Today I learned one of our children, over a year ago, used profanity on the website “Club Penguin” and was banned for 24 hours as a result. I found this when I was checking out the “Ban History” on my Club Penguin “Parent Tools” page.
Although this happened over a year ago, when I asked for an explanation today it led to a VERY good (but also emotional on the part of the child) discussion of what happened and what lessons we could draw from this. The child in question (whose name and gender I will not reveal) hadn’t told anyone about this or discussed it, and had just been experimenting to see what would happen if a profane word was typed into Club Penguin. The child knew it was wrong and hasn’t repeated that mistake again.
I’m going to write more about this on my secular blog focused on educational technology and learning, but I wanted to write about this here to share some of the discussions we had today about confession and forgiveness. Our child said they had asked God to forgive them for this during our church service “prayers of confession,” but the emotional response and tears to this (as well as shame) told me this wasn’t something that was entirely “in the past.” This gave both my wife and I opportunities to talk with the child about what it means to confess our sins, how God is gracious to forgive us, and that means our sins are washed away and in the past.
It also led to some good discussions about sin in general, whether God knows we are going to sin, how sin entered the world, the story of Adam and Eve, etc. REALLY good conversations about many things.
I am so glad we were able to discuss this. Situations like this provide perhaps the most meaningful contexts to discuss REAL issues like sin, confession, forgiveness, grace, etc. I’m thankful for the opportunity we had today to discuss this.
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