The disservice of not talking about sin to your kids

I've been so frustrated with our oldest son lately. He has a complex of being better than our discipline - thinking he can get away with anything he wants to and he comes across as seeming like he thinks that he has authority his brothers do not.
It's driving Andrew and myself bonkers, but we also see benefits to these traits hiding in the aggravation.

I was contemplating the other day, as we were driving in the car, why he doesn't seem to grasp that when we say something is wrong, we mean that it's wrong. That led me to thinking, I wonder if I've explained sin to him well enough.

Our world is so apathetic, stay away from talking about discipline and punishment, attract with LOVE. But that's really not what our children need. (Of course they need love, they need to be loved, all that - that's not what I'm saying here.)

What I mean is, perhaps our children need a greater understanding of what sin is, the weight of it, and the harsh reality that when they sin, it's like spitting in the face of Jesus.

The kids and I sat down to watch a movie the other day - I was tired, so we had passed on sitting down and formally doing school - so I wanted to make sure that the move we watched had substance and meaning.

I found a few Torchlighters movies on Amazon Video but then I saw this one, JESUS: He lived among us. It's by Voice of the Martyrs so I knew it would be a quality story so we began watching it. The kids were really enraptured by it, but we got to the part of arresting Jesus and I started to get a little squirmy. It's not super graphic, but enough that I started thinking, "it's going to disturb the kids!"

And I had to change that thought because, we let the kids watch Batman (Lego Batman), dinosaur movies, Underdog, other movies that have mild graphic scenes - why should I shut this one off?

This scene that is so pivotal to our faith as believers. Probably the most beautiful graphic scene ever portrayed, if that's a thing...

We tell them the story, why do we fluff it up so much so they don't realize that he was being tortured?

Maybe if we add less fluff to the stories of the Bible, it would be easier for our children to grasp the depth of sin. I know that psychologists and psychiatrists and all those other Drs out there would disagree about children not comprehending until X age because of their brains, and yada yada - I mean no disrespect.

We are made to crave Christ, we are made to chase God. We are made to long to fill the void that grows in our hearts because of sin and we know, as Bible trusting believers that the cavern we have to fill is only filled by the work of Christ.

So maybe if our children understood greater, what Jesus did for them, they would be more apt to checking their actions.

Please, don't misunderstand me - I don't want this to be a scare tactic. Our children should never be shame parented or shame disciplined.

There is no shame with the Cross.

I simple mean, a greater understanding of the weight of what Christ did. A more thankful approach: "Jesus did all of this so that YOU don't have to endure it never-ending. Jesus did all of this so that one day, you can go and live in a mansion!"

There is no shame in that, no fear - it's showing thankfulness for what he did. It's showing appreciation for what he endured on our behalf.

And perhaps, if we as parents are more quick to model this ourselves, our children will catch wind and make leaps and bounds of progress in this direction instead of selfishness.

What do you think? How do you show your children the depth of what Christ did, while showing an example of being thankful for it?


  1. I agree that scaring or shaming kids with their own sin is wrong, but it is also so important we teach them something about sin that's appropriate to their age and level of understanding. And always bringing it back to Jesus and his gift of forgiveness!

  2. So wise. The verse in Hebrews comes to mind about those who continue to sin are crucifying the Son of God all over again. So good to let them know what the cost would be and how Jesus TOOK our punishment. I can hardly contain my gratitude. ♥️♥️♥️