The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. (Genesis 8:21 Emphasis mine)
This is another one of those posts that can make a lot of parents mad, but when raising children it is important to remember this verse. The intent of person’s heart is evil from childhood. We don’t have to teach our children to be selfish. We need to model generous living, because selfishness will come naturally. We don’t have to teach our children to covet what others have. We need to model contentment for them, because greed will come easily on its own.
As parents, we should recognize this fundamental truth about our children. As sweet as we think they are, and they can be sweet, they are born with a natural propensity towards sin. As parents, we are to disciple them so that their bent towards evil is one day redeemed by grace. Our job is to plant within them the desire for God and His righteousness so that they will have a changed, saved nature, with a desire to overcome evil with good.
Recently I heard a quote on a movie (don’t remember which one). “Two things we give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.” I think that quote captures the essence of parenting. We must give children deep enough roots so when their wings carry them away they are ready to face the world.
Here’s a tough but great question for evaluation: Is your parenting intentional to build the right foundation for your children so they will be prepared for life or are you simply feeding their “natural” tendencies? In other words, are you more concerned about giving them what they want or leading them with what they need?
(I told you…tough question. Someone needs to ask it.)