Ok, ok, I admit, that title could be taken the wrong way. But every parent knows the doubt and insecurity that avalanches into the soul when we react in anger or selfishness to our children or when we look at our imperfect example of the very character traits we require of them. Sometimes children even use the sins of their parents as a manipulation leverage, looking for some way to get out of some correction or conviction. In those moments—here are a few applications of that hyperbolic title to consider…
Only sinful parents parent well….
1) Because sinful parents are the only kind there are. There is only one perfect parent—God the Father, and he has chosen to help sinful parents love their sinful children with imperfect but persevering discipleship.
2) Because sinful parents can point their children to the Savior and not themselves. If we think we can only parent when we’re perfect, we will either despair (in bad moments) or (in good moments) we will teach our children to look to us as their ultimate anchor in life. Neither is right. Our job is to point our children to Jesus, and the more we are aware of our need of him, the more joyfully we will point them in His direction.
3) Because sinful parents can speak from experience about how sweet forgiveness is. Our children don’t belong to us. They need our forgiveness, but they really need God’s forgiveness in Christ. If we are aware of our sinfulness and we consistently confess and receive God’s forgiveness, we can share that experience with them and motivate them to want it as well.
Ok. Ok. Let me expand the title so it’s more accurate, if a bit more wordy.
Only sinful parents rescued by Christ, and enjoying his forgiveness, and sharing that good news with their children as the center of their discipleship—parent well.