Living out the Gospel at home is not training children in the doctrines of the Christian faith and teaching right behavior. Those things are foundational in the home, but living the Gospel out involves the application of what we know to be true from God’s Word.
To sum it up, modeling repentance and forgiveness of sins in day to day living is how we show our families what God does for us through Christ.
My preschooler is with me all day, every day, with very little exception. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but by the end of the day, I am very tired. Sometimes, I am so tired it is difficult to make it through the nighttime routine of teeth brushing, story reading, prayer and recently, singing. (A few months ago, Emmy began requesting a song at bedtime.)
The other night she engaged in some stalling tactics and belabored things unbearably. I was very cross and in my exhaustion, I spoke sharply to her. An abruptly truncated nighttime routine resulted.
There were aggrieved tears and a woeful, silent trip to bed for my Emmy. With her finally in bed, I sat down in my recliner, took a deep breath and closed my eyes. But inside I knew I had to make things right. She hadn’t been naughty, she had been a typical preschooler.
I went back down the hall, pushed her door open, and in the dimness of her night light, saw my little girl lying silently on her pillow, tears still on her cheeks, clutching her beloved Fluffy dog. I knelt by her bed and put my head down by her on the pillow and told her I was sorry for being so cross and raising my voice.
She immediately patted my head and my face with her warm little hands. “It’s OK, Mama, I forgive you,” she said. She wrapped her arms around my neck for a tight squeeze.
This little act of repentance and forgiveness is what it is all about, I thought to myself. Forgiveness and the restoration of fellowship is a beautiful thing. It is living out in the home what God does for us if we come to him with sorrowful hearts. It is not complex, but it requires a sensitive conscience.
I thought my heart would burst with love for my small girl that night. I kissed her tenderly good-night and went to get some rest myself…this time with a light heart.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ I John 1:9