Today we blog the last of our four principles from our basic course of “teach your children godly sexuality”.
We have already covered that we need to communicate that sexuality is good and that it is holy. Then we looked at how we communicate these two messages in a holistic Hebrew way.
So what more do we need? We need to be reminded of Jesus’ comment to the disciples:
“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Lk 18:27)
So we need to fix our eyes on Jesus not on statistics or news stories or human thinking. We need to fill our minds with His great works and read testimonies of how Jesus does the impossible so our faith rises as we realise that He is able to do far more than we could ask or imagine.
God can renew all things
Nothing that happens is beyond God’s ability to redeem. Whether we’re struggling with something that happened in our upbringing or a sin that we committed. Or whether we worried for our children that have experienced some trauma or other experience. Nothing is impossible. God can renew all things so that like Joseph we can say:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Gen 50:20)
Let me give you an example from my own life. One scene from my childhood that used to hold me captive was where my earthly father lined me and brothers up to find out who had done something wrong. When all of us denied doing it I remember him screaming sarcastically how “Mr Nobody” had done it. I think that we were all punished but it’s harder for me to remember that now as during a prayer time I was recalling this scene and asked for Jesus to show where He was. I saw Him lined up next to us boys and when my father asked who’d done it – Jesus stepped forward and said “I did”. Not only has the pain of this memory been removed but it has now become transformed in a place of glorious encounter with Jesus.
Can you see that like Joseph, God is not just going to enable us to forget our pain or even just come to a place where we can forgive those who hurt us – He’s going to transform the pain so that it becomes a source of grace. We see this also in Isaiah:
…and by his wounds we are healed (Isa 53:5b)
Jesus wounds are a source of grace to us. Jesus’ wounds are not something he has to forget or erase or just forgive – they have become glorious. So much so that we see in Revelation 5 the whole of heaven worshipping the lamb who was slain.
This is true for us and our children – where there is wounding through relationships or sexuality there is not just healing available but there is a renewing so that it becomes a source of grace and healing to others. Why are my wife and I passionate about bringing help and healing to others in the area of sexuality? It’s because we have received grace to deliver us and transform us from our sexual dysfunctions, abuse and addictions. So we are passing on the overflowing grace that we have received.
So be encouraged. Nothing is impossible for our God!
Don’t live in fear or what may happen to your children, God is bigger. Yes we’ll do our best – but we have a God who can transform even the worst situations.
Bringing about the changes
If there’s sin then confess it – bring it into the light. He already knows – but there is something powerful about confessing it that brings healing (Jas 5:16a). Be honest with God: I remember a conversation with God I had many years ago where I was honest with Him about how I liked a particular sin. There was such power released by that admission – much more than a “pretending” which never touched my heart. It was then that change began to happen in my life. Even more powerful is confessing with other brothers and sisters in Christ. An army doesn’t send in one soldier at a time to battle the enemy. They go together – so too with us fighting against sin.
Confessing sin destroys its power over us. It wants to keep us ashamed and isolated. So too with our children – keep the channels open and withhold judgement – we want to be someone they can come to when they get in a mess. As their confession will help set them free. And if we want them to confess to us then we should be modelling confession to them. I regularly have to apologise to my children for the times when I “lose the plot”. This doesn’t undermine my authority as a father – rather it shows that there is a higher authority that I submit to. And as a result because of this my children feel able to confess their problems to me and receive forgiveness.
Finally, with regard to sins that we as parents committed growing up we naturally want our children to not repeat the same mistakes that we did – but instead of being honest with them it’s so tempting to hide our past and so deny our children the grace we’ve received. We can end up saying things like “don’t do that…” which is powerless to help them change (Col 2:20-23). Instead we need to reveal a little of our past to them – this doesn’t mean we tell them everything – but at the very least we can say “I made some mistakes that I regret and I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I did”. We can then tell them of the changes that God has brought about. Suddenly our past is a source of grace for our children rather than something hidden and replaced with law.