Sure, they are just four and five. And sure, kids are prone to naughty. They aren’t spared of sinful souls. They aren’t perfect. I don’t expect them to be. And I’m not a perfect mom, but I like to think I’m a good mom.
Things are rough around here right now. I’m constantly examining and evaluating how to make them well behaved emotionally stable Jesus-loving humans. Despite my best intentions, I get less than desirable results when I say no to these strong willed beauty babies. Like, last night when I said no to SECOND dessert and Jovie’s ungrateful grumbling heart (after a super fun day) sent her straight to bed early. Then again tonight when she landed herself up there before 7pm for launching a slime ball at my head in anger, with Rem shortly after for looking me in the eye and doing the exact thing I said not to.
I think, I’ve written on this before. One of my favorite things I do as a mom is apologize and repent to my girls when I’ve done something wrong—like when I’ve caused us to be late and rushed them, when I’m stressed, when I looked at my phone too much, or bailed on something they really wanted to do. This has, in turn, created a culture of putting into practice repentance and forgiveness.
*pats self on the back prematurely*
The problem is I’ve blurred the line between forgiveness and sin consequence. The girls think after they apologize (which they do regularly and seemingly genuinely) their slate is clean and they can hop off to the next thing unscathed. I’ve allowed it. They apologized. And God tosses our sins as far as the east is to the west, so ‘sure little lovey… you can have your toy back I took away.’ But there is no weight here, no lesson, no reason not to repeat. There is no consequence. I’ve dug myself a hole.
I’m two days into realizing my mistake and accepting the apology but holding strong to the pre-apology consequence. It’s confusing to them. And if we are honest, I believe this theology is confusing to us adult Christians, as well. We want the forgiveness, the clean slate… and we get that with Jesus’ one time work on the cross. How often, though, do we shake our fist at God or question why we are still “paying” for the thing we did if we were truly forgiven?
I’m just scratching the tip of the iceberg here. I believe there is a lot more to defrost on this. Just processing out loud, with you… you know… since I have a minute, because both of my babes were prematurely sent to bed.