Why do your children sin? What is the nature of sin? Join AMBrewster today as he scratches the surface of Hamartiology and helps Christian Parents better grasp their role in parenting.
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“Sin is Immaturity” by Tim Challies
Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“Parental Blindspots: Tim Challies Interview, Part 1” (episode 25)
“Your Child's Bungee | the nature of sin and parenting” (episode 199)
“Parenting a Zombie, Part 1” (episode 200)
“The Chief of Sinners in Your Home” (episode 215)
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If you are new to the show, I welcome you and encourage you to do two things:
Our content is evergreen and eternally relevant, and I want you to know that our material is not tied to cultural ideologies and current events. We do our best to glorify God by staying firmly rooted in His Word.
And we do this because the Bible has everything we need for life and godliness, and we’re excited to see how each chapter and verse can shed new light on our families and help us lead them better.
Of course, you don’t have to listen to every episode from the beginning. You can hunt and peck for topics that are helpful for you or go to TruthLoveParent.com where we have curated lists of topics and seasons and series so that you can work through related shows. And I try to do my best in each episode to point you back to previous shows that will broaden the discussion or deepen your understanding.
Let’s be honest, this is our 237th episode, but most of them are only about 20 minutes long. That’s not really long enough to fully grasp any biblical concept. So we have many series, and I’m constantly trying to build a group of shows that compliment each other and build off the previous ideas.
So, again, welcome or welcome back.
Please know that even if we’ve never met your family, we love you desperately and want your family to please God in all things.
That’s why we exist.
I also want to take a moment to thank Cara, Josh, Heatherly, and Taylor for making today’s episode possible. We are a listener supported ministry, and God sustains us through the faithful giving of His people.
If you’d be interested in learning more about being a Sponsor or Patron, you can click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode.
Okay, let’s talk about the sin with which your child is so easily beset.
Hebrews 12:1 reads, “Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely.”
Unless we’re born again and finally ushered into the presence of God, we will never know what it’s like to be sinless.
We’re born with it, it clings so closely to us, it’s actually in our DNA, and yet we’re called to lay it aside.
And — as parents — we have an even bigger calling because we’re put into our children’s lives to help them do the same.
So, in order to accomplish this, we need to start with a solid, biblical understanding of sin. We need to see it the way God does.
Now, the Doctrine of Hamartiology — or the doctrine of sin — is a very big study. And even though we haven’t even scratched the surface, we have created a number of resources that address this topic.
For example, episode 199 is called “Your Child's Bungee | the nature of sin and parenting.” The metaphor we use in that show was so helpful for me as a parent that I couldn’t wait to share it with you.
And then there’s “Parenting a Zombie.” That series is extremely valuable in helping us understand the delusional aspect of sin.
And all of these episodes will be listed in the description with links so you can easily access them. And they all do an awesome job helping us have a biblical understanding of sin.
But today we’re going to further our talk by springboarding off an article written by Tim Challies.
Tim is a wonderful guy, and he also has the distinction of being our first Special Guest. His two-part interview is episodes 25 and 26, and the first is called “Parental Blindspots.” You should check it out.
Also, before we get into the topic, I just want you to know that the vast majority of our shows come with free episode notes on our blog, “Taking Back the Family.”
And if you want to fill your social media feeds with amazing, Christ-honoring content, just subscribe to Truth.Love.Parent. on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Alright, so, Challies wrote an article in December of 2018 called “Sin is Immaturity,” and I want to build on that concept. Of course, I’ll put a link to Tim’s article in the description as well.
Let me start by reading his first two paragraphs:
“There is a lot bound up in every sin. Sin is missing the mark—an arrow that has veered so far to the left or the right that it has flown past the target. Sin is transgression, disobedience toward a known law or standard. Sin is iniquity, premeditated rebellion against God. And lately, especially as I’ve been examining my own life, I’ve also been seeing sin as immaturity. Sin is a failure to grow up.
“We expect that children will behave in immature ways. It may dismay us—but not surprise us—when a toddler responds to his toy being taken away by throwing a temper tantrum. It does not surprise us when a pre-teen rolls her eyes and slams her door when her parents take away her iPad. Toddlers and children are immature and behave in immature ways. They lack the maturity to respond in more appropriate ways.”
Then later Tim makes this observation, “Thus, in its own way, sin is evidence of immaturity. It is immaturity.”
It’s important for us to understand that sin is wickedness. It’s evil. It’s depravity. It’s everything that attacks the character of God.
But we also need to understand why we’re in this state.
When we think of evil, we often think of someone who used to be good, who had all the chances and resources and potential to be good, but who made a deliberate and defiant choice to embrace wickedness.
But as we learned in the “Your Child’s Bungee” episode, all humans beings are incapable of glorifying God. It’s not so much a deliberate choice to defy God as it is an inability to submit.
We don’t start as innocent babies who are later seduced by the Dark Side. We’re born into the Dark Side, completely incapable of existing in the Light.
We need to submit to God’s regenerating work and gift of faith in order to receive the Holy Spirit and be able to grow in our Sanctification through Him away from death and darkness to Light and life.
And, even when we’ve been born again, there’s a process of growth from sin to righteousness. Now, I’ve said it before — but lest you haven’t heard it — we will never be perfect this side of Heaven. We will always have to war against the sin that indwells us and clings to us.
But we should grow in our maturity and conformity to Christ so that we sin less often than we use to.
But, what’s interesting is that the more mature we become the more aware we become of the depravity dwelling within us.
Episode 215 is entitled “The Chief of Sinners in Your Home” and speaks to the fact that the more mature we are the easier it is to see the hold sin has on us.
So, all of this to say, immaturity is a proclivity to sin. Maturity is submission to Christ.
Don’t be surprised when your child sins. It’s not that they necessarily and high-handedly chose to spit in God’s eye (though that is the inevitable outcome), it’s simply that they are immature and can do nothing more than sin.
This is why our first and highest calling as parents is to introduce our children to the Savior through Education and Interpretation.
Once they have accepted and submitted to those Truths, they can start the process of accepting Counsel and Training. For the first time in their lives they will be able to start saying no to sin.
In fact, your child’s sin should bother you more if they’re Christians than if they’re not. An unsaved individual cannot truly obey, but a born again person chooses to sin.
So, what are our parenting takeaways today?
1. Understand that your children were born sinners, are still sinners, and will continue to be sinners . . . just like you.
2. Acknowledge that the amount of sin in your child’s life is a direct reflection of their level of maturity.
3. Therefore, don’t be surprised that your children need to be parented. It’s partially by parenting that God chooses to save and sanctify your kids. It’s a joyous process, not a burden.
4. The less mature your child is the more you will have to teach them what is right and wrong.
5. The less mature your child is the more often you will have to help them see their sin and lead them to repentance.
6. The more mature your child becomes the easier it will be for them to see their sin.
7. The more mature your child becomes the more they will want to cast off their sin.
8. The more mature your child becomes the more you will have to engage in counseling and training.
9. The more mature you are, the more you will see the sin in your own life and desire to lay aside every weight.
10. The more mature you are the more you will want to be taught, reinterpreted, counseled, and trained by your mentors.
Sin is real and diabolical, and every shred of it in your house is a testament to the immaturity in your home.
It’s also a neon sign pointing to the areas in your lives where you need to apply God’s Truth.
In your parenting, identify your kids’ immaturity and comb the Scriptures for a better understanding of how life is to work in those situations so you can help your child learn how to set aside the sin that so easily clings to them.
You can also share this episode. We’re all sinners, and we all parent sinners, so — no doubt — your friends could desperately use this reminder.
And next time I hope to discuss something I’ve been hinting at for the past few weeks.
Recently we’ve talked a lot about counseling our children to apologize, but I’ve not yet explained what that looks like.
Lord willing, on our next episode, I want to explain what apologies and forgiveness looks like, what it’s for, what it means, and how to teach our kids to do it to the glory of God.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
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