At its core, the gospel of Jesus is this: We are all screwed up and in need of serious grace. And instead of God bailing on us, leaving us in our mess, he instead pursues and rescues us. This is good news.
But it’s only good news when we realize that we actually need grace. That we fall short all the time. In fact, the more we realize how jacked up we all are, the more amazing that grace becomes. This is where we can really confuse our kids as dads.
How to Explain Humility to a Child
Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that we need to be the “know-it-all” of the family. The guy who fixes everything and has the answer to every problem. The guy who doesn’t mess up.
And then one day, as a Christian dad, you try and teach your kids that they are in need of grace and should turn to Jesus for forgiveness. Yet, they’ve never seen you do that. They’ve never heard the words “I’m sorry” come from your mouth. They have no context for seeing dad admit to his failures and ask for forgiveness.
In many ways, if always being right is a sign of strength, you are asking your kids to be weak by turning to Jesus for forgiveness.
Saying the words, “I’m sorry,” and saying them often, models to our kids that it’s ok to fall short. It demonstrates that there is grace beyond our shortcomings and no one is expected to be perfect. It’s this type of fathering that will make the Good News of Jesus easier to understand when one day our children recognize their own junk and turn to the Father for grace. They will be able to do it with both humility and confidence because they’ve seen their daddy do it time and time again.
Modeling strength for our kids, especially our boys, is not teaching them to have all the right answers. We model strength when we have the courage to say, “I’m sorry. I wronged you and I’d like to ask for your forgiveness”
Humility takes much more strength than pride.
When you fail your kids, apologize. When you fail your wife, let them see you ask for forgiveness. By doing this, you are actually planting gospel seeds in their hearts, well before they can even fully understand the Good News.