5 words every child loves to hear
He was right. It had been a hard day. For all three of them.
Dishonesty, unthankfulness, aruguing, and a whole lot of tearing down.
Hence, I got to do a whole lot of correction, instruction, discipline and leading them in countless opportunities to say “I’m sorry.”
(I never cease to be amazed how these boys who fill me up with so much love can also suck the ever-loving life out of me.)
When bedtime rolled around I was completely depleted – I had no energy, patience, or wisdom left to offer.
But one thing I did still have.
I looked deep into my son’s eyes, leaned in close, and whispered back in his ear, “You’re right baby. It was a hard day. Aren’t you glad God gave us Jesus. He knew we’d have days like this. Hard days when we are very aware of our sin and mistakes. Do you want to pray again- just the two of us? We can thank Him for His unconditional love and ask Him to help us remember all that He's done for us when we want to sin.”
So we prayed, we repented, we accepted forgiveness, and we gave thanks. Oh so good.
Then I whispered in Cal’s ear the five words he loves to hear.
“I love being your mom.”
He usually replies by saying something like “Thanks mom. I know.” But on this particular night, with a sweet smile, a tender smile, spreading across his face, he replied, “I love being your son.”
Oh my heart.
We say “I love you” about 100 times a day up in here. We are a hugging, kissing, expressive kind of crew.
But… I'm not proud to admit there are plenty of days when I'm sure I make my kids feel like they are more of a burden than a blessing. Days when I treat them like they are getting in the way of some bigger more important work I have to do. Days when I forget to tell them that THEY ARE the biggest most important work I will ever do.
So, in the quiet of the night, when all is still and calm and they've stopped punching each other and throwing footballs through the kitchen, I love reminding them that I am insanely thankful that God chose me to be their mom, and not just on the days when they obey a lot, and show kindness to one another, and tell only the truth, and are grateful for everything they’ve been given.
I want them to know I love being their mom just as much on the days when they get it all wrong too.
Sounds a lot like how God loves us, doesn't it?
Yeh, that’s what I really want them to understand - that God loves being their Heavenly Father, even on the days when they fall flat on their face.
I know my love for my boys just scratches the surface of God’s love for them. But if my desire is to plant seeds of Christ’s love into the hearts of my kids, I think the hard days provide the most fertile soil.
[Tweet "In our child’s failure is the most sacred space to demonstrate God’s unconditional love."]
Love makes sense when we succeed. It’s when we fail that love melts and molds and transforms our hearts the most profoundly.
And that, my friends, is grace.
Grace is God's unconditional love in our most unlovable moments because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. And that’s very "good news" for us, and our kids, at the end of our very hard days.