Children and Repentance

Published by Rosileni Mansano on

“In those days John the Baptist appeared preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and said, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Of all the challenges that the maternal universe proposes to me, correcting children in such a way that they feel repentance for their mistake, is what I consider the most important in the process of “getting the attention” of the little ones. I am extremely blessed to be the mother of three fabulous children! And of course… Each one has his own personality! Which in no way resembles the personality of their siblings. And just as they are not motivated in the same way, they do not repent in the same way or through the same means.

The firstborn, who is 10 years old, is smart, observant, and understands the human soul. She has an ease with words and her inclination for dialogue amazes me. She is easily corrected with just a good conversation! All I have to do is call her. We go somewhere quiet, somewhere peaceful, where there are no interruptions. I explain to her what she has done, why her attitude is wrong, and just pointing out her sin in the Bible is enough for her. Anna Lucia truly repents for having hurt the heart of God. She recognizes her sin. We pray together. She proposes not to make any more mistakes on that question, and that’s it! The day goes on smoothly and in peace!

The second son, of quiet and introverted temperament, is not so quick to acknowledge his mistakes. Maybe it is because he tends to make fewer mistakes, since unlike his older, more sanguine and talkative sister, he is of few words… Or maybe it is because it seems to me that men have a greater tendency not to express what they think or feel (or maybe it is because he is only 8 years old!). The fact is that, for Gabriel, a few words are not enough… Nor is it enough to simply point out his mistake in the Bible… It is necessary to lead him to a deeper reflection… Perhaps by bringing to light some Biblical story where the character has made a mistake similar to his own… Then, suddenly, it becomes clear, really clear to his eyes, where the path he was walking was going to lead him! He recognizes that he was walking in the same direction, and truly repents. We can pray, and get on with the day. All remains at peace.

The youngest son has an incredible tendency to take everything in jest and test our limits often. Or is it just me? Daniel is only 6 years old, so maybe I am jumping the gun when I want him to feel repentance for the mistakes he makes. But I know the Word of God and I know that I need to correct my children from an early age so that they will stand firm in the ways of the Lord! One of these days, I came across something unusual! Daniel simply did not feel sorry for having quarreled with his brother. Usually, talking solves the issue. At most, a few minutes sitting down… thinking… reflecting… and that’s it! He recognizes his sin, we pray and he goes back to playing. But that day, he was undeterred. Although he was wrong and had been the cause of the disagreement, he would not give in! It was not a question of hunger or sleep, which at certain times, potentiates any situation! But it was clearly stubbornness.

I tried every possible method. Talk to him… Nothing… The thinking chair… Nothing. Explain in the Bible… Nothing! I was already getting frustrated! Nothing was working. My little one was not inclined to repentance. It was then that I had an idea that I am sure came from the Holy Spirit! I told him I was going to put on a song of praise for him to hear. And that he should sing along! I left him alone in the living room, turned on the TV with praise and left.

I went into the bedroom to pray. I asked God that my little boy could understand his mistake and repent of the hardness of his little heart. Behold, ten minutes later, yes, ten! He came into the room crying. “Mommy, how could I do this to my brother? I have to love my brother, not fight with him! Jesus died for me to save me! Help me pray, Mama! I need to ask God for forgiveness!” I confess that I was moved. That little piece of people, so small and so sorry for his sin! We prayed together, he apologized to his brother, and peace reigned again in the house.

My goal with this story is that you should not give up teaching your children that sin does not please God. Repentance comes from a heart that recognizes its mistakes. If our children don’t learn to repent, to have a broken heart before the Lord, how can they stand firm in God’s ways?!

May God bless you!


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