Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Disobedience and Blessings

So awhile back, Hannah came to me and said this: "I don't know if I'm going to heaven for sure, Mommy."
A bit taken aback, I asked her why. "Because I have been disobedient to you and Daddy sometimes. I don't obey like I should and I forget to mind you." [I must make a note right here to say that this child never tries to sass or talk back to us. She simply seems to "forget" our instructions to her and has gotten into some trouble because of it.]

I assured her that that is just part of growing up and asked her why she thought it meant she wouldn't go to heaven. I mean, she knows the basics: Believe in Jesus as our Savior, that He has forgiven our sins if we confess, and we are made clean. Sounds simple because it is. But she still worried. Then she connected the dots for me: She reminded me that I had read II Timothy 3:1-6 to her, a verse that talks about what society, or the world, will be like right before Jesus comes again.

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them" (NIV).

She said that since she has "disobeyed" us, or not listened as well as she could have to our instruction, that she is worried she won't go to heaven. Well, my goodness, I re-assured her that it is GOOD that the Holy Spirit is working on her heart, her conscience, to do better. But I reminded her that this particular verse is describing people who do not not seem to care about spiritual things or going to heaven. They have no regrets about their lifestyle and do not think they need a Savior.

I think I helped her to understand. At first I thought she was pulling my leg, or being dramatic, but her eyes were a bit red-rimmed and I noticed a little glisten in them as well. I realized she really was concerned. After we talked for a good while, I think she felt lots better. I'm so glad she cares about things to do with God, and that it's important to her.

But you know, it goes both ways. I mean, that we as parents should treat our children with kindness, with decency, with respect to their feelings and needs. I observed a scenario the other evening at Borders that made me cringe.

A mother was looking at books and her daughter told her she had to go to the bathroom. "Just a second," was the mom's reply. For like, seriously, several minutes. The daughter, probably about 8 years old, did not harangue her mom, or whine, she just stated very clearly that she really needed to go. She finally reached a point of desperation where she said, "Mommy, it's about to come out. I really gotta go." With total disdain in her voice, the mom said, "Well, go ahead and let it come out right here. I'd like to see that." The little girl pleaded once more, for the mom to just let her go on her own. The mom finally agreed and the girl ran off quickly.

Now, I understand as a parent myself, maybe this little girl has a habit of being dramatic, or of bugging her mom. But I wonder how hard it would have been to just go with her. Or to just let her go by herself in the beginning. It made me about to go crazy to listen to this exchange; I wanted to wop that mom over the head. Her tone, her stance, her words--none of them were kind or caring. Just a lack of decency and respect. It made me sick. It also made me remember that the above verse. We owe so much to our children, simply because they are gifts from above. The Bible says they are a blessing. How do we treat this blessing day in, day out? How do I treat it?

All for now,