Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. Ps. 25:7
The sins of our youth; one would think sins committed and repented of years even decades ago would be long forgotten. We know God’s promise to His people that if we repent of our sins and seek His forgiveness He will be a merciful God and forgive us our sins. In Psalm 138:7, 8 we read: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” God’s promise to His people is sure, so why do those sins of our youth hang in our memory?
I don’t think it is because we don’t have assurance that God, according to His mercy and loving-kindness, forgives us. His word makes that quite plain to us in many places (Ps. 51:1; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:1, 2). Yet, when many adult Christians begin to raise families of their own “the sins of…youth” come to mind as they now look at their own families. Parents come to the realization that their children will also be tempted as they were.
We live in a world that is ever growing in sin; young people are confronted with the wickedness of a world that grows more sinful at an alarming rate. What parents would not want to help their children avoid the same sinful mistakes that they made in their youth? These same sins that they in the foolishness of youth committed, they now see more clearly as older and more mature Christians. This is not to say that as adults they don’t sin, for they know that they only have a small beginning of that new man in Christ in them. It is just that the years have humbled them, and made them even more aware of their need for a Saviour, and the need to teach their children “to the utmost of your power” the doctrines of God’s Word as they promised when they baptized them.
In conclusion, when parents go to their children and warn them about going out to places that they as Christian young people don’t belong at, or hanging around with kids that are not a good influence on them, it is not because they think they are so much better or so much smarter because of their age, it’s because over the years they have been humbled by their sins and the need for a Saviour. They have also seen the consequences that falling into such sin can bring ( Ps. 73). The sternness and even the sometimes needed discipline applied is only out of their love for their covenant children and their faithful Saviour.