It was Sunday morning at church when my three-year-old son darted across the stage behind our pastor, who was giving the children's sermon below the stage. All eyes were on my son. I was standing there at the base of the stage hearing little gasps from the pianist, who surely thought he was going to jump! Yet I, knowing that if I even flinched, he would let out a ferocious squeal and be much more likely to jump or run in the opposite direction. I did not have the option of counting down from across the stage and thankfully our pastor at this point, with zero attention on him, decided to wrap it up (in good humor) – and my boy willingly exited the stage to follow the herd out of the sanctuary.
Yet he's the sweetest boy you'll ever meet, too. He still drags his blankie around with his thumb in his mouth, likes his sister's princess cup best, sings Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes around the house, and currently has his toenails polished, in which he typically tucks bare in his favorite cowboy boots.
There really is never a dull moment with him and I'm learning to take it in stride.
As a parent, I suppose I could have been a little embarrassed about the church incident, but I really wasn't. I suppose I wondered what people thought, but didn't care too much. I suppose I could have kept a tighter rein on the boy–like not letting him get as far as the stage stairs–but you never know what he'll pull with his gigantic spirit.
I'd love to be the family whose children all sit quietly and poised throughout the service just so people would think we were...well perfect, or some silly illusion like that. But we're not. We have a fidgety, clingy, lively group and we're just as real as any regular family–figuring it out as they go–when in public!
But, when I think about my three-year-old's childishness, I see his love for life. When I think about his intense battle play, I see a godly warrior. When I think about his tenderness, I see a compassionate man. When I consider the characteristics of my perfectly woven and created son, I see Jesus. Not a tame man by any stretch of the imagination. We have a wild God! A wildly passionate, loving and crazy for us God and I love that reminder reflected in my son.
I hope to encourage you today to parent your child, not by the standards of what people may think or measured by your own level of tolerance, but with grace for the way God created each one of them, perfectly and uniquely His.
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1 Timothy 15