Counter Cultural Mom
Recently one of our children refused to share a plastic army helmet with his younger brother. We have plenty of helmets to go around, but this child wanted to save the nicest one for himself. Little did he know, I had just bought brand new, metal army surplus helmets which were more realistic than anything our boys had ever had before. When I presented the boys with their new helmets, the selfish brother didn’t get one. He was told to wear the helmet he had insisted on having just moments earlier.
Suddenly, that helmet wasn’t good enough! Now the older brother was sorry he hadn’t shared, and he began to beg his younger brother to take the plastic helmet. His sudden change of heart was not due to godly sorrow. He believed that if he acted sorry, perhaps he would get his metal helmet. As soon as he found out that he was still going to have to play without the new helmet for awhile, he showed the true state of his heart by refusing to play at all.
Eventually, this child began to feel truly repentant. He now knew how it felt to have to wear the “old” helmet while others had new ones, and he felt bad that he had been unkind to his little brother. His attitude changed, and he was able to enter into the game without self-consciousness about what he was wearing or envy toward someone else. Eventually he was given his new helmet and was truly grateful for it.
We do our children no favors if we allow ourselves to be duped by a display of tears or the word “sorry” when it does not spring from true repentance over sin. All children will express sorrow when they are disciplined, but this kind of repentance is aimed only at getting their privileges restored. It can be hard to hold out for true repentance, but the real thing is worth it.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 1 Corinthians 7:10