>We are born into sin. This truth stops me in my tracks now that I have children. Okay, correction…this truth stopped me in my tracks when my children were smaller. I can see it a little bit, now. However, when I was holding my newborn baby boy, the idea that he was born into sin was hard to believe, at best. In fact, I think I even doubted that it was true. Honestly, what seems sinful about a baby?
Now that I am sharing a home and life with two boys, boys that walk, talk, and form opinions, I am starting to see it a little bit. They assert themselves, they test boundaries, they display the worst behaviors possible in the most public of places. They talk back, throw fits, demand to have their way, they are even generally selfish. Don’t read this wrong, I love my children. I am passionate about raising my children, and I am thankful to have them. I am also certain that the fall of man made the raising of children a very different, and difficult, process.
When God told Eve she would have pain in child-bearing, I previously only considered that to be a “during labor & delivery” statement. I am beginning to think that was only the beginning. God knew that we would have to cope with and correct the sins of our children and that it would be a painful process to bear with them in love as they grow.
We must raise up our children, we cannot just let them grow up – they will have a birthday every year, but that doesn’t change anything but the number of their age. We must teach them what sin is, what temptation is, how to recognize it, avoid it, and repent from it. We are called to teach them about their Creator, and His love, His wrath, His death on the cross, His forgiveness, His will, His word.
As I deal with the next bad choice, I pray that God gives me the right words. I pray that I don’t over-emphasize “right” behavior, and under-emphasize a dependence on God and their need for a Saviour. Now, don’t get me wrong. I will continue to correct my children, but they are not perfect, and all of my corrections will never make them be perfect. I pray that I don’t teach them to try to be perfect, but rather to seek God, and His forgiveness. These are the years when they learn where to turn, and on whom to rely. I don’t want them to be self-reliant, or to rely on this world, or me, or friends, etc. I want them to rely on God.
How do you handle bad choices and sinful behavior in your children? How do you help lead them to the cross when they miss the mark?