I try not to point to people I disagree with, or call people out, but I read a tweet today that sparked something in me. It was tweeted by a Reformed pastor in Chicago and it said this:
“Teach your children they are broken. Deeply broken.”
You will never find this teaching in my house. Ever. Don’t get me wrong, I am going to teach my kids about sin, but the last thing a kid needs is to be told that there’s something wrong with them, especially from their parents. The world is going to teach them that.
Here’s the thing: Kids will become who you say they are. If I pound into my kids a theology that says they’re broken, warped, and need fixing, guess how they’re going to live? You guessed it. They’ll grow up believing that there is something wrong with them, that they’re not good enough, and that until they are fixed, they can never be whole.
On the other hand, if I teach my children that yes, the world is broken, sin is real, but that Jesus paid for their sin, views them as whole, beloved, and pleasing to him, they’ll grow up, God willing, with a deeply held, passionate love for their creator, who views them as his beloved.
Drilling your kid’s faults into them will reap no benefit. Teaching your children that they need fixing, that they’re not good enough for Jesus to love, or that they are fundamentally broken, is in my opinion, abusive parenting. Our kids are already growing up in a world that teaches them that they aren’t good enough, skinny enough, rich enough, pretty enough, etc. Why are we bringing this into the home?
Me? I’m going to go home tonight, look my daughters in the eyes, and tell them they are beautiful , worthy, beloved, and then I’m going to blow bubbles with them, color pictures with them, help them put on princess dresses, and dance with them on my feet. Because I think Jesus sees us as I see those little girls: beloved.