Parenting starts with my own heart. Every attempt I make to guide and direct my child's heart is directly connected to the state of my own heart. My words provide the greatest witness. In the midst of a conflict with my child, I often bring my own junk to the table - my desire for comfort and control and need for appreciation and respect. All of these idols come out in these times of confrontation. And yet God has ordained these moments precisely for my sanctification!
I'm learning that parenting is not just about my kids. It's about me. It reveals what's inside of me. It shows me my sin and how well I really get the gospel and rely on his grace. So I need to start with an examination of my own heart. For there I will find my continual need for a Savior who promises to shepherd me as I shepherd my children.