The first thing addressed in this chapter, without actually using this specific phrase, is total depravity as applies to children. I have no problem with this. HAVE YOU READ MY BLOG? It seems some days that my children are out to prove this doctrine single-handedly.
So, moving along, it is mentioned that some parents can believe we are all born sinners and as a result move in the entirely opposite direction. These parents are rather cynical about any confession their child makes, taking the "wait and see" approach. As I thought about this, I wondered...does it matter if we, the parent, have absolute assurance of our child's salvation? This probably sounds crazy, but it seems that my responsibility to my child does not change after effectual calling. The gospel is not just for one moment in time. It is life! Every day! I need that beautiful gospel now just as much as I did the hour I first believed. Don't get me wrong - it would be nice to "know." Actually, it's a bit of a necessity for us Baptiterians. But my responsibility to point my children to Christ as the relief from the misery of sin, both in His perfect life and His atoning death, is the same on either side of conversion.
With that in mind, what a blessing to see the gospel simply presented within these pages. One can never know who might pick up this book, right? I also LOVE the section about God providing faith, and the question, "What do your children think the gospel is?" In my heart and mind I know all of these things, but my prayer is that I will put it into practice by consistance in discipline and instruction. Kevin and I are both fairly calm people (I think I've seen Kevin angry ONCE....EVER....), but I do occasionally deal with internal anger or irritation stemming from selfishness.
Next, can I delight in my children when they have poor behavior? Whew! That's a tough one. I do still love them, but I'll have to think about DELIGHTING in them. (It does provide for some humorous blogging on occasion.)
I believe that legalistic, works-based thinking is as natural as breathing, even after conversion. I do it all the time. "Why can't I stop running my mouth about things that aren't even my business?" I am so proud that I actually believe I'm "better than that." In reality, I am a wicked, sinful woman and I should be running to Christ!
Lastly, I have some thoughts on prayer, but they must wait for another post. The dishes are calling...