I look for opportunities to display the love of God to my children, especially when it happens organically and makes a big impact.
Several weeks ago, my eleven-year-old daughter* went to my husband a bit upset. I'm not clear on all the details, but I know she was playing a game similar to Hay Day on the computer and she did something she wasn't supposed to (she put a heart sticker in a comment box, which apparently was a no-no), and she was reprimanded by a monitor on the game. Later, when my husband explained things better, he said she had made a mistake and it wasn't that big of a deal, but it still made her upset.
A couple weeks went by, and then one night she came to me, visibly upset. I was folding laundry and had to stop to try to understand what was wrong. She brought up the incident with the game (which I had completely forgotten about), and then she explained to me, with tears in her eyes, that she had told my husband that it was a mistake--but at the time, she knew she was doing something wrong (it truly wasn't a big deal in my eyes, but in her eyes, it was big). I said: "Why are you so upset? You know what you did was wrong and you won't do it again."
"I'm upset because I lied to Daddy," she replied with tears.
That's when I truly understood what was bothering her. The game wasn't really the issue. What shook her up that first night, and what had her upset weeks later, was that she hadn't been truthful with her daddy about how everything had happened. I told her she would need to tell him the truth.
A couple hours passed before my husband came home from work. I knew he wouldn't be upset about the game (it was such a simple issue), but he'd probably be a little upset she lied. I knew he would offer her all sorts of grace because he'd see she was repentant.
When my daughter looked at him, I could tell she was nervous to admit to her daddy that she had lied--and in that moment, I had such a clear picture of how we must look when we come before our loving Father in Heaven.
I also had a clear picture of Jesus' position next to the Throne of Grace. He is our mediator. 1 Timothy 2:5 says: "For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus."
Jesus goes before the Father and petitions Him on our behalf--and because of God's love for Christ, He extends the same love to us.
I knew I needed to step in and demonstrate this love to my daughter. As she looked up at her loving daddy, afraid to admit her mistake, I stepped in and said: "You came to me, and now I'm going to tell Daddy what you told me." I proceeded to state in a few simple words what it took her over fifteen minutes to say to me--and my husband responded exactly as I knew he would, with love and kindness--yet offered her a consequence.
Because of the relationship between my husband and myself, I was able to communicate with him on a different level than my daughter can. I had no fear before my husband, and I knew how he would react. I had much more confidence addressing him than my daughter did.
Afterward, I explained to my daughter why I stepped in the way I had. I wanted her to get a clear picture of how Jesus intercedes for us, and that she can go to Jesus just as easily as she came to me.
It was a simple issue, but it made a big impact on her--and, truth be told, it also impacted me.
In this season, as we remember the arrival of Christ, let us ponder all our Savior came to accomplish on our behalf.
*I asked my daughter if I had permission to share this story, and she said yes.
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