Shepherding a Child’s Heart #8

     The conscience is a part of our God-given mechanism for discerning between good and evil and reasoning concerning right and wrong behavior.  Everybody has a conscience however consciences can be warped, seared, inflated, as well as trained, nurtured, and healthy.  Part of our job as parents is to train the conscience of our children according to the scripture by teaching them what the scripture says is right and wrong and then appealing to the conscience in matters of discipline.

     Appealing to a child’s conscience does several things.   It gives our discipline a God-ward orientation by exposing sin and going beyond just dealing with outward behavior to dealing with issues of the heart.  When you appeal to the conscience you help your child see that they are unable to love God and obey Him because they are sinners in need of the mercy of God and they need to seek His grace.  

    Biblical discipline helps children understand themselves, how sin works, and how God works in their lives.  They understand who they are Biblically.  All life must be viewed from the lens of scripture and from the perspective of God’s redemption and restoration of mankind.  This kind of instruction realizes the relevance of Jesus in every situation of life instead of just worship on Sundays.  It brings Jesus near in the trenches of everyday life revealing His redemptive work in us day by day.