My father used to say the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes.
He was right about both but I’d like to add a third.
It’s a guarantee that usually before my second cup of coffee I’ve been presented with no less than a dozen different arguments or wrong doings. I sit as judge and jury even while I brush my teeth.
But then there are those times that there really has been a big no-no committed.
And the day has to stop and the child who’s done wrong has to have a sit down meeting with Mom and Dad.
As a parent, I’ve given every kind of lecture and lambasting you can imagine. My kids have thrown me more than a couple curve balls and I willingly admit that I have lost it way more times than I can count. But today I’d like to share with you a very powerful statement we can use when our kids have stumbled or run headlong into trouble.
“You’re better than this.”
(NOT in a sarcastic, impossible, condemning tone of voice…but in the most loving, almost whispered, empowering kind of voice. The one that says, “I’m on your side, kid.”)
All of the “How could you?” or “Why did you?” or “What were you thinking?” are pointless. Sometimes there’s a legit reason they did something and sometimes it was just youthful stupidity. Maybe it was outright rebellion or maybe they truly thought they could get away with it. Whatever the case I’ve found that of all the yelping we can do and all the consequences we can give, “You’re better than this” is an incredibly healing and strengthening response.
Because they have been taught better. Our kids know the right thing to do.
They have the Holy Spirit in them that warned them.
They have a conscience that screamed at them.
They had friends tell them it was a bad idea.
We had told them a dozen times or more.
But when we remind our children that even through their troubles, temptations and trials that they are children of the Most High King… That their earthly mom and dad love them and that their Heavenly Father loves them infinitely more and sees them as perfect and Holy… And that even now as they are struggling and stumbling they are better than this lie they told. That language they used. That way they spoke about their friend. The way they behaved last Saturday night.
They sit up a little taller. The walls around their hearts become penetrable. The defenses begin to drop. And they listen better to our advice.
And I can also tell you this, my friend. It helps us as parents to remember to remember the same thing.
We are better than this. And with the help of our God we know that all things are possible. With Christ, we have a strength, wisdom and ability to walk through life in an uncommon way, experience the miraculous, and appreciate the day by day grace He gives to us with every rising of the sun.
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