So, my child is very inquisitive. And very verbal. Seriously - anyone who knows him says he talks like a grown up. Too bad he doesn't reason like one. :-) Anyway, here's the deal... last night was a particularly hard night for me and Jacob. He was a little too defiant for my liking (he really pushes my buttons some days) and I had had it. I yelled - I know, what a horrible thing for a mommy to do, but this bloggy thing is all about honestly, right??? I yelled loud and sent him up to his room to "think about this ugly attitude and come out when you can be sweet." So a half hour later, and much screaming from him and mommy needing a timeout downstairs, I sat my sweet little man down to have a talk. I was calm and apologized for yelling but explained to him the importance of obedience and respect for his mommy and daddy. I told him about a couple of Bible verses and explained that because we believe the Bible is our instruction book that we should do what it says, because that makes God happy. He asked me, "mommy, is God mad at me for being ugly?" Well, I wanted to cry at that point - I was really getting a glimpse of how sweet his little heart an be. Then, the conversation somehow started to lead to the Cross. Jacob was very inquisitive and 100% interested and clued into what I was saying. I tried to use kid-friendly words to describe what happened on the Cross. He kept asking me to tell the story again and again - each time asking more questions and wanting more clarification. At one point, he said, "mommy, do we have a picture of Jesus dying on the cross?" I started to say no, but then he said, "I think we do - down in our living room." Sure enough, we do. We have a beautiful framed print of Jesus dying on the cross with John 3:16 scripted beside it. Now, please keep in mind that we had never ever pointed out that picture to Jacob. It's been there since before he was born, but we never mention it. (shame on us, actually!) That should remind us that kids are so observant and are watching every single thing in their surroundings. It didn't end there though. At nite nite time, we always tell Jacob stories and say prayers together. Last night, he wanted the story about the Cross - over and over and over again. Then during prayer, he wanted to do it and he thanked Jesus for dying on the cross. Amazing. And today at play date at Aunt Rachie's house, the first thing he asked her was, "Aunt Rachie - do you have a picture of Jesus dying on the cross?" We found one of Walker's picture Bibles and I read him the story several times.
I know this is a little long and I'm rambling somewhat... I'm still trying to process all this. I desperately want my kids to understand the power of the cross and what it symbolizes. I want with all my heart for my kids to choose to obey and love Jesus with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength. I have been praying for them since before they were born. The reality that it's our job to teach them these truths leaves me humbled and scared, if I'm being honest. God, my prayer today is that You give me the words to help my precious little guy understand what the Cross means and all that it stands for. May the stories his daddy and I share with him now stick with him all the days of his life.