Johnson Blog

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Your Take?

So I need some input from all of my wise, godly Momma friends...

Yesterday Jessilyn got in trouble for aggravating Reese and then lying to me about what I clearly saw her blatantly do. She got two spankings-one for the big sis bullying and another for the lying. I explained to her what she did wrong, why she was being punished, then made her think about her actions. After her "thinking time," I went in, talked to her, loved on her, then prayed with her. I explained to her that when we mess up and do something wrong, we should pray about it. Pray for forgiveness, thank God for loving us unconditionally, thank God for the lesson, and ask for His strength not to repeat the offense. Here is my dilemma, my thought I have been pondering ever since. Should I be teaching her to pray for forgiveness every time she messes up, to confess each sin?

I believe we are all already forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. Salvation is our acceptance of that forgiveness. I understand Jessilyn hasn't yet accepted that gift. But I do not want to plant the seeds of condemnation and guilt that can come with the teaching that we must "confess every sin." I know as a young child, I really struggled with this point. I remember worrying about every single thing I had done wrong that day and trying so hard to remember every little detail. (I realize I tend to have a little of a compulsive personality, but so does my sweet Jess.)

So, my question is...How do you balance teaching a soft heart, one that is easily convicted of wrongdoing without (possibly) opening the door for guilt, self-condemnation, etc.? What's your take?


Anonymous said...

She sees God through you. I don't think you need to be concerned about her confessing her sins or not. As long as she knows that sin has consequences and that she is loved unconditionally, that is great. I think she will be convicted when she sees how her actions affect you and others.

Becky Dietz said...

You know, as a kid, we had to "kiss & make-up." Literally! It taught forgiveness. We couldn't stay mad at each other when we did it. I had not idea at the time what a great tool that was!!
I think having a child admit they did wrong is where you start. (If we confess our sins...) Isn't that the hard part for us with God? Just coming to Him and admitting we did wrong. Our sin is already covered, but we're just agreeing with Him that it was wrong.

amy wright said...

We always make sure that the kids know that the wrong things that they do make God sad. When we pray with them, we say, "Thank you, God, for forgiving us." I don't know if that helps. I'm finding that explaining spiritual things is pretty hard. Jay and I were laughing at some explanation I was trying to give the other day. Thankfully, Isaac got tired of me blabbing on and on and changed the subject. :) Whew!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you handled the situation very well! I think as long as you are setting a Godly example with the girls (which it seems like you are) they'll learn through your actions and examples. I found your blog through The Botos and enjoyed catching up on your life.