Pre-Parenting, Discipline and Sin


A fabulous article entitled “Parenting is First About My Sin,” by David Mathis recently appeared on the Desiring God website. While the entire article remains an essential read, a summarizing quote is:

“The wakeup call for parents — and for fathers in particular — is that we are sinners too, adult sinners, and our sins have even greater repercussions than the missteps of our children, and tragically our children are often the objects of the dragon still within us. It’s not as if we’re sinners only in our relationships with other adults, and above the law when parenting our children. We are sinners in every facet, and often most dangerously so in our parenting.”

While they didn’t have a direct effect on the fact that my husband and I didn’t have children earlier in life, certainly the awareness of our own specific sins and weaknesses has made us cautious and prayerful as we approach parenthood. Each of us has struggled hard with a “pet” sin. I’ve addressed his struggle (with his permission) in other articles, but today I’ll simply highlight my own. Especially in light of the knowledge that we’re having a girl, my history of an eating disorder causes me to fear for her.

Does my past make her more vulnerable to the same sins? (Specifically in my own eating disorder I call these out as addiction, idolatry, pride and fear.) Will she fight for a sane and realistic body image her whole life? Will she battle fear in the face of social eating? Will she see herself as better than others when she’s fit and thin? Will she find herself devoting more time to her appearance than to her Savior? Will she learn these sinful behaviors from me?

Finish reading this article over at

Thanks for reading!


5 thoughts on “Pre-Parenting, Discipline and Sin

  1. I wasn’t able to read the full post, the link doesn’t seem to work. I’m curious about your views of addiction as sin. My sister and father were alcoholics. I’m certain that I didn’t inherit the vulnerability to alcohol she seems to have. While my sister certainly can attempt to make choices to better her life, I think her alcoholism is a complex disease rather than a sin.

    1. Kate, I fixed it! I realized that article wasn’t scheduled to publish at MDA until tomorrow, so I just bumped it up a day early! I’m anxious to read your thoughts after you read it.

  2. Ah, yes. The University of Parenthood. It has been God’s greatest tool in transforming me because the children reveal my sins so well. They reveal what I did not see :), so I bet your fears with the eating disorder can be set to rest. God will show you new things 🙂 🙂 :). Love you, Abby. We can’t parent perfectly but God honors our heart when we parent with a heart to glorify Him in what we do. My favorite parenting book (that did address my heart :)) is Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart. It’s all about crafting a God-centered heart in our children…and that can’t happen till ours is centered there. Love you!!!

  3. I’m read the rest of your article. As a parent I definitely think we should think about our weaknesses as we go along the journey. I’m not sure if every parent can always be introspective enough to make the best choice and to avoid sin. Certainly my parents were not.
    My oldest just graduated from high school, it may be that my sins or weaknesses are yet to be revealed as they may pertain to her. I think she is pretty great, but I’m not partial.
    I saw you mention the phrase “training up a child” which I’m assuming is a reference to the book by the Pearls. I’d hope that you avoid that book…their techniques are not necessary.
    I’m not sure how I came across your post, perhaps under the parenting tag. Perhaps I didn’t understand it fully or perhaps tried to apply it to my own family situation.
    Good luck in your parenting journey.

  4. Kate, Thanks for reading the rest of the article and commenting again. The phrase, “Train up a child” is actually from the Bible. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
    Have a blessed day!

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