God has placed a conscience inside your child to help your child do four things: Do what’s right, deal with wrongs, be honest, and care about others.
The Bible uses the word conscience 30 times in the New Testament. Twenty of those times by the Apostle Paul, five were written to Timothy to help him understand the importance of the conscience as a young pastor.
The biblical concept of the conscience is important for parents to understand. After all, if it’s standard operating equipment inside of your child, placed there by God, you’ll want to educate it and help strengthen it.
The conscience helps a child become internally motivated. Unfortunately, many children rely on external prompters, including their parents, to get things done. And even more unfortunately, many parents encourage their kids in that direction by over-emphasizing rewards and punishment.
We’re not suggesting that you have to get rid of incentives. We do know though that the primary goal is to help children develop an internal motivation to do the right thing.
Be on the lookout for internal motivation in your kids and affirm it. When your child takes initiative to help, apologizes for a wrong, tells the truth, or does the right thing even when it’s tough, use the opportunity to affirm the God-given initiative coming from the heart.
As you work to strengthen and develop the conscience in your child, you’ll see more and more internal motivation. When you focus on the conscience good things happen.