I would like to expound today upon a little known scripture. I'm actually sure I've never heard a sermon preached on it, which is a shame, because I do feel it is a critical piece of theology.
Remember the passage when Christ is telling the disciples of His imminent Death and resurrection? Right there is a part that many of us over look. Here is the reference: (I will put the part I'm referring to in a different colour so you don't miss it okay?)
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. And the convictors, the children whom the Father will give you in my name, will regularly point out your sin nature and be the catalyst to you seeing your evil and selfish ways.
What? you've never read that before? You mean it isn't even in your Bible? Look again. I'm sure it is there somewhere. Of course, maybe it is just in my translation. You know "The Moms who think they Suck Study Bible".
Sorry. Was that crass? How about "The Woefully Inadequate Womans' Daily Devotional".
ARRRGH but do I hate seeing my sin so blatantly. A few times today I have been up to my ears in frustration and exasperation thinking "man these kids are driving me crazy" except then the Lord just opens the window of heaven so I can see what he sees: perfectly normal kids who are actually being great, and a mom who is too selfish to set aside what she wants in order to actually, how should I say this, be nice to her children?
What do I want today? I want a spotless house, a cup of tea, and 4 hours of 'do nothing time'. Pretty sure that is in the bible too. Listen: Prov. 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Oh Wait, is that talking about me doing it? Oh, I hoped it meant I looked on while my servant girl did the making the house spotless bit.
Right. Where is the chapter that applauds sitting and reading? Or napping? Or just staring blankly at the kitchen ceiling for a good long time?
And meanwhile the kids want to go for a walk. Do a craft. Read a story. Send a birthday card to Auntie K. Email their cousins. Make a picture for Great Grandma
ALL.WITH.ME. Ironically these are the things I "couldn't wait for my kids to get old enough to do with me". Mind you that was when I was 12 years younger. And single.
Did I happen to mention that I'm an introvert and really like being alone? I come by this honestly. My dad once said that he was going to buy 100 acres of field and bush with a big rock in the middle of it and just sit on the rock with his shot gun to shoot at anyone who came to interrupt him. Once on a hard day I said to him "Yup, just you and me out on the rock hey Dad?" and he said "Who said you're invited?"
I love me some quiet alone time. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE having people over too. Love BBQ's, Love coffee breaks, Love girly movie nights. yes yes yes.
I don't love having someone looking at me, scrutinizing me, emulating me, interrogating me 24 hours a day. And do you know why? Because then they are going to see that I am indeed a radically flawed person. You grown ups know that already because you're one too. But my kids don't know that yet. And the longer they spend time with me the harder it is to keep up the facade that I'm actually a nice person who for the most part loves to obey. Little convicters, they are! They catch me in my sarcasm. They catch me in my laziness. They catch me in my procrastination. They catch me in my hypocrisy. And because, despite my saying otherwise, I'm really not THAT stupid, I see them mentally record the times that I say "Hard work is an important character trait that you need to develop" and then they see me with a "to do" with 8 items on it and only 2 checked off at bedtime.
And so how do I fix that? Apparently I waste even more time blogging about it. No, I actually apologize to them and explain to them that the way I am is exactly why we parent like we do: in order to train them in habits and lifestyles and principles now while they are young so that when they are grown ups too they won't still be struggling with these basic sins.
Once in Cell group we were speaking about integrity: being the same person whether you are with someone or alone. A man in our group had a great example. That week he had been eating a muffin in the staff lunch room. He got crumbs all over the table. When he was done eating he wiped all the crumbs onto the floor and stood to walk out the door. Then he remembered our conversation at Cell and thought "if anyone were here with me, I'd not have done that." And of course there is always someone watching us. So he stooped down and picked up the crumbs by hand and put them in the garbage as he ought to have in the first place.
This is it with my kids. Maybe the Lord gave me such a passel of younguns because he knew I needed lots of accountability. There are always 14 little eyes watching my every move. There are always 14 little ears to hear my words and my tone. There are always 14 little hearts being shaped by my attitudes towards them. Talk about conviction.
Thank you Father for sending these little convicters to me. They are such an accurate mirror of who I am when no one else is watching. May you give me the integrity to live in such a way as to not be ashamed in front of them.