Built-in Accountability Mechanisms

Another good reason to have kids: they call you on stuff you should be called on, even without knowing what they're doing. 

I know that talking bad behind people's backs is not right, but sometimes I act like there's a spousal loophole: never talk bad behind someone's back, but doing so to your spouse doesn't count.  Of course, it's still bad, but I still do it.

Well, the other day I was lamenting to Amy about someone I don't particularly like, feeling the guilty pleasure of unloading on this person for their transgressions against me.  As fate would have it, later that day the kids and I happened to pass by this person, and I gave a superficially friendly hello, to which Jada, puzzled, asked me, "Isn't that the person you were talking bad about to mommy?" 

Thankfully, she said it out of this person's earshot.  But her statement still had its effect.  I was mortified by my behavior and immediately felt awful about what I had done.

I wish I could say that I instantly came clean, repented before God, and used the situation to instruct my kids.  But instead I just mumbled something to Jada and shooed us away. 

I think most parents realize that we'll sin in front of our kids. But we still don't like getting caught in the act, and we usually don't respond the way we ought.  Good thing we've got these little people whose hearts aren't as tainted as ours, to ask the plain questions and make the plain statements that sear our consciences.

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