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The Conscience Needs Training

Written by Debbie Parker. Posted in Parenting Corner

In 1 Corinthians 4:4 Paul says, “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” The reality is that just because the conscience prompts a person, doesn’t mean that it’s right. Children need to be careful to obey God first in everything they do.


The conscience looks for convictions in order to prompt a person to do what’s right. Most children already have convictions, but many of those convictions are inappropriate or need some adjustment. For example, some children believe that if they're playing with a video game and Mom tells them to do something, they should be able to wait until they get to the next level to obey. Your daughter may believe that she has the right to hit her annoying brother. After all, he deserves it.

You have convictions too. Part of your God-given responsibility is to pass those convictions on to your child. One of the greatest ways to do that is by considering your family rules. Each rule, whether it’s written down or just understood, has a conviction behind it.

Spend some time evaluating the convictions behind your rules and then talking with your kids about them. Children may be tempted to rebel against rules but sharing them as convictions makes them easier to accept. “Son, we don’t allow that kind of movie in our home. The reason is because we have a conviction that what goes into our minds affects our hearts. We’re Christians. That’s who we are and this movie isn’t consistent with the conviction we have. So, we have to say no. I’m sorry.”

As much as possible, tie your convictions to God’s Word. After all, you can’t let your conscience be your guide. God’s Word is our guide. It’s the scriptures that are our authority in life. The determining factor as to whether something is right or wrong rests on the authority of God’s Word.