Sin and Love

July 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

Heather Allen –

Last week my son Noah and I had a conflict of interests. I was interested in him obeying. He was interested in playing and ignored what I asked him to do. After ten minutes of discussion and internal prayer, I sat him down. I looked into his bright teary eyes and told him the consequences of his continued disobedience: a week without any video games.

The week before this fairly normal event, I read a few parenting tips. On occasion I have given a consequence for Noah’s action and then released my child in order to model mercy . But one of the tips I read took that idea a step further, encouraging parents to take their children’s consequences from time to time. As much as I like Tetris, it is a rarity for me to play video games. But my, oh my, how I love a hot bath after a long day.

I looked at my son’s sad face and felt compassion. I said I would take his discipline. I would forego a pleasure bath for one week. Honestly, I am not sure what response I was hoping for, but he smiled and said, “You mean I can play video games?” I reminded him about redemption, and why we need it. I thought about pulling out a dry erase board for some illustrations. He looked so happy. Surely, he does not understand how much I like baths!

I did not expect my older children, lingering nearby, to offer to take the consequences by giving up what was important to them. One thought ran through my head as I asked them to join me at the table—I should have thought this through more. I felt we were standing on the brink of great spiritual understanding and I was not sure which direction to go.

If I were having this conversation with God, what would he emphasize? I spent moments throughout the day thinking about this.

I talked to my husband about it as I climbed into bed and kept talking as he snored. Do I remind Noah that his sin costs more than a bath and an apology? Does God remind me of my sin to reveal his salvation?

Romans 7:7 says we know what sin is because of the law. The Ten Commandments are the law. If we break one of these, we have broken them all. Saying sorry does not cover it.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:23-25, NIV).

Sometimes I will be able to carry my children’s consequences, but I cannot atone for their sin. Correction done well teaches children about their inherent value and their need for a Savior.

In our case, it meant reminding Noah that God’s word says children are to obey their parents. When he chooses not to, he not only disobeys us, he disobeys God.

When he understands he has sinned against God, he can also understand there is a consequence. The consequence of sin is death. The one who covered this debt is Christ.

God exposes sin, to reveal his love. Salvation is miraculous and beautiful for those who know how badly they need it.

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him” (Romans 4:7-8, NIV).

About Heather Allen

Check out Heather Allen's blog at: http://www.theknottedapron.blogspot.com/

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