A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40).
Your children need to see how you handle failure even more than how you handle success. If you make a mistake, you need to own up to it and ask forgiveness if the situation calls for it. If you don’t model how to deal with your own fleshly responses, how are they going to learn how to own up to their mistakes and resolve them biblically?
One Sunday morning my daughter wasn’t ready when I wanted to leave for church. I fumed about it until I exploded with anger. After the service I was about to say grace before a meal when I felt the convicting hand of God weighing heavily upon me. I stopped and asked my family to forgive me for my outburst of anger. I didn’t confess my daughter’s tardiness because it wasn’t my responsibility. Nor did I ask their forgiveness in hopes that my daughter would own up to her tardiness. I asked their forgiveness because my outburst of anger was a deed of the flesh. I had to ask forgiveness to be right with God myself.
You never lose esteem in your child’s eyes when you do what God requires you to do. You gain esteem because you are an honest person, and in the process you are modeling what they need to do when they blow it. Children need models, not critics. Modeling is what establishes our credibility to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers www.ficm.org