Day 16 — The Wisdom of Engaging the Sin In Your Family
31-Day Parenting Devotion
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. — (1 John 1:8–10)
A family with a gospel-centered view of sin experiences something that never crosses the mind of their culture. Once you tap into God’s grace at this level, sin is not a disadvantage, but an opportunity to magnify God through your family’s imperfections. Here is a short list of those advantages.
- You confess your sins.
- You receive forgiveness.
- You reconcile to God and each other.
- You enjoy restoration with others
- You overcome sin.
- You model the gospel life.
- You teach others these gospel benefits.
- You enjoy honest and vulnerable relationships.
What a fantastic list, and it’s for you. I talk to parents regularly who are doing these things, and it is such an encouragement to hear their stories of grace about God’s faithfulness, especially when sin seeks to destroy them. Of course, the opposite is also true. If you don’t practically live in gospel power, the engagement of sin in your family will be disastrous. Here are a few of those adverse effects.
Insecurity — Your children will experience your sinfulness, and it will hurt them. They will look for safety through other people and means that are outside your home.
Anger — It is possible they will walk away from God because they perceive your Christianity as a method to keep them out of trouble. It has no real impact on your life. They will also resent you.
Dishonesty — By not owning your sin, you’re essentially saying that sin does not matter. The truth is, it does exist, and it does matter. Your children will react to your lack of integrity about your sin.
Self-Righteousness — Your kids will not be equipped to work through relational conflict. As adults, when sin happens in their relationships, instead of repenting, they may choose a similar self-righteous path of justifying, rationalizing, or blaming their sin on other people or events.
Licentiousness — Individuals who do not gain victory over sin are tempted to sin more as a response. They spin in a frustrating sin cycle. If sin is not exposed, discussed, and the family is not walking out repentance, you can pretty much guarantee more sin.
Disqualified — Your children will not only resent you but they will not listen to your counsel, even when you are right. Your lack of being honest with yourself will influence their perspective of you, which will functionally disqualify you as a parent.
The death of Christ loudly proclaims everyone is a sinner. No Christian should hide this fact behind a wall of hypocrisy. To reject the reality of sin is to deny the gospel.
One of the kindest things you can do is learn how to engage the sin in your family so they can enjoy the full benefits of the gospel. Let your family see how you may be ashamed of your sin, but you are not ashamed of the gospel.
Help release your children from the sin that hopes to ensnare them. You can do this if you humble yourself before God and your family and let them see the advantage of engaging sin with the gospel.
Time to Parent
Every family has a “sin plan” because sin is in every family. Some “sin plans” are uninformed biblically.
- What is your “sin plan?”
- Do you have a redemptive “sin plan” for yourself and your family?
- What would a biblical “sin plan” that includes confession, forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, and ongoing engagement with future sin look like in your home?
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Originally published at Rick Thomas.