“The kids you teach this week have sinful hearts. They cannot obey God perfectly, and they need a Savior. Point kids to Jesus and help them understand that God is pleased with us because He looks at Jesus, who never sinned. Because of Christ, we can have a right relationship with God.”
As I read these sentences in preparing the Gospel Project curriculum on the 10 commandments this week for Redeemer Kids, I was stunned because culturally we don't talk about kids as sinners that much. They are sweet innocent little angel-like beings that don't really sin, they just make mistakes. The problem with that is then they only ever need behavior correction, not a Savior. And I’m also a mom with 4 kids. I direct a kids ministry with 100 kids. I have an upfront view of sin seemingly all the time. And yet, I forget it.
The first two sentences struck me pretty profoundly because believing this as I am parenting is not my natural inclination. One of my kids threw food on the ground this morning so as not to have to finish breakfast. I did process through that the child was not “obeying” and I was frustrated, but sadly, I didn’t remember that the child needs a Savior - just as much as I do - because we do have sinful hearts. I have a sinful heart. I forget how much I need grace and then I fail to give them grace. I didn’t point that child to Jesus, who never sinned, so we can have a right relationship with God…which will, in turn, help us as mother and child have a right relationship as well.
Our number one job as parents, as primary disciple-makers, as mentors to future brothers and sisters in Christ is to help point our kids to their need for a Savior. Our kids are sinners which means the first thing we need to think they need, and the first thing we need to give them is the Savior. Rules and discipline can come, but they need to be reminded of Jesus and His grace. And guess where this will come? From you first remembering you a sinner.
So I get to remind myself that my heart was sinful as I parented this morning because I wanted my child to obey, not for the good of learning to obey to have a right relationship with God, but because it was an inconvenience to me. I get to tell myself the Gospel - that Jesus died for my sin of selfishness and anger and took my punishment on the cross and gave me His perfect righteousness so that I can be forgiven and have a right relationship with God. Then I get to sit down with my child after school and discuss the event - this time pointing to our need for Jesus because of the sinful hearts we both have.
This blog post was written by Kati Berreth, who is the Redeemer Kids Coordinator, dedicated wife and caring mother of four. .