Let the Little Children Come to Me: Part 2
Last week we looked at the importance of proclaiming God's character as a basis for the gospel in our home. Now, we turn to the reality of sin rearing its ugly head and how to turn that into an opportunity for the gospel.
The Reality of Your Life: Sinner
All have rebelled against God, deserving the punishment of hell. (Romans 3:10-12; Isaiah 53:6; 1 John 3:4; Romans 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:9) All sin is against a Holy God and has eternal consequences which needs to be taken seriously in every Christian home. Those who live in disobedience to God will be punished. Mathew 13:42 says “and those who commit lawlessness, [He] will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.Humans have a tendency to want to shift the guilt off of ourselves and blame others for our own sin against God. We only need to look to our father, Adam, to see him blame his wife for eating the forbidden fruit.
As a parent and a believer, we should make an effort not to justify our own sin or use euphemisms to make ourselves or our children feel better about rebellion against a great and holy God. Biblical language should be used when we speak of sin.
When we or our children are angry, we are “committing murder in our hearts”.
An exaggeration is lying.
Name dropping is gossip.
Children who say “no” to his/her parents or have a tantrum are in rebellion.
Wanting someone else’s things is coveting.
A Christian should not try to rationalize her child’s sin, and say, “She was just tired” or “She didn’t mean it”. Parents shouldn’t rationalize their own sin either. A parent shouldn’t blame shift and say, “If only that driver hadn’t cut me off, I wouldn’t have slipped and said that mean thing.”
It is not surprising that sin will be in a Christian home; however, it should be seen as serious as the Bible sees it—that our Holy God cannot have it before Him, and it is so serious that its penalty would require God’s own innocent son to die because of it. “The wages of sin is death” and the “wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth”.
Therefore, as Christian parents, we give consequences for sin from the time the children are little so they know that sin is wrong and has a penalty.In Galatians 3:24, it says that the law has become “our to tutor to lead us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith”. We do not give consequences against wrong behavior to lead to a right behavior.
Our goal is not to make them into Pharisees, white-washed tombs, who look good on the outside but are rotten on the inside. Neither do we give consequences to make our lives easier or to elevate our family’s appearance. We give consequences for God’s law being broken - to show our children that sin is serious to God, it has eternal consequences, their heart is disobedient, and they need a Savior to make them right before God.
Our children need to feel the weight of guilt that their wrongdoing brings, that they might feel the need to be released from the chains that bind them to their sin.
Questions for Reflection
Do we laugh at our children’s sin and think it’s funny?
Do we make excuses for our own sin or blame others?
Do we call sin the same thing as the Bible?
Do we give consequences in love or only when we become agitated?
Are we faithful to give consequences and talk about sin to our kids?
Are we more concerned about changing their behavior than the opportunity for the gospel?
Are we surprised that our children sin over and over?
Do we say things like “I can’t believe you did that again” (say instead “I know how hard it is to not do that thing, but that’s why we need Jesus to help us”)