About a year ago, my son came running into the room, screaming, “Quick Mom! I need a Bible! I feel sin in my heart and I need to fight it!” He had learned about the temptation of Jesus in church that week and the Holy Spirit was working in his little heart and mind – helping him to realize his sinfulness and the need to fight it. He hadn’t learned to read yet, but he knew that the Bible was what he needed to fight sin.
Now, a year has passed and I had forgotten about this precious moment. My son had been getting into trouble at preschool for not listening to the teacher and distracting his friends. For several weeks, notes were coming home in his folder telling me that he was struggling to obey the rules. So, we talked about his behavior. We prayed. We practiced the right way to behave. And as the notes kept coming, my patience grew smaller. Instead of looking at the heart issue of what was going on, I began to focus on simply changing his behavior. So I took away his legos. And the Wii. And I began to speak harshly. My desire for him to be liked by his teacher and be the “good kid” in school overshadowed my desire to engage his heart with the gospel.
Would you like to guess what his lesson was about at church this week? The temptation of Jesus. Once again, he and I were both reminded of how Jesus was able to withstand the temptation of Satan without sinning. Jesus used the Scriptures! More than my son needed to hear this story again, I needed to hear this story again. So, today we got out the Bible and found verses for us to memorize that will hopefully help him to remember Jesus. He will go to preschool tomorrow. Maybe he will do a better job of following the rules. Maybe he won’t. But I can guarantee this: tomorrow, we will both work to hide God’s word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him. My son will try to not sin against his teacher and his classmates. And I will try not to sin against my son by focusing on behavior modification instead of his heart.
Q. What are some ways you’ve found to focus on your boy’s heart recently?
Don’t forget to join Brooke McGlothlin (MOB Society) and Stacey Thacker (MOD Squad) in tonight’s Weary Mom Kitchen Table Talk on Spreecast! We’re starting a 9 PM EST and will talk about your prayer life, and your “one” thing.