Monday, November 15, 2010

Responding to Sin

Today, for the first time, I locked myself in the bathroom so I could take a quick shower. Elijah is 3 1/2 now, and - well, that probably means we should develop some rules of privacy at our house. With only one bathroom that can be tricky, but I thought I would try the locking technique and see how it went. The baby was safely tucked away; Elijah and Haven were playing independently.

I heard screaming. Not the "I want a snack and you won't give me one" scream. Not the "Elijah grabbed that toy from me" scream. A different scream. An "I'm really hurting scream." I yelled for Elijah, intending to tell him to go help Haven. Perhaps she was stuck under the chair or a book had fallen on her. Elijah didn't answer. I yelled for him louder. No answer. No noise at all from Elijah. Haven's scream continued but moved to another room. I was scared.

I grabbed a towel and ran out to find Haven. She was laying down on the living room floor. Elijah was pounding on her back as if it were a drum. Over and over. I yelled - at him. "What are you doing to your sister?!?!?" I grabbed him and threw him on his bed. I grabbed Haven to comfort her. She perked right back up, resilient little thing.

After getting dressed I had Elijah tell me what happened. "I hit Haven over and over again." "What else did you do to Haven?" "I pulled her hair over and over again." I cried. I have never cried over my children's sin. I was so sad - sad because of the wickedness in Elijah's heart. Sad because he was capable of being so mean. Sad because he would be so mean to his sister. I felt desperate. Desperate to know how to help this little boy I love so much. How can I explain to him how wicked that was? How do I tell him, in words that will pierce his hard heart, that God hates those who oppress the weak? How do I show this boy his need of a Savior?

I wonder that I have never cried over Elijah's sins before. Why do they often only stir up irritation or inconvenience rather than grief? I wonder that I do not cry over my sins. And I thank God for this brief glimpse of seeing sin as it really is - wicked, terrible, an offense to a great God.

I am freshly reminded of my need for supernatural wisdom - Biblical wisdom - in raising these children. This afternoon I read I Peter 5. How thankful I am that I can cast all my anxieties on Him (because He cares for me!). So, I cast Elijah's little heart again at the feet of Christ and plead with Him to change it...and to give me gracious guidance in responding to his sins.


The Gundy Bunch said...

thank you so much for posting this, sweet friend!!

Grammie said...

Our prayer for our grandchildren that God will draw them to Jesus Christ; that they will love Him and others with all their heart. We pray for our children, as parents, that God will give you discernment and to not grow weary in well doing. What a great task; what a great joy; what a great God we serve! Grammie and Grampa

Dorothy said...

mmm... friend. thanks for sharing this. prayers for wisdom indeed. "a discerning man keeps wisdom in view" prov.17:24

love you!

Anonymous said...

I join you in the prayer for Elijah's heart! What a good God to comfort us and promise us wisdom as we plead for it.

...also modesty shmodesty. :) j/k