Galatians 4:23 – But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.
We all grew up in a home and, once we get married and have our own kids, we all have a couple unhealthy options and one healthy option on what kind of home we will have.
First, we can just say and do what our parents did. We can be just like our parents, which oftentimes isn’t a good thing. If our parents were law-based, we continue with law-based homes. If our parents had a lot of rules for us and pushed us towards perfection, we can carry out the same rules we make into laws for our own children.
On the other hand, you can overreact and completely course correct the other way. If your parents were legalistic, King James Bible-only readers, you can flip a 180 and become a hippie. Or if your parents were hippies, maybe you find a King James Bible and a suit.
The healthy third option is to sort things out into good and bad categories, trying to replicate the good and not carry forth the bad. You can look at situations that happened in your childhood and say “Ok, this was good, I want to do this. This was bad, I want to stay away from that.”
Especially to those law-based parents, or those in the first two categories, I want to say one more thing. The reason you tend to prefer the law is because you love your children and just want the best for them. You don’t want them to be hurt, or harmed, like you were. I’ll say this – If you show me your legalism, I’ll show you your pain.
What happens in life is, sometimes, things happen to us, and they really hurt. Then we make inner vows, and we never want our kids to be hurt or go through pain like we did, because we love them so much. Then, an inner vow leads to an outer legalism, which you enforce upon your kids as you think “That’ll never happen to my kids”.
Maybe your parents were way too high control, too demanding, way too overbearing. So, you decide that you don’t want to discipline or lead your kids and give them total freedom. That’s not a good idea. On the other hand, maybe your parents gave you so much freedom and you made a lot of bad choices and got into a lot of trouble, so you double down on legalism, rules, and control.
Most law-based parents really love their kids, but they have an unhealed hurt or an inner vow and want to protect their children from the same situations. But hear me in this – you’re the one that’s hurting them. You may be preventing others from hurting them, but you ultimately end up hurting them. It’s too much pressure, too much control, too much fear, too many rules. There’s not enough room for them to breathe and grow in the grace of God.
But just like there’s grace for your kid, there’s grace for you as a parent. When we parent our kids, it reveals a lot about our relationship with God, how we view Him as our Father, and how He views us as His children. Parenting is not just an opportunity for us to raise our child, but for God to raise us as His child. He likes and loves us, wants to have fun with us, and is there to help.
Are there any unhealed hurts from your past that you have seen play a part in your parenting or that you can get healed up before you become a parent?
To get daily devos sent texted to you Monday-Friday, text DEVOTIONS to 99383. Click here to find the sermon series that accompanies this devotional series.