Sunday, August 7, 2011

As wonderful as my kids are, they aren't perfect. Sometimes we have to deal with what we call, "heart issues". We all have them. They aren't limited to children. Julia's biggest struggle with her heart is honesty. This is a huge deal to us. So when she lies about something, the consequences are serious. This past Tuesday, it happened again. Sweet Julia lied about doing a chore that she had not done. I could see it all over her face. And even after I called her out on it and showed her the evidence that she had not done what she said she had, she continued to insist that she was telling the truth. It wasn't until I began the conversation about her heart that she finally gave up and admitted that she had been dishonest. I gave her the choice between two sets of consequences. I do this sometimes because it helps them understand that they have choices in life. They can choose righteousness or sin. And when they later complain that the consequence is unfair, I can remind them that they not only chose the infraction, but they chose the consequence too. Then their frustration is more with themselves and less with me. Julia ended up having to write 30 times, "I will tell the truth the first time", losing her beloved blanket for a week, and not being able to play with friends for a week.

Fast forward to Thursday. We were invited to Chuck E Cheese for a friend's birthday party. The kids were very excited! We rarely go there so it's a special treat for them. They talked about it all day long. What games they were going to play, the prizes they would choose, the pizza, all the fun friends who would be there. Shortly before it was time to leave for the party, I reminded Julia that she had lost the privilege of playing with friends for a week, so she would not be participating in the fun at the party. She would have to sit with me the entire time. Her world fell apart. She cried and pleaded. She offered to do extra chores. I hugged her and told her that nothing was going to change, the consequence was in place, and hopefully this will help her stop herself next time she considers telling a lie. She was devastated. I wanted to give in, but I knew that I couldn't.

It was time to go and I was in rush mode. Pushing the kids out the door with a "hurry, hurry, hurry!", grabbing the gift, finding shoes. As I scrambled out the door, Asa grabbed my hand.
"Mom," he said with tenderness, "I want to make a deal with you."
"What is it?" I asked.
"I can't stand to watch Julia sit out the whole time at the party. Please let me sit half the time and take half of her punishment."
My sweet boy stood here, with hopeful eyes, pleading for mercy for his sister. Asking if he could sacrifice himself for her.

What an example of Jesus' love my son was to me that day. Our God could not stand to see us miss out on his love and spiritual riches. He had done nothing wrong. We were the ones who had messed up again. We are the ones with the heart issue. But he wanted to be the one to take the punishment.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16

Sure, Asa didn't offer his life for Julia, this time. But to a 7 year old, an afternoon at Chuck E Cheese is pretty darn close.


  1. Tear filled eyes... What a great mommy you are. As a nanny I preach consistency and follow through all the time, I know one day when I have my own children it probably won't be so easy... Love reading your stories!!