It’s not that I have a lot of clothes, but I do have the size of closet that only accommodates one season of clothing at a time. Every few months or so, I make plans to transfer clothes to a spare bedroom closet. This makes it more convenient to access the appropriate seasonal clothing.
During this process I also strive to determine what I will and will not actually wear. Since style is not my strong suite, I usually use questions such as “Does it still fit?” or “Does it reflect the best look for me?” to determine whether or not an article of clothing is saved for further use.
In the same way we evaluate our clothing to determine the best for our outer appearance, God asks His followers to consistently evaluate those things that reflect our inward condition.
Ephesians 4:2-24 says: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
This principle is particularly important in parenting. When a child accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit will reveal to him those behaviors that no longer fit his new identity in Christ. As a result, these behaviors will need to be discontinued and replaced by new ones. A parent’s role is very significant in this endeavor.
Just as a child may struggle with giving up a worn out favorite pair of shoes, he may also struggle with giving up old habits and behaviors, especially if they resulted in temporary pleasure. In this instance, it’s important for a child to recognize the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In the same way wearing something that no longer properly fits can make us uncomfortable, the Holy Spirit will make us uncomfortable with our old way of life, prompting us to change actions and behaviors.
Also, a child should be taught to evaluate behaviors for himself by asking Christ-centered questions: In what ways do my actions reflect the character of Christ? Does the Bible have anything to say about my behavior? Would God be pleased with my lifestyle? Asking these types of questions will help a child desire God’s perspective rather than his own.
As a child is trained to embrace and develop his new identity in Christ, he will reflect God’s nature to those around Him.