I DON’T: MARRIAGE
November 17, 2002
[A drama is acted out prior to the message. In the drama, a small girl is portrayed as the C.E.O. of her family. She has a corporate desk, a leather chair, and her own office. Her parents actually have to make an appointment to see her. She runs the family schedule based on her activities and her desires. The parents are simply doing what she wants them to do, rather than being in charge.]
You know, seeing this desk right here reminds me of the corporate scandals that have rocked our culture over the last several months. Enron, WorldCom, and the others all look great on the outside with beautiful buildings and glowing annual reports, but on the inside they were pretty much packed with lies, deception, and greed. The bottom line is that most of the CEOs that were leading these companies should not have been CEOs. They were the wrong people doing the wrong things, in very, very important positions. Corporate scandals seem like they’re everywhere these days.
Do you know what? There is another scandal occurring right under our noses that most of us are clueless about. The corporate scandal I’m referring to makes the Enron and WorldCom scandals seem like kindergarten stuff. I’m talking about the scandal in the family corporation.
Do you realize that most families are not really being led by leaders? Most families don’t have the right CEO in the corner office. Here is how it takes place: a guy and a girl get married, they crank out a couple of kids, and the moment the OB/GYN slaps the baby on the bottom and said “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” this little miniature sinner looks over the family company and says, “You know what? I am going to take over this place. I am going to move Mom and Dad out of the corner office and I am going to sit in this CEO’s chair. I’m going to call the shots. I’m going to ride in the corporate jet. I’m going to have the stock options and everybody is going to support me. I’m the executive staff, they’re the support staff, and that’s the way it is.” And amazingly, unbelievably, parents allow this to happen! Parents say, “OK, just come on in. We’ll move out of our office. We’re the support staff now and you’re the administrative staff. You’re the executive. You’re the man; you’re the woman.”
A guy and a girl get married, have some children, and here’s what happens — a lot of resignations take place. The wife resigns from her number one responsibility, that of being a wife, and she becomes a mother. She immerses herself in the lives of her children. In essence, she marries them.
The husband resigns from being his number one role, the husband, and he becomes the dad. Really, he becomes the career chaser; he chases stuff. So, you have marital drift going on. You’ve got a big chasm between the husband and the wife. No one really knows what the mission statement of the family is about. No one really knows who is leading the show. For the man to relate to the woman, he has to jump over all these activities, all this stuff, all these ECAs (extra-curricular activities) — just to connect to his wife. For the wife to connect to the husband, she has to go through all the corporate stuff — just to get to him. Throw in fatigue, throw in a lack of romance, throw in an attractive co-worker or neighbor, and you see what happens.
Many times, at this point, when parents allow their kids to take these corner offices, it just ends up being all about the kids, and the marriage is put on the back burner.
THE FAMILY COUP BEGINS
Maybe you’re asking, “Now, when did this mentality take place? When did this change occur? When, Ed, did we get into the situation where we allow our children to be the most important thing in the family? When did we start orbiting everything in the family around the kids? When did that take place?”
Well, I’m glad you’re asking those questions. I can tell you are.
It took place after World War II and after the Baby Boom. Because, after WWII and after the Baby Boom you have a lot of well–meaning parents turning their backs on the Biblical mandate, turning their backs on conventional wisdom, and you have them following permissive parenting persuaders.
You’ve heard about them — people like Drs. Bishop and Spock. And these well–meaning couples bought in to that junk. It sounded so good in books and so good on tapes and videos. Permissive parenting says, “Hey, crawl into the crib with your kid and reason with him or her. Just sit down, because you know the family is a democratic thing, there’s no real structure. Everyone is equal. Everything is A-OK, because, remember, it’s all about the kids and giving them undivided attention and nurturing 24/7.”
The problem is that permissive parenting is a joke! It’s not biblical. It’s wrong. It will mess up the family business, because kids are not made to run the show. Kids are not wired to call the shots. Kids don’t have the responsibility, they don’t have the know-how, they don’t have the brain power, and they don’t have the skill set to do it. But many parents, well meaning parents, say, “Just go ahead and move into the corner office. I’m going to resign. You take control and I’ll do my deal, I’ll serve you. Do you want some more Twizzlers? Do you want some more POWERAde? Where do you want to eat? What do you want to do? Where do you want to vacation? OK, because it’s all about you.” We have “Kid CEOs.”
It’s messing up a lot of families. You see, the marriage is the most important thing in the family. Did you hear that? The marriage is the most important thing in the family. The best thing you can do as a parent is to have an awesome marriage. Did you hear that? That’s the greatest gift you could ever give your kids. That’s the best thing you can do for your family. That is the nucleus, that is the juice, and that is the thing behind the family corporation.
As some of you think about what I have just said you are saying, “Man, I wish my neighbor could hear this. Boy you’re talking about Kid CEOs, Ed. You’ve not seen anything!” or “I wish my good friends were here.” Well, couldn’t it be that you are struggling with this? Oftentimes, when I’m convicted about something, my first response is “Oh yeah! My friends need to hear this.” or maybe, “It’s someone else I know, but not me.” Let’s just be open and honest and ask ourselves these penetrating questions, because as we look on the family front out there, we see a lot of families that are being run by kids — Kid CEOs.
DO A HOSTILE TAKEOVER
Well, let’s say your kid is a CEO. What do you do about it? What do you do? Well, you need to do a hostile takeover. You need to go home today and look at your son or daughter and say, “Do you know what? It’s time for you to clean out your office. No, I’m not firing you, but I am moving you to the position that you should hold.” Remember, God has an order. God is not a God of chaos; he’s a God of organization. God has a flow chart. Whenever you think about God, whenever you look at his creation, whenever you look at God’s chain of command, there is always a flow there. God has put certain people over you for a reason. He’s put certain people over me for a reason. The same is true with this organizational chart.
GOD’S ORGINIZATIONAL CHART
Now, if you’ve always wondered about God’s org chart, it’s found in the Book of Ephesians. Let me read it to you very, very quickly. Ephesians 5 and 6 — no, I’m not going to read the entire chapter, don’t freak out. I’m just going to read a couple of verses. Number one — God is at the top of the org chart. Ephesians 5:1 says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.” So, God is God. We’re not God, we’re God’s children. God is number one and after that, look at Ephesians 5:25. Next is marriage.
So we have God, then we have marriage. Ephesians 5:25 reads, “Husbands (that’s you and me), love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” So, talking about the org chart now, we’ve got God, we’ve got marriage, and next we have children. Next we have children.
Behind the marriage, we have children. In third place we have children. Please, please don’t miss that. Ephesians 6:1, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” “For this is right.”
THE GOAL OF PARENTING
Let me do a quick side bar. Genesis Chapter 2:24 says, “For this reason,” or maybe your translation says, “For this cause,” “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” The goal of parenting is simply this — you might want to write this down. The biblical goal of parenting, the biblical definition of parenting is this: it’s the process of teaching and training your children to leave. That’s parenting. It’s the process of teaching and training your children to leave.
The teaching element is Deuteronomy 6:7. You can read it there. It says that you shall teach the commandments of the Lord diligently to your sons, daughters and so forth. The training part is Proverbs 22:6. “Train up a child in the way he should…,” what? “Go!” So, we have got to train kids to go, because if we don’t train kids to go, mom and dad are going to end up going. Then you’re going to have some problems. So, parenting is teaching and training your kids to go, to leave. That’s Genesis 2:24. “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother…” This means the man should individuate; he should become autonomous. He should hook up with his spouse and the marriage should become the primary relationship. All the other relationships become secondary. So, we’ve got God, we’ve got marriage, and we’ve got kids. That is God’s org chart.
Maybe you’re saying, “Well, Ed, as I look at my family, the org chart doesn’t really read that. I mean, yeah, I say it’s God, marriage and then kids. But in reality, the kids are running the show. My kids are sitting behind the desk, my kids are calling the shots, and my kids are CEOs. What do I do?”
DEMOTE YOUR CHILDREN
I said it a second ago. You need to do a hostile takeover. But specifically, you need to go home and demote your children. You need to put them in their right place. Demote your children. Some people say, “That sounds harsh.”
No, you’re not being harsh. You’re just doing the best for your kids. Remember, you’re designed, you’re wired, to call the shots. Parents think this these days, “Well, I need to give my children my undivided attention 24/7. I need to do that.” Have you ever thought that maybe you can give your kids too much attention?
Kids need oxygen, but too much oxygen will smother them. Kids need attention, and we need to give them attention. We need to spend time with them, but too much attention can smother them. It can choke them down. We must demote our children.
There is a book out by Jim Collins called Good to Great. It’s a book about business. It’s been out for a while. It studies companies that have moved from good to great. Here’s what Collins says. This is a brilliant thought; Collins says that great companies get the right people on the bus. Not only do they get the right people on the bus, but they get the right people in the right seats on the bus. The problem with the family is that we’ve got the right people in the bus, but we have the wrong people in the wrong seats. So, we have to put the right people in the right seats. Parents should sit in the CEO chair. They should run the show. They should be in the corner office. The kids should not.
Now, when you begin to demote your children, it’s not going to be an easy thing. They like the warmth of the spotlight. They like being the man or the woman in those board meetings. They like running the show, they like the corporate jet, they like the parties and the perks and they’re not going to leave it very easily. That’s where you have to be willing to go to the mat with them and to explain to them the deal. You need to begin to live out some of these things.
Do you know why there are so many 20-somethings and 30-somethings still living at home? Do you know why? There are a number of reasons, but the main reason is that these 20-somethings and 30-somethings have been CEOs for so long they are not going to give up the chair. And now, they’re old enough they can live with mom and dad, make a salary, but mom does their laundry, mom cooks their meals, and they have free room and board. They think, “Sweet!” There’s nothing like it. I didn’t mean to rain on your parade, but that’s the way it is. We need to demote our children and put them in the right place.
SET THEIR AGENDA
There’s something else we need to do. When you think about demoting your children, you probably ask yourself, “Well how do you actually do that? What does that look like?” Well, here’s the next thing to do as a CEO — we need to set their agenda. You have to set their agenda. Remember, you’re the leader; they’re not the leader. So, you set the schedule. You don’t wait for them to set the schedule. Leaders step up, leaders vision cast, and leaders move ahead. They don’t say, “Well, let me get everybody’s opinion, because we’re all equal in the family.” Everyone is not equal in the family. Before God we’re equal, but in the family there is an org chart, there is a chain of command. Children, God has placed your parents over you for a reason. They are the leaders. If you do not follow their agenda, then you are being disobedient to them. More importantly than that, you are being disobedient to God.
Parents, we have to lead; we have to set the agenda. When I think about an agenda I think about bedtime. I think about bedtime. Bedtime is very important. I mean, think about it, we all have a bedtime. We all go to bed. Kids need structure. Everything in the universe has structure. God has a structure. God is a God of organization, not chaos, as I’ve said over and over so far in this talk.
If you have small children they need to have a regular bedtime, a regular time when they go “night-night.” Now, you don’t put your kids down when they are ready. You put them down, Mom and Dad, when you are ready. You don’t put them down just for their benefit. First of all, you put them down early for your benefit.
There are too many kids walking around who are comatose, they’re tired, and they’re worn slap out. Time (Magazine) For Kids did a survey and here’s what they found: 60 percent of kids between 7 and 12 years of age said that they were regularly tired. And 15 percent of that 60 percent regularly fell asleep in class. We’ve got comatose kids running around. So, put your kids to bed early.
Lisa and I have four kids. We have a teenager who’s 16 years old. I’ll talk about her in a second. We’ve got an 11-year-old son and twin daughters who are 8. Our 11-year-old and our 8-year-olds go to bed between 7:45 to 8:15. That’s their bedtime. Maybe you think, “Wow, that’s early, man!”
Well, let me tell you what Lisa and I figured out. We said, “OK, marriage is number one, right?” So, we figured out how much time it takes us to connect once the kids are down, once they are asleep, and that has worked for us. We try to go to bed pretty early and we wake up early. It’s done great things for our marriage and great things for our family.
You might be saying, “Well Ed, you have a sixteen–year–old. What do you do to her? Do you put her to bed at 7:45 or 8:15?” No, but we say, “Lee Beth, when the clock hits about 9:00 or 9:15, disappear to your room. You can stay up for a while, talk on the phone to your friends, listen to music, do some homework, or whatever. But, you have to stay in your room.” Then, Lisa and I connect.
When we connect, here’s what I’m talking about. There are many temptations when finally the kids are asleep. Let’s say you put them down early, and your teenagers are in their room early. Now you’re hanging out there, just you and your spouse. So, what do you do? Well, the tempting thing for me to do is just to pick up the remote and start to channel surf. “Yeah, I just watch television with Lisa.”
That’s sad. I mean that’s pathetic. There’s not anything on television worth watching, really. Basically, television is a vast wasteland of garbage. Think about what’s out there: The Anna Nicole Show, The Osbournes, E! True Hollywood Story. [Ed speaking sarcastically:] Let me see another episode of what happens to people when they don’t follow God. Yeah, they take drugs, they commit suicide, they get messed up, and they go through four or five marriages. Oh boy, let me watch some more of that! I’m not saying it’s bad to ever watch television, but we waste time doing it. Put down the remote.
Sometimes, instead of picking up the remote, we just pick up the telephone. The kids are in bed so we pick up the phone and have two hour phone conversations. After the kids go to bed, just don’t answer the phone.
Lisa and I, all the time, just don’t answer the phone. We’ll even take the phone off the hook. It’s great. Just because the phone is ringing, doesn’t mean that it’s saying, “Answer me! You’d better pick the phone up. Come on now, you’re being cruel.” No, no, no. Just say, “Forget it.” And don’t do a bunch of housework or work from the office when you’re alone. Begin to talk to your spouse, begin to converse. You won’t believe where it will lead.
Also, talking about television, I challenge you as married couples. I’ve said this many times, and I’ll say it again. If you have a television in your bedroom, unplug it and take it out of your bedroom. I don’t think television should be in your bedroom. The bedroom should be a place of intimacy, a place of joy, and a place of conversation. It should not be a place for you to watch CNN, ESPN, E! True Hollywood Story, or The Anna Nicole Show. I mean, come on.
There is something else that has helped us, too. When I walk into my home from work at about 5:30 or 6:00 p.m., I usually walk into the kitchen. Oftentimes, some of the kids will be there and Lisa and I will say, “OK, children, it’s time to leave, because we want to talk for about 20 minutes.” Then, Lisa and I will just connect. So, we tell them to leave. Some think, “Oh that sounds cruel.” It’s not cruel. It teaches our children to play by themselves, it teaches them to relate, it teaches them creativity, and it teaches them that marriage is the most important thing around. So, demote your children and set their agenda.
LIMIT COMPANY PERKS
Now, here’s another. It’s going to get very, very quiet now. This is going to be very convicting. I’ll just go ahead and tell you before I get into it. Limit company perks. Wow, man! You’re the CEO. You have to limit the company perks, because there are perks to life and there are things out there. You know what you say as a parent. Here’s what I’ve said for 16 years, because I’ve been a parent for 16 years. Lisa and I have said this, and you’ve said it before, too. We say, “I want the best for my children. I mean, I want the best for my family.” How many of you have said that before? Everybody has, and that’s a good thing. We want the best. I ask you, what is the best? What is the best? Well, I’ll tell you what the best is.
Those of us who are Christ followers would say the best is giving our children an opportunity to receive Christ, to grow and to have Jesus fully formed in their life. We would say that’s the best thing. That’s it. We say that, and in theory we believe that. But in practice, many of us do something else, because there is something out there on the horizon called ECAs — Extra-curricular Activities. Cheerleading, dance, voice, basketball, football, baseball, hockey…you name it, it’s there.
I’m all for extra-curricular activities. I love sports. I love activities. It helps kids, but it doesn’t give them the stuff they need to live life. I ask you, parents, could it be that some of you have your children involved in too many extra-curricular activities? It’s just a thought — just a thought. Could it be?
I’m going to tell you something. The stuff they’re learning in the extra-curricular activities is fine and dandy, it’s good stuff but it’s not great stuff. It is good stuff, but the evil one has the ability to allow the good to eclipse the great. Oftentimes, extra-curricular activities come up against your involvement in church. They interfere with your involvement as a family in God’s word and your ability to grow deeper. When this happens, take a wild guess who wins? Extra-curricular activities! Because, the coaches and leaders say that if you miss a practice or a rehearsal, then you’re off the team or you can’t perform.
What if we said that at Fellowship Church? “If you miss a weekend worship service, then you’re out of the church. If you miss a Jr. High worship service on Monday, then, see ya! You can’t come to Fellowship anymore.’” You see, so many of these extra-curricular activities don’t give a flying flip about the church or even about the family. Let’s just be honest here. They don’t. There are games on Sunday morning and practices at insane times. And, parents, you’ve got to ask yourselves this question: “Why are your kids playing and involved in the ECAs? Why?” Many parents say, “Well, they like it.” Oh, really? Could it be that they are playing and performing for you? If you really get down to where the rubber meets the road, oftentimes kids are playing for the parents.
The problem with kid’s athletics is simply this: the adults. Adults set the leagues up, adults coach the teams, and adults run the show. I’ve talked to too many parents who have driven thousands of miles, watched hundreds of games, and spent untold hours watching all these sports. We have select this select that, and performance here and performance there. Then, when their kid gets to be 10, 11, or 12 they quit because they’re just burned slap out.
When your child reaches 12 or 13 and is confronted with taking drugs or having oral sex; when they’re trying to negotiate the maze of life, what are they going to rely on? Cheerleading? Is your child going to say, “Yeah, that will help me! Yea! Rah! One, two, three, go team, go!” Is that going to give them the stuff? [Sarcastically] “Oh no, basketball will. No, football. Yeah. Down, set, hut.” No, no, no. That’s not going to get them where you want them, parents. I’m talking about the foundation. The ultimate foundation is Jesus Christ. Now, I know a lot about this stuff. Man, I played major college basketball, Division I Basketball at Florida State University. Maybe you think, “Wow, yeah. Good for Ed!”
I’ll just tell you a story. I was a star player in high school. After my sophomore year I got invited, you won’t believe this, to this invitation–only basketball camp. The top 250 players east of the Mississippi converged on Milledgeville, Georgia to play four games a day in front of 250 college scouts. “Wow!” I thought to myself, “You know I’m a good player and I’m going to do well at this camp.” Once, I thought to myself, “I’m going to play in the NBA.” I thought that.
Well, my dreams were dashed when I was standing in the registration line. I was thinking to myself, “Man, what are you doing Ed? You can’t play with these guys. Yeah, you’re a good player in Colombia, South Carolina, but up against James Worthy (because he was at the camp) I mean, come on.”
So, dad’s especially, let me just tell you something. I don’t care how good your son is, he’s not going to play big time stuff. It’s not going to happen. It’s not. I just want you to know that.
We have about 40,000 people that come to Fellowship at least once a month. Out of those people, maybe one, maybe one, might hit it in kind of the big time as a signer, dancer, or athlete; but, that’s even doubtful. Out of that camp that I went to, I think one made it to the NBA. That was James Worthy. He’s had a pretty good career. But, do you know what got me through life? Do you know what got me through no matter what I was involved in athletically? Don’t miss this now. I never lost sight of an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Through all the basketball I played and all the athletics I was involved in, my parents would not allow me to miss the beauty and the joy of the local church. That is what has given me the octane to live a blessed life. It’s not basketball, no, no, no, no, no. I wasted a lot of time playing basketball, just to be frank with you. So, don’t even give that weak stuff to God, “Well, you know when it comes to ECAs verses church, we’ll have to go with ECAs.” What a joke! What a joke.
We’re in a fight. So, if I’m Satan, what do I want to do? I want to mess up the family and mess up marriages. How am I going to do it? I’m going to get families involved in good stuff while they miss the best! You can get mad, whine and complain, but just remember what you’re dealing with and think about the stakes.
So, the key to extra-curricular activities is balance. It’s balance. I think it’s great to have your kids in stuff, but it’s about balance. When these things begin to encroach upon your development spiritually, you have to give a long hard look at the ECAs. Most parents are not tough enough and are not strong enough to say, “You know what? I’m going to set the agenda. I’m going to limit the company perks.”
Here’s what Lisa and I have done with our family. We have four kids and we limit them each to one activity or one sport per season. Sometimes, that’s like one sport a year. These days, just to compete, you have to play pretty much just a certain sport year round, don’t you? But, we don’t do the two sports thing here, there, and yonder; we don’t go there.
Several years ago I had dinner with a world-class athlete. If I called this person’s name everyone would know it, but I cannot, due to confidential reasons. He looked over the table and told me something very radical. Now, I don’t buy into this but let me just tell you what he said. He said, “I will never, Ed, have my children play athletics until they are in Jr. High. I want my kids to be kids.” Now, to a certain extent I hear what he was saying, but that’s a little much.
I want you to think about those things and ask yourself a question, “Why are my kids playing? Why are they singing? Are they doing it for me? Am I trying to live my life vicariously through them?” It’s a good question, a tough question. This is a tough message.
NURTURE CLIENT RELATIONS
There’s one more thing we need to do. Yeah, we need to demote our children, set their agenda, and limit company perks. But we also need to nurture those client relations. A lot of you have clients in your business. You have to wine and dine clients, you have to connect with them, and keep them in you life because that’s the way you make money and your company benefits. That’s very, very important. Well, I’ve said this over and over again, and some of you are going to go, “Well here he goes again. I’m tired of Ed saying this.” Well, do you know what? I’ve got to say it, and I will say it until everyone does it. We need to have client relations and develop those client relations with our spouse — with our spouse. We need to date our mate. We need to date our mate. It could be during the day or it could be at night. Your goal should be to date your mate once a week.
Now, why should you date your mate? I’ve jotted down several reasons. Number one —there is an economic reason. It pays; it pays huge dividends to date your mate. First of all, you don’t have to pay divorce lawyers a bunch of money. If you don’t keep romance and intimacy as top priorities, then you’re going to get a divorce. It will happen. And then you’ll pay these lawyers all this money. It’s not worth it. Why not date the woman that stole your heart years ago? Why not build that? That’s the way to go. It makes economic sense.
It also makes, I have here, spiritual sense. You’re a covenant keeper. Remember, marriage is about covenant — commitment on steroids. You’re modeling to a lost and dying world, “Here’s what it means to have a great marriage. Here’s what it means to connect.”
When I speak to pastors around the country, they always stop and say this to me, “Ed, you know your dad is a pastor.”
I say, “Yeah.”
Then they’ll say, “You’re a pastor now.”
And I’ll say, “Yeah.”
“You’ve got four kids.”
I’ll say, “Yeah”
Then they ask, “Man, what is the best advice you can give me as a parent and also as a pastor?”
Here’s what I tell them. “Have a regular date night.” That’s all I say. That’s it. For 10 years, Lisa and I have been doing it and it’s been the best thing for our marriage and our family.
It makes economic sense, spiritual sense, and also relational sense. Man, it’s a great model for your kids. My children see this, your children see it, and it’s great to see what is happening as a result of these date nights here at Fellowship Church. Just think about what it is doing to our children.
Some people tell me, “You know Ed, we would love to have a date night, but we just can’t leave our kids with a babysitter because they start crying.”
Hello? So, they’ll cry for while. Ours did when we started this. But, after a couple of minutes they’ll stop and then it’s good.
Do you know what it teaches them? It teaches them independence. It teaches them responsibility. It teaches them that mom and dad’s marriage is the most important thing. It also teaches them that mom and dad will come back. They will come back. You worry about them crying? Well, you’re going to be crying if you don’t have a date night, because your marriage is going to get all busted up.
I was talking to our preschool workers a while back and here’s what they told me. “You know a lot of parents will drop their kids off in the nursery, children’s church or the preschool and the kids will start to cry, “Don’t leave me!” And parents, they said about half of them, when they hear their kid crying will spin on their heels, come back, and try to reason with them. The parents will bait the kids, “I’ve got some chocolate.” Then, most of the parents will take their kids out of the preschool rooms or children’s church because they’re upset. The Kid CEO is running the show.
When parents tell me that, do you know what they’re saying down deep? They’re saying, “Hey, I’m the support staff, I’m just a gopher for my kids. You see, my kid runs the show.”
Let me add one more thing. Parents, for the life of me I can’t get this. OK, we have at Fellowship Church as good a Children’s Ministry, Jr. High Ministry and High School Ministry as there is anywhere that I know about. People come from all over the world to check us out. I can’t understand how parents do not have their children up here. Jr. High is here on Monday night, Sr. High is on Wednesday night, and for our children there is children’s church. I do not understand why you don’t have them here. Maybe you say, “Well, Ed, the extra-curricular activities…,” or, “But, Ed, we’ve got this schedule.”
I don’t understand it and it breaks my heart. I see some of you, great people, and I say to myself, “Oh, I can just push the clock forward and see what’s going to happen to that child. I’ll just watch them rebel, I’ll watch them hydroplane. I can just watch them.” Then, the parents come back to us and ask, “What did we do wrong? What did we do wrong?” And we can only say, “We told you. We told you, Satan loves to use the good to eclipse the great.” If you don’t believe it, just talk to any of us on staff and we’ll give you a long list of names — a long, long list.
So, how about it? Take a long hard look at your family org chart. Who’s running the show? Are your kids running the show? Don’t go soft on me, now. Are your kids running the show? They’re not made to, but in many circumstances and situations they are. Why don’t you make the choice before God and say, “God by your grace and power I want to follow your org chart? I’m going to sit in the corner office and I’m going to do it your way.” Because the last time I checked, God’s way is the only way for true success.