Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. Psalm 128:1
There are times when parents should allow their children to experience the unpleasant consequences of sin. Our kids need to understand that those painful consequences come by God’s design. Children have a right to know that our merciful God of love is also a God of righteous wrath.
When I was nine years old, my (jcd’s) mother read me the story of Samson (Judges 13–16). I heard that after this mighty warrior fell into sin, the Philistines put out his eyes and held him as a common slave. Samson repented before God and was forgiven, but he never regained his eyesight or his freedom. “There are terrible consequences to sin,” my mother told me. “Even if you repent and are forgiven, you will still suffer for breaking the laws of God.” I am thankful today that my mother had the courage to acquaint me with this “warning note” in Scripture. The knowledge that I would one day stand accountable before God led me to moral decisions at times when I could have easily chosen otherwise.
As you teach your children about the Christian faith, be sure to communicate that we serve a God not only of love, but of justice: “The Lord is known by his justice” (Psalm 9:16). To reveal only one side of the coin is to distort one of Scripture’s most significant truths.
Are you teaching your kids equally about God’s love and justice?
Do your kids understand that there are inevitable consequences to breaking moral laws?
Heavenly Father, may we be bold enough to believe in justice and honor as much as we believe in love and grace. Give us the courage to teach our children who You truly are, an infinitely powerful God whose every interaction with us has eternal meaning. Amen.