Repenting of Faith-less, Grace-less Parenting

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Ps. 127:1-3 (ESV)

Heavenly Father, we are so thankful you are the dreamer, planner, bankroller, and builder of everything that lasts… including the lives of our kids and grandkids. Children are your gracious gift to us; not our science project, sport to master, or ticket to validation.

Expose and dismantle the faith-less, grace-less ways we parent, Father. Free us from our overbearing and under-believing ways. Forgive us for being more anxious than loving—more likely to nag or brag without ceasing, than pray and trust without ceasing. Continue to rescue us from parental “laboring in vain”—assuming a burden you never intended us to bear.

Only your Spirit can make the gospel beautiful and believable to our kids. Only you can give anyone a new heart. You’ve called us to parent as an act of worship—to parent “as unto you.” Not as a way of proving our worth, saving face, making a name for ourselves. Parenting is costly, but we can’t afford to turn in into an idol factory.

How arrogant to assume our “good parenting” accounts for the best of what we see in our children. And what a hellish lie to assume our imperfect parenting is the only reason our kids make poor choices in life. Father, free us and forgive us. We put unfair pressure on our children when we parent more by fear and pride, and less by faith and grace.

Since our kids are your inheritance, Father, teach us how to care for them as humble stewards, not as anxious owners; as hopeful encouragers, not as self-appointed sheriffs. Grant us quick repentance when we fail them. Keep teaching us how to love and serve our children, “in line with the truth of the gospel” (Gal. 2:14). So very Amen we pray in Jesus’ faithful and powerful name.

from Scotty Smith Posts – The Gospel Coalition


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