Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Turning Their Sin Into Discipleship


Photo taken by Allie. Instagram: @allie_thatsme

“Bella, did you sneak chocolate into your room?”
“There is chocolate smeared on your blanket. Are you lying to me?”
“Bella, I need you to tell me the truth. Did you eat chocolate in your room after Mommy and Daddy said not to?”

Oh, the first time your child lies to you. You feel your heart breaking and your perfect world shattering. How could they do this to you?! Where did your perfectly good little one go?

My daughter first lied to me recently, and she’s only four-years-old. I was shocked! I thought I had at least one more year before this tragedy occurred! Extra embarrassing was the fact that she lied to me in front of a large group of friends. Nice timing, sweetie.

How do you deal with a dishonest child? How do you react? What do you do about the resentment you feel toward them for betraying your trust?

It’s very important to realize that lying is a heart issue. A heart issue isn’t an act that needs training {ex: your child touching a hot stove or running into the street}. It is a sinful decision caused by an issue of the heart- your child’s flesh winning over their knowledge of right and wrong. Lying is an act that need discipline, not just training.

The dictionary defines training as:
the action of teaching a person or animal a specific skill or type of behavior.

Discipline is a form of the word disciple. A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ.

So, training your child is teaching them to behave a certain way in order to make them civil human beings and to keep them from danger. To discipline them is to teach their very hearts to become more like Jesus, which is our purpose in life.

When your child lies to you, try to remember that they are human beings, as perfect as they seem to you {on the days they aren’t throwing a tantrum}. They have a fleshly desire just like we do, and that fleshly desire urges them to lie in order to avoid discipline. It’s simply their sinful nature coming out in a more obvious way. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and discipline calmly. When they are done with their timeout, or whatever it is you do with them, sit them down and talk to them about lying. We tell our daughter that it hurts our hearts when she lies to us, and it isn’t the way Jesus wants her to behave either. But then we tell her about how she can ask forgiveness after making her mistake, and there is grace that makes her just like new. We pray with her, tell her we forgive her, and then move on through our day without bringing it up again. Forgiveness in action. In doing this, we have just used sin to show her an example of how the Lord is with us- forgiving, gracious, patient, and loving in discipline.

Let go of your expectations for your child. Set them free of perfectionism and see their mistakes as simple sinful nature and an opportunity to make them disciples of Jesus. Remember, if they didn’t sin, they would have no need for a Savior. Grow them into humble people who know just how much they need their loving Father!

Allie is married to her very best friend, Brian. They have three littles ages four, two, and one and live in Southern California in a cute little wooden house with lots of cats. She is a true bookworm and enjoys wine, riding her bike, and lazy mornings with overwhelming amounts of coffee. You can find her writing with raw honesty and a little sarcasm about faith, motherhood, marriage, and bettering yourself at The Purposeful Housewife.


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