“Whoever conceals his sin will not prosper, but who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13, ESV)
I was one of those overly sensitive kids who had to confess each wrong to my parents before I could sleep. I remember lying in bed, tormented with guilt, even when it was imagined. Nothing helped my poor soul find rest until my father said I HAD to stop—and if I didn't, he'd spank me.
Whoever heard of having to tell a child to stop confessing sin? Most times, we deal with kids hiding sin.
Now, as a mother, I'm struck with the ease with which my kids hide their guilt. I'd have been tormented right out of bed at midnight had I tried to do that!
What I didn't grasp as a child was that Jesus Christ, not my parents, atoned for my sin. That I could lay there and pray to the One Who died for me, and find rest. If necessary, I could also make it right with any one I had wronged.
Torment happens when we fail to lead our little ones to Jesus. They can be tormented with hiding sin, or with imagining every little mishap needs to be confessed to a parent. Mothers, take the latter as seriously as the first or your child will continue in increasing torment of soul.
Many parents are bewildered when this happens. What on earth?! But this kind of sensitivity needs to be addressed as darkness when it overtakes your child to the point of him not being able to function well.
Your child is trusting in himself when he looks to you or himself to cleanse his heart. There is no true rest apart from cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ—and kids need to know that from a very early age. Lead him to take his real (or perceived) mess-ups to the Christ who came specifically for a messed-up world!
Lead him to pray, rather than just confess to you. Show him the everlasting arms, always there to hold a heart who wants Jesus. Lead him to trust in God's goodness rather than his own. Don't stop guiding him to the Giver of Rest until he stops being tormented by unrest.
Teach your child not to have faith in his faith, but to have faith in God's faithfulness.
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