To move away from reputation parenting and toward sanctification parenting, we must continually stress the gospel of grace – reminding our children that just as the love of Christ is given freely independent of our actions, they never need to earn our love. They are loved because they are ours and that fact will never change. We may not always be pleased with their actions, but we are always grateful God has entrusted them to us.
The move can be subtle, but unspeakably dangerous. Without realizing it you can drift from sanctification parenting to reputation parenting.
While they may appear similar on the surface, a life of the latter will have grave consequences in your heart and the hearts of your children.
Sanctification parenting is primarily concerned with the spiritual growth of your children. You do what you do as a parent with the goal of seeing them become mature believers in Christ.
Every Christian parent desires to do that. It’s the mother or father we strive to be. But all too easily, our focus can subtly drop – from their sanctification to our reputation.
Reputation parenting is primarily concerned with the spiritual reputation of the parent. You do what you do as a parent with the goal of having others see you as a respectable Christian parent.
We seek compliments from others for how great a parent we are and how well behaved our children are. Those words ensnares our hearts and build pressure in the lives of our children.
Because of that, we should strive to recognize the insidious way it entangles our home life. Think through the way you interact with your children.
- Is your first reaction to disobedience, “What will people think of me?”
- Is your main concern that your children “do the right thing”?
- Is your greatest fear that they rebel?