The parent who tries to come across as perfect is making a big mistake. You’ll probably be amazed at how much credibility you gain with your children when you’re honest with them about your shortcomings. If your kids feel you value them enough to share a struggle or a hurt, they will most oftenrespond maturely.
One caution: Do not get in the habit of dumping all your problems or marriage issues on your children. They are your kids, not your counselors.
This generation’s kids are motivated by sincerity and turned off by pretense. Live out an authentic life in front of your kids(Deuteronomy 6:4–9), showing how you follow Christ despite your mistakes and failures, in order to be an example of what it looks like to live as a Christian in the real world.
The spirituality of your kids is dependent on the examples they see you setting at home. If you desire your children to have vibrant spiritual lives, then they need to see an authentic faith lived out in your life.
In the end, your goal as a parent is to be an authentic person who isn’t afraid to apologize when you see the need. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely” (Proverbs 10:9). The children of the man or woman who walks in integrity will walk securely also.
Truly, confession is good for the soul — and for your family as well.
Jim Burns is the executive director of Azusa Pacific University’s HomeWord Center for Youth and Family (homeword.com).
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