image by John Morgan
These roses aren’t cowering under the rain; they’re standing strong despite it. Yet, unlike the roses, as I’ve felt rained on this week, I’m wilting. After talking with a friend today, I finally realized what the problem is: I’ve been expecting days with no sin—or little sin. Yet the day begins and sin happens. Kids whine. They bite, they hit, they misbehave, they argue, they act disrespectfully, selfishly, impatiently—and that’s just the children. The amount of foolishness and sin that displays itself in a day leaves me reeling. But, like the roses, I should ready myself for the arrival of rain.
Sin will indeed reveal itself as the day unwinds. We are all, after all, sinners. Saved by grace through Christ’s atoning sacrifice for those who put their faith in Him, but sinners this side of heaven nonetheless. Only Christ can cleanse any of us from our sin. My job as a parent is not to prevent sin at all costs but to disciple and train my children to learn why their specific sins—once done--are wrong, how to avoid them in the future, and how to live an increasingly holy life for the glory of God. It is foolish of me to expect the clean slate we are given at the start of each day will stay blank all day long.
Realizing that I will see sinful behavior from my children each and every single day frees me from my impossible expectation of a sinless day. That’s not to excuse it; we should certainly devote much effort to snuffing out wrong attitudes and behavior. Yet the difference in philosophy is night-and day: if we expect perfect holiness, we will be dealt huge blows when we see how far we all fall short; if, on the other hand, we are fully aware we will fall short, our reaction to sin as it displays itself will be much more realistic. It won’t be such a shocker if we’re expecting its arrival.
Like showers of rain, downpours of sin are not particularly desirable. I much prefer sunny, cheerful days. But just as the rain is necessary, sin shows us our need for a Savior. Like a gardener weeding the early summer garden, we diligently work with our children as sin pours out of their lives. The rainy days will produce beautiful roses that stand firm when the storms blow. And after the storm, they will smell of the sweet fragrance of Christ.
So the bottom line is—yes, we work hard to fight sin, but no, we shouldn’t be surprised by it. That revelation, for me, allows me to adjust my attitude when I see sin in my children’s lives. Instead of being shocked and angry, I can deal with it much more calmly, collectively, and in my right mind.
May we embrace this glorious day, with all its sin, ever thankful that we have a Savior who will someday give us an eternity of perfect, sinless days.