Sinful Children?

I was recently asked why gentle Christian parents and advocates don’t talk about sin when it comes to children much. The answer is because what most Christians believe is sin in children usually isn’t. A toddler saying, “no!” when asked to do something isn’t sin, it’s the child exploring independence and boundaries. A preschooler crying over not having something they really wanted is the child just having a hard time. Even biting, hitting, kicking, and cussing in young children is NOT sin. Young children needing food, love, comfort, room to play is not sin. Sin is when we truly understand something is wrong and goes against God and we have total control over ourselves and can tap into God’s strength to resist, yet choose wholeheartedly to go against God, THAT is sin!! Every child is different. Every child will sin like us. But, before 12-years-old, I don’t believe children truly sin. We slowly teach children about sin by discipline without punishment. By providing them with appropriate behaviors. And, by teaching them about God.

Also, when we look for sin in children, it makes us hypersensitive to all “inappropriate behavior.” It makes us want to punish for perceived sinfulness. We look at children as “little sinners” rather than blessings as the Bible says they are. Jesus loves children and told us to be like them. When sin is the focus, we become proud. We become judges. We think more highly of ourselves than we should so we can “beat that sin right out of that child.”

In reality, we are WORSE sinners than older children. Jesus said to get the plank out of our own eyes before removing the speck out of our brother’s eye. This applies to children too! Sin is sooooooooo much more than a child having a meltdown. Childish behavior is NOT sin. Rejecting God is! Hurting children is! Let’s focus on teaching and guiding children instead of worrying what childish behavior is sin. Give children the tools to choose good over bad so when real sin comes their way, they can tap into God and make more righteous decisions over sinful ones.

Good Baby?

Grace For My Sheep  considers how much more important it is to meet the needs of her child than to worry about the “parent-judgers” in Not a “Good Baby,” Not a “Pharisee Momma.”

Babies, Children and Sin Nature

Stephanie just started a new blog called The Shepherd’s Apprentice.

In her first post, she explains about the sin nature of babies and children and how we should respond to it.

She then posts about Selfish Babies or rather, if there is such a thing.

She ties it up with a look at Sin, How To Get What You Want.

Not bad for her first day.  😉

Children as Sinners?

Samuel Martin has the following to say about his essay, O Wretched Child that I am.

This text may be the most important New Testament scripture for those parents who have small children – I Corinthians 2:11. “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?” – Why? Read why here!

He also said this about the same post:

“At one year of age, man is a king, fondled and doted upon by all. At two and three he is a pig, groping in the garbage. At ten he prances around like a kid. At twenty he is a horse, preening himself in search of a wife.” – This post covers a lot of ground surrounding Paul’s view of himself and how we can especially relate that issue to how we view our children.

He also has an interesting look at child rearing in Biblical times:
One day we won’t have to keep them so close, but until then: Hang on tight – Part One
One day we won’t have to keep them so close, but until then: Hang on tight – Part Two

Contemplating Gentle Discipline

Molly contemplates what Gentle Discipline means to her in Beyond The Ideas.

How Should We Respond To Disobedient Children?

How should we treat our children when they disobey us?  Cultured Mama explores this question as she asks Does God Withdraw His Love from Sinners?

Does the Bible Tell Us To Bruise Our Children?

Cindy of Under Much Grace looks at Proverbs 20:30, “The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly” and explores What Jesus Said About the “Blueness of the Wound.”

And on a totally unrelated note, I liked what Bob Bixby said about teachers being held accountable for their teachings and not being able to hide behind Matthew 18 when someone speaks out against their teachings.  As far as I know, Michael Pearl has never mentioned Matthew 18 in this context, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone were to read what James MacDonald said and apply it to him.

How Does God Respond To His Children When They Sin?

Carissa Robinson looks at how God Responds To His Children When They Sin.   Do we respond to our children the same way?

And to help us with that, Pearl in Oyster (PIO) explains how to use Natural Consequences in a gentle way as she continues her 52 Tool Card Series. This is a very important post as it is very easy to ruin the lesson with the wrong attitude.

Gentle Parenting and Defiance

MamaPsalmist considers how hard it is to leave punitive spanking behind when a child is being defiant and if it is worth it in, Coming Out of Hiding.

How to Avoid Frustration

Pearl in Oyster (PIO) shares some really helpful advice which is sure to help avoid frustration in your household.  This post is from her 52 Tool Cards series and is called, Eye to Eye.

She mentions a child’s brain development in her post which brings me to an excerpt from Samuel Martin’s newest book in which he shares why it does not make sense to punish young children for sins before they are even old enough to understand sinning.

 

Reflecting the Character of God

The Hippie Housewife discusses how we should reflect the character of God for our children.  She looks at how attachment parenting looks a lot like how God cares for us and warns us about 3 heresies which are cropping up in many Christian teachings.

Along the same lines, Pearl In Oyster (PIO) explains that we should imitate how God disciplines His children.  She uses her testimony of how God treated her when she was out of His will as an example.

 

 

Bruises

When is it abuse?  Do bruises or the lack thereof have anything to do with it? If so, does it matter where the bruises are? Carissa Robinson considers this in a post called, Hodge Podge.

Memories of a Child Raised by the Pearl Method

No Longer Quivering has started a new story by Libby Anne about her childhood in which she was raised by the Pearl Method.  In part 1 she tells about how her mother almost killed her little sister by strict adherence to the Pearl Method.

Spanking is Wrong

Molly  explains why spanking is wrong according to the Bible.