As Christians, we believe that we’re all born sinners, right? Including our kids. (some may disagree with at which point a child becomes accountable for their sin, but that’s neither here nor there) Jesus saves us from our sin and ourselves. Right?
So, when we’re trying to raise our kids to love the Lord and follow Christ, why does so much of it center around behavior management? Why do we punish our kids for sinning…and KEEP punishing them until they stop the undesirable behavior? What are we trying to accomplish? Are we holding them to a standard of perfection that they can never reach? Are we punishing them for sins that we ourselves commit and receive no punishment for? Why do we assume that we can teach our kids, through whatever means, to stop sinning? Do we really think that through our teaching and punishment that we can root-out the sin that lives in their hearts? That we can cure sin habits in an unregenerate child that we ourselves still struggle with? If that were possible, they would need no savior, Christ would be irrelevant.
Why do so many Christians parent as though Jesus was not the ONLY means through which our children have any hope of heart change…eventally resulting in behavior change? Are we modeling the grace that we receive from the Gospel or setting a bar of moralism for our children? Would we ever be content to let Christ work-out the details of our children’s sin issues without expecting them to solve it on their own before they even know how to speak a sentence?
And if our discipline is a “success,”…….the bad behavior is temporarily curbed….are our kids any closer to a relationship with Jesus? Will it now be officially easier for them to open their heart to the Spirit? Did we cure their sin? Did their good behavior just gain them a free pass to heaven? Are we really living the Gospel for our kids or just whitewashed moralism that sets them up for a lifetime of trying to “be good?” I’m just wondering.
What do you think?