Most of the time using original language words and their meanings would be off limits to such a young audience, but I find that in the case of sin that using the original meaning is really useful for a six year old. So I chose to talk about the greek word for sin, "hamartia." The proper definition for this word is "missing the mark." We see it translated as sin. But in the greek the word is making the case that guilt and shame are produced by not hitting the target (whatever that might be). For us it is not hitting the target of what God has called us to in our lives. Hamartia and its definition of "missing the mark," allows for us to see sin the way it should be seen; as something we do, not something God puts on us.
So after explaining all that to my kids...just kidding, I would never go into all that at age 6. I simply asked the boys what it feels like when you try to hit a target (we recently were using our fence with a chalk-drawn bullseye to practice throwing the baseball) and miss. They responded with disappointing, sad, angry, silly, hilarious...we were starting to go off topic. I acknowledged that those are true feelings when we don't do something exactly like we want to do it. I explained that sometimes doing things wrong are like missing that mark, that target.
"Tell me what are some things you sometimes miss at?" Silence...thinking...thinking..."Ok, when dad forgets to take out the trash, dad missed the mark. If you whine because you have to go to bed, missing the mark or hitting the mark?"
"Leaving toys out and dad steps on them?"
"Dad forgets to grab your lunch for school?"
"Mom makes your lunch for you?"
"Uh, no!" "
Oh yeah, Hit!"
Before we made it to school I wove in the fact that when we do things that makes God sad we miss the mark. We call that sin. "Have you heard that word?"
Well that is what sin is, it is when we miss the mark as we try to serve God. We won't always do everything right and we will miss the mark. But God loves us enough to forgive us every time.
"Dad, can we play that hit or miss game again?"