We have to keep our word with our wee ones.
And if you are like me...it can be painful.
Case in point:
My three year old daughter walks in (wearing a tutu and plastic heels) and asks me for a glass of cranberry juice.
I'm in the middle of sending emails - so I rush her off by sharply saying, "In a minute."
Many, many moments later she returns and calmly asks for a glass of cranberry juice......again.
Once more, I send her out quickly by saying that I would get the juice when I was finished and that it wouldn't be long.
When I finally wrap up the messages - I go to the kitchen...(probably to relieve my own parched throat)...and that's when I see it....
the bottle of cranberry juice perched high on the counter.
Waiting for me.
Before I can reach it...my blond comes into the kitchen - and without any hint of impatience or agitation - calmly asks a third time for a glass of cranberry juice.
The rush of conviction begins - and I pour out an apology as I pour her a glass.
Because when I picked up the bottle....
It was lukewarm.
My little sweet had set the bottle of juice out for me.....when I told her I would get it "in a minute".
And her flailing and selfish and side-tracked mother turned that one minute...into many.
So many... that the cool of the frig had completely worn off.
The room temperature juice....highlighted a problem in me.....
I don't keep my word in the little things.
As parents.... we can't give ourselves a cushy break here.
Not keeping our every word is failure. And it should be treated as so.
Don't we realize that this builds trust?
Not simply in us....but in Him?
Staying true to our words and following through and being consistent - these things catapult a child into the lap of Christ.
-When they can believe you.....it's easier for them to believe the Lord.
-When they can read your exterior and trust in what you put out.....they are more apt to read His Word and trust that it's true.
-When we mean what we say and say what we mean - we win. We win faith for our children.
See the seriousness?
I think that often times....unbelief can be urged on my believing....but unbelievable....parents.
When a young one witnesses a Bible believing parent not following through on some word or commitment or guarantee....
what's in that Bible isn't going to carry very much weight, is it?
When a parent spouts off scriptures and prophecies and beliefs....yet fails to read the book when promised or fails to carry out some discipline dealt out or fails to get the cranberry juice when appointed....especially when it occurs over and over and over again....
that child is prone to wonder if the scriptures and prophecies and beliefs blurted out and hammered in by that same parent are actually real and true.
If your actions force them to doubt your words....you've lost.
They will learn that no one and no thing can be trusted.
Not even Jesus.
And that is not just A failure...it's THE failure.
(Please, no condemnation - only warning, awareness, conviction, grace. I'm right there along with you!)
We must be on high guard with this.
Let your children be a part of it. Recruit them as accountability. Give them the responsibility of calling you out....when you don't follow through.
When you say your are going to read the story in one minute....sixty seconds later the front cover should be breaking open.
When you say you will go on a walk after that phone call - when it leaves your ear...leave the house.
When you say you will play catch after sending that work email....the back door should fling open as soon as you push send.
And this is for all of us, really...isn't it?
Parents and non-parents alike?
When you say you will have the report in to your boss on Tuesday....don't send it a minute after 5pm that day.
When you say you will pray for someone - write it in your journal right then.
Children, people, the world - they read you as if they are reading the Bible. Your life matching your words - scribbles out much!
So many souls are at stake.
Thank you for grace, Lord - where we have failed. Give us the strength to move forward faithfully.
Let's represent Him well...
in all our words....in all our actions....all the time.