Do As We Say Devotional

Read This: “Why do you see the speck in your own eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)

Think: There’s no doubt parenting is hard work. It stretches us in ways we never imagined. But the real struggle isn’t the daily grind of keeping the kids dressed, fed, and relatively civilized. The real battle is happening below the surface. Because in reality, the hardest part of parenting is being an example of the person we want our children to become.

This video gave us some pretty extreme examples of hypocrisy and we might watch and find comfort in the fact that at least we’re not that bad. But hypocrisy isn’t just in our behavior, just as toxic and even harder to control is our attitude. As parents we are models of adulthood for our children. But it’s so easy to have higher expectations for others, especially our children, than we do for ourselves.

“Stop shouting,” I hear myself yelling to the kids upstairs. The irony strikes me, but they don’t listen, so I yell again. Maybe sibling rivalry is at a record high for weeks on end. Could it be mom and dad haven’t been getting along either? I demand my children speak to each other respectfully and lovingly, but I fall short of that so many times myself.

A lot of parents say their kids struggle with a bad attitude. They complain about school, dinner, and how they don’t have the latest toys and gadgets. It’s easy to dive into a lecture without ever stopping to reflect on the things we complain about too—the weather, the economy, work, or even our own kids.

Sometimes kids have trouble submitting to authority—at home or at school or both. There again, are we respecting and submitting to the authorities God has placed in our lives? Our bosses at work, the leadership at church, and our government are all in positions of authority over us. Are we speaking respectfully towards them even if we don’t agree? Isn’t that what we expect and want for our children?

It’s not that all our children’s struggles stem from our own in every case, but the truth is we are all sinners. As parents we mess up and our kids know it. They can become frustrated and disillusioned when they sense that we’re nitpicking them without working out our own sinful nature as well. We cannot hide our hearts from our children. They hear every muttering, see every expression on your face; they hear you talking to your friends and your spouse. You can fool the world, but you can’t fool your family.

Ask: Spend some time reflecting on the areas in your life that you want to be a better example. Do you need to confess your failures to your children and ask for their forgiveness?

Pray: Thank God for allowing you the amazing blessing and responsibility of being a parent. Ask him to convict you of sin in your own life, to transform you from the inside out. May his goodness, grace, and mercy overflow from your heart into your children’s lives.

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