photo by aloshbennett
One of the hardest things we have to do as parents is to live a faith that is consistent. We try to teach our children to overcome issues of sin through obedience to the Word, only to find ourselves struggling with the same issues.
We want our children to respect us, to show honor for our position and place in their lives, and because we know that God ordains such tribute. If God says so, we teach our kids, then it should be so, right?
But what if our own parents are not such nice people? Does God create loopholes for obeying the fifth commandment when the ordained recipients of that honor live ungodly lives? Or if the unspeakable past creeps into the present? Or if strained relationships create difficulties and obstacles that others just wouldn’t understand?
If we ourselves live by that loophole, do we expect our children to overlook its presence and honor us anyway?
I believe that’s what James called a double-minded man (James 1:8). We certainly want God to bless us with children who think us worthy of respect, who honor us with their words and actions. However, if we can’t overcome the sniping, talking behind their backs or belittling comments spoken to or of our own parents, should it surprise us when our own children mirror our behavior?
James continues to say that a double-minded man is unstable in all he does. Well, duh. We’re not going to be very effective as biblical parents treating our home as a mission field if we can’t handle the basics of the top ten.
If this is your relationship with your parents, do your children a favor. You may not be able to undo past hurts. It may not even be possible to restore the relationship, for any number of reasons. But you can move past it to a place where you can share the past without being incriminating and where you can speak of your parent without hostility or contempt.
Pray on it. Seek God’s Word on the matter. Discuss with your children how this has been an area of struggle for you, but that you are working toward resolving it in obedience to God’s Word. Ask for their prayers and help, and ask them not to speak badly of their grandparent from now on.
Fighting inconsistency in our faith makes discipling our children a much harder process. Take your struggles to the Lord and lay them at His feet.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12
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