Last time, we addressed how to help your child deal with perfectionistic tendencies. Christian parents will also want to address this issue from a spiritual perspective. Word pictures are a great way to communicate complex spiritual truths. Jesus’ parables are a great example of this. A child who struggles with a desire to be perfect can benefit from understanding more about sanctification through a powerful word picture. You can use this information as a jumping off point for a family devotion time.
What is Sanctification?
Sanctification is the process by which we become conformed into the image of Christ. While we are on Earth we are redeemed but imperfect. As we become conformed to the likeness of Christ, we allow the reign of Jesus in our hearts to change us. There is often a struggle between flesh and spirit that can lead to frustration as we live in these fallen earthen vessels.
The Word Picture
Here are some elements of a word picture you can craft to help your child understand that God doesn’t call us to be perfect but sanctified:
- Let’s remember that Jesus was a carpenter. This is a fitting profession for Someone who is in the business of restoration. He restores the hearts of sinners.
- Jesus (as a contractor) stands at the door of our heart knocking to come in and do some major renovations.
- There are lots of rooms in our hearts that need work. These rooms are called Pride, Selfishness, Self-control, Covetousness, and others.
- He can only work on the rooms that we let Him into.
- Construction is messy work; things get moved around and some things get thrown out. Major renovations require us to let go of some old things (habits, attitudes, etc.) in those “rooms” of our heart.
- As the Prince of Peace, Jesus will not bring disorder, but quietness to the rooms where He gets complete reign.
- This side of heaven, construction on our hearts will never be completed. There is a sign hanging across the door of our heart that reads, “Under Construction.” The reveal of the final product will be within the gates of heaven.
God’s desire is for us to be sanctified (a work in progress) not perfect (a final product). As long as we keep the Master Carpenter in our hearts, we are saved but under construction. We may walk around behind Jesus and try to put the rooms back to the way they were before He came, but He is patient and longsuffering. He is always willing to enter those rooms of our heart again to restore them to Christ-likeness. All we have to do is call out to Him and get out of His way. And He will strap on His tool belt and get to work.
[Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com]