Monday, June 27, 2005

Modeling pharisaism for our children

At Unveiled Face Mick writes about the dangers of pharisaism in parenting. So much of parenting is modeling the behavior we want our children to follow. But for Christians, do we really take into account our own sinfulness in being those models? Here's Mick:

There would always seem to be a need to teach children moral obedience (which is a good thing), but this a major pitfall if we don't take the necessary next step and teach them the whole gospel message; there is nobody righteous, not one - and DEFINITELY not Mummy and Daddy!

And that's probably the biggest link, right? The Great Legalism Trap is for parents to start setting themselves up as the example to follow. It may be very implicit and unintentional, but that's exactly how it ends up being. And unless we as parents do what C.J. Mahaney suggests and tell our kids often that Daddy is a sinner, and unless our homes are dripping with a rejoicing in God's incredible mercy in sending his Son to die for us, the moral teaching will certainly become moralism, and the gospel will slide out of our children's grasp.

I think Mick's on-target here. One of the best gifts my mother gave me before she died was sharing her rock-solid conviction that any righteousness she might have came from the blood of Jesus Christ alone. Today my wife and I do what we can to share that same message with our children.


Blogger Mick Porter said...

Hi Milton,
Thanks for the link! You were very blessed to have your mother share the gospel with you.
Sorry it took me so long to get the book meme post done :)

8:31 AM, June 27, 2005  
Blogger Bethany said...

This was an excellent post. I remember a time when my daughter was around four years old and I apologized for something I had done to her (dunno what is was anymore!)

She looked at me with enormous, awestruck brown eyes and said, "I didn't know mommies had to say I'm sorry".

I've tried since to be open with my children about my sinful condition. I even share things I've done that I've had to ask God's forgiveness for. Sometimes it's very hard to give up the "I'm the parent, I'm right all the time" concept.

Thanks for the post.

9:16 AM, June 27, 2005  
Blogger Dan Edelen said...

Great advice. My son is very young and still in that "good people, bad people" stage, but we've talked with him about how "bad people" become "good" because of Jesus dying on the cross and that everyone has bad things in them Jesus can replace with good things.

Taking adult awareness of sin, grace, and redemption and distilling it down for a four year old is not always easy! I'm still amazed that Jonathan Edwards's wife was converted at three years old. Boggles my mind. But it's God at work, so I shouldn't be surprised!

9:52 AM, June 27, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

You're quite welcome, Mick. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

2:35 PM, June 27, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Great example, Bethany. Thanks for sharing your story.

2:36 PM, June 27, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Blessings in the effort to present Christ to your children, Dan. Peace.

2:37 PM, June 27, 2005  

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