Well, nothing like a bloody toddler to start your Sunday worship…
We got to church this morning (praise God they opened it! Finally…)
And I had all the kids go potty before service. My oldest went on his own, but my daughter wanted my help so she didn’t soil her pretty dress… Girls…
So I told the boys to sit in the room where we worship together and I went to help her. As I was helping her get put back together, I hear my youngest son let out a blood-curdling scream, which, he screams about everything right now- putting on shoes, having grass touch him, his food being the wrong shape- so I finished what I was doing and then went to check on him.
He was coming up the stairs with blood running down his face. Enter guilt.
My first thought was, oh no!, my baby!
My second thought was WHY DIDN’T HE LISTEN AND OBEY!?!?
I can’t keep him safe if he won’t obey…and it grieved my heart.
And I thought of how God must feel when we disobey Him. When we wander off, out of the shadow of His wings to pursue our own desires. Even when we know what He’s told us to do, and yet we choose to go our own way… How it must grieve His heart to know that if we would just obey HIM, and trust His word that we would experience less suffering as a result of our own disobedience.
The truth is, my son could have gotten hurt even if he had been sitting in the room with his brother like I told him to. He could have slipped off a chair, or more likely, gotten into a fight with his brother. I know I can’t protect him from everything at all times. But it made me aware of his autonomy and agency over himself at even 2.5 years old. And try as I might, I can’t save my son.
I can’t save my son.
I can give him all the words, and knowledge and wisdom and Scripture, and doctrine and theology I can impart to him…and he could still choose to walk away from obedience to God.
That is terrifying to me as a parent.
It ought to terrify every Christian parent into living godly obedient lives in Christ. Because our children watch us. On good days and bad days. And they emulate us.
I want my son (and all my children) to emulate faith, truth, and obedience. Not fear, pride, or selfishness.
I want him to learn obedience to God and to walk in freedom that comes with obedience; freedom from the consequences of disobedience, freedom from bondage to sin. That’s my prayer for my kids every day.