I have stated several times in our worship services how we as a body need one another. While we are dependent upon Christ alone, Christ set it up that we need to have one another. The beauty of our immediate family is that I have part of the church at home with me. I need my wife - she above anyone on this earth loves me and knows me. She knows my weaknesses, she knows my struggles and God certainly uses her in my sanctification. Also, as surprising as it is, she needs me! I know her as she knows me, and God uses me not only as her Pastor, but also as her husband. She knows that many times what goes on in our home (especially my sin and even goofy mishaps) can, and often will, be used as an illustration somewhere down the road - and not once has she ever asked me not to share something. She knows that I will gladly share my weaknesses, if it means growth in sanctification for our congregation.
All of that to say, I believe the one area we miss out on is that God can greatly use our children in our sanctification. How many times do you see them act like you act when things don’t go their way? How many times do you hear them say something to their sibling in a tone that you know you have demonstrated to them? In fact, those weaknesses that my boys exhibit which I know are in my life as well, are the ones I seem to come down on the hardest. I do not want them to have the same areas of sin. However, I know that is inevitable because when two sinners say “I do” and they are blessed with children, the kids always receive our nature and we have little sinners running around! But these sinners, who have received the grace of God, as they grow can be a tool in the hands of our Lord to help further my sanctification if I die to self and give them permission. They understand they are not to correct Daddy when I get angry and respond wrong to something they have done (it would be poor judgment to say the least for them to tell me I had sinned at that moment) - they are children, and they do not know what is in my heart. However, there have been times I have had to come apologize for a wrong reaction.
All of this to say, I do need them - but there should be an appropriate time and place that this happens. You know, a place where they can talk to me - about me. We have created this in our home… about one time a month as we are doing our family time I give them a list of questions that I saw in a book. I believe it was entitled “Stand”, but it doesn’t matter - the author stated he received the list from someone else also. But below you will find a list of probing questions you may be nervous about asking. The first time I did this, one of my boys said: “Boy Daddy, those were some tough questions” and, to say the least sometimes this work of sanctification is painful. I hope these help:
1. How are your devotions?
2. What is God teaching you?
3. In your own words, what is the gospel?
4. Is there a specific sin you are aware of that you need my help defeating?
5. Are you more aware of my encouragement or my criticism?
6. What’s Daddy most passionate about?
7. Do I act the same a church as I do when I’m at home?
8. Are you aware of my love for you?
9. Is there any way I have sinned against you that I’ve not repented of?
10. How am I doing as a dad?
11. How have Sunday’s sermons impacted you?
12. Does my relationship with your Mom make you excited to be married?