program about how when I was when we were first married and I was trying to get my I look at it now, I look back 23 years ago, 20 years ago, at trying to get my handle on hospitality. I didn’t grow up in a home that was hospitable, so it wasn’t my first nature. Yes, I tend I’m more of an amber pervert in between extrovert and introvert, Isaac’s introverted, so for us, being hospitable was really, truly just being obedient to God and letting people into our home. But when I look at like, even maybe the first six years of our marriage, when I would get ready for hospitality, I had a perfectionist perspective on what my home needed to look like because I, compared to people I was close to when they had me over and I felt lesser than as a stay at home mom As a homemaker, I felt less than as a parent.

I felt like I was trying to figure this all out for the first time. I didn’t know what I was doing and it was stressful. I made it stressful. I made it feel like walking on eggshells for some of our kids. I remember there were times getting ready for hospitality where some of my kids would be in tears and it and then I would have to apologize, but I would be so mad and they’d be in tears that it would take me a little bit. And then I’d go turn on worship music. My heart would change. It would take me ten or 15 minutes and then I have to apologize right before people came over so that we weren’t putting on fake faces. You guys, it’s not okay to be living that way. If you’ve done it, though, God forgives you and your kids will forgive you and you can change things around like I did. But you, you need to be careful. That’s just one example of what walking on eggshells can look like when you’re trying to look perfect.

It just reminds me of like, communion came to my mind, which is so odd. Right? But it’s true. Now, let’s say you’re all arguing on the way to church. Or maybe just you and your spouse are arguing on the way to church. And then you go in and everybody takes communion at church and you all take communion together. And why would you do that? Because that the Bible says, don’t do that if you’re not right with one another, don’t participate in communion until you’re right. Redeem yourself until you’re right with each other. But why would you do it anyways? Because you don’t want anybody around you to see that there’s anything wrong with your family or there’s anything wrong with you and whispers of why are they not taking communion? It should be a normal thing that there’s a portion of people potentially not taking communion on.

Sunday, haven’t reconciled.

If they haven’t reconciled with people in the body. And I just think that’s really, really important. That’s just an example of maybe there’s some performance driven, so much concern about how we’re viewed and how people view us that we alter what we do so good.

So I want to share with you guys a scripture. And first, John, chapter four, verse 11. It says, Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. That includes our husbands and our kids. I just it’s so easy for us when we read scripture to think of other people outside of our family. But if our first ministry is our family, we need to look there first and get it. Well, their first. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. So this goes back to what we talked about at the very beginning with. Bearing to that God when we love other people and God abides in us. We are truly an image bearer of him because he’s abiding in us. Right? And so recognizing the power of that and then skip down to verse 18 and 19 with me, it says, There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. We’re talking about loving your kids the way God loves you, unconditional, which is perfect, and it’s not going to evoke fear. And then the last part says For fear has to do with punishment. And whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. So, you know, talking to your kids, explain this to them. Share these verses. Share first, John. Chapter four, verses 1118 and 19 shared Genesis 127, Share Romans five six through eight. So our kids understand that, like, we’re trying hard to love here, but we’re human.

And we don’t want them to have the wrong view of God. So we talked about in the beginning how we’re all image bearers of God. He created us right in his image. And so you are the God authorized, most important influencers in your children’s life. Leaders in your children’s life. You are parent parents, right? So important. So which of which image bearer then is going to be most important to. Behave at least as closely as we can to and how God would write. None of us are going to be God’s perfect, right? We’re not going to be perfect. But we need to try and love as God would love our children so they get a good perspective, a right perspective of God’s love, even though we’re never going to be gods. That’s not what I’m saying. But it is important to look at that.

Yeah, So, you know, the thing that’s super important, we want to talk here as we’re getting towards the end of the podcast today, talk about how kids are starving for real. You hear this all the time. Young people especially. We talked about how kids by age 18 are falling away from the faith and they’re using words like hypocritical, calling the parents hypocritical, calling Christians or the church or specific people in the church hypocrites. This is an important thing that while our kids are responsible for their own relationship with God and on the judgment day, they are going to have to answer for their relationship with God and they don’t get to blame shift and go, Oh, I’m not a believer in you, Jesus, because my mom was a hypocrite or my grandpa or the pastor or whatever. That doesn’t work. That blame shifting. Jesus sees right through that. They need to understand that they’re going to have to answer for their relationship with God about who God is and denying him. That’s something that we need to make sure that our kids actually understand that as they’re growing up. And I think if more parents had that conversation with their children, there’d be a lot less people walking away from the faith if they understood they’re going to be held accountable. It’s literally between them and Jesus. But the truth is, is that those same young people that are saying hypocrite are also starving for real. They’re starving for transparency, they’re starving for authenticity, for rawness. And the truth is, is that they they’re like us. All humans have this innate desire to truly be known. And so one of the most important things that we need to do as parents in loving our kids is to try to know them well. And if our kids are becoming, they’re withdrawing from us and becoming secretive.

That can be hard, especially as they start getting older and they start having more independence and they can drive places and they can go places without you and you’re not always there. You can feel like there’s a withdrawn ness happening or a separation happening. And part of that is is actually healthy, that they are becoming a little bit more independent. Right? They shouldn’t be codependent. We want to raise confident, courageous kids for an uncertain world. But but they should trust you. So if there’s like a secretiveness that’s happening, then that means there’s a brokenness in that relationship that we need to be honest about. One of the best things that you can do here are some here’s some suggestions is one on one time. So just taking that effort means a lot to people, taking one on one time just to spend time with them. Tell them, I really want to know you. I want to know what’s going on. I feel like I don’t know what’s going on, calling it out. See how that is not being the rose tinted glasses, pretending everything’s perfect. And oh, yeah, teenagers will do this. And and adult kids will eventually have their own life, and it won’t involve you. Those are all lies from the enemy. And so don’t ignore the issue that’s in the relationship, but run towards them and be fully who you are. That’s something that I would say that I’ve even learned more and more over the last like seven years is that I need to I need to continue being the growing person in the Lord that God made me to be. And so I just want to encourage you to be that with your kids, too, as they grow up.

So do your kids really know you? And do you really know your kids? Do you guys have real conversations? Is there humility in you? So they see. All aspects of you that you’re not that you don’t think you’re perfect. That striving to be perfect is the answer to adulthood. See, we need to have humility. And do your kids really feel known by you? That’s super important because real love does have that connection point. And it says in First Corinthians 13 four, love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Obviously that’s a popular wedding scripture, but it has everything to do with our relationship with our children and showing real love. So there is an epidemic of loneliness. There’s an epidemic of suicide in young people. There’s an there’s there’s social media. Social media has proven to create more loneliness and people actually.

In depression.

And depression and less actual connection, human connection, because human connection doesn’t happen through messaging. It doesn’t happen through seeing images, watching videos and reels. Human connection happens because we feel understood and known by somebody else. And there’s real communication and there’s all aspects of a good relationship. And so do you have good relationships? Are you nurturing good relationships with your kids? Do they feel known? I would say when six, seven, eight, nine, that age range is when you really need to start honing in on this even more. And if they’re already older, it’s you got to dive into this. And so we have a challenge for you guys.

This is going to be called the Courageous Parenting Challenge. And like we said at the beginning of the podcast, we are also going to do this with our kids as well, just because you know what? It’s always good to come back to this and we’re going to ask a couple of questions. Yeah. One is, do you know that I love you no matter what, no matter what you do, no matter what you don’t do? Do you know that we love you no matter what?

And I would say that probably the first response of most kids, especially if we haven’t really gone real with our kids, is going to be. Yes, of course, Mom. And I wouldn’t just leave it there. Yeah, I would. I would listen and I’d go, Hey, that’s really good to hear. But just no, I want you to always be comfortable sharing anything with me. Yeah, because I wouldn’t want you to feel like I would love you less if you shared a mistake with me or something like that. And so I would get descriptive about it and really talk about it and go. So I just really want to make sure you know that I love you no matter what you do. You are my son, you are my daughter, and I just am always going to be here for you no matter what.

The second question that we’re going to ask is, do you feel known? Do you feel like you’re able to be fully transparent and who you are with us, or do you feel like you have to be perfect? Do you feel like you have to put on a show or can you be fully you do you feel like we know you? And then sharing, they may say, Well, yeah, I feel like I’m me. And, you know, they may just kind of brush it aside and go, okay, well, let me share with you what I see. Am I missing anything? And just go, I just really want to get to know you even better because you’re going to continue to grow. And I recognize you’re going to change because all humans do. And I want to be able to make sure that you feel supported as you’re growing and changing and that I see you for the new you that you are. And that’s so I think it’s empowering in relationships for kids to go, Wow, my parents recognize I’m growing up and and this is an important thing because let me ask you a question. Do you feel like your parents view you as the 31 year old or the 44 year old or the 27 year old that you are? Or do they view you as the five year old or the eight year old or the 14 year old or the or the rebellious 17 year old or whatever in your history? Do they still view you that way and then talk down to you or talk to you as if you were a child? And the reason why I’m asking that question is because this is one of the biggest mistakes that I think parents potentially make, is that they don’t acknowledge the growth and let their child be the 21 year old or the 30 year old and make decisions on their own.

They have they always see them as their baby. And we love we just read about what love does. Love is patient, Love is kind. Love isn’t boastful, right? It would be arrogant and boastful to think that you need to still be like parenting on very basic things. When when a child has grown up and they’re now raising their own kids and doing a good job, like we need to acknowledge they’re doing a good job, we need to acknowledge that they’ve grown. And part of this, I think it comes from the same ditch that we were talking about earlier, which is ignoring the issues. Not only do people potentially ignore the issues, but they also ignore the growth because they’re just ignoring. So if you are in that ditch, this is why it’s so important that you’re evaluating this, because it has many more consequences and ramifications in your relationship than you may even realize. And so really evaluating, do I do this? Do I do that? It’s all stems from this performance driven acceptance of of even myself as a parent and how God views me because of my home and because of my family. We need to let that go because Jesus died to break that bondage. God loves us and died for us while we were still sinners.

God made you unique on purpose. He wants the authentic you to be out there in the world, but he wants us to be yielded to him. Don’t we want that for the same for our kids? God made each of them unique, for unique contribution in this world, and they’re going to really be stifled if they feel like they have to do a performance game and and to put on a show and they’re not going to be as engaged in society if they can’t be have integrity and be solid throughout, always the same person and develop real relationships and so forth. It starts with they’re in our homes, so let’s model that. Well, let’s engage our children on on that relational level as they’re getting older. And if you have young kids right now, let’s have a vision towards that and let’s model things well. And you know what? There is no perfect, but we all are on a journey of loving the Lord and glorifying his name. Let’s do that the best we can. But real, authentic communication and authentic relationships is key to all that it is.

And, you know, I think the last thing, too, I think of is, you know, I don’t want any parents to walk away from today’s podcast and be like, so so if I’m telling my kids it’s okay to be real and they’re really struggling with sin and they’re just like having an emotional, lacking self control, for example, all over the place, that’s okay. I shouldn’t do anything. No, that’s not what we’re saying. Ad we do correct. But we do it in love and we lead and we teach them and equip them to have emotional self-control. But but there’s this thing that you guys, we have to point our kids to Jesus. They need Jesus just as much as we do. They need the power of his spirit activated in them so that they can say no to the temptation of sin. We need to have grace with our kids and understanding. If they have not accepted Jesus and been born again, then they don’t have the spirit activated and therefore our expectations of them should be appropriate and realistic, and we need to disciple them to Jesus. And those times when they screw up, or those times when they lose it, when they lose it and they’re in sin, are opportunities for us to point them to Jesus and to say, Hey, honey, you can’t do this on your own.

That’s why you need God and God loves you and I love you. But this can’t continue and Jesus wants to set you free. That is the message of the gospel that our kids need to hear. It’s not lacking truth. It’s being consistent. It’s being faithful to God’s Word, but it’s also loving them with an unconditional love. So thanks so much for joining us today. God bless you and your parenting. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous mom dot com for free online workshops, blog posts, and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, live Webcasts and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program. Secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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