“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23
This week we’re going to talk about sin. Because this is it. This is the thing that entered humanity and screwed the whole thing up. We need to be honest and real about it. We want to equip you to have conversations about it.
Isaiah 53:6 says, “we all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to our own way and the Lord has laid on Him the inequity of us all.”
Last week we talked about creation and how good it was. God called it very good when He created mankind and set them in their place. He created because He wanted to share love with us.
We all live in a world with a lot of brokenness and disappointment. We have broken relationships, mistakes we’ve made, shame, and guilt. We’ve all been touched by sin. Every one of us has committed sin. Every single one of us. That verse in Isaiah says we have all turned and gone our own way. I want to talk about that for a minute, because it’s hard to understand exactly what is sin.
Sin is when we choose something before we choose God, and His way for us. We turn our own way. We get what we want rather than what God wants for us. The power of Christ is that the bondage to sin is broken.
The blood of Jesus not only forgives our sins for eternity and makes us right with God, but it also frees us from bondage to sin.
When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the garden, they went their own way. They ate the apple they wanted instead of obeying what God wanted for them. There was immediate shame.
Genesis 3 says they hid, ran away, and covered themselves. They didn’t want God to find them, but of course He did. God wanted them to come out of sin, hiding, and shame to come back into relationship with Him.
He made a way and demonstrated exactly what would come, which was the blood sacrifice of an animal. He covered them with clothes made out of that skin. This is a picture of the gospel. One day a sacrifice would cover our sins.
God’s desire is that we would be in right relationship with Him. That’s the story of God. He’s fought for us to be back with Him. He loves us so much that even when we turn away from Him, He fights to get us back.
He values us so much, and He has set us in our places and created us for purposes that are beyond what we can imagine. He did all of that because He’s so good! He is so loving and powerful, and He wanted to share that with us.
In the meantime, what do we do with sin? How do we teach our kids about it?
You’re going to hate what I’m about to say. The best way to teach your kids about sin is to show them yours. You have to tell them when you mess up. The greatest way for them to understand their own sin is to see see sin in somebody they respect and love. If we hide our sin from our kids, our spouses, our friends, and if we live in hiding, we are going to have kids that live in hiding. But, if we openly confess sin regularly in our home, they’re going to be kids that regularly confess sin in their homes.
Confession is the culture of our home. Sometimes there are consequences, but my kids know that they’re safe to tell me what they’ve done wrong. There is forgiveness with those consequences.
We have to model confession, and we also have to model forgiveness and grace.
That doesn’t mean there’s not consequences and discipline. God has consequences. Scripture tells us that God disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). He makes sure there are consequences for those that He loves. We need to do the same as parents.
One of the greatest punishments we ever had in our house was a bootcamp. We would isolate kids in their room and we would bring meals in there. They were just completely isolated in there until they broke, admitted where they were wrong, and apologized. Being isolated was their worst punishment.
That’s what’s happening between God and us when we sin! There is separation. Because of the blood of Jesus we aren't’ actually separated, but we can feel in our heart that something’s off when we sin.
We want to be back with God. The distance is a reminder to confess.
We want to model restoration and reconciliation with our kids. It’s one of the hardest things as a parent to confess your own sin and apologize for your own sin to your kids, but also forgiving them for theirs and truly having a home that models Jesus and forgiveness.
There have been moments where I have felt pure panic for a child that is going their own way.
Over the years, the best thing I’ve learned is not to panic, because God’s not panicked.
I get to show them the love of God and model for them a safe place to land, because eventually that road is just like the prodigal son. They’ll go out into the world and follow that road to realize that it doesn’t bring life and peace. This isn’t what I want. I saw life and peace at home, under my parent’s roof, where we fought for reconciliation. I saw safety, protection, and advocacy in that family.
I hope my kids walk away and know there was life and peace in our home. We’ve made a ton of mistakes, and there are plenty of stories where I lost my mind on my kids about stupid and petty things, but we apologize for those mistakes. We make things right quickly. Why? Because we want to be right with each other again!
The same is true for our relationship with God - that we would want to be right with God more than we want to go our own way.