As parents, we know we’re not perfect. In fact, sometimes we’re far from it! The reality of our fleshly actions can be quite humbling and certainly have an effect on our children. However, we know we can never attain perfection this side of eternity. So, what can we do? We must learn how to handle these moments of weakness with utmost care, knowing the impact it can have on our children is very real and can be very devastating. We must learn to be transparent with our children and genuinely repent when we fall short.
“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8)
Bearing fruit for the Kingdom is not only the outward actions of training our children well, daily devotions, or converting the lost. Our personal and inward repentance is bearing fruit for the Kingdom. In fact, it bears much fruit.
Father God delights in the repentant and contrite spirit of His children. And ultimately as parents, isn’t that what we want for our own children? To see them demonstrate a truly repentant heart when they’ve done something wrong? We certainly don’t expect them to be perfect or to never make mistakes. They’re human, and so are we. But if we want our children to walk in genuine repentance, we must be careful to model true repentance in our own lives. If we never let our children see that we too make mistakes and demonstrate how to handle our own sinful nature correctly, how will they learn to truly walk in repentance?
As parents we need to show our children that we need Jesus too. This seems obvious, but do we let our children in on our journey? Do they know our personal testimony of salvation? We must walk closely with our children, learning to apologize often and apologize sincerely whenever we fall short. We must humble ourselves and admit to our children when we’ve made a mistake, no matter how small it may seemingly be. And even if the offense is not directly against the child, if they are involved in any way (such as simple observation) we need to address the situation with them, admit we’re sorry, and demonstrate true repentance by immediately changing our actions.
Walking in transparency with our children does not mean we should always share everything we struggle with or have been through. It simply means that daily we are demonstrating to our children hearts of genuine repentance and humility for our shortcomings. We are demonstrating we need the Holy Spirit and rely on Him to change our hearts. And when we repent our children realize our sin isn’t their fault. This is huge.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
We all fall short, not just some of us. This shouldn’t cause us to live in condemnation but drive us to repentance. We must be quick to change our ways knowing that our actions always affect those around us! However, we must be balanced in this, keeping in mind that if we set standards of perfection for ourselves, our children and those around us will ultimately pay the price. Our children will feel the same expectations for themselves, whether or not we put it on them. And sadly, they will not see the godly demonstration from us as parents that God asks of us as we raise up our children. We aren’t doing anyone a favor expecting perfection from ourselves as parents. Humility, honesty, and transparency go a long way!
So, we know that we cannot be perfect for our children. But we can point them to the One who is perfect, teaching our children to depend on the Holy Spirit and rely on Him because He will never fail them! As we realize we can’t give our children everything (and nor should we) we begin to see the immense importance of pointing them to the One who can at an early age. Transparency is a beautiful gift to your children. We don’t need to put on something we are not. We simply need to be open, honest, and vulnerable with those closest to us; admitting when we’re wrong and allowing the conviction of the Holy Spirit to be active in our lives. The fruit it will bear will be immense, not only in our lives, but in our children’s lives as well. Let’s raise little disciples who walk openly in the conviction of the Holy Spirit, yet don’t come close to living in condemnation!
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I ask You to give me the grace as a parent to walk in genuine humility, transparency, and repentance. May my children see You when they look at me. May I never try to be everything for my children. May I point them to You. Show me where I need to repent, and walk with me. I invite You into every aspect of my parenting and ask for Your wisdom, grace, and direction. Pour out Your favor upon me. I love you Lord, amen.