You know those times where you just feel like your kids aren’t hearing you? Like maybe you aren’t really cut out for this job? You wonder how they will ever want to trust Christ when their parents are such wretched reflections? We’ve been having that sort of season. A lot of late night talking, praying, and chocolate snarfing (that last one is mostly me).
Last night, after the kids were already supposed to be in bed, one of the boys appeared at the bottom of the stairs. “I can’t sleep. I’m just… unsettled.”
It took a few questions, but Andrew managed to connect this emotional indigestion to a book the child was reading. He said there was a little boy in it who was lonely and bullied and it made him sad. He felt wholly uncomfortable that someone could hurt in that way.
Andrew tucked him under his arm and sighed. “Yes, Buddy. As Mommy and I get older, the more aware we are of the hurts in the world. The more we see the results of living in a fallen world. It makes us see our need for Jesus and long for Him to come back.”
My boy-child turning man-child hung his head. They talked a few minutes more until the child felt better and began to smile. “Thanks for talking to me, Daddy. It helps. I know that if I come downstairs, I’m guaranteed we’ll end up talking about Jesus.”
Andrew teared up and hugged him. “I hope so, Buddy. I hope so.”
There are days where we throw up our hands and despair that our kids will ever see their need for Christ. There are moments when we feel we are absolutely the wrong choice for discipling these people. But we fall on our knees and keep plugging away… and our kids are watching.
They roll their eyes or pick their toes while we talk, but they hear us. It helps me to know that when I get all tongue-tied, it’s not my magical vocabulary doing the work anyway. We aren’t the ones who change our kids’ hearts. All we can do is point to the One who does.
I tell you this so that we remember not to give up in preaching Christ, in gospel training, in living out our faith in front of our kids. We’re aren’t perfect and never will be. But we keep marching. We try to stay consistent. Some days, it feels like there isn’t any progress at all.
But like that bed-headed kid reminded us last night: Keep putting one foot in front of the other, weary soldiers. This battle isn’t ours to fight.
Just be faithful, be steady. And keep praying…