Years ago, at the soccer field with my older boys, I heard this exchange between my daughter, then 4, and another parent on the sidelines:
Parent: ”What’s your name, little girl?”
Daughter: “Christine, after Jesus and Daddy”
Parent: “Oh! Well what’s your daddy’s name?”
Daughter: “D-A-D!” 🙂
Once when my children were young, I took them up onto the back deck after sunset, so we could behold the amazing sky of stars God had displayed that night. As the breeze swept across the surrounding woods, the leaves sang and animals scurried. In the distance, an ominous howling reminded us of the nocturnal hunts occurring, while we simply enjoyed a peaceful moment as a family.
“I’m sccccccared,” my 3-yr-old said, crawling into my lap. “I don’t want the coyotes to get us.”
I was amused, since the coyotes were clearly far away, and we were clearly 30 feet off the ground on the upper deck. Before I could console, Nathaniel (then 6) said, “It’s ok, Christine”
His tone was so comforting. I smiled at the irony that he was probably the one who had introduced her fear, but I was thrilled that this time he was being so kind.
Then he continued in the same joyful tone: “You believe in Jesus, so you will go to heaven when the coyotes are done eating you.” 🙂
The talk of Jesus in our house is evident in the language of my children. But a few months ago, our pastor here in North Carolina, Stephen Davey, asked a key question that I thought I would bring home to my kids, now 14, 11, 8 and 6. “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 100% sure: how sure are you of what happens to you if you died today?”
I thought this heaven/hell question would be an easy one for the Brady Bunch in my house. We have read the Bible together, attended church, have sung hymns, and prayed together; but their answers took my pride right to where it should be – in the Lord’s hands. They didn’t know.
I am not here for a theological discussion, but I AM here as a mother who loves the Lord, and wants the same for my children. Do you know the answer to the question, on a scale of 1 to 10? Do your children? Shouldn’t we ask? Their answers that morning were eye opening; I realized I had improvements to make in my most-important job. Feeling tugged in so many directions, I tend to look for perfection, but I know that my children’s answers to that question shook my attention forward. I love to serve at church, business, and in the community, but my priority is teaching my kids the answers to crucial questions in life.
Love you, girlfriend!