Have you ever had a moment that just ruined you? A moment that reminded you of who God really is, and secured your understanding of His goodness and His mercy?
I had a moment like that this morning, and I'd like to tell you about it.
This morning I did something that all parents do from time to time. I gave my kids something to do so that I could get some work done. I turned on some worship music and I gave them a coloring book to work on while they listened to music. Once they had settled in, I began working on a blog. (No, not this blog. Which tells you this story is about to get good, since I obviously deleted everything I was working on so that I could tell you this.)
As I typed away, both children blissfully silent, I really felt inspired by what I had been reading in the Word. In my opinion, I was in the middle of a pretty decent blog. Though that is subjective, and I obviously changed my mind since I, well, deleted it. But at the time, I was feeling myself. But that changed when my eldest daughter decided that she was done coloring, and instead she was going to go sit by herself in the corner and talk to herself.
Now, if you have small children, you know that is not all that weird. At least, it's not as weird as it would be if I were doing it. Kids have incredible imaginations, and I for one am all for letting them use them. So I ignored her, not only out of busyness, but also out of a respect for her individuality. I was doing my thing, Anastasia was laying on her belly, calmly alternating between drawing on and eating a coloring book, and Olivia was sitting in the corner talking quietly to herself. All was well with the world.
But then... yes, this is going to be one of those stories... I heard her say something that stole my focus. Giggling, she said, "Aww, thank You, Jesus. I love you too."
Hold up. What do you mean, "too"?
Being the person that I am, I don't pass up chances to help my kids chase God. So I put my computer down and I called her over to me. She got up and walked over, annoyed that I had bothered her. Understandable, once you hear the rest of the story. Calmly, not wanting to make her think she was in trouble, I asked her, "Olivia, what are you doing over there?"
Not skipping a beat, Olivia smiled the biggest smile I've ever seen, and she said, "Daddy, Jesus loves me!"
If you know me, you know I'm already crying by this point. My Daughter - my baby girl - understands that she is loved by God. It leaves me so undone to see her interact with God. But the story doesn't end there. Tears on my face, aware of the holiness of the moment, I responded, "Yes, He does. Isn't it great?"
"Yes, I love talking to Jesus." Hold up. And then she said the sentence that inspired me to delete the entire blog I was working on so that I could share this story with you instead. Looking me straight in the eyes, she said to me, "Daddy, Jesus loves you too."
I cannot adequately explain to you the way that the atmosphere immediately changed in my house. Literally. One moment I was sitting on the floor in front of my computer, happily typing away a theological thought for the day, and the next, I was laying on my face, snot and tears pooling around me as I encountered the love of God like I was hearing it for the first time in my life. All because my three year old believes God.
Now, I don't know if my Daughter was sitting on the couch having a conversation with the Lord, or if she was spouting things she has heard me tell her since the moment she was born. I have no idea. But here is what I do know: God loves her. God loves me. And she knows it.
PLEASE, raise your children to walk with the Lord. Raise them to trust that what He says is true. Raise them to not only believe in the impossible, but to reject the very concept of "impossible". Raise them to not just pray, but to wait on His answers. Raise them to listen to the voice of God, and to unashamedly obey Him. Raise them to not fear men, but to live their lives in awe of God alone. Raise them to do the miraculous and to offend the status quo. Raise them to be what most of us never become: like Christ. Please, please, PLEASE do this. The world depends on it.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
***Parent's, please share your thoughts in the comment section below on how you are teaching your children to know, and honor, God. I would love to make your experience available for any newer parents who may be reading this blog.***