Children are so moldable. So moldable... This week I've just been praying that what I say to them, how I say it, how I interact, how I handle situations, etc would be honoring and glorifying to the Lord because three sets of little eyes are watching every little thing that I do. They listen to every single thing you say, and they remember it. I mentioned off-handedly to Caiti about my friend Ashley who is moving to Niger for medical missions. Caiti remembered, and yesterday she had question after question after question about why Ashley was doing that, how she was going to talk about God, that she wanted to pray for her, where Niger was, etc etc. Because of one comment I said, Caiti's mind was perked.
We love singing in the car, and they memorize songs SO quickly. I've began to feel convicted about what we listen to in the car. Is Mat Kearney bad? Does Taylor Swift have questionable lyrics? NO! And it's all good and it's all fun, and trust me, we listen to those. But, that can't be it. Because when I play Veggie Tales, or The Village Worship Kids album, or Hillsong, or Phil Wickham, they memorize those too. And there is nothing more beautiful than hearing a 4 year old belting out "Jesus came to save sinners like you and me! He died on the cross to set us free!" THAT is forever.
Jake has begun praying at every meal. He prays the exact same thing (in a whisper): "Thank you Jesus, for dying on the cross and saving us. Thank you for loving us." And whenever I forget to pray for a meal, he either reminds me, or I get an ache in my gut that I missed that opportunity. Simple things like prayers are meals have an impact that we (as parents or caretakers) cannot comprehend.
The older the kids get the more I see how my sin affects them, and it crushes me. Be it emotions or whatever, but just typing this my eyes are filling with tears. I've had to apologize and ask those kids forgiveness more this year than the other 3 years combined. Call it negligence of not asking beforehand or the kids being too young, but I've never felt so burdened for them to recognize that I too am a sinner and in need of Christ's grace. On those days I raise my voice or get impatient, it's humbling to see them break down and cry under that pressure, or begin treating each other the same way. It is so humbling and it is so scary to know that they can see my sin and mimic me. As, as the Lord begins humbling me and pressing me to confess that sin to them and ask forgiveness, the more I see them asking each others' forgiveness and my forgiveness. It's such a simple and beautiful thing.
If you have kids in your care - whether you're a mommy, an aunt, a nanny, a grandma, a teacher...these kids are watching you like hawks. They're looking up to you as heros, examples, givers of love, protectors... I guarantee you, they will do what you do, say what you say, act as you act, and live as you live because they view you as "right." Be vulnerable and honest. Confess where you've sinned against them, ask forgiveness, point them to the cross. Show them that you ARE NOT perfect. And it's okay that they aren't perfect, because there was Man who came to die for the imperfect. And, it's because of HIS righteousness and HIS goodness that we can come before the throne of grace and receive help; and find mercy. We find salvation at the cross of Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has
passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God,
who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry
of reconciliation; that is in Christ God was reconciling
the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are
ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake
He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might
become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21