It all led up to this moment. The endless, wearisome job of training, nurturing, and loving called “parenting” often seems to bear little fruit. Discouraged, bone-tired parents look through bloodshot eyes for scraps of evidence in their kids that all of this exhausting work actually accomplished something—anything. As sibling fights continue to rage, attitudes flare up like gas in flames. And after you’ve spoken the same guiding words more times than you can count, you wonder if you’ve utterly and irreversibly failed your poor children.
But then, this night! It all seemed worth it after this night. What happened on this glorious night? My oldest, teenage son confessed to some sin he’d willingly engaged in. Why would I consider this night, this moment of confession, a groundbreaking moment in our parenting journey? Just this: he didn’t get caught, but freely confessed.
He walked sheepishly into our bedroom and asked, “Mom and dad, can we talk?” He proceeded to openly confess his sins, speak frankly about his conviction, and inform us of the steps he’d taken to make things right in his life. As we asked probing questions, he spoke of his distaste for sin and his realization that he cares far too much what people think of him. He talked with joy about his relationship with Jesus being restored as the burden of guilt and shame had been lifted through confession and forgiveness. We discussed strategies to help him fight sin in the future.
We discussed the gospel, how it frees us to live honestly before God and others. We told him, as we often have in the past, that we need Christ’s forgiveness just as much as he does. After we prayed together, he thanked us. Then he walked out of our bedroom, unaware his mother’s heart was about to burst with gratitude to God for this beautiful moment.