This morning something happened in our house that left me both scared and excited at the same time.
Nathan usually wakes up early, so I get him his breakfast and milk, then I make myself some coffee and sit down to read my Bible.
For Christmas, Nathan got his own little children’s Bible. We’ve been reading stories to him every night before he goes to bed so that he can become acquainted with Jesus and the Bible.
This morning, I was sitting at the dining room table, drinking my coffee, and reading Matthew 26-28. Nathan noticed what I was doing and ran upstairs to get his Bible, too. I realized then something that I already knew, but this morning it hit me harder than ever.
I am an example for my children. They are watching everything I am doing. That’s why I say that it scared me and at the same time excited me. It scared me because I know I’m not perfect. It excited me because today, at least, Nathan copied me in doing something that I pray becomes a lifelong habit for him.
Anyway, I share this experience to remind you to be careful. You are setting an example. What kind of example are you setting?
Yesterday, we had t-ball practice. It was hot, the kids were tired, and hardly anybody really wanted to be running around in the heat playing tball. Even though Nathan has made significant progress in his skills, yesterday was not a great day for him at practice.
Before I continue, you have to understand that I always
bribe reward him with a Slurpee after t-ball practice if he’s a good boy.
Unfortunately, yesterday, he was in rare form, hitting other people and generally disobeying. He wasn’t horrible, but he wasn’t obeying with all of his heart and soul and mind, either.
So, we got into the car after practice, and I asked him if he thought he deserved a Slurpee. I asked what he had done during practice, and then I asked him to tell me if he thought he should get a Slurpee or not. He said he didn’t deserve one but he really wanted one. I agreed with him that he didn’t deserve it.
I stopped at the 7-eleven anyway. As we were getting out of the car, I told Nathan he didn’t deserve a Slurpee, and he busted out in tears, saying, “But I really want one.” He thought he wasn’t going to get one. I told him that sometimes we get stuff we don’t deserve.
I resisted teaching him more about the concept of grace, because I’m not sure how much he really understand, but it’s exactly that kind of love that the Father has for us. He gives us things we don’t deserve all the time. It’s His grace that is amazing. It is His love for us despite our lack of love for Him that makes Him a great God.
I hope that Nathan learned something from our little trip to 7-Eleven, and I hope he will understand more about our gracious God in the future.