We all know the story of Cain and Abel. It’s the first murder in the Bible, and its cause was jealousy, anger, and self-righteousness. Able gave God his first and best, Cain gave too, but without much effort. Ever see your children do the same? Well, while reading this story, the other day verse 6-7 stood out to me as some of the best parent to child teaching ever. No surprise though when it’s directly out of God’s mouth:
“Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Aren’t these words perfect parenting words? I think about the little scowls I get from my girls when I discipline them. Half asked effort and less than what they are capable of always leads to consequences in our home. Of course, we aren’t raising little Cains and just like God accepts us we also accept our children. However, we are a sinful people. From the moment of birth, we want what we want, when we want it. We also take shortcuts or give half asked efforts with a “this is good enough” attitude and that’s where God is challenging Cain. “Don’t you know that things will go right if you choose right.”
Think about your life for a moment, the temptation of giving less than our best at work, in our relationships… is with us every day, do you feel it? Most of the time, I don’t even realize it’s there until I see the aftermath of my ‘laziness’. The more we are aware of this constant temptation, the better our odds are at overcoming the desire to give less and act selfishly. Also, we’ll be more likely to choose to do what is right in even the toughest of circumstances.
Hopefully, we have many years to coach our children in the way they should go. God instructs us to train them up because He knows that if we don’t, sin will devour and rule over them, just like it did Cain and many others in the bible. If they don’t learn to give their best efforts, accept responsibility, practice self-control… at a young age, their lives will be filled with pain, regret, fear, and self-destruction at the hands of evil.
Sorry to sound so sobering here but, being a parent is a huge responsibility. It’s our opportunity to train up Godly superheroes and raise them to be overcomers and ambassadors. To be strong in their foundation in a world that is determined to knock them down.
4 Things we should teach today
- Learn how to take ownership of their mistakes in all situations
- even if someone else started it
- How to rule over our desires to do wrong
- practice and coach your children. they encounter plenty of opportunities daily that will give a great way for teaching/coaching them how to rule over their desires
- Teach the importance of doing right and how to know if something is right or wrong
- That they are called to be different and be a vessel for God
If we don’t take responsibility for our actions anger will build up toward others and cause us to sin. Sin wants to eat us up, but we must rule over the desires of our flesh and put away anger, jealousy, and selfishness.