Right now is one of those moments. You know, the moment where havoc has over run the hacienda and you need a breather to collect yourself. Every parent has times like this, and if not then you should be writing this instead of me.
In these moments, we ask “why?” Maybe we shout it. Why have my children still not learned to clean up after themselves? Why has my two year old decided to become Miss Sassy-pants? Why does my boy continue to think that school is a waste of time and legos will lead him to his dream job, despite the many talks we have had to steer him otherwise?
Then we blame ourselves. “I’m not consistent enough.” “They need more attention from me.” “Reform school.”
Not that we don’t shoulder responsibility. I mean, we are the ones supposed to be raising them. Slackers need not apply to be parents.
Deep in our hearts, we know the truth. We know because it is the same truth that explains our own failures. Humanity is made up of sinners. We are all rebels, bent on disobedience. (Romans 3:23)
So do we just wash our hands and say, “Well, they are little sinners. I can’t change them.” and walk away? Did God do that with us?
We steer these little sinners, as well as us big sinners, to Christ. Not to a ten step method for perfect children. Not to charts and incentives and memory verses. (Those can be tools, but not the solution itself.)
Christ does indeed have to do the work of changing the hearts of your children and mine. We must bring every situation back to this very simple thought: we sin, we do wrong before God. God saves us and frees us from that sin. And then? We don’t have to be a slave to sin any longer. (John 8:36)
And there is immense power in that simple truth. It answers the why. It gives the solution. It takes much of the guilt off ourselves and puts it back where it belongs.
“For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, how much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. Furthermore, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Romans 5:10-11 MEV
We can take each infraction and turn it to the Gospel. Yes, even when they are saved. The truth that saves us is the same truth that sustains us. (Jude 1:24) My kids sometimes say, “It all comes back to Jesus.”
So I share this today with you, as a challenge and encouragement: your children will sin. It is human nature, but God gives you the power to instill saving truth in their hearts. Truth that can change them forever. It’s not a job for wimps, but you have all you need in Christ to do this.