How Should I Respond When My Daughter Sins? The Six C’s That Will Change Your Perspective ~ Part 6

How Should I Respond When My Daughter Sins How Should I Respond When My Daughter Sins? The Six C’s That Will Change Your Perspective ~ Part 6

(Excerpt from Raising God’s Girl Chapter 5 “That’s My Girl? Walking Through Seasons of Disappointment and Pain)

It’s no wonder I am exhausted; I am surrounded by sinners all day long! And the worst part is that when I brush my teeth every morning, I look up and see the chief of sinners staring back at me from the mirror (1 Tim. 1:15). Life can be challenging, and parenting only increases the pressure and the stakes. In this series, we’ll look at some biblical qualities that can help us succeed in this adventure of Raising God’s Girl.

{To receive encouragement for the first “C” ~ COMPASSION, second “C” ~ CONVICTION, third “C”  ~ COMMITMENT, fourth “C” ~ CLEANSING and fifth “C” CONFESSION, please see our previous blog posts. Now we are going to discuss the final “C” ~ COHESIVENESS.}

 Cohesiveness

We’ve been talking about working through issues of our hearts when our daughters struggle, but it’s more than our own hearts that are affected. A daughter in sin affects the structure and culture of the whole family.

As we are learning to forgive our daughters, even daily if necessary, we must also teach our other children to forgive. Although stress like this in the home is very difficult, it is also an excellent opportunity to teach our other children how to forgive, how to pray effectively, how to be kind in the face of adversity, and how to treat others like we want to be treated.

When our other children have seen one of their sisters disobeying God, it can bring up a variety of emotions in them. They can feel scared; they can feel mad; they can feel like giving up on their sibling; they can feel like crying; they can feel like screaming; they can feel like hiding. They can look at their sister in disgust, in anger, or with compassion. Each sibling is different and it can be tempting to ignore these siblings while we focus on rescuing the struggling daughter.

But no! That is not the path to victory. First of all, that’s just setting up our other children for failure. They have questions and concerns that need to be processed with the truth of Scripture so these experiences can be stored in their hearts properly with redemptive purposes instead of destructive memories.

~~~

Chandra: Mommy, I don’t like the way Tammy’s been acting.

She just comes home from school and goes straight to her room.

She didn’t even want to see my new nail polish.

 Mom: Don’t feel bad. She treats me the same way.

 Message: My sister is just irritating.

~

Chandra: Mommy, I don’t like the way Tammy’s been acting.

She just comes home from school and goes straight to her room.

She didn’t even want to see my new nail polish.

 Mom: I’m sorry, Honey. Her actions have been unkind, and I can see why you’re hurt. Usually your sister loves to hang out with you. She’s got a lot of schoolwork to do, and she is still learning how to get things accomplished while not ignoring other people. Daddy has been talking to her about this and giving her a lot of great practical suggestions. Let’s pray and forgive her and then maybe we could help in some way. I know she loves your famous chocolate chip cookies. How about we make her some to take to school tomorrow? You could even write her a note to put with them.

 Message: When my sister is upset, I can help.

~~~

Another reason that we don’t want to ignore our other children is because we would be overlooking a great resource of power and prayer. Let’s get our children involved! They already see the situation going on. Ask them to join us in prayer. Ask them to look for ways to bless their sister. Ask them to pray for us that we would have wisdom. We can gather as a family and pray for their sister.

We can encourage our children to apply biblical truths to their relationship. To bring their concerns to their sister in a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1). To specifically encourage their sister (Heb. 3:13). To graciously forgive and interact in kindness (Eph. 4:32).

~~~

Jennifer: Oh, Miss Grumpy Pants Kelly has finally come out of her room. Do you want to take some time out of your busy

schedule to play a game with us?

 Message: My sister has no idea how hard my life is.

~

Jennifer: Kelly, I noticed that you seem irritated whenever I walk by

you and you barely look up from the computer when I talk to you.

Have I done something to offend you? I’d really like to know

because I love you and I don’t want to upset you.

 Message: My sister doesn’t want to make my life harder.

~~~

Sometimes openness and love from a sibling can break down barriers. Sometimes having to explain their own actions to a sibling, especially a younger one, can help our daughters see themselves a little more clearly. Sometimes the constant unconditional love of siblings can help soften even the hardest of hearts, especially if their efforts have been bathed in prayer.

The overflow benefit to training up our other children as a power and prayer team is that we are helping to build biblically strong lifetime relationships in our children. Praying your big sister through a difficult time when she is fifteen builds a path that can be easily travelled when she is twenty-two and turns to ask her little sister to pray about whether she should take a job in a new state. Bringing biblical correction to a sister can help her overcome sinful patterns in her life that would have harmed her future family.

~~~

Vanessa: I don’t think the stuff you’ve been

watching on the computer lately is good.

 Meaghan: What are you, my mother?

 Vanessa: No, but if you’re going to claim to be a Christian,

you need to start acting like one.

 Message: My sister is judging me.

~

Vanessa: I noticed you’ve been watching a lot of trash

on the computer lately. I think you ought to stop.

 Meaghan: What are you, my mother?

 Vanessa: No, I was just thinking of Psalm 101:3 that encourages us to not put any worthless thing before our eyes. I think what you’re watching may be pulling you down. I know you’re tired at night, but if you want to go for a walk together instead, I would love to.

Message: My sister loves me and is concerned.

~~~

Depending on the age of the children, a sibling can pray, confront, write notes of encouragement, clean her room, clean her car, buy her a small gift, give her a hug, make her a snack, compliment her, encourage her in her giftings, look for attributes to honor in speech and in writing, defend her, invite her to activities, and listen when she talks.

What Destroys Cohesiveness?

One thing that can destroy cohesiveness is slander. We cannot allow our other children to carelessly talk negatively about their sister. And we certainly can’t allow it in ourselves! Though we crave sympathy and want to vent our frustrations to everyone we see, we must first take our thoughts to the Lord and to our spouse. Then we can seek counsel from others, but wisdom and discretion must prevail. The emphasis needs to be on how we can change, how we can help our daughters, not belittling our daughters and putting them in a bad light.

Our daughters need to know that we are going to our pastors or a couple of key people for counsel. But they also need to know we believe that we carry the weight of leading our families and that we will be honest about ourselves and seek to make changes in our parenting where we are wrong. Many times these sessions are most helpful if our daughters are present so our counselors can hear their perspectives too. And it’s good for our daughters to see our desire to be humble and do all we can to help them. To hear of us slandering them would be destructive to their hearts and to their relationships with us. Let’s guard against that.

Another area that needs cohesiveness is our marriage. Wow, can a struggling daughter put stress on a marriage! We are tired, stretched, frustrated, and often times, not agreeing on how to help our daughter. This lack of unity only worsens the situation for everyone involved.

Third John 1:4 says: “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” And boy, is the opposite true too. There is no greater pain than to see our children not walking in truth. The stress is almost consuming.

The best place to start is by praying together; if that’s not possible, pray alone and ask God to bring unity. We can evaluate our parenting efforts. Do they line up with Scripture? If not, let’s change them immediately. We want God’s blessing, not His resistance. We need to confess our failures to the Lord and each other and work to change. We need to forgive each other and seek the Lord afresh for strength and wisdom in raising our daughters.

Compassion, conviction, commitment, confession, and cohesiveness will work together to build a wonderful team that rejoices in our daughter’s victories and reaps the benefits as she comes out of her dark season and discovers a family that loved and carried her through it all. And she can then be part of the “support team” when one of her siblings or parents struggles.

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