Parents are subjective about their child. The child is a part of themselves; an extension of themselves into the future. This subjective viewpoint prevents parents from seeing some aspects of their child’s individuality. They see what they would like others to see in themselves. It is difficult for them to try to see their child as he really is. It is natural to look ahead and envision the person they would like to have been. This is the kind of person their child will be.
None of us really believes what we believe. “We are all totally depraved.” This we believe. But we often base our thoughts about the proper upbringing of the child on the false premise that we adults are sanctified but that the child is still totally depraved. Everything the child does is motivated from his wicked heart. What we adults do, we do because we are sanctified.
In the measure that we feel that it is important to believe this ourselves, to that measure we will find it necessary that the child believe this also. He must believe that we adults make no mistakes. If mistakes are made – the child has made them.
We can’t keep up this false front. Our faults show through. The child recognizes the faults and the unsuccessful attempts to hide them. We realize that we have lost face and try to build a stronger front. We may even think that our authority is at stake if we cannot convince ourselves and the child that we have no faults.
Our authority comes from God through Christ and therefore it comes in love. Our relationship to the child is not that we are right and that he is wrong. We have a position. We are the guides. We lead because we love. God loves us and so we love God; and the child.
We all fall short. But we know it. We can only look to God to hallow our feeble efforts and to pray that we may be instruments in some small ways in the finishing of God’s work in His regenerated covenant children. God will use us as a means to gather His church in the line of continued generations.