How do you repent of childhood sins?
My brother and I do not get along. When we were kids we experimented with sexual sins. It was years ago. My mother mentioned that maybe, because of the things that I confessed had happened between my brother and me, we opened some demonic portal and need to repent. How does one repent from childhood things? How do I repent period? It’s not something we currently do. Again we were kids. I’m not doubting that spiritual reasons could be the reason we don’t get along.
I’m just curious as to your thoughts on the matter.
Without talking in detail with both you and your brother, I can only give you some general ideas.
When people get involved in sexual sins prior to puberty, the real impact of what was done doesn't hit until after puberty occurs. This often sets up a dilemma because the childhood memories are of playing. though the person knows the play was not right. There are memories that what happened felt good. But with puberty, the knowledge that it was completely wrong hits hard and the past can't be changed. Thus, there is the conflict of pleasure and guilty competing in the person's mind. Sadly, this often leads to further sins because the person doesn't know how to deal with the internal conflict.
I suspect that there is both personal guilt and a desire to blame the other person for what has happened. Even when the topic of the past is not being considered, it colors all the other interactions, standing as a barrier between the two of you. You don't have to blame outside influences (demons) for the trouble.
Fixing it may not be possible -- at least not completely. However, you can look at yourself and try to correct what you can in your own attitudes and behavior. Forgiveness of past wrongs does not mean that you will not remember what happened. Rather you treat the other person as if it had not happened, which can be difficult at times. Your memories cannot be erased, but you can realize that you are not the same person you used to be.
Someone has to go first. Since you and I are talking, I'll encourage you to do what you can. Be polite to your brother. Be kind. Ignore any insults he may dish out. This is what Jesus meant by turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. ... Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-18, 21).
Repentance does not mean everything is fixed. Repentance means that I have changed my mind about the sins committed and I have changed my behavior. I no longer let my past dictate my future. "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).
Thank you so much. I will try to be kind always because it has been a struggle to not return insults. A few months ago, he acknowledged what we did as kids and apologized for it especially if it had affected me in any way. It was so out of the blue, to be honest, and it wasn’t something that I’d thought about in years other than repenting. I hope one day we can get along because although my mother believes the childhood stuff is why we don’t get along. I’m not so sure. As far as I know, it has had no effect on me as an adult.