What have I done to my kids?

MacArthur gives us words of hope and wisdom in how we deal with the miniature versions of ourselves:
Many parents live in terror that something they do wrong might mar their child's otherwise virtuous character in some irreparable way.  They think if something goes wrong in childhood, the child might begin to drift spiritually or wander morally.  But the truth is that our children are already marred by sin from the moment they are conceived.  The drive to sin is embedded in their very natures.  All that is required for the tragic harvest is that children be allowed to give unrestrained expression to those evil desires. 
In other words, children do not go bad because of something their parents do.  They are born sinful, and that sinfulness manifests itself because of what parents do not do. 
(John MacArthur, What the Bible Says About Parenting, p. 32)

It's no surprise to parents that kids need not be taught how to disobey and dishonor mommy and daddy.  Just the opposite: children need to learn obedience.  Even Jesus learned obedience (Heb 5:8); how much more do we as imperfect, sinful creatures require loving guidance and admonition?  Indeed, the only command in Scripture to children is that they obey and honor their parents.

This is why, just as with every other area of the Christian experience, the gospel is the only hope.  As our children learn themselves of the inconsistency of the human heart will they become aware of the hope found in Christ.  In teaching our children obedience, we should not teach them that mommy and daddy's love and acceptance is something to be won with good behavior, but that disobedience and sin is something that God must punish... and that "Jesus Paid it All."

This focus gives us hope in a world concerned with whether children involved in x will become delinquents.  The wisdom in seeing our kids as little versions of ourselves, i.e., sinners, helps us realize their greatest needs while humbling us as parents in the process as we recognize the reflections of ourselves in them.

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