Ezra 10:1 “Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.”
OTHERS CAN SEE BROKENNESS
Let me set the scene for you. Ezra returns to Jerusalem and discovers that many of the Jews had intermarried with the pagans, against God’s command. He tears his clothes, pulls out some of his hair and beard and lies down before the Lord and begs God’s forgiveness.
People are watching him and obviously fall under conviction. Seeing Ezra repent in brokenness moved them to repentance. This was no small feat and one Ezra could not have done except for the movement of the Spirit of God on the people. God used Ezra to model a repentant spirit.
Children are watching us. They watch to see how we repent. When we blow it and they see that, they watch to see if and when we will make it right. When we publicly blow it we need to make sure our children know of our repentance. They also need to hear us praying for their repentance when they have sinned against the Lord. Our prayers can move them to repentance. We can’t confess the sin for them (I know some of you hover parents want to, lol), but we can lead them to the very throne of grace.
As you model and teach repentance, make sure you are not doing it just to show your children. Make sure your repentance is real. Make sure your repentance can be seen in changed behavior. Lead your children in that way and they will have a huge head start on developing a broken and contrite heart.
Are you keeping your heart clean and useable through confession of sin? When you sin against your child through a harsh word or action, do you ask the Lord to forgive you and do you ask your child to forgive you? Humbling yourself before your God in the presence of your child may seem like an act of weakness. It’s not! It’s a sign of strength!