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The Power of Humility in Parenting – Part 5

The Roman centurion had never seen a man yield himself to executioners like the one accused of being the king of the Jews. He’d witnessed thousands spiked to a rugged wooden crossbeam. Murders, rebels, political enemies, thieves, and others who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Eyes filled with fear, faces with rage, and muscles taut in resistance to the team of soldiers commissioned with executing justice on behalf of the Roman Empire.

This One was different–eerily, profoundly, mysteriously, unnervingly different. He let them place His hand on the beam–no struggle. The soldiers actually relaxed their stance. Only one man pinned the hand to the wood. They glanced at the condemned man, then at their commander. Questioning eyes met. Was He crazy? Did He know something they didn’t? Did He think rescuers would suddenly deliver Him? The rest of the guards were on the alert in anticipation. This didn’t feel right! His complete surrender–or could it possibly be willingness–was stunning and reminiscent of sheep they had slaughtered. Not a sound. In fact, the onlookers were also strangely quiet. Only a few had the gall to taunt Him. “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” Every crucified man struggled in resistance, bellowing curses and profanity, but not Him. As they dropped the cross piece in place, He winced, but then rested. They didn’t tie His lower legs to the beam before nailing them in place. They didn’t have to. It was as if He knew what was to happen next as He put His feet on the block and they adjusted it for maximum torture. Perhaps it was because His suffering was so intense that His death enveloped Him quicker than most men. There was no mistaking when the final curtain fell over His eyes as His rib cage fell with its last breath. He could have sworn he heard a deep, resounding earth-shaking thud as if the entire world felt its weight. Even the sun refused to shine. It seemed odd to say it, but he did, “Certainly this man was innocent.” Later in the armory they discussed what they saw in His eyes. One said it was peace, another thought he saw love, and yet another commented that he detected compassion. “It was as if He wanted to die!” mumbled the nailer. What did it mean?

Aspect #5: Humility willingly bears the burden of others’ sins and fleshliness

The intro above, though biblically informed, is speculative. Some of the details we have in Scripture and others we can only imagine. But I wanted you to feel and think about the willingness of Jesus to suffer for you and the humility it took to do so. That’s what the apostle Paul recounted to the church in Philippi when he wrote, “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Perhaps now you can see why I would say another aspect of humility in parenting is a willingness to bear the burden of your children’s sins and fleshliness. I would like for you to read this verse with a view to how you should live and model the gospel before your children, thus giving them a practical gospel foundation for life.Bearing another’s sins and fleshliness is an act of humble obedience Jesus was obedient when he died on the cross. It wasn’t a reluctant obedience; it was a willing obedience. We find the command in John 10:17-18. “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” This is the commandment that Jesus obeyed which removed all our sins and their penalty so the wall of separation could be torn down and we could have unbroken fellowship with God. I think we can deduce that the Father also loves us when we lay down our lives out of love for Christ and our children. Paul admonished that believers are to have the same attitude as Jesus who humbled Himself and bore our sins. Christ-like parents bear the sins and fleshliness of their children (as well as each other’s) willingly because they know it is God’s will. Humility trusts God’s purposes while bearing another’s burden Jesus’ humility was displayed in His lack of resistance to his executioners. How did He do that? He humbly trusted in His Father’s will and purpose. He knew it was God’s will for Him to bear our sins. If we sin, He knew it was the Father’s will for Him to bear it. He told His Father He was willing to do His will (Luke 22:42). The writer of Hebrews wrote these words of Jesus, “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of me) to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:7). When you trust God’s will and obey His Word by bearing the inconvenience, weight, and sometimes pain of your children’s sins and weaknesses, you add tremendous value to your relationship with your children. Very few people in their lives will do this. This aspect of willingly bearing the weight of your children’s sins and weaknesses impacts discipline and correction. Discipline and training isn’t convenient. It’s a burden. It is God’s will for you to both train and discipline your children in love. Selfish pride hinders loving discipline. Humility embraces whatever suffering or inconvenience it takes to love and do what is best for others. Jesus humbly trusted His Father’s will, and so must we if we are to parent our children effectively. Humility recognizes that bearing the burden is necessary for blessing to occur Jesus knew that we could not enjoy the blessings of a right relationship with God, forgiveness, and fellowship with Him if He did not bear the weight of our sins and selfishness. The same is true in our relationship with our children, or for that matter anyone else. We have it in our power to bless others as we lay down our lives and give them the gift of an imperishable relationship. Parents who recognize that to bless their children they must willingly suffer the weight of their children’s fleshliness and selfishness have a powerful impact. This motivates them to bear the parental burdens without complaining or anger. They can expect the power of God to be with them because they are expressing the humility of Christ.Humility forgives sins whether the offender recognizes his offense or not Jesus, prayed to His Father while He was suffering the weight of the sins of the world. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). More than likely your children will not know the burden they place upon you until they become parents. Part of bearing the weight of another’s sins is a willingness to bear the burden and pain of their sins without them changing. As I said above, that doesn’t mean you don’t confront them with their sins and exercise discipline when necessary. However, extending forgiveness to those whose sins you willingly bear must be based on Jesus’ work of infinite justice, not their knowing what they have done and asking for forgiveness. Doing this requires humility. Have the attitude of a servant and bless them because you want to bless them. Humility in parenting is motivated by a love for Christ and the gospel The reason Paul told the Philippians to have this attitude of humility in their lives and relationships was for the gospel’s sake. He told them that the only way to live was to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. Then he described the attitude in Christ that gave us such a glorious gospel. It was an attitude of humility. I encourage you to consider how much you love Jesus and the gospel. When we empty ourselves and willingly bear the sins and weaknesses of our children because we love Jesus and the gospel and want our children to see the power of the gospel, God uses us in a powerful way to draw them to Himself. Humility in parenting produces hope If God honored His Son for humbly bearing our sins by giving Him a name above all other names, then people who humble themselves and willingly bear the burden of the sins and fleshliness of others can expect God to also work on their behalf. Jesus endured the cross with His eyes fixed on the joy set before Him (Heb. 12:2). He suffered in hope, and so do those who willingly lay down their lives for others. We may expect God to fill us with Himself as we make much of Jesus by having the same attitude in ourselves as He did when He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of bearing our sins and fleshliness on the cross. Bearing the burdens of others helps you know Jesus Paul remarked that his goal in life was to know Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection (Phil. 3:8). That’s why he told them to have the same humble attitude as Jesus. When you bear another’s sins and weaknesses, extend forgiveness, and give them an imperishable relationship based on the work of Jesus on the cross, you get first hand experience of what Jesus endured for you. You learn how hard it was for Him to keep silent while suffering the burden of your sins. You’ll be more amazed at His forgiveness purchased while you were yet a sinner. You’ll experience the same grace of God Jesus did when “by the grace of God He [tasted] death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9). Each experience makes you more intimately acquainted with Jesus. By this knowledge of Him, you become more Christlike and filled with the Holy Spirit.Today, willingly bear the burden of other’s sins and weaknesses for Jesus’ sake. That’s the humility of Jesus Christ. So thus far, we have looked at 5 aspects of humility from the book of Philippians. 1. Only live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 2. Empty yourself. 3. Be concerned about others’ interests above your own. 4. Have a servant attitude. 5. Willingly bear the burden of others’ sins and weaknesses for Jesus’ sake.

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