Not sure about you, but conviction hurts. You know when you feel it in your gut. Today as I went out with the boys to do a few errands I found myself using very aggressive and pessimistic words to my boys and found my aggravation growing during our visit to the store. I couldn’t get the boys to stop poking each other and inevitably someone would get hurt. I used threats of leaving the store for discipline “a spank” if they could not have self control and keep their hands to themselves. That would last for a short time before someone would poke the other and another round of threats would come from my mouth sucking the energy right out of me. I couldn’t wait to leave! I knew I should handle the situation differently, but I didn’t. After getting home I came across a blog, Raising Godly Children, where I read “50 Things You Can Say to Make Your Child Feel Great” and “Helping Our Children Confess” and the conviction hit.
We can make it difficult for our children to confess their sins, or we can make it less challenging.
We can demand immediate repentance, or we can give the Holy Spirit time to work in their hearts.
We can self-righteously attack, or we can humbly come alongside.
We can turn their sin into a personal vendetta, or we can help them remember that they have sinned against God.
We can rant and rave about our inconvenience, or we can make God’s glory the issue.
We can belittle and berate and inspire fear and bitterness, or we can quietly appeal to their consciences, gently leading them to humble restoration.
We can leave them without hope or peace, or we can point them to the finished work of Christ.
We can treat them like God treats us, or we can play the accuser – like Satan.
Lord, help us, like Joshua, to be a picture of God’s grace in the lives of our children.
Do I want to inspire fear and bitterness or gently lead my boys to humble restoration? God, help me to take these words in and change my heart so that I can love as you love, speak as you do, encourage like you do…let me be wise and not foolish and help me to guide my children to love you.
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”
Proverbs 15:4 “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”
1 John 1:8-10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”