The other night, Nolan(6) and Gideon(4), were making quite the rucus in their room. They had been warned numerous times to settle down. As I walked into the room for probably the third time to correct them, I began to talk with Gideon, telling him that he was behaving badly. Well, I'm not one to worry about ruining my kids self esteem. Instead I worry about their soul being damned to hell. So, I decided to speak more theologically to my boys. I told Gideon that he was bad. Gideon wasn't too happy about this, but Nolan was extremely disturbed. Nolan decided to come to his brother's defense..."No, Giddy! You're not bad, you're good!". Well, at this point I was all the more determined to really do my best to speak to my boy's hearts. I shifted to up to Nolan on the top bunk. "Yes, Nolan, Gideon is bad and so are you!", I told him. I said this all in a calm manner. Now, Gideon shifted his concern from Gideon to himself. "Nooooo!!" he wailed. I quietly explained to him that the way he was diliberately disobeying his parents, that I was very concerned for his heart. I told him that because he couldn't obey, that I had no other possible conclusion other than he was bad. This tore at his little heart. "I know" he cried. Then, he said the words that gave my heart a reason to rejoice...."I don't want to be bad". What a moment. Tears began to fill my own eyes. I gently told him that if he didn't want to be bad, then he was going to have to ask God to help him. And so we did. Then I did the same thing with Gideon, although I'm not sure his heart was affected in the same way. My heart now rejoices because this is the first time I've seen our Nolan with an aggravation toward his sin. Please pray that God will continue to draw him and bring him into His kingdom.
Now, some of you out there, may think I'm a terrible parent because I told my kid that he was bad. I feel like I would not have been a good parent if I had not told my kid about the true condition of his heart. I want our children to really understand their heart's condition. I don't want my children to make some half hearted confession of faith or to say some prayer just because that's what they are supposed to do. I want my kids to feel desperate. I want them to have a sense of God's wrath and anger toward their sin. I want them to fully see there need for a savior. This, is what I'm hoping is beginning to happen with Nolan.