Parenting is so full of beauty and joyful moments, right? But, as we all know, parenting can also be one of the toughest things to grow through each and every day.
Whether you are in the newborn stage, toddler tantrums, or teenage years, the Holy Spirit wants us to not just survive parenting, but be sanctified through it.
Check out these 3 ways that the Holy Spirit sanctifies us through parenting!
3 Ways The Holy Spirit Sanctifies Us Through Parenting
So before we look at some ways the Holy Spirit sanctifies us through parenting…what exactly does sanctification mean?
According to the dictionary, to sanctify means “to set apart for special use or purpose” or to be “made holy.” God has set us apart as Christians in order to be ambassadors for Him.
Once we become saved, as in we believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross and confess our sins, we are then being sanctified through the Holy Spirit. But unlike salvation which is ONE-time thing, we are continually sanctified.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
We are continually being made to look more like Jesus, and there are so many ways this happens. Including through our day-to-day biblical parenting!
Let’s take a quick look at 3 ways we can be sanctified through parenting…
1. Parenting Reveals Our Own Sin
Something my husband and I learned when we got married was that we both were selfish. Not in a way where we didn’t care about each other at all and only thought of ourselves, but until that moment, we were on our own!
When we got married and came together as one unit, we realized our own selfishness within ourselves; it was revealed to us and we had to work through those issues!
Then, three years later, we became parents, which was one of the best days of our lives! But guess what parenting also showed us?
It revealed our own sin once again!
The Holy Spirit definitely uses parenting to show us our own sin and reveal our own selfishness, so that we can continue to be sanctified, and set apart for His purposes.
Becoming a new parent, I definitely know I underestimated just how much sleep I would get.
I knew it would be a tough adjustment but nothing prepared me for the total lack of sleep I would be getting and dealing with sleep deprivation. Add in a colicky baby and some postpartum depression (which a lot of new moms struggle with) and it was like the perfect storm!
I didn’t always respond the way I wanted to, and because of the immense amount of exhaustion and feelings I was having, let’s just say I realized I have a lot of sin within myself that I need to work on! And my husband would say the same thing for himself.
And it didn’t just stop in the newborn days – each age and each stage brought its own set of challenges to where we had to learn to respond and put aside our own feelings and reactions and replace them with gentle, biblical responses.
We have to view the hardships and trials in parenting as the Holy Spirit showing us the sin we still need to deal with. When you are put under stress and pressure, what comes out? Is it Jesus that comes out, or anger? Frustration? Apathy?
Trust me, we are NOT perfect at this, but the day we started to understand that God was wanting to sanctify us through parenting, it sure made us a lot more joyful.
Sin is sin, and the Bible tells us that God hates sin – but what is good about that is when that is revealed to us through parenting, we can ask for forgiveness and ask God to help us get better!
2. Parenting Reminds Us That God Is Our Father
Not only does parenting reveal our own sin, but it also shows us just a GLIMPSE of how deep and wide and perfect is God’s love is for us. We can start to comprehend the love He has for us as our Heavenly Father because we are now parents ourselves.
When you held your baby in your arms for the first time, how did you feel?
I remember feeling just overwhelmed with love for my daughter, and that I would do anything to protect her. I wanted her to understand just how much we loved her.
And as she grew and we had to discipline her, it was from a sense of us wanting to keep her safe, and knowing what was best for her even if she didn’t understand at the moment.
Any GOOD parent would tell their kid not to touch a hot stove right? It’s not you being an evil taskmaster and demanding your kids to do things that serve no purpose…it’s from your love for your child and if they have never been burned by a stove before, you are showing them love by telling them NOT to do that.
It’s the same with God our Father!
When He asks us to do things, it’s not to just “suck the fun” out of life or playing us as puppet strings. It’s His immense love for us and knowing what is best for us, even when we don’t understand at the moment.
When we really begin to understand God’s promises and how He feels about us, we understand that He sees the big picture and we can trust He has our best interests at heart. How do we do this?
We read His Word, pray, worship, and seek Him out continually, and understand also how to show love to our children as well…this helps to sanctify us!
That leads us into our next point and one that is SO important in life and in parenting…
3. Parenting Helps Us Better Understand Grace & Forgiveness
Parenting really helps us open our lens and understand more of God’s grace towards us, which in turn helps us to better forgive others!
Grace and forgiveness are an important part of the sanctification process. Being able to ask for forgiveness and humble ourselves is so important, as well as understanding God’s grace for us.
His grace isn’t an excuse for us to do whatever we want…it’s that beautiful, loving understanding that WHEN we mess up (because we will) because of the sacrifice on the cross for us, His grace covers us and we aren’t condemned.
It’s the thought process of, you are FORGIVEN (grace) but GO and sin no more (truth).
I love this concept!!!
Also, not only can we live in that grace, but offer it to our kids as well!! When we think about how much we have been forgiven and God’s grace towards us, it makes it easier to extend that same attitude towards our children.
Not only that, but we can actually humble ourselves and ASK for forgiveness from our children.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be willing to ask for forgiveness from your children when you have done wrong. Just because we are parents, and adults, doesn’t mean we don’t sin. We can’t expect our kids to feel bad for their sin and ask for forgiveness if we aren’t willing to do the same.
We have to model this for them, and to do that, we have to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to reveal those sins to us so we can ask for forgiveness and change. Our kids see that and it’s a beautiful thing for them to learn at a young age from us as parents!
I hope after reading this you feel encouraged during the tough days of parenting. Let the Holy Spirit sanctify you through those moments, knowing that you are continuing to be made holy until the day of completion – either we join Him in heaven or Jesus comes back! 😊