Today began rather nicely! The boys slept in while I did my Bible study and got some wonderful extra prayer time. I have noticed that the most difficult days tend to be the ones in which I have spent the closest time with my Lord! Those are the days that the boys seem to really let the sin nature take control. I’m fairly sure it has a lot to do with the enemy!
Today, within the first thirty minutes of awakening, both boys were repeatedly disobedient. I wasn’t asking anything unusual. We have the same routine every morning, yet at least half of the mornings they fight it. On top of that, my older son lied without care twice that I know of and I think one other time. Truth is very important to us. We have made it clear over and over again that there will be consequences to disobedience, but that those consequences will be much, much worse if it includes lying. So I was pretty sad and angry that he would lie so blatantly and without any concern.
While in my anger, I put the boys in bed and I went away. As my anger subsided into sorrow over their souls which are destined for eternal destruction, an idea came to mind. They needed to see harsh consequences. Just as the consequences to our sin is harsh (and very just) — death! “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
So I got on my knees on their floor, I prayed for all of us. I prayed for wisdom and grace for myself. I prayed that God would draw their hearts to repentance and a desire for Him. And I prayed that He would glorify Himself in this home. And I believe He answered! But I think He got hold of my heart more than theirs!
I got out the Magic Erasers and told them that they were to clean every wall, door, and baseboard that they could reach. Now being only 4 & 7, this task is really beyond them, but death is also more than I can pay for my sin, so it seemed good. As they cleaned, I began to see a slight humbling of hearts. The whining and complaining stopped. They began to be kind to one another and to work together. I was still prayerfully seeking how far to go with the consequence and how to help them see the heart of God when the idea came for me to stop them of their work and do it myself. So I did. I had them sit and watch me scrub everything I could reach. I asked them if they knew what I was doing. They didn’t get it. So we got out a Bible and learned (or were reminded) that because of sin we should die. Because of sin, we are objects of wrath to God. BUT just like I was taking the consequences of their sin and cleaning all the walls myself, Jesus took our consequences for us. Even more, He became our sin in our place! And because of Jesus, we can be alive forever! Because of Jesus we can enter before God with confidence standing in His love. We spent probably 30 minutes talking about the depths of the Gospel. And they were ready to listen. I didn’t have to reprimand them at all for being distracting nor did I have to fight to keep their attention! They wanted to understand what I was trying to show them! Now I can only hope and pray that it will have eternal impact on their hearts!
But here’s where I think I He touched my heart more than theirs. As I did their work, I found myself considering again Christ’s work in my place. I found myself humbled! I first remembered that His work is complete. I mess up all the time. This morning I reacted first in anger because I was walking in pride. But His work is complete. Just as all my past sins are exchanged for His righteousness, so was my pride of this morning. And so will be the sin I’m sure I’ll commit later today! He never has to do it again. I, on the other hand, will need to clean those walls again. Probably in a few weeks! His work is complete where mine never could be!
And His work is perfect. He didn’t leave any blemishes. I did. For one thing, I didn’t clean the walls in my bedroom. I was tired, hungry, and out of Magic Erasers, so I stopped. We also don’t have the best lighting in this house, so I couldn’t see all the dirt. It is very much an imperfect work! Jesus Christ’s work is perfect. He completely clothes me in His righteousness. He leaves no impurities!
These aren’t things I didn’t know before, but my gratitude for them and love for Him increased as I pondered how complete and perfect His precious work is. I hope that the boys got a glimmer of the Gospel this morning. We have taught and spoken it so much, but I hope they were able to see it just a little this morning! Even if not, in my attempt to reflect the glories of the Gospel, my heart was drawn to worship. For that may God be praised!