A Grateful Parent
A big deception Satan feeds a parent’s heart is never tell “that” part of your life. What is “that” part of your life? You cannot tell it. It is embarrassing. Your children will never trust you again. They will think less of you. Your children will lose all hope in you. They will withdraw.
What would the revealing of your sins do to your children? What would “that” do to them? Would it turn them away or help them understand how strong temptations are? Will they learn from your mistakes or duplicate them to see if it hurts as bad as you say?
Without question, parents must use wisdom in what sins and the details of those sins should be revealed to their children. What timing is best for their ages is something to consider. What warnings to add to the revealing of your sins would help discourage your children from repeating your mistakes?
When Paul’s sinful past (1 Timothy 1:12-16) was delivered in a letter to a young man Timothy, it was followed by showing him the redemption from God and warning of personal consequences should they be repeated by anyone, especially Timothy. Paul’s admonition to him was, “Let no man despise thy youth; but the thou an example to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Paul showed him how to avoid repeating his sins and to keep a character worthy of duplicating (v. 16).
Paul never glorified in his past. He didn’t repeat it in every letter he wrote or to every person he saw. He wanted a young man to understand the power of temptation and the consequences to yielding. His glory became to be in the cross of Christ, not in his sin (Galatians 6:14). It is “that” story of the cross he wanted to repeat over and over again.
If parents begin to glory in their past as if they want to tell their child to know how they “lived to tell about it,” such pride will be destined to be repeated by their own child or some other young person. However, appropriately regretting our past sins, then telling of our repentance and redemption by the blood of Christ’s cross, will bring glory to God and will inspire our children to believe God for their own deliverance from sins.
Your children do not need a parent who pretends to be perfect. They need a parent grateful for reconciliation to God. The best way to invite your children to God is to let them see your changed life (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Jesus delivered a man from demon possession and then told him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done fr you, and how He had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). Be a witness for the Lord by telling what the Lord has done for you, not for Satan by repeating what evil you have done. Be an evangelist at home! Tell your family and all who will listen what God has done for you.
The Psalms repeatedly urge us to tell of His wondrous works, “not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord” (Psalm 78:4). God does not mean just tell your children about Noah and Moses and Daniel, but tell them of the salvation of grace through faith in your life. Tell your children God healed your angry heart, your immoral attitude, your laziness, or your rebellious spirit.
What has God done in your heart recently you can share over dinner this week with your children? If you replayed for your children what all God has done for you, you would have many good “bedtime stories” for your them each night. Your gratitude as a parent will make for grateful children. Through it all, there would be more praise given to God, which He desires and deserves. Your family’s focus would the be upon God from whom all blessings flow. “That” is the story your family needs to hear more often.