Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. (CEV) 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5
Confession is a tough gig no matter which side of it you are on. Can you remember as a kid walking with shaking legs to a neighbor’s house to confess about a broken window? Or admitting to a family member or friend that you had told them a lie? Being open and vulnerable with others is scary. By fostering healthy relationships, you can encourage and engage in the practice of confession.
We ourselves might feel scared about the idea of hearing a confession. You can reduce your concerns by thinking through how you will respond. If the neighbor child came and confessed they’d accidentally damaged your house or car, how would you react? How about when your own child (or spouse) admits they did something wrong? How do you show God’s love? How we handle these tender and tense moments can have a lifelong effect. Here are some suggestions:
Be generous in expressing love. Give emotional reassurance with a loving tone of voice, posture, facial expressions, words, and gestures. This is where God’s words about love are especially important: “Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
Build the relationship
We foster opportunities for confession to take place by strengthening relationships and exploring together what “doing the right thing” means.
Continue to pray that your kids build their trust in you and develop a positive relationship to talk with you freely about their regrets and about future decisions. And do everything in your power—with the Holy Spirit’s help—to keep love as your default attitude with your kids. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:6-7). This is the goal for our relationships.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Mentoring Children to Manage their Conflicts