I don’t like to brag, but I did a pretty incredible thing with my two boys. I created a kind rule-follower and an adorable, ornery rebel. That takes some skills!
I remember when the ornery one was six years old and informed me that sometimes he likes to break rules because it just gives him a good feeling inside. One side of me was fearful of my future with this rule-breaker, but the other side of me took a deep breath and just smiled because I can relate. My personal experience and understanding of the rebel heart have caused me to keep rules to a minimum in my home.
Our rules look like this:
– Treat others the way you want to be treated.
– Always say you are sorry.
– Be quick to forgive.
– Flush the toilet
– Bring your sin home.
Wait! What? “Bring your sin home” is a house rule of yours? Yes, I tell these wild kids that “your sin is welcome here.” Yes, let me explain.
I firmly believe that the way we handle sin as parents is a huge barometer of how our children will experience sin. I’ve found it is imperative for my home to be “sin friendly.”
Hear me out. We will not tolerate sin in my home, but at the same time, we will not act like it doesn’t exist. We will acknowledge that it exists in every heart that walks through our doors and even more in the hearts of those that rest their heads in this home.
The way we talk about sin in our homes can greatly affect the way sin is handled in the hearts of our children. If I, as a mother, am constantly talking about the nastiness and shamefulness of others’ sin, then I am afraid I have clearly stated that sin is not welcomed in my home, which means that my boys are not welcomed here either.
We all experience sin (Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12), and the moment my boys realize that it is deep inside of them trying desperately to devour their lives (1 Peter 1:5), I want them to come home with their sin and talk about it, struggle with it, and overcome it with me, their warrior momma, by their side.
Let’s not press forward creating exiles out of our children who are battling with sin in them and around them. I urge you, please be very careful about the way you talk about sin in your home. Be vigilant about not making it a monster or a disease. Make it a heart issue and a debt that has already been paid by our Redeemer (Matthew 20:28). Make it a battle you are willing to fight personally and spiritually. In essence we, as Christian parents, should be saying, “I am fully aware of sin because it also entangles me. I will not love you less when you stumble, but I will fight strong for your heart.” That, my friends, is why sin is welcome in my home, and I pray it is welcome in yours as well.
NOTE: If you would like to learn more about walking through sin, doubt, and faithlessness with your child, please listen to our podcasts “When They Behave Recklessly” and “When Teens Doubt.”
About Mel Hiett
Hi friends, I’m Mel Hiett. I like to believe that my nine years of being a single mom to two rowdy boys helped prepare me for Arise MInistries. Just in case raising those two wild boys wasn’t enough training God allowed me to work with teenagers in the local church for sixteen years. If nothing else I have a handful of wild stories and God moments to share with all of you. My husband Trae and I decided to make life more interesting in 2017 when we got married. Together we have five children, two dogs, and some chickens. We have a family group text affectionately named “The Zoo”. Please feel free to follow my adventures on Facebook or Instagram @themelymel.