RELATED VERSE: AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS
A Letter to Read/Use As A Guide With Your Children
As I explained in my previous letter, I hope you will truly understand what Christ has done for you on the cross, and then go before Him to ask for the forgiveness He longs to give. But not only do I hope you will ask, I also hope you will accept this forgiveness with your whole heart. Accept forgiveness for the obvious sins that affect the body (lying, stealing, cheating, gossiping, any addictive behavior, unkindness, idleness, worldliness, selfishness). But, I also want you to be sure to confess and then accept His forgiveness for sins that are not so obvious—sins which affect your mind and soul.
Here is a list of some of these sins:
Fear (of the unknown, or of failure),
Guilt (over things said, or done in the past),
Shame (caused by things done against you, or things you deliberately or accidentally have done),
Confusion (about your past, present, or future decisions),
Worry (concerning all of life’s “issues”),
Bitterness (caused by not forgiving others, or yourself),
Doubt (caused by not believing God is faithful in who He says He is.)
Do you, children, feel any of these strongholds gripping your heart? Recognize these negative emotions, too, are sins. In a way, they can become your god because you allow them to rule your life. But, realize Christ died for these specific sins, as well. And when He died, He offered to take all sins off of our own shoulders and place them on His. Children, don’t try to take them back. Let go of them. You don’t need to carry the guilt and shame and fear, or whatever you might be holding on to. I want to stress to you again, let Jesus carry and crucify these feelings, so you can be free! Live in the freedom of forgiveness purchased by your merciful Savior, not in the captivity of a feeling initiated by the merciless deceptor himself. Remember, Satan wants to keep you locked “in a cage,” so you will be ineffective for the cause of Christ. But Jesus wants to set you free, so you can mount up with wings like eagles and fly! Which would you rather be, my sweet ones? If you choose the latter (and I pray you will), then let your Jesus unlock the cage, and let your God put the wind beneath your wings, and then let His Holy Spirit dwell in you so you may soar in freedom, in righteousness, and in peace.
Teaching Tools/Activities For Your Children
- Find two white t-shirts. Put many strips of duct tape on one of the t-shirts.
- Explain to your child that the duct tape shirt represents a sin-caked heart. Have your child take the strips off the t-shirt one by one, and put them on the other white t-shirt, which represents your child confessing their sin to Jesus.
- Discuss with your child this process of confession and accepting the fact that they are completely forgiven.
A Prayer To Pray Over Your Children
Dear Heavenly Father,
It is one thing for my children to understand Your forgiveness with head knowledge, but it means nothing if they do not accept your grace with their heart. O God, I pray they will truly believe they are forgiven in Your eyes. If they let go of their sin, may they know it is as far away from them as the east is from the west. Help them to realize, the consequences of sin will remain, but nothing can bring that confessed and repented sin back. And in this freedom of forgiveness, help them, dear Father, to joyfully bear their consequences with this in mind: You are always molding, always teaching, and always perfecting their faith in love. Thank You, dear Jesus, for the awesome gift and process of purity.
I also pray You would make my children keenly aware of the tools Satan uses to keep deceptive feelings hanging on their shoulders and in their heart. Help them to realize, Satan desperately wants to keep them stained and self-defeated, hiding in a shadow of darkness, or underneath a rock, where they will be completely ineffective for You. Give them the determined will to fight him with Your strength. Remind them You hung on the cross to carry the sorrows of our sin. May they never trivialize Your death by trying to take their sin off Your shoulders and put it back on their own—for You are worthy to bear our grief! Give them the ability to forgive themselves, as You have forgiven them.
May they find a life of freedom as they accept Your forgiveness, changing their heavy-laden heart caused by strongholds, into a heart full of joy found in You. You are the Father of lights, bringing to us the good and perfect gift of forgiveness. May You shine radiantly through the vessel which You have cleaned, causing them to be a beautiful display of Your splendor!
Scripture references in letter:
II Cor. 5:21; Ps. 142:7; Is. 40:28-31; Gal. 5:1
Scripture references in prayer:
Ps. 103:8-12; Heb. 12:1-2; Heb. 3:12-14; II Peter1: 5-11; I Peter 2:24; Matt. 11:28-30; James 1:17; Matt. 5:14- 17