So how do we accomplish that? Through much prayer. Here’s a good one to start with–a powerful prayer for human, flawed parents like me:
Lord, convict me of any personal hypocrisy lived out before my children. Do not allow me to contradict what I say by what I do and, when appropriate, give me the humility to admit my sin to my children.
Matthew 7:3-5 says that we cannot look at the speck of sawdust in another’s eye without first removing the plank from our own eye. As parents, we cannot hold ourselves to one standard and our children to another and expect to maintain credibility and respect. If my kids ask for a drink of my soda and I say, “No, it’s not good for you,” eventually they are going to ask themselves, “Then why is it good for you?”
Why do we think certain movies are not “good” for our children yet we will view them and think nothing of it? Are scenes of graphic violence and adult themes helpful to an adult mind? Do they help us grow in righteousness?
We tell our children they need their sleep and put them to bed at a reasonable hour after carefully observing how many hours they need to be at peak performance. At the same time, we as parents burn the candle at both ends–staying up much too late or waking up too early. What our kids see are parents who are not at their peak performance and not living by the examples they wish to set.
These are just a few examples of areas we can pray for God to reveal hypocrisy in our lives. Are you willing to come alongside your children as a fellow sinner? A flawed human in need of a Savior? How would this common ground affect your ability to share God’s grace with them?