to talk about sin and why we don't punish

i know, sin.
what a topic.
i'm sure half of my readers noticed the title and
decided to not even read it.
and probably half of my friends who aren't christian.
because sin is such an unpopular topic and a concept that
most people want nothing to do with.
but it goes along with my other topic,
from this post,
on why we don't punish.
and so i'm going to talk about sin.
read if you dare.

i don't think sin is as black and white as we make it out to be.
what i am really concerned with is the why's of sin.
why do we do what we do?

here's my lame example:
{disclaimer, i called it lame.
ergo, i know it's lame.  so don't fault it 
for it's lameness.}
a young girl who feels unloved.
desperate for attention, affection, love.
she starts sleeping around and begins a super
promiscuous lifestyle.
most in the church would call that sin.
and i'm not saying it's not.  that's pretty clear,
it's pretty contrary to the ten commandments and whatnot.
but what do we do about it?  do we tell her she's in sin?
do we teach her about std's and unplanned pregnancy?
so what if she stops sleeping around if
her heart is still hurt?

Christ made it pretty obvious that He is way
more interested in our hearts than in our outward appearances. 
so to focus more on fixing the symptom than the problem
is kind of like ignoring the leprosy and only trying to
repair each bit of damaged skin the leper acquires.
in the end you may have a bandaged body but
inside you are dying.

and so the sin {or action, or behavior if you like} is
merely a symptom of whatever is going on inside of us and
it takes real compassion and love to figure out the
real problem and find ointment which will soothe soul aches.

and just as i would gently take the hand of a sister who made
bad choices,
take their hand and not scold or belittle but
offer love and guidance and prayer,
so i do my children.

sometimes they behave in less than ideal ways,
doing things for which other parents would spank or
give time outs.
we refrain from using punishments and choose,
to focus on the heart issue, the soul aches.
we could punish and make them obey but
that would only be skin deep, merely putting
bandaid on a gash that needed surgical reparation. 

instead we choose to listen,
to offer love and guidance and prayer.
we choose to shepherd our children gently,
and in so doing, help them fix their soul aches, their leprosy. 
and when we heal the leprosy,
all that damaged skin heals too.
and when we help their heart's cries,
they start to make right choices.

and so when i say we don't punish our children,
i really mean it.
we don't punish.
we draw them near.
we take them into our arms and
love them.
we listen and give of ourselves.
we don't want perfect behavior.
we want children who are whole inside and
know they are loved.
no. matter. what.

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate the writing about this. As an older parent this time around, I am finding that gentle leading and guiding does work best even with my very "spirited" toddler. There are so many ways to reach the hearts of our children in love and understanding.