How Parents Can Help Their Kids Understand and Accept Their Role

By Ryan Weber

I grew up a huge WWE fan, so much so that I wrote letters to them trying to convince them that hiring a 12 year old, 85 pound runt would be fantastic for their ratings. They never wrote me back, thank God. But one of my favorite wrestlers was The Rock, a behemoth of a man who destroyed nearly everyone he went up against. One of the catchphrases he used that reverberated through the many arenas he visited was this: “Know your role, and shut your mouth!”

Yeah, it was wrestling and it was dramatic, but I can’t help but wonder if we bring this same logic into the realm of our parenting. We want our kids to conform to a certain set of ideals, principles and values, but how many of us verbally communicate what those roles actually are? Or instead, do we silently thrust expectation upon our children and then get upset with them when they do not live up to our unspoken expectations?

I’m not a parent, so please don’t think I’m preaching at you, but I’ve worked with kids for as long as I wanted to work. I supervise teenagers, I’m in student ministry, and I lead organizations that affect thousands of kids every day. I may not know anything about parenting, but here’s what I know about kids: they don’t know a lot of things.

It’s our expectation as adults that our kids know what they’re supposed to do, why they’re supposed to do it, and to top it all off, we want them to do it for the right reasons and with smiles on their faces. That’s what makes us dumb. And frustrated. And wondering what’s wrong with “that” generation.

Your kids don’t know what you do not communicate. Clearly. And OFTEN. I have to reiterate roles, rules and expectations on an almost daily basis with the kids that I interact with. Why? Because they are kids. Forgetting and being selfish is what they do. Heck, that’s what I do, why would I expect more from a child when I can barely expect it from myself?

Helping kids understand their role within your own family dynamic stems from the knowledge that you have a clear understanding of the vision and purpose of your own family. If you are not a purposeful parent, communicating vision and life over your family, you should not expect your children to fall into any grey or undefined roles you have thought very little about.

What is it you want your kids to be?
What kind of son/daughter do you want them to be?
What kind of brother/sister?
What kind of grandson/granddaughter?
What kind of friend?
What kind of husband/wife?

Now here is the most important question for your kids: WHY? Kids inevitably expect a “what,” but they want a “why” and rarely ever get an adequate answer. The “why” is what turns stubborn acquiescence into premeditated obedience. The “why” casts vision into your child’s life and speaks life into their future. The “what” produces submission, the “why” produces destiny.

You need to be a proactive participant in the growth of your child’s understanding of their role. You need to speak it to them daily.

There is a passage in Genesis 5 that stuck out to me when I was reading through one of those mind-numbing genealogy sections of the Bible:

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, ‘He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed’” (Genesis 5:28-29).

It’s easy for us to skip over sections of the Bible like this, we skim because we say, “Ok, this dude had this dude and he lived 500 years and then had this dude who lived… etc… etc…”

But don’t miss what Lamech did. He named his son Noah, which sounds almost exactly like the Hebrew word for comfort. Imagine the connotations brought into Noah’s mind every time his father spoke his name: “Comforter, come here.” “Be nice to your sister, Comforter.” “Why are you building this boat in the middle of the desert, Comforter?”

Every time Lamech spoke his child’s name, he was casting vision into who he wanted his son to be. He spoke to the calling that God had upon his life. He made Noah’s role known to Noah every time he addressed him. You will be a comforter. And he was. He lived through and lead people through the destruction of the world only to start it all over again. I’d say you’d need a PhD in Comfort to pull that off.

In order for our kids to understand and accept their roles, you need to speak it over them. You need to put thought into it and you need to provide practical reasons why adhering to your expectations sets them up for something huge. We are working to provide for the world the next generation of leaders; that deserves our time, effort and overt communication.

Weekend Preview | Ideal Family Part 2: The Ideal Dad

By David McNeely

Get ready for the greatest sermon ever preached on being a Dad. It will be your one stop shop where you and your sons will be fully equipped with everything necessary for being a godly father. If you put into practice everything we talk about then you will not sin anymore, your children will be fully equipped for everything, and your family line will win the world for Christ by 2041…

Why are you laughing?

Of course this is a ridiculous statement and is given, by design, to make a point. My guess is, you would do just about anything you could to be a better spouse to your wife/husband. I’d be willing to bet the farm the same is true of being a better parent.

There are two equally dangerous extremes to keep in mind as we head into this “Ideal” series. One extreme is believing that all of it is attainable. We do this when we try to put everything into practice from all of the resources we have at our disposal. Books about family, blogs, videos, conferences, retreats, curriculums, and the like are in abundance these days.

On Thursday, April 07, 2016 (my twins’ 13th birthday) the Christian Book Distributors website listed 59,916 resources on the subject of “Family.” Let that sink in. Granted, some of them are key chains, sweatshirts, travel mugs, and picture frames, but there are over 24,000 books alone targeting family related subject matter!

The danger with access to such an abundance of resources is to try and put it all into practice. I love the fact that we live in a time where so much help is available to us in our parenting and in our spousing (did I just make up a word? Spell check tried to change it to espousing but that doesn’t work). A down side to having all of these resources is that we tend to let the professionals tell us what is supposed to work for us.

The other equally dangerous extreme is believing that none of it is possible. We do this when we become so overwhelmed that we quit. Why begin what could never be finished or perfected?

If you hear nothing else please hear me and bank on this: The Holy Spirit is alive and well. He is not short on resources. The Holy Spirit has not run out of ideas. The Holy Spirit knows how you and your kids are wired. The Father is far more interested in conforming you, your spouse, and your children into the image of the Son; and the Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you in all things. The Holy Spirit will empower you. He will convict you. He will comfort you. You cannot do all these things. But Paul reminds us, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

So listen this Sunday at Journey. But don’t listen to a man. Listen to the Spirit. Hopefully the Spirit has spoken to the man about what to say. Ideally, the Spirit will empower the man to say it. But listen for the voice of the Shepherd.

He has a perfect track record as a dad.

Oh, and go buy a Dad, Be Strong and Courageous Travel Mug for the old man. Then he’ll know you really care.

Resources For The Ideal Family

As we continue with the “Ideal Family” series, our desire is to help guide you through your own journey of understanding your role in creating the ideal family. As mentioned on Sunday, we would like to point you toward 3 specific resources that we feel can be very helpful.

Please consider the following options and take advantage of the opportunities that they provide:

1. Journey Family Resource Page – Our new website has a resource section under Family Ministry that includes links to websites, blogs, videos, curriculum and books. These resources have been vetted by our leaders and are available to explore at your own convenience. You can find this page at OR by Clicking HERE.

2. Living Forward Assessment – As an added resource to his latest book “Living Forward”, Michael Hyatt provides a FREE website where you can take an assessment test to help you measure your progress in several different areas of your life- areas such as marriage, parenting, finances, spirituality and more. You can access this test at

3. Parenting Conference – On Saturday, April 16th, we will be hosting a Parenting Conference called “10 Secrets To Everyday Life”. Celebrate Calm’s Kirk Martin will be with us to discuss 10 ways to accomplish the following:

  • Get your kids to listen the first time. 

  • Stop defiance, disrespect and yelling.

  • Stop whining, tantrums and sibling fights.

  • Get kids off video games/screens without a fight.

  • Create stress-free mornings, homework time and bedtime.

You can find out more information, watch a sample video and REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE

We truly hope that you take the time to invest in some, if not all, of these resources. We believe they can help you define your role in creating the ideal family!

Why Understanding Family Roles Matters

By Chris Denning

No matter your experience within a family, whether good or bad, you understand that there are roles within the family. However, your experience certainly colors your perspective of what those roles look like and entail.

In the series we’re starting this weekend, Ideal Family, we’re going to be talking about God’s ideal for the family and what that means for each member of the family.

While there is no picture perfect prescription for what a Father, Mother, Child, etc, should be like in a family, there are certain ideals that we can strive for in these roles. And if God created the family (and He did), then only He can define the ideals for these roles.

This begs the question: Why do these family roles, or ideals for these family roles, matter? Here’s 2 reasons why these family roles matter, and why understanding them for yourself should matter too.

1. They Help Us GROW.

If someone asked you to draw them a good picture, and that it better be what they’re looking for, then you’re in a pretty tough situation. How could you possibly know what they are looking for, or even what “good” means? However, if they asked you to draw them a picture of the Grand Canyon and provided you a picture to base it on, then you’d be on the right track (as long as you don’t draw like me).

God’s ideals for these family roles give us the picture we need to to discern what direction we need to grow in. Without knowing God’s ideals, we don’t have direction for our roles in the family. Knowing God’s ideals for Fathers, Mothers, Husbands, Wives, and even Children gives us a clear picture of what we need to grow into.

2. They Help Us LOVE.

Understanding God’s ideals for family roles not only helps us to understand how we need to grow, but it also helps us understand how to love others in our family even better. By understanding God’s ideals for these roles, we can better understand their motivations and actions, even when we don’t agree with them.

The better we can understand the role of a family member, the better we can love them through tough times and even tough decisions. When a child understands why a Mother makes a decision they don’t like, it makes it easier for them to love them. Understanding God’s ideal for the family helps to provide clarity when things are unclear. That clarity can help us love one another better in times of uncertainty.

I hope you’ll join us for Ideal Family, because no matter your history with your family or what life is like now with your family, understanding God’s ideals for the family will help you be a better member of your family.

While your family may not be perfect, God still has hope for what it could be. Join us and see what God says about the roles of the family and his ideals for them. It just might change your family tree!

One of the Most Important Resources for New Parents

By Chris Denning

My wife, Abrie, & I had our first kid a few months ago, Addison. And as new parents, you quickly realize how it seems that EVERYONE is trying to sell you something. Try this formula, try this bib, look at this awesome bag! After all, everyone’s gotta buy diapers, so why not buy THESE!

We’ve found that the best resource we have isn’t our sweet Rock-n-Play or even the gift from Heaven known as pacifiers, but its something that can not even be bought!

Its not always easy to get, and can be difficult to hold on to, but if you get it right, it can make or break your parenting.

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