Recently, I’ve been reflecting on the different ways that the hot water of the Spirit can transform our relationships. When you replace judgment with encouragement, your relationships will transform. And you will transform with them. You will learn to better reflect Christ in all that you do.
For example, I reflected last time on parenting in ways that keep your children feeling safe in their relationship with you. If you can discipline without judgment, your children will continue to come to you and talk to you. This is your opportunity to hit that hot water, and learn to better reflect Jesus in that relationship.
Maybe someday my son will get in a fight at school and he’ll punch somebody. I’ll get called into the office and they will say, “This is what your son did.” If that happens, I’ll look at my son and I’ll look at the school principal and I’ll say, “This isn’t what my son did, this is what I did. This is on me.” I’ll take full responsibility for it, and I’ll address it.
I’ll deal with my son directly. I’ll teach him to take responsibility for his actions and to apologize for his mistakes. I’ll teach him by taking responsibility myself. I’ll go to the child’s father and apologize. And I’ll go to the child, the one my son hit, and take responsibility and apologize. As the head of my family, I’ll apologize for what my son does. Then, after he sees me do it, my son will also take responsibility and apologize.
I think that when my son hurts someone and then sees me, his father, literally turn to that person and say, “I’m so sorry, this is on me,” he’ll want to change. When my son sees me accept shame and embarrassment because of his decisions, he’ll want to make better decisions. So my son won’t see me yell at him or say, “This is your fault.” My son will see me say, “This is my fault.”
And I think anyone who sees that would say, “I need to make better decisions.” Think about it. What would it feel like if someone is always being embarrassed because of you but they never embarrass you back? They never blame you or call you out in front of people. Instead, they always take the embarrassment for you. How would that make you feel? You’re going to want to change.
This is what Jesus did on the cross. On the cross, He took our shame and embarrassment (2 Corinthians 5:21). We respect what He did. His sacrifice inspires us to be different. Because of Him, we want to be better. We’re not always going to make the right decisions, but we want to be better. And I think that’s how our kids will do it. They’ll want to be better because they will see their parents say, “It’s on me. This is my fault. And I’m sorry.”
I really believe in this. I think if you do this, your kids will respect you for it and they’ll be better for it. Your family will be better for it.
See you Saturday.