Thursday, January 14, 2010

Puritanical Shortsightedness

I have recently become convinced that evangelical American Christians do essentially two things pretty well.  They keep their kids from swearing, and they keep them from having sex before marriage, or at least they clearly express their displeasure with those two specific sins.  And I believe that they are sins (for the most part).  For the first sin, as Ephesians 5 says, "Nor should their be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather Thanksgiving."  And the latter should be clear from many verses about purity.  So I'm not saying that Christians are off base by discouraging these sins in their children.  I just wish that they would treat other sins with the same tenacity that they do these two.

Imagine if a parent would wash their child's mouth out with soap for gossiping?  Or for using coarse language that's not included in our society's list of "swear words"?  Or if they would give their children lectures on the dangers of coveting?  Or jealousy?  What a better church we would have!  What a more Christlike body of believers we would have!  If only Christians could harness their cursin' and sex fighting zeal to every area of their children's lives.


  1. Good point, but what about the thought that you may be beating your children down if you are on them for each sin they encounter? The thought has come across my mind many a time that I need to be mindful about this or they will rebel and turn away from wise counsel.

  2. This must of course be done lovingly, always reminding your children that despite their sin they are forgive both by God and by their parents because of Christ's sacrifice for them on the cross. But scripture is clear that if you train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it. And the way a child should go is towards greater Christlikeness. As Christians we are clearly called to lovingly be training and admonishing our brothers and sisters in Christ towards righteousness. This is no different with our children.