By Christi Stone
To be honest, I have started this article over a few times. This one was hard to write but impossible to ignore. It’s something we as parents all face. How do we react when our kids sin?
Most are aware that I have six marvelous, crazy, beautiful children. And I am what the world calls, a “blended” mother. When I married my husband three years ago, we blended our family together and became one beautiful chaos called family. Every family is blended, biological or not, you are blended because God didn’t create you to be alike because you are family, He made you different and set apart. And for the most part, life with six children has been amazing, but what do you do when one of your kids sin?
Let’s face it...all of our kids will face sin at one time or another. It’s just the way it is. However, I felt challenged this last week when I had to discipline my daughter who was caught in a lie. I was crushed and I was challenged. Giving birth and not giving birth to a child has never determined in our family what authority or lack there of resides in our roles. Shane is the Dad, and I am the Mom, and well…that is that. There are no sides. So why did I find myself so irritated and so challenged at this situation with my daughter. Because she reminded me of…me.
When I was a teenager and long into my adulthood, before my walk with Jesus, I suffered with jealousy. And deceit is jealousy and comparison’s best friend. If you want to be accepted, you’ll do or say just about anything to get it. I recognized in my daughter the same pattern I had at her age. And I said no. Not on my watch. As I sat my daughter down, my flesh wanted to tell her all the suffering that would come at the price that sin has and scare the sin right outta her, but as I began to speak, I realized that as parents, our job is not to alienate but to saturate. I could tell my daughter all the things that sin could do to destroy her life or I could saturate her with the truth of who she is and how sin has no grip on her life when she is grounded in the truth of Jesus Christ. I began to declare over her promises and identity, hope, restoration, forgiveness and love. Were there still consequences…yes there were, but they didn’t come out of a place of anger, resentment, or even fear, they came from a place of forgiveness and love. Because our kids will fall short. And as parents, so will we! But we can be certain that Jesus will be loving us from a place of who He knows us to be rather than what the world says we did. The enemy will use our sin to make us bitter, but God will transform our sin to make us better.
As for my daughter, God used what Satan meant for destruction to build an even tighter bond. She listened and she responded, not to my words but to my testimony. I didn’t preach it from a pulpit or at conference, it was her and me in our dining room getting real. Our testimony will not only be powerful in the lives of our children, but vital! And God will use what we have encountered to saturate our children with His truth. So what do I do when my kids fall into sin...I love them, I forgive them, I correct them, I pray with them, I invest in them, I call them by name and by who they are called to be...I choose them. I saturate.
The enemy is not getting our kids. Period. Not on my watch.
Christi is a wife and mom to six children through blended family. She attends and leads at Garden Valley Church in Roseburg, Oregon, is a published author, and founder of Just Be You Ministries. Her favorite drink is cold brew coffee and her favorite sweet treat is an old fashioned chocolate donut. She enjoys reading, traveling and hosting her friends and family at home. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!