Have you ever had the scary thought, “What if my kids found out that I _______ (fill in the blank)?” Have you ever uttered the defeating words, “Do what I say, not what I do?”
A few weeks ago I was in line at Panda Express and overheard a conversation where a Dad was faced with the reality that his kids knew…
His Kid’s Already Know
The Dad was at Panda Express with his elementary age son and daughter. The son looked at his Dad and said, “That bottle looks kind of like beer, daddy!” Taken back a little the Father responded, “Yes it does, but we don’t drink beer.” His daughter was not buying it, she replied, “Yes you do.” She knew the truth.
“What do you mean?” her dad asked, realizing they might know part of his secret. She did and she called him out saying, “I saw the fridge in the garage that you tell us we cannot go in. You go in there every night and drink beer.” The dad gave a blank stare, not sure how to respond.
He did not have a chance to create a response, before his son said, “Yea! And I know you smoke too. I found burnt cigarettes on the floor of the garage.” The kids look relieved, having finally called their dad out on his secrets. The daughter peered into her dad’s eyes and said, “daddy, why do you not let us see you drink beer.” As she uttered those words, you could tell that she was hurt by her Father’s deception.
The dad responded, “I wanted to be a good example.”
The son, now also frustrated with his Father said, “If you wanted to be a good example you could just not drink beer at all. That would be a good example.”
The Father looked distraught and did not respond.
We Are Not Perfect… And Kid’s Know It!
I previously wrote about The Perfect Parent Myth… we experienced the grace of recognizing we are not perfect. The Bible says that no one is perfect, “not even one” (Romans 3:10). The difficult reality is that your kids know that you are not perfect.
Kids are not gullible and will become distrustful if you treat them like they are. When we lie, they see our emotions and know that our words don’t reflect the whole picture. Instead of being able to discuss it with us, they are forced to hide their pain and tip toe around it.
They may not know what happened, but they know something happened and are never being given the chance to process it.
Christ did not call us to tip toe around the truth or hide in the darkness.
There is power in bringing things to the light. Confession is freeing both for YOU and your FAMILY (James 5:16).
Confession is difficult. Confession can be painful, but confession conquers. It frees us to have honest conversations about reality, instead of making kids tip toe around topics.
Confession requires humility, but it is in that weakness that Christ makes us strong.
I want to challenge you to seek freedom.
Let’s be willing to admit that we don’t have everything together, but then let’s lead by example in seeking Christ to make us whole. Let’s lead our kids to seek Christ to be made whole.
We will never be “perfect examples,” but we can direct kids to THE perfect example, Jesus Christ.
- Pastor Brandon