Saturday, March 2, 2013

Conversations With a 4 Year Old

There's something about four year olds that will keep you on your toes.  More often than not, they are honest... brutally honest to some degree.  Just tonight, thoroughly out of the blue, B looked right at me and said, "I love daddy more than I love you."  A knife in the heart would have felt better.  His words hurt me deeply.  It hurt that my heart drowns in love for both of my children, and yet, at the ripe age of four, there's already someone he loves more than me.  (I really thought this would wait until girls entered his life... hmmm.)  But that wasn't what hurt the most, after-all, if he is going to love someone more than me (aside from the Lord), I want it to be his daddy.  No.  What hurt the most was that I wasn't disciplining him, I wasn't upset with him, he said it casually at dinner, like there was nothing hurtful about what he said.  It was honest.  There's that knife again.  

But - believe it or not - that's not the conversation I wanted to write about.  No, this conversation happened yesterday, again, completely out of the blue.  As we traveled in the car to fulfill 'Ans party duties', B was having a conversation with us about something random and completely not serious when he said, "Jesus lives in our hearts."

At this point, I'm used to this part of the conversation.  About a year ago when this subject was broached the first time, I very gently and honestly told him that yes, when we come to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him, and when we have faith in Him to save us from the bad things we do to repair that relationship with Him, then He comes to live in our hearts."  

I never wanted to give him the false sense that he's already saved.  We've been in ministry long enough to see that a lot of times the biggest obstacle to someone coming to faith, is believing they are already in it.  I've vowed not to contribute to that in my kids lives. 

So - when he said again yesterday, "Jesus lives in our hearts," I gently reminded him again that Jesus does desire to live in our hearts when we come to know him.  It was what happened after I said this that shocked me. 

After a very short pause B replied, "Sometime, when I go to bed, and it's dark, and I'm in my room and in my bed, and no one is there but me, I ask Jesus to be in my heart."  

As my eyes well up with tears and I try to wrap my head around what to say I look over at Aaron who is staring at me the same way.  How many salvation conversations have we had with people throughout the years???  But there's something about it being your own child, your own young child that makes the situation SO fragile. 

We asked B if he has done this or if he was going to do this, to which he replied that he was going to, and we continued to talk about what it means, in four year old words, when Jesus lives in our hearts.  

The hubs and I joked with each other that we needed to call the Pastor / Children's Pastor.  We understand, to some degree, why parents always wanted us to deal with the spiritual matters of their youth... it's less responsibility if we can push it on to someone else... it makes it much less scary, but then the minister also receives the blessing... and I want to be part of the blessing of my kids' salvation experiences.  Even if Bryton does love daddy more ;) 

One way or another -- Jesus is moving in the life of my four year old little man.  We are waiting to see what continues to grow and develop in him, and in the meantime we are praying our little hearts out that Jesus makes B's spiritual needs crystal clear, and gives us wisdom to wade these waters we've not even stuck our toes in yet... but I can tell you this, friends, the water is fine... 


1 comment:

  1. I love this.....because my daughter is 4 as well and boy o boy do these conversations get interesting and sometimes scary!! lol I really love and enjoy it because she is a big part of my education with the lord and nothing is better. It has gotten really deep lately because people in our family have passed away, and she starts conversations about purpose, where we go when we pass and where we are before we're born. Sometimes I don't know where to take the conversation because I want to elaborate but at her age, I'd like to keep it simple! But as long as we keep the conversation focused on the Lord we are all good! :-)