A Hidden Hypocrisy!

It was a great day!  A couple of fantastic meetings.  A fun evening with the family at Chick-Fil-A.  They had a “Prince/Princess” night, and all the little princes and princesses got free ice cream.  We had a great time and even met the Chick-Fil-A cow.

But something happened on the way home.  We stopped at Target to grab a few must-have items for the house.  My wife ran in and the kids and I hung out in the van.  This is when car rides can explode.  The kids get bored.  What’s the logical next step.  Hit each other in the heads with balloons.  Makes sense.

My sons were really getting after it and I was trying to be patient.  I was allowing them to burn off some of that excess energy.  Then my oldest son, Grant, said something to Ashton.

“Ashton, I’m not playing with you any more.  You always quit.”

As he was quitting, he was chewing out his brother for quitting.

I of course (at a time I should have waited anyway) jumped in at this point and told Grant that he couldn’t quit a game while chewing his brother out for quitting.  That didn’t make any sense.  Truthfully, that would be a hypocritical thing to do.  To say one thing, while living another, is hypocrisy.

Then it hit me.  That’s exactly what I do as a dad.  I tell the kids what to do, but I so often fail to live by my own rules.

“Kids, stop treating each other disrespectfully.”  Said while I yell or speak in a disrespectful tone.

“Hey, pick up your stuff.  Stop leaving a mess.”  Said while my “garments” lie strewn all over my bedroom floor.

“Hey, listen to your mother when she’s talking to you.”  Said while I assume I know better than my wife and fail to listen and respect her advice.

You see, parenting brings out a hidden hypocrisy that is inside of us.  When we make laws (rules) as parents that we expect our kids to follow, but we ourselves abide by no rules.  We say one thing to them and they watch us live something entirely different.

Is it any wonder, so many kids grow up disillusioned with the Christian faith?  Is it any wonder so many Christian kids grow up and give up on their faith by the time they leave college?  It’s not really any wonder, is it?

Have you uncovered any hidden hypocrisies in your life as a parent?

Am I crazy?


About Stan Rodda

Follower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.

Posted on May 3, 2010, in discipleship, Family, pastors, the basics, the culture. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Nope, not crazy–and not alone. We each do the same things. Maybe not exactly the same but that “this applies to you but not to me” mentality is often present. I’m not a mom,I get my experience from being Aunt Marty and The Nanny. But I know it’s hard for me to enforce the “clean your room” law when mine sits hidden under layers of “stuff” downstairs. Also, if it’s not ok for the kids to watch on tv then should I allow myself to watch it when they’re not around? Yep, double standards and hidden hypocrisies.

  2. Nope, certainly not crazy. This past Sunday I said that many parents wonder why their child turned out the way he/she did. General statement: many time it is not what they are taught but how they are taught. Can’t tell my child to tell the truth when I tell him to say, “not home” when the phone rings.

  3. You are not alone my friend, I have had the same thoughts many a time!!! Mine stems from the old, “You can’t have that for a snack, we need healthy food in our bodies!” as I secretly grab a bowl of ice cream after the girls go to bed… Sometimes we get it right though and those are the moments we need to praise God for, utimately our children are His anyway…we’re just supposed to help them along in their path to Him. Thanks for the post, good stuff!!!

  4. While I take your point, if my kids are not going to go to heaven based on my perfection, I am in deep trouble. Given, being inconsistent is not the best witness; dealing with inconsistency and letting my kids see true repentance and forgiveness in the event of my inevitable inconsistency is what will hopefully make the difference. Finally, both my children have accepted the Lord and the Holy Spirit is doing his work in their lives: therein lies their hope and ultimate salvation–not in my ability to be perfect or not.

    • culturalawakening

      I definitely agree with you on that. Sometimes I catch myself in a situation like that and I’m always trying to be a better dad. I will never be perfect, no one will be. But I can work hard and correct obvious, glaring mistakes in my life. To summarize, I agree with you. I was looking at it only from the perspective as a parent, not necessarily the ultimate, eternal result in the kids. Thanks for bringing up a good point.

  5. billyjohnsonlive

    You know where I am most inconsistent: I am very unloving and judgmental about those who are unloving and judgmental. ugh.

  6. roddafamily5

    Billy, I find myself being that way as well. But, righteous anger about hypocrisy or legalism, or whatever it may be, is ok. I most definitely need to evaluate whether my anger is righteous or not, though, and therein lies the struggle.

    One reason I LOVE being a parent is that it has grown me in so many ways. God has really taught me about His love for me, by understanding my love for my children. But He has also taught me about myself…and things I need to change, through my kids. When I see them acting in an ugly way, normally it is something they have learned from me. So, God stretches me in that moment, to evaluate my own behavior, while correcting my kids. Just one of many ways my children are a gift to me!

    Good stuff, babe. You are a GREAT dad!

  7. Great points and certainly not crazy. Although painful I am thankful for the forgiveness I have had to seek from my chidren! I pray that there is more power in the honesty and lessons they have learned from my alcoholism (while being very active in church, bible study,etc.). May they take away more from what I show when I have fully submitted to God versus just looking like I am serving Him…and telling them to…thanks for the reminder to clean up my room!

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