Confession: The act of admitting that you have done something wrong
Confession is a hard topic for most of us. We all know that we aren’t perfect. We make mistakes not just every day, but sometimes it seems like every few minutes. When it comes to naming those mistakes, that is a different story. No one wants to make a list of all the things they have done wrong. We especially don’t want to list our faults in front of others. When we follow the Bible, confession is something we have to learn.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV
In our prayer acronym, ACTs, we have adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Today we will focus on how we teach our kids to confess when they pray. Unless you have just caught them in the act, my kids sit and look around the room, waiting for a mistake to pop into their heads. Sometimes I stand ready with a few things they have done during the day that I can’t get off my mind. But since my goal is to be like God and forget and forgive the sins of my children as far as the east is from the west, I don’t want to do this unless there is a heart issue that still needs to be been dealt with.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:11-12 ESV
We All Mess Up, So Model Confession
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
That’s right, folks. Even mommys and daddys mess up. Kids need to know this. Sometimes we have mixed feelings about confessing to our kids because we want to be the good example. We all know our kids follow us. It’s because they follow us that we need to practice the act of confession. If our kids see us confessing and truly repenting for our sins, then they will eventually learn to do the same.If our kids see us confess and repent, then they will learn to do the same. Click To Tweet
It can be as simple as, “I’m sorry. Mommy shouldn’t have ______________. God doesn’t like it when I do that. (And if applicable…) I know you don’t like it when I do that either. I am sorry I hurt you.”
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 ESV
Practice Corporate Confession with Prayer Cards
Since we all mess up, we can all confess together. One way to do this is read our confessions together. Younger children who aren’t yet reading can repeat confessions sentence by sentence. There are certain things we do every day, so those are the ones we can focus on honestly.
I have provided a set of confession cards. At the end of each day, choose one to read or repeat together. Once kids get the hang of it, it will eventually get easier for them to add in their own personal confessions as well. Either before or after you read the confessions, have a minute of silence so kids can confess to God, even if they aren’t ready to spill the beans in front of parents and siblings. (And to be honest, most of us moms and dads still don’t want to tell our parents and siblings everything!)
Do you confess to your children when you mess up? How do you teach your kids to confess?
Make sure to check out our other days of Teaching Kids to Pray: ACTS.