Wait, Are Good Kids Bad?

“Now I’m a bad girl.”

This is what one of our young daughters said recently when we decided, for the first time, to ground her for a few days for breaking one of our rules.

Why was that her reaction?

Everything in me wanted to tell her, “No, honey, you’re a really good girl but you did do a bad thing.” But something about her statement made me hesitate.

First I wanted to know why she had said that.

Well, all of her friends had been grounded before, she told us, but she never had. This made her feel like she was somehow good or at least better than them but now her perfect streak was broken. Now she joined the masses of bad people.

Suddenly I realized we were staring at a perfect moment to share the Gospel.

“Yes, you are a bad girl. And Daddy is a bad man. And Mommy is bad. We are all bad. That is why Jesus came to rescue us.”

From there April and I shared the whole Gospel story.

This conversation caused me such a roller coaster of emotion.

I found myself grieving over my daughters realization—that she was in fact bad. A loss of innocence I wish wasn’t necessary.

I found myself rejoicing that she now could better understand why she needed to be rescued by Jesus.

I found myself thinking through my initial reaction and saw how much farther I have to go to really, fully believe the Gospel.

Jesus, thank you for coming to rescue bad people like me!

“When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17


PS. Jeff and I discuss the importance of weaving the Gospel into parenting in this video.

This entry is a part of Jeremy’s Journal, a newsletter Jeremy sends out every Wednesday morning to encourage you on your parenting journey. You can sign up to get them every Wednesday here.

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