Let the Little Children Come to Me: Part 3
There is Always Hope: Savior
Jesus Christ, the Lord will judge His enemies and save His friends through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. (Luke 2:11; Peter 2:24; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 4:12 and John 14:6)
As we were reminded last week in Part 2, every person is born enslaved to their sin, the consequence for which is the death penalty. Yet there is hope! Jesus has given us the opportunity to be FREE forever. In Part 3, we are going to examine the good news of a Savior and how to give hope to our children. Because “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Why Can’t I Make My Body Obey Me?
When my daughter was three years old she would lie, and lie… and lie some more. Now, she was given very serious consequences for her lying, but this didn’t stop her from continuing to do it.
One time, she told two friends that she owned a boat. I know it is a little delusional for a 3 year old to say she actually owned a boat, but there it was! Our conversation went something like this: “Sweetie, was that true what you said?”
She paused…(sometimes she would answer the truth and other times she would lie more). She wouldn’t be allowed to do anything but sit until she decided to speak the truth to me or Tim. This time, I happened to overhear this conversation and knew she had been boasting about it to her 5 and 6 year old friends. (It’s a mother’s job to sometimes stand by her children and listen to what they are saying).“No, it wasn’t”, she replied.
Addressing Sin and Giving It Consequences
So I explained, “I am afraid for your soul because there are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him, and a lying tongue is second on that list. God always speaks the truth, but the devil is called the father of lies. I am afraid that you will go to the fire if you continue down this path of so much lying. Because of the seriousness of your sin, you will now have a consequence.” (Many spanks on the bottom.) After the swats were administered, and hugs were given, then I prayed aloud,“Oh gracious God, please help my little girl to call on Jesus to help her stop lying. Help her to run to Jesus and call out to Him for forgiveness that she may receive the Holy Spirit to help her obey You. Amen.”
Confession and Reconciliation
After that she had to go confess to her two friends that she lied to them and ask for forgiveness. Confession is an incredibly important component in the gospel. Romans 10:9 says “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” To confess means to “say what is true” or “agree with God” about who God is and our position before him. We confess Jesus as Lord to be saved, and we continue to confess our sins habitually then God is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Therefore, we must require confession from our children in the little things that one day they would understand what it means to confess their sin before God.
Not only does God want us to have our children confess their sins, but Christian parents should also model this in their own homes and to their children: When you sin against your spouse, and/or others in front of your children, be sure to publicly confess your sin to the person you wronged, and take time to ask forgiveness from God.
Do not lash out against your child in anger, then pretend like it never happened after you cool off. Be humble and go to them each time you sin against them and ask forgiveness for wrongdoing. Make sure that you also tell them that you asked God for forgiveness too.
If the Son Sets You Free, You Are Free Indeed
For my daughter, the process of receiving consequences for lying was an opportunity for me to show her that God is so holy (Sovereign) that she must go to Him and admit her wrong-doing and understand that there is not just a physical penalty for her actions, but an eternal separation from God that includes the Lake of Fire (Sinner). It was because of my daughter’s habitual lying for almost a year that she came to the realization that she couldn’t stop sinning on her own. One night, after yet another day of continual spankings, she told me,“Mommy, I keep telling my body to obey me, but it won’t listen!”
My poor, sweet girl, the chains of sin were tight about her, but I had the truth of God’s word waiting to tell her about her Savior. This is when I told her that she could turn from her sin and trust in Jesus to save her and about the Holy Spirit’s help in a believer’s life for someone who is willing to call Jesus “Master”.She made a profession of faith that evening – a profession that has continued on until this very day! After many consequences and many gospel conversations, she placed her faith in Christ to save her and asked for the Holy Spirit to come help her.Jesus said in John 8:34-36. “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Therefore, when our children sin, we need to be faithful to remind them that only Jesus can help them obey. We must not become angry when our child sins for the 30th time in a day; we must see it as an opportunity to tell them about the one who can pay for their sin and set them free from it. The one who can save them from the wrath of God.
Be encouraged, mothers! Your faithfulness to your children will not be in vain. Continually speaking to them about God’s holiness, their sin, and the hope that awaits will bear fruit. I have had the privilege of having conversations with 3 of my 5 children that ended in their conversion. There is no greater purpose for a mother than making disciples of her children.