My oldest son just got a new Bible from his dad. Well, technically it’s a small daily devotional book that looks kind of similar to my husband’s pocket size Bible and was gathering dust on the bookshelf but it’s good enough for my imaginative boy. It replaces his ‘old’ Bible that was actually a Spanish-English dictionary. The dictionary has been passed on to his little brother.
You may be wondering why we don’t just buy the poor boy a real Bible, isn’t that something we want to encourage? We actually have two children’s Bibles in the house and a myriad of Bible story type books. He enjoys pulling them out for a story time or worship time but to sit and ‘read’ (technically he can read about 10 words right now), he prefers the devotional book. The reason is because every morning when this early bird rises he sees his daddy sitting on the couch with a Bible in one hand and a journal sitting open next to him. He wants to be like Daddy.
It’s a very humbling thing to realize how much our children strive to be like us; humbling and a little scary too. Does the fact that someone is watching me to see how to behave mean that I have to have everything figured out? What about those times when I fail miserably? I’m so grateful at these moments to realize that God is infinitely more patient with me than I am with my own children when they slip up. In that realization I have come to understand that His model of confession, forgiveness and reconciliation works both ways in a parent/child relationship. And when I am able to humbly and sincerely ask for the forgiveness of my children I am teaching them a life skill that they will need because they too will fail miserable at times.
I’m also reminded today of the fact that Jesus directed us to become like little children ourselves. Throughout the day and especially after moments of frustration with his little brother, my son would say exasperatedly, ‘I’m going to go by myself and read my Bible!’ If only that were my go-to choice when I’m feeling frustrated by life’s little irritations! What peace of mind I would find quickly, instead of holding onto those little things until they become too huge to manage. What kind of mother and role model would I be then?
Oh, the B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me . . .