There are few things that catch my attention and wake me up as a parent like seeing my own history repeat itself in my kids.  Few things harder than hearing them verbalize the same struggles and watching them wage against the same sins that I know entirely too intimately.

In the past 24 hours, I have heard these themes flow from the lips of my children:

I’m not pretty enough.

I’m not good enough.

I can’t be wrong, or I’ll crumble.

I want to obey, but it’s just too hard.

I get it.  I get them.  So, with every lie I hear them speak over themselves, I nod my head and confess, “me too.”  I tell them that they are not alone.  That I have been there.  That these are the same lies that still taunt me.

But God is so much bigger than the lies, I tell them.

And I keep flooding their ears with truth.  Lots and lots of it.  Hoping, praying, that some of it will sink deep into their little hearts.  Because it’s tough enough to face these lies and issues and sins as an adult- to remember how they nearly wrecked me as a teenager- but to see them stealthily creep into the thoughts of my own children?  Get behind me, Satan.

As we sat around our dinner table last night, I brought everyone’s clamor to a grinding halt.  I then, in a way that’s somewhat uncharacteristic of our typically lighthearted dinner conversation, made all three kids look me straight in the eyes as I spoke:

“Listen.  You kids are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Our God does not make accidents.  And there is nothing- NOTHING- that you can do to make Him love you any more or less.  You are not any more worthy or any more loved because of the things you do or the grades you make or the way you look.  You are worthy because you are HIS.”

They kindly obliged and listened to my impassioned speech and just as quickly returned to their usual joking and chatter.

That’s not the first time they’ve heard these words from us as parents.  And it absolutely won’t be the last.  Just this morning, I was making the same broken-record speech on the drive to school when Mary Grace protested, “But moooom.  You keep saying the same old thing to us over and over again!  Say something NEW!”

No way.  I refuse to sit idly by while my children start down the same slippery slopes on which I, myself, have crashed and burned.  When I see sin, I’ll call it out because I’ve been there.  I know it too well.  When I hear the lies, I will speak truth until I’m blue in the face.

I am well aware that I can’t protect my kids from everything.  That I’m not in control of their lives and that salvation belongs to God alone.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give all that I’ve got to point them to Truth.  To see them freed where I’ve been held captive.  And to point them right back to their Rescuer when they get off track.