What is your first reaction when you lose your temper with your kids? When harsh words fly out of your mouth do you quickly smooth your hair back into place, sweep the harsh words under the rug as if they never happened, and then find a subtle way of telling the kids they deserved it? Mommy’s anger was their fault – part of their consequence so to speak. A frustrated sigh and the moment is passed. Unfortunately that’s how I often respond.
We spend an awful lot of time and energy covering the very thing that points to the need for the gospel: our sin! We call it being tired. Needing coffee. Having too much on our plate. Not having enough time, money, space, etc. It’s a lot more comfortable to use an excuse like that than to admit to our kids that we blew it.
We know that we are not perfect and it scares us. As Christian moms we feel the constant pressure to set a good example to our kids. We are especially terrified of seeing our worst sins begin to manifest themselves in the lives of our children. Ironically, instead of sinning less in front of our kids we often wind up trying to cover it up. Never confronting our sin doesn’t actually hide it from our kids – it just confuses them. It diverts attention away from Christ, not to Him.
The foundation of the gospel is grace. If we are teaching our kids that they need forgiveness but are unwilling to admit it ourselves we paint an incomplete picture of the gospel.
Think about the long term ramifications of coming alongside your child as a fellow sinner in need of a savior. You are the authority above your child, but you share a common Authority above that. What a beautiful connection to have with your child!
Jesus came to save imperfect mommies. Therefore, only imperfect mommies can share the gospel. Let that take some pressure off. You’re not perfect – and it’s okay! You are a living testimony of grace – a working model for your kids to observe every day.
When we are led by the gospel we will be equipped to lead our children in the gospel. Do you want to be a perfect mommy or a forgiven mommy? Only one points to Christ.
What do you think? What are other practical ways we can use our own shortcomings to share the gospel with our kids? Anyone brave enough to share a real life example?
Flores, Erika Bullmann, and Dr. Walch, Georg Johann. Dr. Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften. Letter 99, Paragraph 13. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D., Vol. 15, cols. 2585-2590.