I hold each of my children to different standards. It drives them crazy. Each oldest feels like the younger ones get to skate by without doing as much. The middle child feels like the older one gets all of the privilege and the younger ones have no responsibility. The youngest; twins; look up to their older brother and sister in admiration and can’t wait to be as big as them because they get to do all of the fun and exciting things. No matter where we are in life, we can always find someone else’s circumstances or life to be more appealing. At least that’s how we perceive it.
My husband and I have tried over and over to explain to each of the kids that none of them are receiving special treatment, but it is different based on where each of them are at in their growth. We absolutely do hold our 16 year old more accountable for her actions than the twins who are 7 years old. The longer you have been alive, the more lessons you have learned; both from your parents or from life in general. A teen should understand that riding their bicycle in the middle of the road on a busy street is not wise. At that age they have the capacity to reason and understand cause and effect, as well as probabilities. 6-10 years of life introduces you to those concepts, but they are still missing the connection between their belly ache and the 1 lb. of candy that they consumed behind their parent’s back. The only cure for being naive is experience, and the only way to get experience is to attempt new things yourself, and watch others who do as well.
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
The difference in accountability with my kids is based on what they know. Knowing and doing is different than not knowing and doing. One implies a complete rebellion to follow the moral; logical or obvious route. The other implies being completely clueless about the consequences of taking that route. As I continue to grow in Christ, I am reminded that each revelation that He gives me represents some change in my life. He has taught me about forgiveness; and I am now considered guilty if I choose not to forgive (and yes, it IS a choice). I like the term “maturing in Christ” because of this exact lesson. The longer I seek Him, the more I am obedient to Him, and the more I submit to His authority, the more clearly I can see. Yet, the more I see through Christ, the more blinded I am to see the superficial exteriors of this world. I praise Him for that!