During the Fall, Handsome K and I had the privilege of going away for 9 days. Some work. Some play. All together! The grandmas (his mom and my mom) kept the kids. Flew in from Texas to watch over our babies (they aren’t actually babies anymore).
We have specific rules about screen time in our home…rules that get me called endearing names like “mean mommy” and conversation starters like “you’re not fair” and “everybody else gets to.” But I push forward.
One grandma told me that one of the nights she went to check on the kids after they had been put to bed and one was still awake explaining he liked to sit on his bed sometimes and think. I found that interesting because he’d never voiced this before, and I thought I’d inquire about this with him in the near future...wanting to know about what he’s been laying awake at night pondering.
Then later the first night of my homecoming, one grandma said she just looked in on him and he was still awake 1.5 hours after being put to bed. So I went in to check on him.
He rolled over after he saw me and hid his face. With the IPAD under his chest attempting to hid it (but not doing a very good job).
My heart sank. My prayer for him since birth has been the verse in 1 Kings which talked of Elijah being a man of God and the words he spoke being truth. I’m not sure if the middle names we’ve chosen for our kids are because that’s where they will be strong or weak or both sometimes, but I pray that he will be a man of God and the words he speak be truth. Both Truth with a capital T, like the Gospel, God’s love, Jesus’ death and resurrection and saving grace…and truth—like he will choose to not lie when tempted to do so.
Thankfully, I recently heard someone talk about asking the question, “Is there something you’d like to tell me or is there a secret that you need to say out loud?” Promoting community and forgiveness within our family is my heart so I gently said…
“Is there something you’d like to tell me?”
For about 1 minute.
Then a quiet slow…Yeeessss.
As he hands me the Ipad.
And he begins to cry, immediately confessing and apologizing. He was caught in his sin. He didn’t deny it or blame someone else. I told him that I forgive him and we took a moment for him to ask God to forgive him. I told him I was proud of him for confessing and reminded him what we know about confession.
You can’t have darkness in the light. We talked about how it feels now that he’s not hiding it anymore. He said he felt nervous. He confessed he saw it, checked the battery life, got the charger...it was premeditated. Then he acted on it. I know the content won’t always be a question game about states and their capitals or games about grocery shopping (which thankfully was what he was playing, believe me I searched the ipad and icloud)…but for now my son understands the weight of guilt and secret sin on his level. And he said it wasn’t worth it.
He told me he knew I’d know. He almost wanted me to find out it seemed. I told him I pray that he will always be caught or he will confess so we can work it out as a family and he doesn’t have to carry those things alone. Bringing it into the light means no more darkness for that sin. Things kept in secret are often those kind of things…dark, heavy, and festering.
I asked him if he remembered thinking about it throughout the day, he said yes. We talked about how Satan wants to distract us and make us think our way is better. I told him our screen rule is not a rule we have to deny him but to protect him because we love him.
He apologized a few times more. I told him that wasn’t necessary that I forgive him but a little trust was broken. I was living in a world where he was obeying so it may mean we talk about it again. He hugged me the kind of hug where your kid kind of melts into you and feels like a limp toddler in your arms.
A weight was lifted from his little shoulders.
He confessed some more things to me about the last few days. It was beautiful to see his heart and hear his words. He’s growing in the Lord.
My child, I have great confidence that when you stumble you will get back up and take hold of the grace you do not deserve but God freely gives you. His forgiveness.
I beat myself up and think I deserve some wallowing and shame when I hurt someone with my words or make sharp accusations toward my family. But the same grace and forgiveness is offered to me too. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s so easy to be forgiven, I should be punished…because that makes sense, right?
That’s one of the bazillion ways God’s love amazes me…he doesn’t want to punish us, he unconditionally loves us and chooses to forgive us.
Confession means we admit wrong, it’s humbling and feels embarrassing at times. But confession brings freedom…I heard it in my son’s words and saw it in his countenance.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:17