About a month ago, Nick and I watched a seminar video on www.embassyinstitute.org titled "Openness and Brokenness" by Paul and Jenny Speed.
Mr. Speed tells the story of how years of hidden sexual immorality had crippled his ministry and oppressed his family. God convicted him to be open with his wife about his problem- despite his fears that it would hurt her too much. He came to a point of brokenness about his sin, and realized that by covering up these "small" failings; he had unknowingly given Satan an entrance into his family; to bind them and limit their effectiveness for Christ. Was his wife hurt? Of course. Was it embarrassing for him to confess to his children? Terribly. Was it worth it? His powerful testimony leaves no doubt in my mind that it was. As the spiritual leader of his home, he knew his "umbrella of protection" over his family had some holes in it. Perhaps they were small compared to some other fathers he knew... but they were still holes.
He gave an illustration that greatly impacted me: Imagine a thief arrives at your neighbor's home to find the front door wide open. He plumages and wrecks the entire place; stealing everything of value. When finished, he proceeds over to your home. When he tries the front door, it's dead bolted. Having no luck there, he walks around the back; spotting a small crack in your bedroom window allowing him to enter.
Does the thief do any less damage to your house than he did your neighbors?? Of course not. He got in. That's all he needed.
Sometimes we brush off what we think are "small sins" in our life; (those "little cracks") believing they are insignificant in the scope of things... that we can "deal" with them secretly.
SECRETLY. That's the key word. Proverbs 28:13 tells us, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
Satan is a liar and a deceiver. He loves it when he can convince us to deceive as well. Keeping secrets is an open door for him to oppress us. And we usually don't even realize we have just let him in. As children and teenagers, he tries to get us to keep secrets from our parents. As married adults, he wants us to keep secrets from our spouse.
I can't begin to tell you how big of an impact this message had on our marriage and our home. But the reason I'm writing today, is the subject of hypocrisy. Mr. Speed traced back his moral failings to the week before he got married. He viewed pornography, and kept it a secret from his then fiance. Something changed between them. He was no longer able to lead in their relationship. At the time, he wouldn't have dreamed of telling her the truth. He was raised by Christian parents who were in ministry. He knew he was supposed to look a certain way at church. He knew there were some things you didn't do in front of "church people". They thought they were raising him to be godly- but really, they had raised him to be a hypocrite- To pretend he was righteous, when really, there was sin in his heart that needed to be confessed. His father had never been open with him about his own problems of lust or immoral thoughts.... so he felt ashamed to admit to such things as a teenager.
Being open with our children, is one of the most important tools we have against the enemy. It cripples him. He has no entrance.
Paul Speed related to his crowd that he believed the biggest problem he had faced was not lust; it was the desire to cover it up. It was hypocrisy. I began to pray that God would guard me and Nick against demonstrating and passing on a spirit of hypocrisy to our children.
Fast Forward 2 wks.
Then, the light bulb went off.
If it's not okay to speak to your child like that front of people, it's not okay in private either. Do I yell at my kids in public? Never. Do I yell at them at home? ......... Let's just say I would be terribly embarrassed if all my training sessions were broadcast to the masses. I do lose my temper sometimes. I do discipline in anger sometimes.
It hit me like a brick. By disciplining them differently in public than I do in private; I am teaching my kids hypocrisy! Now, I'm not talking about spanking. It is important to be wise when spanking in public- although if the situation merits that action, I most certainly will do the job- (my child's soul is far more important to me that fearing what those around me will think or say.) But, God showed me a HUGE area in my life that needs altering. I do not want my children to learn a double standard from me- in ANYTHING! If I have to pretend my life is a reality tv show where people are always watching- so be it. By God's grace, I want my attitude towards my kids to be the same at home as it is in front of my pastor's wife. Always loving, always patient- while giving the correction they need and shepherding their hearts.