- Read Luke 15:11-24. Looking at this passage from the perspective of the father, what is one thing you notice or can apply to your role as a parent?
- Are you currently operating as an authoritative parent or functioning more as a coach? Based on the stage of life your child is currently in, what shifts might you need to make?
- Think about a coach who has been influential in your life. What parallels can you make between their role and the role you have as a parent?
- How are you serving as an anchor in your children’s lives? What is one action step you can take to move towards your children and be available to them?
- Kelly opened the podcast by sharing insights he learned through his study of the prodigal son. Looking at this passage through his lens as a father, he was struck by one idea: Good kids can make bad decisions. In spite of many poor choices, the prodigal son recognized his mistakes and was honest about his failures. When he returned, he found his father right where he had left him. Similarly, our children need anchors in their lives they can return to when they experience failure or get off track.
- As parents, we must adjust our parenting styles as our children grow. During their younger formative years, we often adopt a more authoritative approach. Here we set boundaries, model behaviors, and teach our children to respect that what we are doing is in their best interest. As they mature and push for independence, our parenting style shifts. We become like coaches, watching from the sidelines and looking for ways we can guide and support them.
- Developing a coaching mindset takes intentionality and strategy. Coaches are not the ones playing the game. They are observing and offering clarity. They are taking timeouts to guide and encourage players and utilizing halftime to evaluate what is working, what is not working, what is missing and what is confusing. In our role as parents/coaches, we give our children the fundamentals they need for the game, while recognizing we can’t play the game for them.
- Acting as a coach in our adult children’s lives looks like being involved and available to them. It looks like listening. It looks like mentoring. It looks like offering support. It looks like leaning in rather than pulling back. It looks like learning and knowing your childrens’ unique personalities so you can love/coach them in the way that is most helpful and meaningful to them. Adopting a coaching mindset with a young adult might also involve solving a problem together. By being vulnerable about your own struggles, your children gain confidence and begin to see themselves as a valuable contributor to the team.
To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, “I want my share of your estate now before you die.” So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.’”
So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.” But his father said to the servants, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” So the party began. Luke 15:11-24
Parenting by Design
If you know a man who would benefit from hearing this episode, share it with him. Having intentional conversations around these principles is a great way to disciple and help others move towards Christ.
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