January 29, 2012
When it comes to sex, the world is not shy in sharing its opinion. Every day, we’re bombarded with thousands of images and innuendos about sex. And our children are too. The problem is, the message they are hearing is wrong. It doesn’t reveal God’s truth about this powerful gift.
In this message, Ed and Lisa Young tackle a subject that every parent faces: How do we teach our kids about sex? Because when it comes down to it, they are going to learn about it from someone. We need to be equipped to teach them and empower them with the truth from God’s word.
Lisa: Awesome… amazing. Hey Ed, thanks for joining us!
Ed: Yeah, I was a little late back there. Had to have some espresso.
Lisa: Yeah, that’s good.
Ed: I’m sorry.
Lisa: Hey, welcome everybody, especially our Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, and Miami campuses, but a special word to Grapevine. How you doing?
Ed: You guys come on in. We started a little bit early today so we can give us a little bit more time here.
Lisa: Yeah, because we have six people on stage. And whenever you have six people, but not just anybody, you have people who enjoy talking, I think we need a little bit more time. So we have with us EJ, our son, who is 20 years old. Landra, one of the twin towers, Laurie, they’re 17. And LeeBeth is 25. So this is the Young Family. You guys have a seat.
Ed: Yeah, it might be dangerous today up here.
Lisa: We are talking about sex and, you know, Ed and I have kinda been talking about this for a while, but now when you put the kids on stage you just, you never know. You just never know.
Ed: When it comes to sex and when it comes to parenting, Lisa, I think about…
Lisa: You’re gonna hit me in the head!
Ed: … I think about this yardstick. Because if you take this yardstick, someone showed this to me, and if you try to balance it in your palm, if you look at your palm, if you focus on that, you’re not gonna do a great job of balancing it. As opposed to if you take it and then move your eyes from your palm to the top of the yardstick then, look at this, you can balance it pretty well. It’s still a little wobbly, yet you have some balance.
Lisa: It’s hard to hold a microphone in your hand and do that all at the same time.
Ed: Yeah, look at that. There ya go. Whoa. See, I’m concentrating on the top.
Lisa: You need to try this at home. Try it at home. If you look at your palm…
Ed: Yeah, try it.
Lisa: … it’ll fall over. If you look at the top it’s going to be able to balance. A little wobbly but balanced.
Ed: And when it comes to live, parenting, especially teaching your kids about sex, we tend to focus on the immediate. We tend to just concentrate on where we are right now as opposed to thinking, OK, I want to think about the future. I want to think about where we’re going. I want to think about where God’s taking us. Once we concentrate in that realm and in that way, that’s when we have balance, as opposed to the other way we’re out of balance.
Lisa: So, today we’re talking about teaching and training your children, not only about life, not only about the purpose that God has for them in their relationships, with their talents, with their eternity, but with their sexuality. How do you share with your children successfully? Because it’s not about just a talk. It’s not about just an event. It’s about a process. So from the time that we bring our children home from the hospital, from the time that that first cry is ever heard from our baby, that’s when sex education begins. It’s a process. And what we’re gonna find today is that you may be surprised that everything we do as parents, the structures that we place in our home, the yeses and the no’s and the guidelines and guardrails that we have for everything, for friend choices, for media choices, for how they behave in life, has to do with sex.
Ed: It does. This is an industrial-strength series, and industrial-strength talk. This is not popular. If you want to have crazy numbers of people showing up you don’t talk about sex for four to six weeks. Because it’s very convicting. This bed, Lisa, represents a lot of pain for a lot of people. However, for some people it represents purpose yet it is important to talk about it because the first statement ever uttered about us, as we talked about, was a sexual statement. Sex is not something we do, it’s something we are. One of the biggest things we do as parents and as future parents is we teach and train our kids to leave and cleave. Now, I didn’t pull that definition from the air, I didn’t look on some website or Google it, I simply took Scripture texts and built that definition on several texts. Proverbs 22:6 talks about training. Training up a child in the way he or she will go. So, parenting is what? It’s training. It’s also teaching. If you look at Deuteronomy chapter 6, for example, verses 6-7, it talks about teaching, training, teaching in every realm of life. So we are teaching and training our kids to (Genesis 2:24) leave and cleave. “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Basically, Lisa, God said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” First of all he gave us sex for recreation in the context of marriage, secondarily for procreation. When God said that, though, what was he driving at? Be fruitful and multiply.
Lisa: I mean, multiplication is a mathematical term, but basically what God is saying is we have the opportunity to duplicate ourselves in the next generation.
Ed: Stop. That’s huge. Say that again.
Lisa: To duplicate ourselves for the next generation, which, right now you may be thinking, “Oh no, this is not a good thing! To see myself replicated in my child? Duplicated in my child?” Yes, you have that genetic tendency for your biological children. They look like you. But what happens when they begin to act like you?
Lisa: Guess what? It happens.
Ed: Parents, is that convicting? Is that crazy?
Lisa: So we have the opportunity, we’re either gonna lead them in the duplication process in a constructive way, as God intended, or in a destructive way, as Satan intended. So we want to choose God’s way.
Ed: Well, some people say that EJ and I look alike. I can’t believe it but they do.
Lisa: Just a little. Maybe.
Ed: I see myself in him. What’s weird is I see some of the good things but also some of the bad things.
Lisa: Not in EJ!
Ed: He’s overcome those bad things but yet you see that. You know some of the tendencies. Like in Laurie and Landra and Lee Beth. We see Lisa, I know, the good… you know what I’m talking about. Let’s just be real… and also some of the bad. So it’s scary when you think about duplication. Some of you singles are out there going, “But Ed and Lisa, I’m single. This has nothing to do with me.”
Lisa: You’re always preparing for the next stage of life. And even though you may not have a physical child, perhaps you have a spiritual child and you’re duplicating yourself. By spiritual child I mean someone who you are mentoring, who you are sharing with, and you have the opportunity to impart that type of wisdom and help create that type of legacy. This parenting thing is not just, oh let’s be mom and dad and have cute kids where we put hair bows and cute outfits and do the birthday party thing and all this kind of stuff. No, that’s not it. We’re talking about teaching and training. Teaching and training is not easy. That’s a full time position. If you read all of Deuteronomy 6:1-7, you’ll see that it’s talking about when you rise, when you lie down, when you walk, when you sit. At every juncture of your life, as a parent, you are teaching and training your children. There is really no time off. We’re always imparting something into our kids. The question is are you duplicating what God wants you to construct? He’s a constructive God. He wants to build things in our children. Or are we taking it to a destructive process and not giving that legacy that we need to give. So that’s what we want to share with you. The purpose, this beautiful purpose that God has given us as parents to teach our children.
Ed: And Lisa, we’ve tried to focus on the purpose and make the purpose, which God does bigger than the prohibitions, especially when it comes to parenting and especially when it comes to sex. Yet, we’ve got to understand that it’s not our job description as parents to be cool. Because if you’re cool, you’ll end up being a fool, right? So we’re parents, we’re leaders. We can be cool later, when the kids are gone.
Lisa: Yeah, we’re cool once they graduate from high school.
Ed: Yeah, but you’re never gonna be cool as a parent if you’re doing what God wants you to do. Yet, we’re to lead, we’re to feed, mentor, and model. When it’s about sex, though, some parents, we do, we have a tendency to freeze up. The wheels will sort of come off and we will do different things in talking about sex.
Lisa: We get a little panicked.
Ed: Some people do the Discovery Channel approach. Like, “Oh, I don’t want to talk about sex but see those two frogs over? When they <ribbit-ribbit>, you’ve got tadpoles. Figure it out.” Others to the hot potato thing, “Whoa! Go ask your Mom. Go ask your Dad. Go ask your Mom. Go ask your Dad.” Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Then the biology teacher, uses all these terms and just bombard them with facts and data and STDs and this and that and whatever. Ahh!! What?! God has a better way. God has a better way. And we’re gonna talk about how to teach your kids about sex. So pray for us because hey, our kids are up here. Who knows what they’ll say. You know, kids say the darndest things!
Lisa: But what if we could create a culture, I guess you could say a counter-culture, to what the world is saying about sex? What if we could build this legacy, give this purpose for what God says about sex and create a culture that absolutely changes and gives a real sexual revolution to our world today? That’s what we have in our hands. That’s the opportunity that is before us. So we want to create a culture. We want to create a culture of care, where we provide nurturing for our children. We want to create a culture for their character to be built, and all of these different things relate to teaching them about sex.
Ed: And also, I like a culture of questions. Yes!
Lisa: A culture of questions where they know that they can come to you with questions. One of the things that I love about Ed is he asks questions all the time. I mean, almost to a fault, he asks questions. But it’s created a climate in our family…
Ed: I like that… “almost to a fault.” Or “sometimes to a fault?”
Lisa: To a fault.
Ed: Sometimes to a fault. Thank you.
Lisa: But it has helped us as a family to question and to bring conversation and to have open dialogue and that’s what, to make that event, that talk where you share with your kids about sex…
Ed: “The Talk,” you know birds and the bees, facts of life, whatever you want to say. The Talk.
Lisa: … less awkward if you have this climate from the time they’re born to the time that you have the talk and beyond. It’s just a lot less awkward. And let’s face it, parents. You think it’s awkward for you. We think it’s awkward for us. It’s not nearly as awkward for us as it is for them. Way more awkward for the kids to hear us talking about sex.
Ed: You know what’s so funny, Lisa?
Lisa: I think Laurie…
Ed: Oh I’m sorry. Go ahead.
Lisa: Laurie, when we talked to you about sex, when we had the talk, what was it that you said?
Laurie: You mean __________ <couldn’t understand here>
Lisa: No, no. You said, remember what you said? You said…
Laurie: I don’t wanna… oh that thing! Oh yeah! I said I don’t want to grow up. Because I was just like, that is so weird. I remember you said, you were talking and you go, it was “the Talk” and afterwards you go, “It’s beautiful.” And I was like, “No it’s not!”
Landra: “It’s terrible!”
Laurie: But now looking at it, I see y’all’s relationship. You know what I mean? You know what, it is beautiful because God created it and if you do it the right way it can be. But as a child I was like, oh my gosh.
Lisa: But all of this training starts with what, Ed? I lost my train of thought.
Ed: I don’t know what it starts with. With questions.
Lisa: No, no, we had a good point.
Ed: With care.
Lisa: Monitoring! Monitoring!
Ed: Monitor! You’ve got to monitor. That’s a big thing about parenting. I think that causes a lot of parents to go, whoa! It’s about monitoring. If you think about how God disciplines you and me. He doesn’t punish us. Christ took our punishment on the cross 2000 years ago. God disciplines us. He disciplines us out of love to what? Make us better and stronger. When we’re going through discipline it’s like, wow. We don’t like it, we don’t dig it, yet we trust him and we come out of that better and stronger. The same is true with parents, Lisa. We have to create a culture where we’re monitoring our kids. And some parents are going, every time we talk about this stuff some parents will get up and leave or be like, “I can’t believe it. My 13-year-old daughter is not ready for this. We’re not….” No, no, we’re like, YOU ain’t ready for this. So, when you think about monitoring some are thinking, oh, that’s politically incorrect and Uncle Sam is in the sky and Big Brother is always watching and, “How about my rights and my privacy? I’ve got my rights! You know, Mom, Dad, you can’t get into my business!”
Lisa: There’s a difference between privacy and secrecy. We do want our children to experience privacy in some regards. But when they’re living under your roof, using the technology that you bought…
Lisa: … and cell phones that you provided with a plan…
Ed: That’s right.
Lisa: … with a plan that you picked, you have the right.
Ed: Somebody monitor somebody. Hey Mom and Dad! Somebody monitor somebody!
Lisa: So, what we want to do is in our family, when our kids are online, we want them to be online where we can view what they’re viewing. Not in their bedroom but in a public place. We have filters on our computers so that certain things are just not allowed. You know what? That’s healthy for Ed and I, not just our kids, but for us as adults!
Lisa: We also are careful about television shows, movies that they watch. Because again, you cannot just be oblivious. Oblivion is like being asleep in a lion’s den. You cannot do that. And as parents God has given us this beautiful gift of parenthood. Our children are indeed a gift, and that gift has to be cared for. And to care for them responsibly you need to be monitoring. Who are their friends? What are they watching? What are they talking about? If your child has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you are their friend and follower!
Lisa: Our children were not allowed to have any of those, I guess you could say freedoms, or be a part of that, unless we were their friend. And we’re still very careful in checking that. And I know this is gonna be so, it’s not gonna be popular with a lot of kids. You’re like, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe we …”
Ed: Oh it’s not popular.
Lisa: “… I can’t believe we came to church today because the Youngs are just killin’ it for us!” Well…
Ed: No. And the reason we’re saying this is because God’s purpose is so massive and so awesome…
Lisa: It’s huge!
Ed: … and so amazing, these are just little…
Lisa: These little things become huge things…
Ed: Oh yes.
Lisa: … down the road. For example, delayed gratification. There are certain things that children who are 5 should not experience. There are certain things that children that are 7 should not experience until their later teen years. But we are living in a culture where, parents, you’ve heard this line, I’ve heard it, Ed’s heard it, “But everybody has a cell phone in preschool!” “Everybody got to watch that movie!” “Everybody, everybody.” And you know what? We’re not here to match everybody. We’re here to line up with Scripture and what God says. Now, before you get… there’s no place, there’s no place in the Bible that says, this is the age that you give your child a cell phone. Now, Ed believes that you should give it to them really early so you can take it away.
Ed: Buy them the cell phone that YOU want because they won’t have it very long, see?
Lisa: And you use that…
Ed: You just snatch it from them and it’s yours. Because they’re gonna mess up.
Lisa: But seriously, what we’re teaching them is delayed gratification. How important is that when it comes to our understanding of …
Ed: And you know what’s so funny…
Lisa: You interrupted me.
Ed: I know, but some people…
Lisa: This is a good point!
Ed: I know it’s gonna be a great one. I’m gonna try to help you with the point. No, no. I really am. Look, some people think delayed gratification was invented by some psychologist or psychiatrist with all of these letters after his or her name. It’s Bible, delayed gratification. That’s all I’m saying.
Lisa: Delayed gratification…
Ed: I’m sorry. Will you forgive me. Yeah, yeah.
Lisa: Delayed gratification…
Ed: That’s the way it is all the time at our house. It’s that quick. Just kissing, and boom.
Landra: Dad, you have lipstick right there.
Ed: I have lipstick right there? Some people believe that. It’s not that way.
Lisa: No. Delayed gratification is huge when it comes to sex. Because we want to teach out kids to wait until that love relationship in marriage. Now who would have thought that making a decision when you’re child is 3, 4, and 5 could have anything to do with the decisions that they will be making when they’re 12, 13, 14, 15? But it does. There’s a direct correlation. So we have to be all up in their business. All up in their business.
Ed: Some people, Lisa, are sitting out there right now at the different campuses, they’re just sitting there going, “Well, that sounds great but how can I teach my kids about sex when I failed so miserably in this realm? I was not pure before marriage and you know, some of the things that are happening now aren’t that pure. How can I teach them about intimacy when I’ve messed up?”
Lisa: That’s the most beautiful thing, or I shouldn’t say the MOST beautiful thing, but that’s the beautiful thing about Christianity. Christianity is about forgiveness. It’s about reconciliation, the fact that God sent Jesus so that we could have a new life, to start afresh. So don’t lead out of your guilt! Lead out of what God is doing in your life right now! But…
Lisa: But… there’s a big but here.
Ed: That’s right.
Lisa: You have to understand that your past mistakes were your past mistakes. They weren’t God’s choice for you but there will be some consequences. And it is going to be challenging. It is going to be difficult to make some statements to your child about sex when you have taken the wrong path. But God is a God of a fresh start. And it you start living your life today following his word, being a part of his church, living your life according to his plan, your kids are gonna see that. They’re gonna be excited for what God is doing in your life right now versus what mistakes you’ve made in the past. So lead out of what God is doing now, not out of your guilt.
Ed: Check out 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Even sexual misconduct.
Lisa: Yep. And so parents, as we share this, yes we’ve made mistakes. Ed and I have made many mistakes but one of the great things that we’ve done is we’ve partnered with a local church.
Ed: No shame in our game.
Lisa: No shame in our game. I am so thankful that we have Fellowship Church to partner with in raising our children. Ed and I are imperfect people and we know that we’re not gonna make the perfect choices and perfect statements all the time, but by God’s grace we have Fellowship Church. Our kids have been a part of great teaching, other leaders who have poured into their lives and so it’s like a tag team. We’re excited about that. And you can say, “I mean, good knight, this is the pastor’s family. Of course they’re involved in church.” Let me speak from my perspective. I grew up in a home where our family was involved in the church. We weren’t in ministry, so to speak, meaning a pastor, but we were a part of the church. There was a point in our lives, though, where my dad made a decision with my mom and said that the church we were attending did not teach the Bible. The Bible was not the foundation of the lessons. There was a lot of feel-good stuff, whatever. They made a decision to go to a Bible-teaching church. That’s where my mom received Christ, my sister and I received Christ, and from that point we revolved everything we did around the local church. That was their choice. They had other options, but they knew that it was best for our family. That’s where I learned so many great things about, you know, trusting God in every aspect of our lives. Well, now I look at my sister. Ed and I, of course, we’re involved in the local church. But my sister has two amazing boys, both of whom are married. They have patterned their lives after the teaching and the principles of the local church. It works. I’m just telling you, it works. And I’m not suggesting that if you attend once a week or every other week or once a month, and you come and sit in a worship experience and then you walk out the doors. That’s not what I’m talking about. Being a part of the church is about serving, about sharing, and about sowing. This is your house. You’re involved. We have serving opportunities for kids that are as young as 10 years of age. So they can be a part in their age-appropriate levels to be a part of serving.
Ed: We were talking last night, Lisa, about the families that we’ve seen in two decades of ministry here. We helped start Fellowship Church. The trajectory of their lives. Here are these families. I mean, they are definitely partnering with the church, look to the future as we have done. We partnered with Fellowship Church. We wouldn’t be up here and we couldn’t tell you the stories we’re gonna tell you without Fellowship Church. We talked about last night how many amazing families there are who have partnered with the church. Conversely, we talked about some tragedies that will make you weep, that will make you shake your head. People just like you over the years sat in these seats, but they totally screwed up their lives because they turned their back on the church, their back on God’s way. They thought they could have their cake and eat it too and today, we’ll talk about some of these families. It is absolutely tragic.
Lisa: One of the things that Ed and I were talking about on our car ride home last night, too, was that I remember specific times where my mom and dad, who are wonderful people but they struggled in their marriage, very strong, heavy-duty struggles. And I believe that had they not been planted in the house. And I’m not talking about attendance, I’m talking about being planted firmly in the house, I don’t think their marriage would have lasted. I think there would have been a divorce. And so I look back on that time and I’m older and wiser now. I look back on that time and I know that the body of Christ, the church, was a huge part of our family’s actually staying together and doing it God’s way.
Ed: You know, I want to ask what the monitoring looks like. To go back to the phrase you talked about, you talked about monitoring. Because we have and we do monitor the lives of our kids and I think monitor is a positive word. LeeBeth, I know when you were younger you had a friend and you were close with the family, who attended Fellowship Church. Some of the parties were involved, some weren’t. tell us a little bit about some of those experiences with this family.
LeeBeth: Yeah, um, there was a family, they had a daughter and we were really close, from the time I was probably 6, on. And you know, it was different because their family was much more liberal in, you know, let’s say the media choices that they let their kids watch. And I’m talking about, you know, letting them see rated R movies when they were like 8 years old. Probably a little extreme.
Ed: Yeah, I would say that’s extreme.
Ed: I would.
LeeBeth: It was. And so she was my very good friend and when I would go over to their house…
Ed: And I remember we talked about it. It was puzzling, LeeBeth…
LeeBeth: It was.
Ed: … to us because they…
LeeBeth: Because they were involved.
Lisa: They were attending the church.
LeeBeth: Yeah, they were but they were extremely passive in that situation. Sadly, the passive nature of the way they let their kids watch certain things, it bled over into a lot of other areas. But anyway, you know, I would go over there and know that each night, you know, there was a good chance that the family, we’d all watch a movie. And I knew that I was gonna need to call my parents and make sure that I could see that particular movie, and my mom had made it very clear, even to the parents, that you know, if y’all want to watch a movie LeeBeth needs to call me. And sure, that’s, for a 7-year-old, 8-year-old, it’s kinda like, ugh! Whatever. But it was such a huge, huge thing that they stuck to that, you know, the reason was not just, “No, you can’t see that.” It was, “No, because this does not line up with what the Bible teaches.” So that was huge.
Lisa: That seems kind of extreme, but it’s not extreme.
Lisa: You know what? Maybe it is extreme.
Ed: Oh it’s extreme.
Lisa: And maybe it’s time we become extreme. Maybe that’s what we’re looking at. Because the media choices, you can’t just park your child in front of cable television and expect that they’re gonna get a good message.
Lisa: In fact, you should expect that they’re NOT gonna get a good message. They’re gonna be bombarded with things that are contrary to what the Bible teaches. So I made it clear to this mom, I said, “You know, call me.” I’m not gonna make them not watch what they wanna watch but just call me and I can pick LeeBeth up. Or they often chose to watch something different if LeeBeth was in their home. So that’s just an example…
Lisa: … of what that looks like. Also, we monitor friendships. Looking at who you’re hanging out with, what they’re, who they’re texting and all of that kind of stuff.
Ed: Yeah, and Lisa when you talk about texting, people are going, “Wait a minute. You mean you can pick up the phone any time….” I can pick up their phone any time and read their texts?
Lisa: That’s our rule. Our rule. Our rule is that …
Ed: “How ‘bout my privacy?”
Lisa: How about your secrecy? Let’s hand over the phone. So we do look at their texts and all of that.
Ed: And it’s not like we’re the CIA, but I’m saying, we have that freedom to do that. And some of us are like, whoa. I don’t wanna mess with that because it’s too much drama and trauma and fighting, we’ve had that before. Don’t think we haven’t! The battles are worth it.
Lisa: It is worth it. But talk about, a little bit, EJ, about friendship and what, how important it is to have the right friends and making right choices with that.
EJ: I try to model, any time I’m choosing a friend or trying to build relationships, I try to model them after y’all’s friendships. Because y’all, I can see how well your friends are and how they’re accountable to y’all. I want to have friends that I can lean on in times of hardship and they can lean on me in times of hardship.
Lisa: What about their involvement here at Fellowship Church?
EJ: They have to be planted for me. I mean, I’m not like oblivious to people who are, like, living in sin but I just try to have my best friends should be the ones who are planted in the church.
Lisa: Yeah, that’s good. And Laurie, you had something to say that I thought was really good about friendships.
Laurie: Oh yes. I think that your best friends should, you shouldn’t have to invite your best friend to church. They should already be here. And I also think that, I think that great discernment on choosing friends is the way that your friend talks about their parents. If it’s, like, if it’s not in a respectful way, they’re not respecting your parents to you, imaging how they are to them. You know what I mean? So just cut them off, don’t be their friend. You know, not cut them off completely but don’t let them be your best friend.
Ed: I think you’re talking about the difference between association and alliance.
Laurie: Yeah, yes sir.
Ed: We are associated with a lot of people, and I know you guys know a lot of people as we do, who are not followers of Christ. Who don’t believe in Jesus, don’t believe in the Bible, don’t believe in the church, etc., etc. We’re not aligned with them. What you’re talking about, though, is alliance. Our best friends need to be aligned obviously with the Lord, with the purposes of his church. And EJ, I know, has made several relational choices where he has had to back off, shake the dust of his boots off, and move to other waters. Because, quite frankly, I’m thinking about one guy in particular, he just didn’t step up and commit. It was tough but you had to do it.
Lisa: And EJ, you just had to make the choice that, you know what? I’m gonna have to swim with the swimmers and there are many people here at Fellowship Church and maybe I will make some new friends.
EJ: Yep. I remember coming to you actually about that friend and asking advice. And you said, I’d worked on him all through junior high to come. He was committed in elementary, like their family came. Then once high school and junior high hit it was like sports and nothing else. And I remember asking for advice and you said, “Well, you’ve worked on him. Just shake the dust off your boots and move on.”
Lisa: And pray for him and hopefully he will come back. Now listen, church attendance and being a part of the church is huge. And there’s this thing in our culture today that says that we should be commitment-phobic and come and go. I think about my family experience growing up with the church. My family and my sister now has been planted in the same church for 41 years. Forty-one years! Now don’t think that for 41 years everything has just been hunky dory all the times with the church. Because the church is made up of imperfect people being led by imperfect people. But there was a commitment. So we have to remember that if we are just gonna be church hoppers and shoppers and whatever’s popular and whatever’s not, we flow with that, we’re also teaching our kids how to be commitment-phobic and to not stick with something, and not to be planted. Not only in our marriage but with the church. It’s a huge concept that we teach and convey to our kids.
Ed: And that’s one of the things that we’ve seen in our travels around the world, whether we be in Bloemfontein, South Africa as we were recently, Sydney, Australia, whether we’re in Quito, Ecuador, or Manhattan, you sit down and talk to church leaders. Every single one of them will tell you exactly what Lisa said. What breaks their heart, what keeps them up at night, are people who just go from here to there, from there to here. And they’re teaching that, modeling that to one another, to their family. You can just look at the stats and see what happened. So what I would encourage anyone to do, no matter where you are in the world, no matter where you are, when you see this plant yourself in a..
Lisa: In a Bible-teaching church…
Ed: … in a Bible-teaching house. Just like your family, our family’s not perfect. We’re committed, though. This family is not perfect. Commit. If it’s another church, and there are great churches here in this area and around the world, commit! Stay with it. You can just look at Lisa’s family. Forget my family, look at Lisa’s family.
Ed: Your family’s famously. Look at Lisa’s family, though. The legacy, Lisa. I think about your grandparents who were just consistent church-goers in the Lutheran church.
Lisa: And the Baptist church.
Ed: And I think about in the Baptist church, and now your sister, and their family.
Lisa: But it’s not about denomination.
Lisa: It’s about the Bible. Denominations are not in the Bible. We want to have the truth text, which is God’s word, and that’s what should be taught in the local church. One of the things when we talk about technology is, one of the things that we’ve done is that Ed and I have always set a time in the evening where we collect technology.
Ed: We call it “collecnology.”
Lisa: And that’s so that, again, we can be monitoring what the kids are doing.
Ed: And you know what, I learned this by asking questions. A friend of ours has been a part of Fellowship Church for several decades. He’s an attorney. He told me, he goes, “You know what? My wife and I collect the technology every night at 9:00. Because we own it.” And I thought, we’re gonna start doing that too!
Lisa: So, we got into that habit. Well…
Ed: It’s awesome!
Lisa: … Landra was one that she really likes her technology.
Landra: I love my technology.
Lisa: She likes her technology and so Landra, at one point, decided that she was gonna outsmart us with this technology thing. And so, it’s really quite brilliant what she did.
Landra: It really is.
Lisa: We were a little more brilliant than she is. You know what, kids? Your parents have thought of most of the things you’re thinking of.
Landra: Dad, did you think of this one?
Ed: No, I didn’t think of this particular one, Landra, because that was on another level.
Lisa: We didn’t have cell phones when we were kids.
Ed: Yeah, we didn’t have cell phones back then.
Lisa: No, but this is. So we take up the technology and everything. Well, one night Landra didn’t want to give up her phone. In other words, she wanted to text some friends, stay up past when she’s supposed to go to bed…
Ed: It’s hard to believe.
Lisa: …any of that stuff. Yeah. It’s totally hard to believe. But so she didn’t want to give up her phone. So, she had an old phone that looked just like the phone she had…
Landra: It had the same case on it.
Lisa: Same case. It was cracked, you know, the screen wasn’t working or whatever so we had, like, all these plugs in our bathroom where the kids would come in and they’d plug in their phones so that they’d be in our room but they were charging over night. So she brought her phone down, the old phone, the cracked phone, plugged it in, turned it face-down so we could not see…
Ed: It was brilliant.
Lisa: … that it was not her phone. So I go into the bathroom and get ready for bed and I’m thinking, “Oh, yay! Everybody’s turned in their technology. This is great!” The next morning I notice that Landra got up, went to school, and never collected her phone, which is totally uncharacteristic for her.
Lisa: Totally! She is not gonna leave that phone at home.
Landra: That wasn’t part of the plan.
Lisa: She’s not gonna leave her phone at home. So I go in there and I’m like, “Oh, she left her phone.” And I turn it over and it’s a cracked phone. And I went into Ed’s office and I said, “Ed, you will not believe what Landra has done! She thinks she’s outsmarted us.” So we waited. We didn’t say a word until you were at a football game that night.
Landra: I was at a football game and I get a call from my mom and she’s like, “Hi Landra, how’re you doing?” You know, of course. And I’m like, “I’m doing good. You know, about to come home.” And she goes, “Well when you come home, come straight to our room.” And I’m like, “Oh gosh. I’m trying to like, trace back. I’m like, what did I do?” I didn’t even remember the phone. So I get home and she just holds up this cracked iPhone. And I’m like, oh my goodness. So she’s like, “Did you forget your phone?” I was like, “Uh, yes ma’am.” Like…
Lisa: It’s funny how you were able to answer a phone when I called.
Landra: I know.
Lisa: But you had left a phone in my bathroom. So, believe me. Your sin will find you out.
Landra: I learned a great lesson, though.
Lisa: Yeah. Yes, yes, yes.
Ed: I loved how Landra said, too, talk about that Lisa because we discussed this several days ago about sharing this. I like how Landra said, “Yes ma’am.” Some people might think, oh that’s old school. That’s just the dirty South. Just say yes. Just say no. Huh? Whatever. People have forgotten how to say thank you, please, excuse me, yes sir, yes ma’am. Let’s bring honor back! And bring manners back.
Landra: When we…
Lisa: You know what we did when they were little? Whenever they would say yes ma’am, please, or thank you, and there’s a really cute little book, “Please and Thank You, They Are Our Favorite Words,” I would give them a quarter. And …
Landra/Laurie: And if we didn’t you’d take away a quarter.
Landra: Like, my dad would yell through the house and say, “Landra!” and I’d be like, “yeah.” He would be like, “Just hand over that quarter.” And I’d be like, Oh! My goodness! But really I learned and I kept…
Lisa: We don’t allow the response to be ‘yeah.’ It’s yes sir. Yes ma’am. Now that may seem small but remember, small things lead to big things. Respect at a young age…
Ed: It’s just like this.
Lisa: … respect at a young age…
Ed: Let’s see if I can do it. Yeah, that’s the goal.
Lisa: … is guiding them to respect your words at an older age. Respect at a young age is teaching them to respect what God says about them. What are you doing? Oh good night! You see what I do all day and live with? This is tough!
Ed: You’ve been talking a long time. I’m getting slightly bored up here. A little bit. I’m not. I’m not.
Lisa: It’s little things. So remember that when you’re teaching your children, you’ve been given this gift of parenthood and you have the responsibility, but more so even the opportunity, to build purpose into their lives. To look to the future and what God wants to do in your children and even in your grandchildren and beyond. It’s about the legacy that he wants to leave. He has a purpose and a plan for every aspect of our lives, including this beautiful gift called sex.
Ed: Lisa, what would you say is your greatest weakness as a parent?
Lisa: Oh, I… well Landra? Did you want to answer?
Ed: Go ahead, Landra.
Lisa: She was like…
Ed: Now what did you say?
Landra: Well, can I say yours, Dad?
Ed: Yeah, say mine.
Landra: I have to incredible parents but my dad’s weakness, y’all can all agree, is spanking.
Lisa: Oh! We brought up the big S-word!
Ed: That’s very controversial.
Landra: No, no, no.
Ed: Yeah, it is.
Lisa: It’s true. I thought you were gonna say, “follow through.”
Ed: Spanking? That was a long, long, long time ago.
Laurie: Spanking was, like, the old bad mistake of you. The new bad mistake is that, not that you have many, but anyways, it’s like you never, I mean you sometimes, he doesn’t, he has a hard time following through. Like, if I get my phone taken away for a week and an hour later, “Dad, can I have my phone back?” “Sure!”
Landra: Yeah, I’m at a friend’s house…
Ed: Oh come on!
Landra: … about an hour…
Ed: That’s not true! Don’t believe that!
Landra: But he is…
Lisa: You know what…
Ed: These crazy kids!
Lisa: … I think it’s ADD parenting. I have to remind, I do, I have to remind Ed. “Ed, remember, we said a week. That was yesterday.”
Laurie: It’s not that drastic.
Lisa: OK, so that, he just kinda loses track of time and things.
Ed: I do. An hour though? That’s a little extreme. Not an hour.
Landra: We don’t mind.
Lisa: I would say I tend to be way more emotional. Not like teary emotional but like, emotional meaning I get upset, angry. I might let things slide for a while and then boom! It’s the …
Ed: No, I was just going… brrrrr…..
Lisa: I’m more strict, I think, than you are.
Lisa: But, OK, but if you have to err as a parent, don’t err toward permissive parenting.
Lisa: Err toward structured parenting. God is not a permissive God. He wants us to enjoy life. In fact, John 10:10, which we have quoted almost every week in this sexperiment series, John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.” So yes, he wants us to have an amazing, overflowing, abundant life. But he’s not a permissive God. He’s a God who cares and has provided structure by which we live. Because he knows that in order for us to have the full life we need to live a life of structure according to his plan.
Ed: Lisa, had I grown up with permissive parents I’d be in the federal penitentiary right now. You know, the permissive parenting thing does not work. The doctor that really advertised it was Dr. Benjamin Spock, correct?
Lisa: I think so.
Ed: Dr. Spock…
Lisa: We’re kinda stepping out…
Ed: One of the big-time guys and he basically said you can sit down in the playpen with your rebellious toddler and reason with him or her. Are you kidding me? Because when kids are old enough, what do they do? They cross their arms, look defiantly over your house and mine and they say, “I’m gonna take over this joint.” So, what do you do? You have to do what, Lisa? You have to be…
Lisa: A structured parent.
Ed: Right. A structured parent. You have to follow through.
Lisa: Follow through. And that’s a little, you have a great follow through on your basketball shot but on your …
Lisa: … parenting it’s a little questionable.
Ed: Are you saying? Not always questionable! Show me some love up here.
Laurie: That’s what mom’s for.
Landra: Certain things.
Lisa: No! You’ve, he’s gotten a lot better.
Landra: Oh yeah, a lot better.
Laurie: Especially, like after…
Lisa: I think it’s because of, it’s a good balance between the two of us.
Laurie: … stricter. Like, as far as Dad, like you’ve done such a better job of following though. Like, Landra told me that the other day, he’s like… darn it!
Lisa: OK, let me as you guys this. You guys say, I mean obviously they’re speaking real here. What about the unified front.
LeeBeth: Oh gosh.
Ed: Yeah, how about the unified front. I think that’s a strength. Let’s talk about some good stuff now.
Lisa: Have you ever tried to play us off…
LeeBeth: Even last night, there was just, you know I’m 25 years old and I suggested something to my dad. I can’t even remember what it was.
Lisa: Oh no, no. You wanted to show a video today about a film….
Laurie: This is so you.
LeeBeth: Yeah, I wanted to show a video and I was like, “Dad we should totally show this video. It’s gonna be great.” Like, I was just trying to convince him and he’s like, “No, no, no, no, no.” And then my mom was standing on the other side of the room and I go, “Mom, what is he thinking? We need to show that video.” And she goes, “No.” She said, “Because your dad just told you no.” So I mean, they’re constantly, they NEVER, like they are always right.
Lisa: So at 25 you are still trying to pit us against each other.
LeeBeth: Yeah, it’s ridiculous. I know.
Ed: But seriously, I think that we have done a pretty good job of presenting a unified front.
LeeBeth: It’s so huge because, like, the kids, the way we, you know.
Lisa: You guys are smart.
LeeBeth: Yeah, we try, I mean kids know. They want to work both parents because they might give in a little depending on which parent and so, that unified front was huge because it nips every little thing in the bud. It really does.
Ed: What’s your greatest strength as a parent, Lisa?
Lisa: Probably consistency.
Ed: Yeah. I would say so. Lisa has an amazing amount of common sense, which is highly uncommon. Common sense, people are like, “Man that guy’s got common sense.” No, that’s uncommon. Very few people have real common sense. She’s got it.
Lisa: Thanks! What do you think is your greatest strength?
Ed: Hmm…. Me don’t know! Yeah, I, uh, I think maybe humor. I enjoy humor a lot.
LeeBeth: You’re the funny one!
Ed: Sound effects…
Laurie: You always make us laugh. You are …
Ed: Imitating people…
Laurie: you ____________
Ed: Family members…
Lisa: EJ, what would you say your dad’s greatest strength is?
Lisa: And we’re gonna end it on this, please. I’m ADD now.
Landra: Dad, you are literally the funniest person.
Laurie: It’s true.
Ed: I appreciate it, thank you.
Landra: It’s true. Like, I say that. People are like, “Is your dad funny at home?” Oh my goodness.
Laurie: Way more!
Ed: Seriously? I’m funnier? Thank you, LeeBeth. That means a lot.
LeeBeth: Yeah, people, I mean, just think he saves all the jokes for the stage. I’m like, oh no. He has more at home. He is so way wilder at home.
Laurie: But mom, now she’s funny! No she’s not.
Lisa: They are making fun of me cause I’m not funny.
Laurie: No, but it’s just cause…
Lisa: But I try!
Laurie: … Dad’s really funny and he makes you look not as funny.
LeeBeth: Mom’s the joke-stealer. She’ll, mom will steal our jokes. Like it we whisper, say something under out breath…
Landra: It’s usually me and LeeBeth.
LeeBeth: … and it’s like really funny. We’ll say it to her if it’s, like, you know, appropriate.
Landra: She’s our filter.
LeeBeth: Mom will, like, go, “hahaha.” And then she’ll repeat it to the group of people as if she thought of it herself. And we’re like, “That’s my line!”
Lisa: OK, let’s pray.
Landra: And she laughs.
Ed: Yeah, she’s the one. This is what gets to me about Lisa. I’ve never seen this before. This is true. I’ve noticed this. You guys tell what your mom does.
Landra: My mom, Flavour ladies may notice this, when she tells like a really funny joke, well she thinks it’s hilarious…
Lisa: It doesn’t have to be funny.
Landra: … she’ll be like, “I tied my shoes today.” And she’ll be like, hahahahaha! Like she’ll think it’s funny! And we’re like, “Mom!”
Lisa: I laugh at myself.
Landra: She laughs at herself constantly. And we’re just like, “Mom, sometimes…
LeeBeth: The moment she finishes the sentence, the punch line… “hahahahahaha!”
Ed: You do it, Laurie. You imitate her best.
Laurie: And it’ll just be like, a dessert plate with, like, a chocolate chip cake on it, “Look how big this cake is! Bahahahahaha!” And we’re like, “Mom, that’s not funny.” But it’s OK. Sometimes we have to work on encouraging her and laugh with her.
Landra: She’ll look at Dad and Dad’ll be like…..
Lisa: Let’s pray.
Ed: Yeah, we need to pray after that.
[Ed leads in closing prayer.]