They are lucky they're cute, because wow, they have been testing this mama lately. There are moments of innocence and honesty and thankfulness, and then they flip a switch reaaaaaal quick. I am so quick to jump up and discipline my children, and cry to Jimmy saying, "Are we doing something wrong? Are our standards too high? Are we expecting too much of them? Should we let them be wild 2, 4, and 6 year olds?"
But then, I find myself being that same disobedient, testing, and just plain rude "child", and I am humbled super quickly. My Heavenly Father sees me as that same child, and guess what? His standards and expectations are perfection and holiness.
My boys are little. They trust in us. They depend on us. They have a childlike faith in us, and yet we as adults and parents are imperfect and so broken by sin like them. Jackson often asks if I know everything, because that is how he actually thinks of me. But we don't - we don't have all the wisdom or all the answers. Yet they trust us as their parents, and believe whatever we say.
Do we as adults, really trust and believe everything God has planned for us? Or do we disobey, and question, and doubt, and need DISCIPLINE?
Eventually, just as we learned as we got older, our kids will realize we aren't all they think us to be. We aren't fully trustworthy, we make tons of mistakes, we are as fragile as they are, and all we can do is pray that God fills in all the gaps we miss as their parents.
I was reminded today that I am no better than my disobedient children. That's why Jesus said that any disciple of his must "turn and become like children" if we are even to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3). I am the exact same person as my kids. I am in need of a Savior, in need of a Father’s grace and love. The good news of Jesus begins and ends with my childlike need for Him and his saving work on my behalf. Jimmy and I pray daily that God would grip their hearts at a young age, and that they will see that the only Perfect Father is our Heavenly Father. The good news is that our Heavenly Father is a perfect father; perfectly holy and righteous, perfectly gracious and just. His forgiveness, His grace, His righteousness, His love, His discipline is just as much set apart for me as it is for these dudes.
David Maxson writes in a recent devotional, "The beauty of the kingdom of heaven is that it is ruled by an all-wise, all-powerful, faithful, merciful and loving heavenly Father who never makes mistakes. He always has our best interests at heart. He always keeps his promises. He will never let us down or disappoint us.”
Read Romans 8 with Jimmy this week.
Some promises from God that comforted us:
“You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…” (8:16)
“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us…” (8:26)
“The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (8:27-28)
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (8:31)
For a more humorous audio check out Matt Chandler’s thoughts Jimmy sent me.
Jimmy and Lisa Paugh, along with their three boys Jackson, Jase, and Jude are part of the New Springs Church planting team.