My kids keep me on my toes. I would even venture to say that God has given me my kids to keep me holy.
I have always been the kidder of my family. I love to play little jokes on my wife and kids just to get a good laugh and have a bit of fun around our house. Just as an example I will come in with all seriousness and tell our kids that our vacation to Disney World is canceled and that we will be going to Branson Missouri instead. (No offense if you are a Bransonite, It’s still a let down from Disney.) Another Joke I play with my kids is attempting to scare them by telling them that our dinner selection for the evening is vegetables.
Normally my poor attempts at humor are met with a “P-AAAAA-P-IIIIIII” and then the question “are you kidding me here”.
My youngest daughter has taken a new approach to my humor. She will look at me straight in the eyes and with complete conviction and tell me “Papi, God’s commandments tell us not to lie and you were lying to us.”
One thing I have figured out with my kids is that they have a solid sense of right and wrong about them. So much so that they feel comfortable rebuking their father in his sin. In fact both of my daughter’s zeal for righteousness has turned into a sort of game attempting to constantly find the faults in our family and point them out. In my house we have no problems seeing our sin.
At first you might think that we are glad that our two kids are so grounded morally. We are, but we are also worried about what this could become.
The chief end of my parenting is not to raise moral kids, but instead to raise redeemed kids. There is a big difference. Moral kids live to please their parents. Their lives are all about what THEY do.
I want my children to understand that they are sinners. I want them to have a black and white view of sin and righteousness, but I also want them to understand that if God does not give grace then we are helpless. I want them to understand sin and live by grace.
As a parent this means that I should never waver in my call for my kids to live up to God’s standards all the while understanding that they (just like me) cannot live up to that standard.
What do I do when my kids fall short? First I lead them to Jesus showing how He died and took the punishment for us. Often I let them have the consequences of their shortcomings, but I also on a regular basis give them intentional grace showing them what God has done for them.
Where is balance of raising “good” kids and redeemed kids? I don’t know. I do know that my kids need Jesus and that telling them to be better won’t lead them there.