Parents, if you want to give sound and valued counsel to your children – counsel that they will love and respect – you must first heed this admonition for yourself. If you are going to give biblical care to your children, you must attend to your own heart.
Guarding your own heart from evil influences and tendencies is essential. Are you living hypocritically, ignoring some area of sin instead of repenting and changing? If so, your attempts to teach and model Christ to your children will be flawed and warped. No training is more effective than the model of a sincere, godly parent. Conversely, no training is more destructive than a hypocritical parent demanding from his children what he will not do himself. Parent, guard your heart!
Don’t leave your heart unprotected because of hypocrisy. Guard your heart from fear of uncertainty, which may lead to hypocrisy. It is easy to forget the uncertainty that your children, particularly your teenagers, face each day. Their world is filled with uncertainty: their bodies are changing, each day brings new attitudes trending up and down. Pretending to have it all together when you are crumbling inside will only distance you from your children. Reach out to your kids with the certainty of Christ’s love. Resist the allure of a false veneer of misplaced self-confidence. Older children will see this as self-righteousness, no matter how well intended it may be. Through the temptations to worry, let the reality of God’s guarantee protect your heart. This will provide you with a steadiness that will not only bless you, but be a blessing to your children.
Jesus’ words to his disciples in the upper room are an encouragement to us as well. The disciples were about to see Jesus tried and crucified, to have their lives turned upside down in a few hours. They would be overwhelmed with uncertainty. But Christ said to them, as he says to you:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Protect your heart with this truth.