THE CHILD’S SINFUL HEART: SEARCH AND RESCUE
One area of our child’s heart that we often do not want to give serious consideration to is that they by birth and nature are sinners. John 1:12-13 indicates that no one is born a “child of God” but they must become one by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Also Romans 3:23 and 5:12 states, “all have sinned.” All means everyone including our children. As sinners we are the objects of the wrath of God as all sin is personal and hostile to God.
The effect of sin is on every part of who we are as humans. However, though our children and we are totally sinful, it does not mean that we are as sinful as we can possibly be. Being created in the image of God does give the potential for all people to do good things that reflect the character of God. Those things done apart from Christ though do not credit any righteousness to us but simply are good for mankind and society. As sinners also, we are totally helpless within ourselves to resolve the issue of God’s disposition towards us. See such verses as John 6:44; 15:5; Romans 8:6-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Hebrews 11:6.
We all like to convince ourselves to some degree we are fundamentally good and not as bad as the Bible makes us out to be. We love to compare ourselves to others and our children remind us when we are pointing out their sin, “Yeah, but how about (insert name)?”
So who is this child you are trying to raise? Well they are a sinner like you. They attempt to make meaning out of things often the same way you do. They have self-centered desires, wants, and passions like you and many that are contrary to yours so in accordance with James 4:1-3 you fight and quarrel with them.
Why is it important to consider the doctrine of sin in our parenting? It drives you to the necessity of preaching the gospel every day to your child. You still need the gospel to center your own life upon because you sin every day and your child, by nature and by practice, sin and need the gospel daily.