1 Peter 2:11 – “Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers in this world, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.”
I recognize there are times we feel as if we are raising aliens! Guess what – we are.
I have to confess as I write this post, I didn’t understand this type of parenting in the early years of raising my children. I know God’s timing is perfect, but sometimes I want to implore the Father and ask, “Why didn’t you teach me this truth years ago?”
As parents, we can become behavior focused instead of TRUTH focused. God has entrusted us to teach our children the truth about what He declares over them, more than correcting a behavior. Change of behavior doesn’t change the heart. Focusing on performance piles on guilt and shame on a child and will cause him or her to own an identity that is not his or hers to wear.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying we don’t ever address a behavior. When our children are younger, we are in a season of stating, “don’t touch the hot stove; don’t play in the street; don’t hit your brother.” However, as our kids are growing, we are moving from instruction to imploring why they don’t want to behave a certain way. Stating something such as you are lazy and you never finish a job speaks Death. In contrast, we can speak Life that says you were made to work, and God has given you the character of initiative. Our children need to know they are more than their actions. They are vessels who are holy, blameless and righteous in Jesus Christ. They are in a world that doesn’t make sense and trying to fit in with the world’s system will bring frustration, feeling odd, and create confusion.
When our kids start acting like knuckleheads and making choices that don’t align with who they are, we need to pray and ask God to show us who they are in the spiritual realm. Then we need to take the time to remind them that they are what the Word of God says about them. This concept is all based on what Christ did on the cross, not a behavior they can manifest. Once they become a believer, they are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).
The days we are living in are hard, self-absorbed, and constantly echoing, “You can be your own god.” That message is anti-God.
I wonder what would happen if believers began to look at each other through the eyes of Jesus. I can’t help but believe it would melt the unresolved hurt, bring redemption, manifest love, and draw men to the gospel.
This world should feel unfitting as we walk through it. We were not designed for this world’s system but were created for Eden. Fix your eyes upon the Author of our faith, since this place isn’t our home, but we are headed to meet our Savior.