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The Christian Struggle of Being 'Good': Parenting Insights and Spiritual Guidance



I was away for a week, and on my way back home, I called to speak to my 6 year old niece that we live with. In our conversation, she gave me a report of what was happening at home and at school.


She quickly told me she was not a good girl at school because sometimes she does not listen. I asked her why she fails to listen to her teachers and her response was “Being a good girl is not easy.”


My niece’s cry about the struggles and challenges of being ‘good’ is a Christian struggle – the war between the flesh and the spirit that St. Paul discusses in his letters.


In Galatians 5:17, Paul gives us a glimpse of this war:


"For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desire of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do."

About this same struggle, Jesus in Matthew 26: 41 warned His disciples to watch and pray so they do not fall into temptation. He continued to explain that while their hearts are willing, their flesh is weak. This must be the exact situation in my niece’s young life. Jesus understood that sometimes what we want to do is not what we do because of the flesh.


Again, Paul emphasizes in Romans 7:19 that “For the good that I will to do, I do not do: but the evil I will not do that I practice.” Paul’s explanation of this dilemma is in Verse 18 – “nothing good lives in me” and in verse 29 “…it is no longer I but sin living in me.”

In discussing and dealing with your child’s misconduct you cannot ignore the flesh or the sin that lives in us. Once sin is put into perspective, our approach toward our child’s misconduct/sin changes.


We need to deal with the spiritual before we deal with the physical – the action/sin that your child has done, sometimes repeatedly, I therefore call upon us parents:

  1. To treat your children with grace when they make mistakes knowing that it’s not easy, sometimes they are willing to change but there is a power within them that resists the change.

  2. That before punishment, yelling, or scolding… take time in prayer with the child, let him know that you understand that some things are hard to change but we can commit them to prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to empower us.

  3. Depending on the age of the child, introduce prayer and fasting – because some things will not go without these two spiritual disciplines (Matthew 17:21).


Do not forget that our ultimate goal as parents is to teach our children the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and to train them to depend on Him 100%. One of the best avenues to accomplish this important task is to work closely with the children in their struggles with the flesh/sin, knowing that being ‘good’ is not easy.


2 bình luận


Malcolm Mpamizo
Malcolm Mpamizo
15 thg 10, 2023

Thanks Gillian. This is a wonderful piece of spirit led advice to parents. I know that I struggle with this and have found prayer and understanding to have positive impact. Even as parents, the struggle to be good is real and we should extend similar grace to our children as we would have extended to us.


Have a blessed Sunday…!!

Thích

Malcolm Mpamizo
Malcolm Mpamizo
15 thg 10, 2023

Thanks Gillian. This is a wonderful piece of spirit led advice to parents. I know that I struggle with this and have found prayer and understanding to have positive impact. Even as parents, the struggle to be good is real and we should extend similar grace to our children as we would have extended to us.


Have a blessed Sunday…!!

Thích

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