“Kennedy, you are driving me nuts,” says my 4 year old son, Kai, to his 6 year old sister. Um, where did he learn that from? That would be me, his mama. I have told my kids they are driving me nuts, crazy, insane! Parenting is not for wimps. Or, if you are a wimp, parenting will shake you out of that. It’s so tough constantly dealing with my own sin, let alone the sin of two little people in my home. There are two things I want my kids to see in our home: 1. They need Jesus; and 2. Their parents need Jesus. And, not necessarily in that order! As we go throughout our day, I often say to my kids, “Choose kindness! Choose love!” And then we talk about how it’s hard to choose kindness and love. And, really our natural bent is to choose to be mean and hateful. In those moments when my kids are at each other’s throats and I’m frustrated to no end dealing with attitudes and actions (my own and my children’s), right then is the perfect divinely appointed time for me to show my kids: 1. You need Jesus; and 2. Mommy needs Jesus. This is how I will pass down the Gospel to my children.
There is a children’s song I heard that has a line in it that says, “Love, love, love, love. The Gospel in one word is love. Love your neighbor as yourself…” Oh how wrong that song is. I don’t want my kids to think if they reach this expectation of always choosing kindness and choosing love, that makes them acceptable to God. No, no. I say, “Choose kindness! Choose love! It’s hard to do that, isn’t it? And this is why we need Jesus.”
So, when attitudes are flaring (including my own) and we are all driving each other nuts, THAT is the place where Jesus will meet us and where the Gospel will become real. After all, the Gospel is meant for the broken.