Everything in me wanted to tell him he was wrong, but the truth is, he was pretty mean that day. For the past few weeks he's been angry and disobedient more than usual. I had prayed with him a week before, that God would help him to obey. I've been praying for God to convict his heart, to give him a heart of flesh instead of stone. Even at this young age, I know God can do this.
And so I said, "Does it make you sad when you're mean?" He nodded. "Does it sometimes feel like you have to be mean, like you can't be good?" He nodded again. "You know we love you even when you are mean, even when you're naughty, right?" Another nod. "Did you know that God can help you obey? That when you ask Him to help you, He will give you His Spirit and help you obey?"
"What's Spirit?" he questioned. I fumbled for a response. "I mean, what's His name?" he asked.
"Ah, the Holy Spirit," I replied. "The Holy Spirit is God, and He can live with you always."
"Do you think my Mama Tiger can go to Heaven?" he replied, changing the subject to something more tangible.
These conversations make my heart sing. It is a little terrifying to talk to my children about God, a little scary that I won't know how to explain things, or won't know the answers. But it's incredible to watch J's heart soften, to hear how much he remembers from our previous conversations.
More than anything, my husband and I long for our children to know God as their Redeemer, Savior, Father, and Friend. We long for them to boldly obey Him and share His love and truth with the world.
We've spent the past couple of mealtimes dreaming of Heaven. We want our kids to know that Heaven is a beautiful, perfect place, filled with all things good. We don't want them to be scared of it. And so we dream of the wonders we'll see and do there.
"I'll ride on a tiger, and Daddy will ride on a lion. What do you want to ride on, mommy?" J asks. In Heaven, all things are possible, all things are good. So why shouldn't we ride on lions and tigers and bears together? Why shouldn't Mama Tiger come to life and be J's best friend still? I love these conversations, because they encourage us to hope in God, to focus on His goodness to us. Not to mention, growing our imagination and creativity. :)
Father, help us to use our words to guide our children into Your truth. Open their hearts to hear who You are, and to know You as their Savior and Friend. Give us boldness to ask the right questions, to tell stories of how You have worked in the world and in our lives. Amen.
"Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates." Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 MSGCan you remember a favorite conversation about faith with your parents when you were young, or with your kids? I'd love to hear it!