Theological Thoughts on Parenting

Preston Sprinkle

Parents are often infatuated with law and less so with grace. As a father of four kids, I feel the tension daily. “Clean up your room!” “Wash the dishes!” “Share with your sister!” Stop taking things from your sister!” Parenting is a mosaic of rules that put Moses’ Law to shame.
Where does grace fit in?

As parents, we need to give rules. Kids will get run over unless they’re told not to play with their Legos in the street. Rules are good, but grace is better.

We could raise our kids to be sexually pure, drug-free, truth-telling, moral, and they could end up religious and successful—but not necessarily Christian. They could be near-perfect, but until they cling to the cross, delight in God’s forgiveness, and look not to their own filthy rags but to Jesus’s righteousness, they will be nothing more than hell-bound moralists.

I would much rather have my kids mess up and know they need a Savior, than to echo the words of the hell-bound righteous man: “Thank you Lord for not making me like this tax-collector.”

Morality isn’t the goal. Jesus is. Let’s remember that as we seek to raise good kids. Better than good kids are less-than-perfect kids who cling to the cross.

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