Monday, September 23, 2013

Repentance and Parenting

Yancey Arrington:
My kids think I’m great. I’m not saying I am; I’m just saying they think I am. It’s their default mode because I’m their parent. It’s the same reason they think their mom is incredible (the difference however is that she really is). Most children put their parents on pedestals whether they like it or not. I know it will probably change as my kids move into adolescence, but for now, my three young sons think their daddy rarely can do any wrong.

The only problem is that their daddy not only can do a little wrong but actually does more wrong than he would care to admit. As much as I’d like for it not to be true, I can royally blow it on how to love Jesus as a husband and father. Frankly, I can be downright selfish, impatient, and unbelievably wrongheaded in full view of my kids. And it’s in those times I’ve got a choice to make: either tuck tail and run from my responsibilities or look my kids in eyes and repent.

That’s right. Repent. I should tell my children that [insert sinful thought, word, or behavior I just did] was wrong and that their daddy is both grateful for the grace of forgiveness in Christ and the gift he has to obey next time.

This type of interaction shouldn’t be something that happens only when it’s a full moon but a regular pattern in my family. Martin Luther once wrote that all the Christian life is to be one of repentance. And why shouldn’t it be? If repentance, in essence, is turning from sinful ways to embrace those which glorify God, then healthy spiritual growth necessitates much repentance. Besides, repenting well in front of your children is a gift of grace unto itself.
Read the rest for some practical applications.

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