Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Excuses, excuses...Like father, like son

It can seem like the easy way out to make excuses for our kids sinful behavior...easier and quicker than disciplining them. But making excuses for our kids sin will only reap a harvest of misery in the future. Excuses sound like this, "He didn't know", "Maybe she didn't hear me", "He's so young", "He didn't understand", "I don't think she meant to do that", "He's tired", etc. The parents end up making excuses most of the time for their kids, rather than faithfully disciplining them when they sin. The kids know they got away with something too...they understand far more than we think they do. And they may be happy that they got away with it, because let's face it, they know that "no discipline at the moment is pleasant." However, children who constantly get away with things as a result of their parents excuse making will over time resent their parents, become bitter towards them, and rebel. What only adds fuel to this fire, is that often times, parents who make excuses for their kids' sin, often make excuses for their own sin as well. They use tiredness as an excuse to be grumpy to the family. PMS is a common excuse for railroading those closest to us. "I would respect him more if he were more respectable", or "If only my circumstances were different,then I would be content." Kids see through all of this excuse making; they see the hypocrisy of it, and if left to grow, the roots of bitterness grow deep and later produce fruit of rebellion. They will not be able to see the sinfulness of their sin, because they were trained growing up to excuse it away.

So, first of all...stop making excuses for your own sin! Take responsibility when you do, confess it, and move on with newness of life. Next, stop making excuses for you child's sin! Yes, make sure that when you give a command, that you have their eye contact and the command is simple. That way, if they disobey, you know that they definitely heard and understood you. Do not lead them into temptation; make sure that they get plenty of rest at night and during the day so that opportunities to sin as a result of tiredness are not abounding. But even if they do happen to be tired and they sin, don't make excuses, but faithfully discipline. And expect the same godly behavior from yourself even when you are tired. Children will love you for not allowing them to get away with things, and over time, they will of their own accord rend their own hearts to the Lord because they saw their own parents do this, and they were trained to do it themselves. They will be able to see sin as sin, and confess it as sin, and be clothed with Christ's righteousness.

"No discipline at the moment seems pleasant, but to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Heb 12:11

"For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world leads to death." 2 Cor. 7:10

1 comment:

Melissa Joy said...

Beautiful, wise words.
Thank you, Jana, for sharing wisdom!