This is another one of those lessons that I keep hearing over and over from different places. I've had a few of those over the last little while.
Several weeks ago I read an article (which I cannot find now) from a mother, apologizing to the child's pre-school teacher. She said that the child was still learning and the mother was frustrated with the same behaviours as the teacher, but she knew that over time and with patience, her child would grow into proper behaviour.
Last night a friend shared this article with me about God being the perfect father but giving us the story of Prodigal Son.
A couple weekends ago I was listening to Voddie Baucham speak at a conference and he shared that same sentiment in two different sessions. He said that Jesus, who was the perfect teacher with the perfect message, still had a Judas. He also shared that the characteristics we are trying to instill in our children, things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all by-products of the work of God's Holy Spirit. (Gal 5:22-23)
"Character development apart from Christ is Pharisee-ism." ~ Voddie Baucham
Go back and read that again if you didn't get it the first time.
If we expect our children to live with the by-products of God's Holy Spirit before they've actually been filled with the Holy Spirit, we are teaching them, and specifically training them, to be Pharisees. They are learning to be self-righteous, doing good apart from the cleansing that God can give.
"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Gal 5:19-21 This is our natural inclination as humans.
We all naturally live "in the flesh" as humans. It is only through God's super-natural spirit that we can live "in the spirit."
Parents, be patient with your unsaved kids. They are living according their fallen human nature. They can model right behaviour that they see in you, but they won't be truly living it until they are living with God's Holy Spirit inside them. When their human nature bothers you, let that remind you of their greatest need, salvation. When you are reminded of their greatest need, do something about it. Pray for their salvation. Show them that their behaviour is a result of The Fall. Teach them how Jesus has died and risen to cover their sins. Guide them into the spirit-filled life of a Christian.
Don't teach them to be a Pharisee.
P.S. This applies to everyone, not just kids. If your boss is being a real jerk, pray for his/her salvation. Talk to him/her about what made the difference to you.