Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NASB

We mess up. At least I do. And I have a sneaking suspicion you do too. The chance for men in our culture to fall into a puddle, pool, or ocean of sin is 100 percent. A cursory review of the seven deadly sins is enough to convict us and remind us that we are far, far, far from perfect. For the record, we’re looking at greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride, lust, or gluttony. When you sift through that list, I’m not sure which one you park on, but “pride” tends to bust my chops more and more these days. The other six aren’t far behind.

Thankfully, love covers not just seven sins, but a multitude of sins. That verse in 1 Peter is referring to God’s grace. The idea is that God knows us and loves us. He knows our shortcomings and imperfections. He even expects them. Yes, he’s disappointed in our sins. They break his heart. But still, nothing we do can ever separate us from his perfect love.

Is there a lesson in there someplace for dads? Probably several.

For ourselves: Acknowledge our own sinful condition. Flee the world’s carnality. Ask God consistently and constantly for help. Be broken before him, knowing you can rest in his grace.

For our kids: As fathers, we need to allow our own love to cover a multitude of our children’s sins. Let’s strive to know and understand what our kids are going through. Expect them to make mistakes. Be disappointed sometimes. But never let anything get in the way of your unconditional love.

Those sins/mistakes/flubs/screwups often come with repercussions. Love doesn’t necessarily cover those. We and our kids often have to pay the penalty for our sins here on earth. But in the long run—in eternity—it all works out for good to those who are called according to God’s purpose.

What about you?

Who are you tougher on—your kids or yourself? Maybe it’s time to really get serious and lead your family to a life of brokenness, surrender, and new life in Christ. On the other hand, maybe it’s time to take three steps back and cut yourself and your kids some slack. Grace rocks.


Adapted from: One-Minute Devotions for Dads. Copyright © 2012 by Jay Payleitner. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

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