My friend Julie is sharing a great parenting lesson with us today! Julie is one of those parents that I look up to and admire because she is very intentional with her kids. That’s one of her greatest strengths and it encourages me each time I hear her talk about parenting, read her blog, or see her with her kids. Thanks Julie!
I had my first deep spiritual conversation with Asher (my 5 year old). You see, this son of mine, he is a clown-the boy that wants to make everyone laugh, and wants to be the center of attention. He is the youngest in our family, so I guess it’s not his fault. 🙂 He has never been one to sit quietly through a Bible story or any intentional family night where we are teaching a lesson. I pray desperately for his salvation at a young age, but do I really believe it? Honestly, after the 100th time of reading Noah’s Ark to Asher, and I ask him who is on the ark and he says Adam, I’m not really feeling it. I’m scared for Asher. Scared that he will do whatever it takes to make people laugh, and because the Bible isn’t filled with stories of fart and poop jokes, he will reject it.
I must pray, pray, pray!
So imagine to my surprise when I was putting him to bed one night he told me out of the blue, “I don’t want to be ‘the crazy one’ mommy. (Referring to being the crazy one in our family.) I don’t want to be bad, and keep making bad choices. But I keep doing it! I can’t stop!”
I looked at him and said, “We ALL make bad choices. We all sin. But there is good news! We have a Rescuer!!!”
He said, “But mom, YOU never do bad things. You always make good choices!”
“No, I don’t Asher! Mommy may not sin like you do (throwing tantrums, whining), but I make bad choices in my head and my heart a lot. I think and feel bad things about people.”
“But mommy, you’re invisible bad!” (Parenting lesson for me: I need to be more transparent when I sin against him. Too often, I let my sins against him slide because I tell myself he is too young and he doesn’t really get it. If I yell at Asher out of anger, I must point out my sin to him, and ask him for forgiveness.)
“No, Asher. God knows every sin we do. We can never hide our bad choices from God. But remember, we have a RESCUER!! He can save and forgive us of our bad choices! Who is our rescuer Asher?”
“Jesus!” (He didn’t say Spiderman or Angry Birds-YES!) “But mommy, I asked Jesus to help me, and I keep on sinning!”
(parenting pause…wow, what do I say? At that moment, I told Asher to pray with me, and ask God to help him trust Jesus more and more each day. We hugged, and it was just a really neat moment.)
And when I closed his bedroom door that night, I thought, do I wrestle over my sin? Or am I content to just “keep on sinning”? When was the last time I asked Jesus to help me stop sinning? I tell myself, “I am who I am. I sin this way, and that’s just how it is.” But through the words of a silly 5 year old boy, God spoke to me. And I love parenting for that.
Romans 7:24-25 “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more…enter in the mysterious, wonderful power of the Gospel. The humbling truth is that on this side of heaven, there will always be sin in my life…in our lives. But the great news of the gospel there is a WAY out! Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
What do we say to someone who recognizes their utter depravity? The answer: turn to Jesus.
Julie Paquette loves Jesus, photography, scrapbooking, volunteering at her kids’ school, and Aggie football! She and her husband have been married for 12 years, and have two daughters and a son, ages nine and under. You can read more about the Paquette’s at theirblog, or see Julie’s photography work here.