It is better to deal with dirt and grime immediately rather than later. Don’t you agree? I find waiting means tougher scrubbing, built up scum, and possible stains.

 Life is like that, too. Dealing with our mistakes or sins or dealing with our children’s mistakes or sins should occur sooner rather than later. The mess is  contained, easier to address.

There are times we may want to look away, not tackle the issues at hand.

Denial, lack of time, fear… all play a possible role in avoiding a problem.

I love how Jesus dealt with the woman at the well (John 4). He went out of his way to speak with her, met her where she was, demonstrated love and concern, and spoke truth. He timed it perfectly. He talked with her privately. No one else was within earshot. What a tender moment.

This is a tough thing to do, to love by showing mercy and grace while speaking truth. But that is what our kids need and frankly that is what we (by we… I mean I) need.

Our kids need us to take the time and to be brave. They need us to treat them respectfully during a hard conversation. If issues, big or small, are dealt with in truth and love there is a better chance of altered behavior and character growth. This approach will keep the relationship intact.

Don’t listen to the enemy’s lie, “If you address this problem you will lose your child.”


Pray for your child’s faith to blossom. Just as with the woman at the well, this is the main focus.

Then follow Jesus’s example. Be truthful and loving in the midst of a challenge. And …remember to be respectful so the relationship isn’t damaged.

…keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
1 Timothy 3:9

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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