While out running a quick errand, I hear the kids arguing from the backseat of our van. I take a few deep breaths before speaking.
"Kids, please stop arguing and use kind words when speaking to one another."
"BUT, MOM, LYDIA SPIT ON ME!" Josiah shouted.
I decided to address his response before talking with Lydia.
"Josiah, what do you need to do because she spit at you?"
He jokingly replied, "Punch her in her face!" Laughing begins to commence from all. He knows and has been taught repeatedly that we do not hit.
"Josiah, you are not to punch your sister. You are called to forgive her."
"WHAT?!" He was confused. "But, Mom, she didn't even say sorry to me!"
"She doesn't have to in order for you to forgive her."
Here's where wisdom is shared. Julie St Clair spoke into my dear friend Dawn's life yesterday who then imparted it on me and I taught it to my children this morning. (I love the body of Christ!)
"Josiah, do you know what tomorrow is?"
"Tomorrow is Good Friday. Do you know why we remember Good Friday?"
"Because Jesus died." He simply replied.
"Yes, Josiah, because Jesus died. However, Good Friday has many lessons for us to learn. One of the most important lessons is to forgive. Do you know what the people who Jesus loved, cared for, and came to save did to him?"
"They killed him, Mom."
"Yes, they did. They beat him, spit on him, made fun of him, and did many things to him. He came to seek and save them and do you see how they treated him? Did He look up to Heaven and say, 'God, I am not going to forgive them because they have not apologize to me first?"
With tears in my eyes because of my own convicted heart, I continued, "No, he didn't say that. His response was this: He looked up to Heaven and said, 'God forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.'"
"Josiah, if Jesus could be hit, spit on, made fun of, and beaten by those He loved, don't you think that we can do the same thing when someone hurts us? Josiah, I want you to remember this: the hardest part is not to forgive, it's choosing to forgive."
He looked over at Lydia, and said, "I'm going to forgive you, but don't think that you can spit on me again!"
Well, it's a little victory.
This weekend, let's take a deep breathe when our kids act out. Let's become slow to anger. And let's point our dear blessings back to the cross.
Because He Lives!
And He Forgives!
May your homes be filled with many opportunities to share the story of Christ with your children this weekend!
(Also, can someone in Joplin, please hug both Julie St Clair & Dawn Goerke for me?! It takes a village to raise my family & their part has not gone unnoticed!!)