I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you
When I was 14 years old my family moved off the farm in Minnesota where I was born. But I never adjusted to our new home in Arizona. When I was only 15 my parents let me take a bus back to Minnesota to work on the farm for the summer. The following summer I drove an old car back to Minnesota by myself. The family I stayed with asked if I would like to live with them and finish high school in Minnesota. To my great joy my parents said it was okay.
What impact did my parents' trust have on me? I never wanted to do anything to lose their trust. Their trust in me was a great driving force in my life and the greatest gift they ever gave me. Next to the Holy Spirit in me, that trust has been the greatest deterrent to immorality. Even years later when I was in the military and thousands of miles from home, I didn't want to lose their trust.
When you effectively communicate your love, trust and respect to your children, they will learn to value these qualities so much that they will never intentionally do anything to lose them. Then when they are introduced to Christ, they will also value His love, trust and respect. "But my child isn't trustworthy," you say. Neither are you completely trustworthy. Yet God has entrusted you with the gospel. That gives you something to live up to. What can you possibly gain by communicating anything less than your trust in your child?
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: "I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you" (2 Corinthians 7:16). But Corinth was a messed up place. Is Paul's statement a bunch of psychological hype? No, I don't think so. Paul's confidence was in the Lord, and he knew that the work God had begun in the Corinthian believers would be completed. Under the inspiration of God, he also knew that expressing belief and confidence in them was foundational for building them up.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the love and trust You have expressed to me which frees me to love and obey You. Help me encourage my children by communicating my love, trust and respect to them.