Pride & Prejudice in Parenting

Yesterday, (Monday, April 9), I spent a day in Biblical Counseling Training at Faith Ministries in Lafayette, IN. The day was broken into two basic sections: Lecture & Case Observation. The lectures were covering parenting and related issues. It was encouraging to be reminded of several aspects of biblical parenting and challenging to see where I could improve as a father. As the lectures progressed, I came across some quotes that I would like to share with you:

Paul Tripp, Age of Opportunity

When they [our children] fail to live up to our expectations, we find ourselves not grieving for them and fighting for them, but angry at them, fighting against them, and, in fact, grieving for ourselves and our loss.

I was very challenged by this quote for a couple of reasons. I do have expectations for our children – as every parent should. What I find is that I do react sinfully when I perceive that my children are not meeting my expectations, and thus, reflecting poorly on my parenting skills. I then tend to react angrily with them as a result. What should be happening is understanding why the expectations aren’t met. Are they unable to meet my expectations? Are my expectations greater than their capabilities? Is there something distracting them from achievement? Do I truly understand my child and am I encouraging them in pleasing God in all they do? I want to fight for my kids, never against them. God help me!

Jim Newheiser & Elyse Fitzpatrick, You Never Stop Being a Parent

Pride blinds us not only to our own sin but also to the true struggles of others. And just as you wouldn’t entrust your eyes into the hands of a blind ophthalmologist (regardless of his experience), our kids won’t feel comfortable trusting our correction of them when we’re blind to our own sin, inconsistencies and failures.

I have been moving in a direction where I am more open with my children about my failure & sin. I strive to be quick to ask forgiveness. This is important as my children grow older. They need to see that Dad is in need of the grace, mercy & forgiveness that Christ offers and empowers us to give. The battle is always pride in these scenarios. I don’t want to admit that I mess up, sin against and am prejudiced against my own kids…for my own comfort and sinful desires. I have always seen that when I humble myself and seek forgiveness that my kids are quick to reconcile. This helps them also in their seeking forgiveness and reconciliation with others. God is so gracious!

Chance to interact: What do you think of these quotes? How might they impact your parenting?

Proverbs 16:25 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

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