Written by Dr. Kyle Barrett, Director of Spiritual Formation
Imagine kids playing peacefully while Mom or Dad bathe baby fold laundry, pick up the house, or finish dinner. Most of us would consider this a win-win – they’re happy and occupied and we can finish up our to-do list.
But, this scene can sometimes be a facade masking the hearts of our children. At some point, they need to recognize needs around them and seek to meet those needs. In fact, not to meet those needs would be wrong. Even in “peaceful moments” we need to be ready to shape the character of our children so that they’ll have eyes to see needs and a willingness to meet them.
Here’s the point – a lack of open rebellion does not mean our kids possess good character. Both open rebellion and a failure to do the good show a lack of godly character in our children. All of our parenting is aimed at seeing our kids honor God as they bless others and not just avoid rebellious, harmful behavior.
But, in order for our kids to bless others, God must be who they treasure, who they value, who they worship. Whether in moments of rebellion or in moments where things appear to be peaceful, we want our kids to understand better their own hearts. Tripp says, “Everything in that child, every moment in his life is meant to be done with God in view. Don’t just hunt for rebellion. Look with joy for those character moments because they give an opportunity to talk about the most important thing in human life.”
I hope you’ll grab a copy of Paul Tripp’s book, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family (HERE).