What do our kids want from us?
Of course there are different possible answers to this question:
- loving affection
Or, as my five-year-old just said when I asked him, “candy.” Good grief, I love him.
If you’ve been a parent for almost any length of time, you know that kids reveal things about you that weren’t revealed when it was just you, yourself, and you.
- They press buttons in us that show what we are in the hidden places of our heart.
- They require a level of selflessness that wouldn’t be built in us any other way than by being their mom/dad.
- They reflect who we really are in their (learned-from-us) attitudes and actions.
- They see us for what and who we really are.
More than anything else, what Doug & I are growing increasingly convinced of is this:
OUR KIDS WANT US TO BE HONEST.
They don’t need us to be perfect. But they DO crave that we be honest with them.
For us, what that looks like is:
- regular confession of our wrongs and failures (not trying to put forward or maintain an image of perfection)
- calling our sins against them by their biblical names (yelling is a “fit of anger,” not “venting” or “going off”)
- talking openly together about what’s happening in the world– what the culture calls good v. what God calls good
- truthful sharing about what sins we’re actively, currently fighting (for me now: anger and laziness)
Today a verse came to mind, and it made me think…
“huh… our kids desire the very same thing God desires from us”
“you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” ~Psalm 51:6
God’s desire for us, basically like our kids desire from us, is that we be inwardly honest.
Honest about who we are. Not just “boldly” calling that sin over there (the one we would never do) sin. No, He wants us to call this sin in here sin. He desires for us to deal honestly with the sin within us. He desires for us to rightly categorize ourselves as the sinners in need of the savior. Not as the saviors with no needs. Not as practically-perfect with no sin to fight.
Our kids crave from us the very thing God desires to produce in us: truth in the inward being. We’re finding that when we let Him– when we YIELD to His loving pressure that He’s placed in our home with these little mirrors and button-pushers– that God uses these children and their desires to work that truth about who we are (and who He is!) deeper and better into our hearts.