Okay, so my daughter walks to me after Sunday school with a look on her face that says “I didn’t do it mom.” Usually she has that look on when she has done something forbidden and when she thinks about the consequences that awaits her when I come to know of it. So, I was right, behind her was her friend who ran up to me and said, “Abi called me _ _ _ _ _ _ .” I looked at her ( my horrified mom look- wide eyes and raised eye brows) and she nodded, “no, no, no, I did not,” and I looked at the boy and he nodded “yes, yes, yes, she did.” I looked at them back and forth, and they did that over and over.
Finally I told the boy, I will talk to Abigail and I was sorry if that happened. He left. I turned to my daughter and determined to make her say the truth offered her a “no consequence card” and she went, “yes Mama, I called him that, BUT HE WOULDN’T STOP DOING THAT AND HE MADE ME CALL HIM THAT.”
I was in trouble. Now I have name caller, a liar and a blamer to deal with…besides, I am a christian homeschooling mom! I told Abigail, we would speak further at home and asked her to apologize to the boy and his mom which she reluctantly did (or I made her do).
I had the temptation to call her aside, give her a swat on her bottoms, and couple of privileges lost, and a warning not to say that again. I could successfully cultivate some remorse in her and voila’! she is back in the holy gang again. I resisted my temptation for an easy fix and not to lean on my own understanding. I decided to acknowledge the Lord in all I do. Fixing the outside was an easier route. It won’t not take much time for me to create some remorse in her. But that would be far from how the Lord would want her groomed.
The truth is, if I am only fixing the outside, the heart issues that made her do this in the first place is never touched, in fact, it only grows, if I take this route. There was pride in her heart, there was anger, there was self righteousness. As long as I fix the outside and keep her presentable, these sins untouched, would grow and thrive! When I take the easy route, nobody would know of it and I could continue as a good christian mom raising godly children, right?
I can protect my name and avoid the long route of having to bring it to the Lord, and as the Lord would point out, ” hmm…this looks so familiar, have I seen that in you?” I don’t want to go over that again, having to fix myself, getting a tour of my own heart, sheesh, all that is not fun! It is lot of work, and I would respond (with the horrified mom look-wide eyes and raised eyebrows), “Who, me?? I thought it was her Lord, now it is me???”
On the way back home, Abigail was silent. she went to sleep in the car! (Why was I even surprised). Then we had a good talk… me and the Lord. To tell you the truth, the first emotion that plagued me was my wounded self righteousness. Holy Spirit convicted me. He helped me sort out my emotions. I had to prioritize my emotions. I had to lay aside what was not of the Lord.
Wounded self righteousness- definitely not of the Lord. This is why I love the Holy Spirit, because He helps me sift what is not of the Lord. I thanked the Lord that He made me aware that I am raising 3 sinners like me, that my Job is not to think she should never sin, but to train her to seek Christ in her sinfulness. She is a sinner like me. She will sin, like me. But I am to constantly train her to walk with the Lord and experience His forgiveness and love.
As a mother, it is so easy to get puffed up when people come and tell me, how good my children behave and how well they sit and listen. I thanked the Lord that these incidents humble me and make me and others realize that ” they are little sinners, very prone to sinning” and how much more I have to be on my knees, not to protect my name as a good christian mom, but to train them to glorify God’s name.
I prayed a prayer for her in the car something like this, “Lord, help me to lay aside my wants and my needs to raise my children to protect my name. How I thank you, that you allowed this to happen and how You keep me humbled. Help me to always remember that she will sin in spite of the best environment we can raise her in, and when she does, would you give me the wisdom to use the right words and would your Holy Spirit convict her of sin, righteousness and judgement? When this happens again, (which I know it will), help her to overcome the temptation and grow in godliness. Help her to know that there is forgiveness in you. Help me to focus on her heart and heart issues and not necessarily on her outside.
When she call people names, there is pride in her heart, she thinks she is better than others, there is self righteousness in her heart and she is definitely not considering or seeing others above herself. These are her heart issues, would You give me the wisdom to use the right words to train these heart issues and overcome the temptation to fix her outside by focusing on what she said and warning her not to say it. When she sins and falls short of the glory of God and the type A perfectionist that she is, when she is sad that she failed you again, would you help her to know that it is only by Your grace she can overcome and live the life of an overcomer. Keep her from temptation Lord. Amen.”
Since, I offered her the “no consequence card”, I kept my word. I walked her over her heart issues with appropriate scriptures in a way she can understand. She lost some privileges though. I continue to pray that God would fix my heart and her’s and help us all to glorify His name even in our weaknesses.