Some days, after I tuck my three little ones in bed, all I can do is shake my head. I wonder to myself how they could be so mean, selfish, and awful to each other (sibling fighting is the worst!), not to mention their dishonor and lack of love toward me.
So when I find myself how they can be so cute and so awful at the same time, I have to go back to Bible basics to remind myself what’s really going on in my house, and why, and what I should do about it.
In that spirit, this is the first in a series of posts walking through the basics of the gospel truths, and how they apply to our children.
I write for myself…for perspective, for hope, and for an increase in my love towards them.
This first post is about depravity. It’s bleak, but hang on till the end. It gets better.
The Truth: Depravity
Your children have evil hearts, full of desires to do harm and wrong. They are headed away from God and away from good, in their unaltered condition.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer 17:9)
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts… (Matthew 15:19)
“My children aren’t that bad.”
Or even worse…
“My children aren’t bad at all, just immature.”
The Gospel Action:
A gospel parent does not make excuses for their children, nor try to cover their sinful behavior. They “let it all hang out,” to use a crude phrase. The remedy for all that ugliness, well, that’s for another time.
A gospel parent judges without prejudice toward their child’s personality, moods, or anything else. Call it like it is.
A gospel parent judges without prejudice between children. They are not permissive with the child they can personally relate to. If I understand my child's sin, what better motivation could I have for wanting it out of them?
To come: Gospel Parenting, Part 2: Hopelessness of Self