31-Day Parenting Devotion
THE TWO ACCEPTABLE CONFLICTS IN YOUR HOME
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
(1 Timothy 1:15)
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
It is impossible for two people to agree on everything completely. If you are married, you know this is true. Two fallen people living in proximity to each other will always have a few perspectives and preferences that will never be the same. It is unavoidable, and it does not have to be a bad thing.
What if you had unresolvable “good conflict” in your family? Are there some things in which you should never agree? In our family, we have narrowed our “good conflict” down two things that we all will never agree.
The Biggest Sinner
Who is the greatest sinner in your home? Paul said he was the foremost, but he died, a death that left a vacancy in the “chief sinner seat.” The answer to the “biggest sinner question” is easy to figure out from my perspective.
There is no sin worse than being accused of putting the Son of God to death on a cross. From my point of view and through my eyes, there is no question that I am the chief sinner. We have discussed this many times as a family, and none of us have come to a resolution, other than we disagree. Lucia believes she is the biggest sinner in our home.
I suspect if Paul were here, he would chime in by saying he was the chief of sinners. Now that our children are getting older, they are beginning to see how both Lucia and I are wrong. Why should something so simple, be so complicated?
Though we will never agree, there is an upside: it’s hard to get into arguments when everyone in the room assumes the role of the chief sinner. The other upside is that after you blow it, you’re quicker to repent and reconcile with each other. And honestly, it is not a bad thing to view others through the lens of the cross. As you realize the debt God paid for your sin, it becomes easier to show mercy to others.
And should not you have had mercy on your fellow-servant, as I had mercy on you? – Matthew 18:33
The Biggest Servant
What naturally flows out of an acute awareness that you put Christ on the cross is a humility that leads to action. Just as it becomes a challenge to be sinful toward another person, it is a natural reflex to want to serve those within your sphere of influence.
The person who sees himself as the biggest sinner, made alive and saved by God (Ephesians 2:1-10), is motivated to respond to that grace by serving others. Serving others is foundational to understanding the gospel. Christ came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45), but this also creates a conflict in our home. Nobody is permitted to “out serve” the other person.
Outdo one another in showing honor. – Romans 12:10
The gospel is not for the lazy person. It is a call to take your soul to task while motivating your body to work for others. The anti-gospel sees others as worse than yourself while using them for self-serving purposes.
Time to Parent
- From your point of view, who is the biggest sinner in your home? This theological tip is a transformative relational dynamic if you truly believe as Paul did.
- Who is the most aggressive servant in your home?
If you think you’re better than others, you won’t serve others. If you’re not serving others, you believe you’re better than others.
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Also published on Medium.