When we talk about sin to our kids, it is common to go straight to the Ten Commandments. Yes, do that! You cannot skip these. In addition there are 600 plus commands to follow in the rest of the Bible, hence a very great need to study it. Amazingly enough, with all of these commands, we still have difficulty deciding what is right and what is wrong in today’s world. Do I get that tattoo? What about dating two guys at once? Can I watch that R rated movie? These and other question pop up and rarely, if ever do kids and parents agree.
We talk a lot about discernment in our house. Discernment allows a Christian to recognized false prophets and false teachings even when they are cleverly wrapped in the twisted Truth( 1 John 4:1). We also learn how to recognize when a situation is to be avoided. To practice discernment we are to question everything to see that it lines up with our biblical worldview. You can truly apply the Bible to almost every situation.There are commands on how to treat your neighbor, people in the Church, the needy, your children, your elders. We know we have to study the Bible in order to form our biblical world view ( Hebrews 5:14). We need to be studying everyday and we need to be questioning everything (Proverbs 3:1-3). These are both easy to let go of. We get wrapped up in the world and our habits fall. It is important to note that all people are not gifted with discernment. That is why it is so important to have counsel from those you have noticed with this gift.
Sometimes you may not know His commands enough to apply them to a situation and you need to make a decision about right now. Other times you may not be able to identify the situation as falling under one of the ten commandments or any other commands you have learned. We call these ” grey areas”. What do you do? Do you say no to everything in hopes of a Puritan style life? The kids will probably think that is what we are going for (wink). Do you say yes to everything and then find ourselves fallen without a clear way to get out or worse a lifetime of consequences? (Philippians 1:9-10)
I found that my children, who have a basic knowledge of the Bible and have not had the time to develop discernment, needed something to help them weigh certain situations and behaviors. In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we are commanded, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” So we have learned to ask our children (and ourselves) when they are doing something that doesn’t obviously fit into the ten commandments, “Are you glorifying God (when you do that)?” This is a great way for kids to identify a sin quickly or weigh a “grey area” for something that they are questioning. See the practice of discernment there?
To my younger kids, I explained further to say that like clothing with tags naming the creator of that piece of clothing, we have a Made by God tag (Ephesians 2:10). When we do something, we usually have an audience. This can be said for any sin or “grey area”. The audience can be a sister, a brother, a classmate, a Christian or an unbeliever. What we do represents our Creator. Just like that t-shirt that unraveled the day after we bought it from the store, our actions speak loudly about our Creator. If our actions make someone question the awesomeness of our Creator, we have not glorified God.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31