Reminder: We’re Just as Sinful as Our Kids

Reminder: We're Just as Sinful as Our Kids | Christian Mom ThoughtsLast Wednesday night, I woke up with a little tickle in my chest, coupled with the feeling of 2,000 pounds on top of me. As I wrestled with going back to sleep, I heard several little coughs echoing down the hallway from the kids’ rooms.

I’m sure many of you can relate to the sinking feeling that happens when you realize the next few days of your life will be consumed with wiping noses, dispensing medicine and dealing with crankiness. Sigh.

When morning came, I took every conceivable medicine and miserably dragged myself down the hall. Sure enough, all three kids were sick too. It was hard to imagine the day ahead.

So what did we do? We all grabbed a pillow and blanket and positioned ourselves in the living room for a rare morning of movie watching. The kids took turns snuggling with me. I comforted them by rubbing their heads. Every half hour or so, I asked them how they were feeling. I quickly caught dripping noses with a wad of prepared tissues. I kissed their foreheads. I allowed us to all lie around and watch TV for 3 hours…something that never happens.

This may sound like a pretty normal scene given the circumstances. But, I have to admit, I’m not much of a nurturer by nature. If the kids were sick and I was not, it would have played out differently. I probably would have positioned them on the couch with a stuffed animal and worked in the kitchen or on my computer while they relaxed, periodically checking in on them to see if they needed anything.

Everything was different because I was in the same boat. Being right there with them in our mutually sick state gave me an empathy which completely transformed how I related to them. Since I was feeling what they were feeling, I was fundamentally more attentive to their needs.

Somewhere in between sneezing sessions, it occurred to me how different my parenting might be if I truly grasped and acknowledged that I’m in the same boat of sinfulness as my kids. I fully believe that parents need to be leaders and role models, but sometimes we take on the role of “sin authority” at the expense of remembering it’s still a bit of the “blind leading the blind.”

I don’t scream when I don’t want to share something, but I can be very greedy in other non-audible ways. I’m a sinner just like they are.

I don’t push people when I get angry, but I am quick to raise my voice and use condescending words. I’m a sinner just like they are.

I don’t jump up and down when I get impatient, but…well…actually, I do. I’m a sinner just like they are.

Parents may be more spiritually mature and have more life perspective, but an awareness that we’re “in this together” with our kids can change a lot.

It gives us more grace. Because I was sick, I hardly batted an eye at whining driven by cold-induced fatigue. I wanted to whine myself. I got it, and I extended more grace. Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to issue a consequence for every small sin.

It gives us a willingness to meet them right where they need to be met spiritually. Because I was sick, it seemed only natural that I would lie on the floor right next to them to provide the comfort that doesn’t come from seeing a mommy across the room organizing pans. Maybe I need to make it more clear that there is no distance between their sin nature and mine.

It gives us more humility. Because I was sick, I didn’t look at their snotty little noses and think, “yuck.” I expected the “yuck,” and was prepared to help them. Maybe I need to be less appalled by the nature of their sins and more appalled by the nature of mine.

How about you? Do you relate to feeling like you’re playing the role of a “sin authority” some days, and other days realizing that you’re not much different than your kids?

19 thoughts on “Reminder: We’re Just as Sinful as Our Kids”

  1. What a great post! It’s true; parenting can be very humbling. I know for me it has been!

  2. Thank you for the inspirational post. I read your blog frequently and find your insights truly amazing. I really enjoyed the insight about knowing we are in this together!

  3. “. . .sometimes we take on the role of “sin authority” at the expense of remembering it’s still a bit of the ‘blind leading the blind.'” WOW!! This made an immediate impression on me! Great post!!!

  4. Excellent perspective! I love how you can find a different ‘take away’ from unique situations with your children. Miss you and hope for a play date soon.
    Hugs and blessings,

  5. I’m so sorry you were all down sick, but I love reading how you allowed yourself to slow down and just be with them, understanding their discomforts, rubbing their little heads, and wiping their noses. You are a great mom, my friend. Hope you are all feeling better this week.

  6. Georgina Rodriguez

    We often don’t realize the pain of others until we go through them. Being compassionate allowed us to see the impact that we can make in peoples’ lives. We thank Jesus for teaching us everyday lessons even with our own children. Love your posts, help us examine ourselves. Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you and family richly and abundantly.

  7. This past winter break our entire family (there’s 7 of us) got “The Flu”… the really bad one! A lot of lessons to learn when you’re all dropping like flies like that especially patience and what it must be like for God to come down and clean us up in all our grossness. I appreciate your perspective. *I just found your blog and will definitely keep checking in.

    1. Hi Joe – I’m glad you found the blog! Nice to “meet you.” 🙂 Oh how right you are about patience…that is something I am not blessed with. It’s a huge struggle, and when the family is sick, I can be at my worst. I can only imagine 7 of you being down at once!

  8. I enjoyed reading your post probably because we experienced the same last week and I completely get what you’re saying. I find that I’m either one extreme or the other and struggle finding the balance. It seems like my attitude goes from “Let me be your protector and nurturer and show you the way” to “Life is hard and you need to toughen up and listen to what I say”! I am learning as we go and hope to one day be a supportive and understanding parent who leads by example.

    1. Thanks Carla! I’m sorry you were all in the sick boat too. I’m always somewhere in the middle of the balance you mention too. I tend toward the “toughen up” end but I have mellowed somewhat over time, as evidenced by my relative softness with my 2 year old. More perspective comes with time I guess.

  9. For me, this article has allowed me to reflect upon my own like and. Insider becoming a better parent. I have a four year old and a one year old. I am only 23. My husband works about 14 hours a day so I am alone with my kids most of the day. It isn’t an easy job. I do t have a car so I lug the double stroller aka Mack truck around everywhere with me outside. My temper is so short and I yell a lot at them because I feel that no one is obedient with me when I don’t raise my voice. I don’t always want to yell. But they get so soy of hand and I quickly become frustrated. It’s difficult sometimes maintaining a Christ like demeanor but this article is definitely going to make me more conscience the next time I feel like yelling. Thank you for all your great articles!

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