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EP 245 – Parenting with Core Values with Special Guest Audrea Stewart

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EP 245 - Parenting with Core Values with Special Guest Audrea Stewart

My wife, Audrea, joins me again to discuss parenting strategies focused on core values. JimBo and Audrea share their experiences of raising their three children with guiding principles such as respect, integrity, self-control, and joyfulness.

They describe how these values shape their family identity and parenting approach, including influences from mentors and brain science-backed literature. The conversation also covers the importance of modeling behavior, spiritual discipleship, and the significance of maintaining consistency between spoken beliefs and daily actions.

The episode emphasizes the long-term impact of instilling a strong family identity and the practical application of core values in everyday life.

01:25 Diving Into Core Values and Parenting Strategies
02:47 The Genesis of Our Core Values
06:23 Character Development and Family Identity
08:22 Implementing Core Values in Daily Life
15:04 The Importance of Modeling Behavior
23:55 Seeking Mentorship and Discipling Others
26:47 Concluding Thoughts on Family Identity and Core Values

[00:00:00] JimBo Stewart: All right, here we are back at the boot camp, back at it again. Hope you’re ready for the next episode. Today, we have my favorite special guest ever. Back again, the beautiful Audria Marie

[00:00:13] Audrea Stewart: Yeah,

I pay you to say that, pretty much.

[00:00:15] JimBo Stewart: No, I mean, and you even, you went back and got your hair did? I

[00:00:19] Audrea Stewart: I did. Yeah, Jimbo picks at me all the time for this, but I literally go back all the way to North Mississippi from Northeast Florida to get my hair done by my fabulous friend, Samantha. basically. I’ve been doing that for about ten years now, I think.

[00:00:38] JimBo Stewart: years now.

[00:00:45] Audrea Stewart: don’t work until we’re already

[00:00:54] JimBo Stewart: we not rolling in that money. Yeah, I do. I It’s great.

[00:01:19] Audrea Stewart: Right. I

thought you were just going to say you couldn’t find anybody else, so you didn’t.

No, no, no, no, no. We did have a lot of questions about the core values. so, when Jabou and I were, expecting our first child trip, we, you know, brand new parents, we had no idea what we were doing.

[00:01:37] JimBo Stewart: Yeah. So I think we need to preface this conversation.

Recently, even we were asked to do a parenting seminar at our

[00:01:45] Audrea Stewart: Yeah.

[00:01:45] JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Which was the most intimidating assignment I’ve ever been given, was to talk about parenting. Because, and I told, I prefaced it there, and I’ll preface this episode with, All of our parenting strategies and everything are still half baked.

Like, because we’ve not, they’re not gone. I mean, we’re still raising

[00:02:07] Audrea Stewart: Yeah. I mean we, we don’t know if they’re gonna turn out to be serial serial killers yet,

[00:02:11] JimBo Stewart: mean, you really don’t

[00:02:12] Audrea Stewart: know.

You really have no idea. I mean, it could happen. They could be right now and we just don’t know. That’d be impressive. I know. ’cause they’re homeschooled and they barely leave the house, you know?

Well, actually they live the

[00:02:22] JimBo Stewart: I think we’re safe.

[00:02:23] Audrea Stewart: I think we’re good for now. But, but as far as we know these, these are.

Ideas that are working out pretty

[00:02:29] JimBo Stewart: I just want to preface with, we are not presenting ourselves as parenting

experts, at all.

or as if we have figured everything out but specifically on the core values, we have seen that be not only good for the kids, but for us. And so. We’ve had, a lot of people have reached out to me and asked, Hey, where did you guys get the core values from? What book did that come from? What resource did that come

[00:02:55] Audrea Stewart: from? Well,

I think it kind of came out of, we joke and say out of selfishness.

Uh, we decided to parent with the end in mind. Like at the end of, an 18 year journey, 19 year journey, once our kids have graduated, what do we want them to look like? Before we launch them into adulthood and send them off to college or career. And, um, the idea was that we wanted to have, people that we enjoyed hanging out with.

People that we liked.

[00:03:26] JimBo Stewart: enjoyed hanging out people that we liked.

Obviously we can’t control that. That’s not something we are in control of whether that happens or not, but we can influence that. We can work towards that. So we decided, alright, so kid one, we’re hoping other kids come along the way. Two more did. And so, what is it, what does it look like? What kind of human being are we trying to release on the world?

that they would love Jesus deeply, they would glorify God with their lives. And so we do focus on some discipleship things with this, but then also character wise we were like, what, what are the type of people that we really enjoy hanging out

[00:04:18] Audrea Stewart: with?

Right? And so we kind of narrowed it down to this list. We loved hanging out with people who were respectful. We loved people who were honest, who had lots of integrity. to have both of those things you need to have self control. And, um, Jimbo and I are both pretty joyful people.

And, we loved, being around people who brought joy and brought, you know, to themselves and to other people. And so those were our, our four core values. Respect, integrity, Self control and joyfulness.

[00:04:50] JimBo Stewart: Yeah, so those are the ones we landed on. Part of the thing also one of my goal, we decided, all right, so we decided, one, there’s not a book this came from, we, this was just something we came up with based on advice we’d gotten from other people just in general.

We kind of worked it into the way our brains work

[00:05:05] Audrea Stewart: Well, there was one couple in particular too, the Gibbons. They had been homeschooling their kids and their kids really liked them and they really loved Jesus. And so we asked a lot, we would seek out, different, mentor couples. They didn’t even know they were mentor couples. We were like, Hey, how’d you do that?

What is your secrets? so honestly too, like if you’re a new parent or if you’re a parent who’s struggling, find parents who, Have kids that you really admire or you really admire things that are going on in their family and ask them questions But that was one thing that we did and That that was kind of an advice that the gibbons gave us.

They’re like create a strong sense of Family and tell your children who they are

[00:05:45] JimBo Stewart: Yeah

tie it to identity. And so, which we read later, that in a book called The Other Half of Church. Not a parenting book, but The Other Half of Church is a book.

I highly recommend it. It’s about brain science and the Bible and how character development work. And how, uh, Just listening to a sermon is not enough for discipleship. There are other ingredients that are needed. And it walks through some ingredients. And honestly, we read this book, I mean, I only read this, I think, maybe a year or two ago.

But I was like, man, this so backs up. what we’ve been trying to do with the kids. And so one of the things that it said specifically is, all right, so the four ingredients, if I can remember them off the top of my head, they say are needed for character development, and they tie it to scriptural principles and to developmental brain science, is joy, love, group identity in healthy correction.

And so joy and love are, some of those things like joy is being happy to see each other and, seeing each other for who God’s created us to be. The joy of the Lord is His face shines upon us. Love is hesed out of the Old Testament, that idea of deep bonding together, knowing that you are loved unconditionally.

Group identity was the one that fascinated me, connected to this, and what the Gibbons told us about, they said, create a strong sense of family identity, and what that means, and so this is how we fleshed that out, but what the book, other than the other half of Church, communicates from a brain science perspective, is your gut reaction in behavior, like when you just react and you just do like, it’s actually a result of your brain asking and answering two questions way faster than you realize your brain is doing this.

One, who are my people? That’s question number one. Question number two, what do my people do in this situation? And that is actually what your gut reaction is to things. And so that’s part of character development. It’s part of discipleship. I think it’s part of parenting and raising your kids. That’s why the Gibbons intuitively learned that and taught us to learn.

Make sure we develop a strong sense of family identity. And so we tied that to several things. Mainly, the main thing, is the core values. There are other aspects of how we have done family identity, but I would say the main thing was core values.

[00:08:06] Audrea Stewart: And it was super helpful too, especially as they were younger. You don’t have to teach a young child to be selfish. You don’t have to teach them to be dishonest. you don’t have to teach them to have a lack of self control.

All of those things come in the, baby package that you get. so the part of discipling their hearts comes in, by teaching them, Respect, integrity, self control, and joyfulness. one thing too with, with Jimbo and I, we knew, any kids that came from either of us would most likely be looking for loopholes and everything.

So we couldn’t say, we didn’t want to just go around and say, you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Not that we never told our kids no, they couldn’t. But, um, We wanted to create a system in that, well, you didn’t, they could never come back and, well, you never said specifically, I couldn’t do that.

Basing off of, basing our parenting off of these, values, it really took a lot of the guesswork out of, parenting for us. because it was like, you hit your sister, that wasn’t respectful. Wow, you told me you were going to clean your room. You didn’t. That was a lack of integrity. Or, goodness gracious, you just did XYZ.

That showed a lack of self control. and so it just really, it made things easier, but in the middle of the mess, and the chaos, it was also teaching them who they were at a deep down level.

[00:09:43] JimBo Stewart: had had to be part of this process was if we’re going to do this off of core values, then the core values really do have to be the primary thing that we use and we have to use them all the time over every day and all the ways that we communicate. What we praise and what we correct And if you, do the core values and a long list of things you’re allowed to do, not allowed to do shows, you’re allowed to watch shows, you’re not allowed to watch things.

You’re allowed to say things you’re not allowed to say. Then it starts to get confusing. And so what we have learned is if you’re gonna do the core values, you really just do the core values. And so that yeah. covers all of that stuff, right? So it’s, it’s not, am I allowed to watch that TV show? It’s all right.

Filtered through the core values, right? Is that going to help you be respectful? Is, is that show respectful? Is that, does it have integrity? Does it have self control? Is it joy? Is it making you joyful? Is it promoting joyfulness for others? Right. And it’s not that you can’t, obviously there’s going to be disrespect in TV shows.

It’s not that you say, well, you can’t ever watch something that doesn’t have. But what we have said is, Hey, I’ve noticed. You’ve been watching that show a lot, and that has resulted in some behavior that is not respectful. And so, maybe, let’s practice self control, and let’s not watch that

show for a little

[00:11:02] Audrea Stewart: let’s not watch that show for a little while. No, ma’am. Wow, did that have self control? Were they really being completely truthful? Do they have integrity? No, ma’am. and so just kind of like, well, hmm, do we want to be like that or do we want to be like Stewart’s?

And so, that’s been really cool. another thing too, that we’ve done is come up with just good family mottos. I have, two of our children are severely dyslexic. and then.

And their dad,

yes. And, um, one’s more on the gifted spectrum, all ADHD. If you ever want to know what’s going on in the Stewart household, it’s pretty much chaos a lot of times with five basically ADHD people.

but we homeschool, so. We were sitting there doing a spelling lesson one day, and one son was struggling with it. And One son was sailing through and I could tell the, the other son was getting really down on himself and really just, you know, discouraged and I looked at him and I stopped to listen and I said, hey, look, I said, who are we?

Because again, we’ve told them their whole lives who they are. He’s like, well, we’re stewards. I said, and guess what? We do hard things together. You don’t have to do this alone. You’re, you’re not by yourself in this. And I can’t tell, it was just like a, a random saying that I said. Out of nowhere, let’s say the Holy Spirit, but I have used that phrase over and over and over again With them just to say hey look life is hard, but you’re not by yourself in this And you’re a steward and you know if you ask any of our kids, what are our values?

They’ll say depending on the day joyfulness

[00:12:56] JimBo Stewart: or

they used to just do it as fast as they could. Respect integrity, self-control joyfulness. Yeah. And we had to, we had to stop and be like, no, this is, this is serious. This is really a part of who, who you are. This is part of what it means to be a steward. And even if you go back to that book, the other Half of church, that the healthy correction piece that it talks about in character development, which is what we’re trying to do with our kids.

is healthy correction is a culture of uplifting healthy correction that corrects toward identity, not away from behaviors or embarrassment. And so the correction that we give, we try to tie that to that strong family identity, and not to, hey, that’s super annoying, stop doing that. Or, hey, I, you know, I, you know, what, like, this identity piece, we’re trying Absolutely.

And then of course, you know, we’re blessed that all three of them have asked Jesus in their heart, too, so

[00:13:58] Audrea Stewart: Absolutely, and then of course, you know We’re blessed that all three of them have asked Jesus in their heart to you And so we can carry that on even more like well, this isn’t what it means to be Follower of Christ. I think the thing that I’ve loved so much about this is these values have grown with them from birth until you know young adulthood, like this fall, we’re going to have three teenagers in the house.

And just last night, even we were able to pull out the values and be like, Hey, you’re being a little selfish right now, to one of our kids. And like, that’s not who we are. I’m going to need you to stop that. I was like, and now just giving them the choice, like, that’s who you can choose to be. but I don’t, I don’t think that’s who you are.

You know, and just reminding them on that daily basis. I think too, it’s good for you and


[00:14:46] JimBo Stewart: think too, um, it’s good for, for you and

[00:15:03] Audrea Stewart: teach your kids self control. It’s really hard to teach your kids self control. If you are yelling at them all day, or if you’re not the one that’s, Exercising self control or or integrity or being respectful and how you speak to them or how do you speak to your spouse or other people?

Um, because they’ll call you out on it real fast, or if not like with their mouth like with their eyes

[00:15:25] JimBo Stewart: Or even if they don’t call you, I mean, honestly, I

think the worst would be them not calling you out, but just deciding, Oh, I guess this stuff doesn’t mean anything. Like, this is just, it’s not even real. Like, this is just something they made up, and there’s no weight or validity to it, so then they just quit applying it.

[00:15:42] Audrea Stewart: Absolutely. it reminds me of the, what you, when you ask your dad, you know, how to be a good dad.

[00:15:47] JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I was, I mean, so when we knew that we were going to have a son, I had all sisters. And so the only consistent guy in my life was my dad. and my youngest sister’s, uh, husband, they started dating when I was in middle school. So he’s, he’s like a, for real brother, like we’ve been brothers my whole life for most of it.

But I was just overwhelmed with the idea of like, man, what does it, what does it look like to raise a young man? What does that mean? How do you do that? And so I asked my dad, we were playing golf and I said, dad, I don’t know how to do this. What do I, what do I do? How do I raise a son to be a good man? And my dad just looked at me and he said, well, you don’t tell him how to do it.

You just have to be one because he’s going to want to be like you. And so you’ve got to model that behavior. So when you pick these core values for your family, which we suggest you do, you don’t have to call it core values. Like we don’t, we don’t have them on a wall anywhere. We don’t have anything like that.

This is just part of our daily language. And I wouldn’t even, I don’t know that I would even call it a mission or vision statement, but we also say, after we do the core values, sometimes we’ll say, so why do we do these core values?

[00:16:59] Audrea Stewart: For the glory of God and for our joy.

[00:17:02] JimBo Stewart: Yeah. And that’s the purpose, the reason that we do the value.

So we talk about that and we talk about, and we use that as a filter in every parenting conversation, some way, one of those, either one of our mottos or mantras or one of the core values, but the main thing for us has been the core values, not only for the kids, but for us, it’s how we’ve kind of even shaped some of the way we’ve done our own development.


[00:17:26] Audrea Stewart: Yeah, absolutely. And I, I will tell you, people, teenagers I feel like get a bad rap.

Honestly, a lot of times. honestly any stage can get a bad rap. But we are having more fun with our kids right now at 17, almost 15, and 12 year old than we’ve had. I think the whole time. Each stage has been, it’s been tough and we’ve, we’ve dealt with some really tough things. I’m not going to sugarcoat it or make you think that, you know, it’s been all roses.

but we really enjoy each other and at the end of the day so far, again, these are all half baked ideas. We’ll let you know if they turn out to be serial killers or not, but we’re very happy and joyful and blessed, with this.

[00:18:09] JimBo Stewart: Well, and even whenever we’re not, even, whenever we have hard days, it gives us handles on how to deal with it. And, speaking of modeling it, Justin Whittell early in his book, habits of the Household, which is one that we highly recommend, he says, when it comes to spiritual formation, our households are not simply products of what we teach and say.

They are much more products of what we practice and do. And usually there’s a significant gap between the two. So I think that’s, I just want to re emphasize, you know, a lot of research has been done on Kids who grow up in churches, and whether they stay in the faith or not, and one of the consistent things is, if they see their parents say one thing on Sunday, and then live out something entirely different Monday through Saturday, then the chances of them staying is higher.

connected to the faith in a deep way are pretty slim. And so for pastor’s kids, I appreciated so much what in that episode our kids said about like, don’t, don’t raise your kids to be good pastor’s kids. Just raise them to be, just raise them to be kids and kids that love Jesus and that display good character and don’t add that extra pressure.

But here’s what I’d say is like, if pastor, be careful.


make sure you are the same person in the pulpit as you are at home. and you know, I’ve seen that from a lot of different angles of as I travel with Nam and I meet a lot of different speakers and leaders and I’ve done that for years meeting different people.

I’ve always. I’ve always been very discouraged by the big name leaders that people knew that I met and got to interact with that just were very different than their onstage personality. And it made me not want to, it made me as an adult not want to listen to them and not want to give weight to their words because it obviously wasn’t real.

Much more so. If, if that’s your dad, right. And your dad is, you know, communicating himself in one way from the pulpit and at church and then an entirely different way at home.

[00:20:21] Audrea Stewart: and I think it’s a bigger weight there because you’re not only there.

You know their father, but you’re also their their spiritual leader as as the head of the church that they’re at and they don’t really have a choice, you know on whatever church they get to go to so it’s like a really heavy responsibility on Pastor and pastor’s wife and they’re watching everything you do so don’t neglect letting them see you get in the word and don’t just assume because You may be at the church, you know, 24 7, but that does not mean that they’re getting fed.

I was talking to Jimbo about this the other day, Assuming that your children are getting spiritually fed, because they’re there every time the door opens or, you know, all week even sometimes, as it can be with a replant family, um, is like assuming that your kids are getting fed every night because they’re doing the dishes and setting the table and cleaning up.

I was like just because they are serving and just because they are working does not mean that they are getting nourished And so it’s up to you mom and dad to check in with them A lot of times at smaller churches. They are the youth group. They are the children’s ministry that’s how it was for me growing up sometimes as a youth as a pastor’s kid, and so Just check in with them.

Make sure Whatever family devotion looks like for you or just Do not neglect those conversations in the car. You know, those check ins, just saying, Hey, um, worship together. if there is, something else going on in your community that you feel like, you know, like a, a youth group happening at a different time that you feel like, oh, that would be really great for them to plug into, go for it.

but just make sure that they are getting in the word, that they see you getting in the word, and then, and just have those conversations with them.

[00:22:03] JimBo Stewart: Yeah, and I would say don’t overcomplicate when it comes to what it means to disciple your kids at home and feel like it has to be a 30 minute worship session. Look, if that’s you and that works for your family, go for it, but do something. And this is where I think the core values in speaking this stuff scripturally, Into your family matters habits of the household again recommend that it says one of the most significant things about any household Is what is considered to be normal moments aggregate and they become memories and tradition Our routines become who we are become the story in the culture of our families

[00:22:43] Audrea Stewart: the culture of our family. Make it slowly, slow walking into it.

Try to figure out, hey, what works for my kids? What’s gonna work with our, our season, our life? and then, and build up to, you know, whatever it is. But, cause they’re gonna, they’re gonna be able to spot anything that feels disingenuous. Or anything that feels like it’s just checking a box. and like I said, just don’t negate the power of just checking in with them and actually asking them how they’re doing.

And really wanting to know,


[00:23:25] JimBo Stewart: with them and actually them how they’re doing, um, and, and really wanting to know. because that’s going to help you lead your family well. If you’ll go back to that episode, I’ll link it in the show notes.

And that book, you can get a free copy if you follow the directions in the show notes. And one of the things Andy says is when it comes to instituting these types of things in our family, something is better than nothing. So you don’t have to accomplish it all. Do something. here’s the last thing I’d say that’s been important, something we’ve learned, is don’t do it alone.

So don’t do it alone. Here’s what I mean by a couple of things. One, have mentors. I always say collect mentors like baseball cards. Find people. that you can just watch. They don’t even have to sign up for anything. You’re just watching. You’re asking them questions. Hey, how do I do this? Hey, when you ran into this, what did you do?

Tell me about some things you did that you learned. And man, there are so many people that we have learned some really great things from. So any of the wisdom we have is almost 99. 999 percent of that is from other people when we just stole it and adapted it. So do that. And then two, we’ve tried to make it a priority to make sure there’s somebody outside of our family that is spiritually investing one on one in each of our kids.

And I’m not just talking going to youth group or going to Sunday school, but somebody that’s discipling them that is not related to them for several reasons. One, you just need more voices in them, speaking into them, and then two, Two, they need somebody they can complain about you to safely. And so I try to communicate to my kids and to whoever it is that’s agreed to disciple them.

Like, confidentiality is real. Like, don’t share, unless, unless they’re going to harm themselves or someone else, don’t share it with me. I, and I tell the kid, like, I, I’ve told them that. I want you to feel free. This is your place. I’m okay with you telling them anything at all about me. And you can share what, you can gripe about me.

You can complain about me. Whatever you want to that person that is helping influence you spiritually.

[00:25:31] Audrea Stewart: And this goes back to them watching everything you do. They’re not going to go seek out a mentor or feel comfortable opening up to other people if you are not doing

[00:25:40] JimBo Stewart: that. That’s true,

[00:25:40] Audrea Stewart: Okay, so it’s not weird for our kids to seek out mentors. They actually seek them out themselves at this point.

[00:25:46] JimBo Stewart: Yeah, because it’s become a part of our culture,

[00:25:48] Audrea Stewart: it has. And if pastor, pastor’s wife, if you’re like, no, I got this.

I can’t be real with anyone. I can’t be vulnerable with anyone. they’re not going to do that either. And, um, you need to have someone who is discipling you, and you need to have someone that you are discipling. And that’s something that, that our kids have watched us do over and over and over again. Um, and that’s something that they’ve picked up and become part of our family culture.

So if that’s not happening in, in your life, these are things that you need to be working on right now. If you don’t have like a dedicated, time alone with the Lord outside of sermon prep or outside of, church work. That needs to happen today. Um, and then model that for them and then they get to do it alongside of


[00:26:30] JimBo Stewart: for them and then they get to do it of you. Not at all. Yes, because we would definitely love our kids to

So just to wrap up, you know, the moments matter.

Family identity is a big deal and you got to clarify that. You got to clarify what that means when you say family identity. We do that through core values. Do that however you want, but that identity piece is connected to brain science, biblically identity. Uh, and so we think it’s a big deal.

[00:27:07] Audrea Stewart: Awesome. Well, thanks for having me on today.

[00:27:09] JimBo Stewart: Thanks for coming.

core values, core valus, parenting

Jimbo Stewart

Replant Bootcamp Co-Host

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