How could he do that!?!

Posted on November 21, 2013 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting, Sanctification

There are times when our children’s sin really catches us by surprise. In our shock we ask how could he to do that; where did that come from? The hard truth is that your child began life as an enemy of God. He (or she) was an unregenerate, sinful, rebellious enemy of God. Do you believe this?


If you do, you can have great hope and peace about your child and his relationship to God. If you don’t believe this, then you will have no reason to tell your child what he needs to know to become God’s friend. 


Paul teaches in Romans that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and 

that there isn’t anybody who is righteous, not a single one (Romans 3:10). This is also what David says in Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”


Paul sums this doctrine up in Ephesians 2:1–3:


And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


Galatians makes things even more specific with regard to the lusts of the flesh we were all born with:


The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5;19-21

If you believe what the Bible says about your child, you then have the wonderful privilege of bringing the truth of the gospel to their young lives. 

The Bible is clear: your child, as well as you, was born an enemy of God and fully deserving of His wrath. This is not a popular thought today. More often, people see children as innocent victims. If they do something wrong, it is probably just because they haven’t learned better yet (after all, they’re just children), or they have had negative role models.


The Bible’s negative statements about human nature may seem harsh and offensive, but they are true. In this case, the hard truth is the kindest message. The Bible explains the problem accurately, and then it also gives you the right answer to that problem. The answer of hope is that those who are born the enemies of God can know peace with God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. 


In God’s great mercy you have the opportunity to bring the precious gospel of Jesus Christ to your children everyday. Yes, your children have serious issues. You know why they do what they do. You also know that God is in the business of making his enemies into his friends.

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.