I confess that I skipped church today. The first Sunday of every month is a time of breakfast, fellowship, and a guest speaker at Millbrook Church. I was slated to speak about our time in Haiti with my lovely wife. This morning I went into Hosea’s room and he was covered in the early stages of chicken pox. I picked my boy up and carried him into our room where his mom and little brother were already snuggling on the bed and the two boys immediately started to wrestle. I looked over at Abigail and told her that she would be the one speaking at church today.
Normally when we speak, I’m the one that does most of the talking but I was confident that Abigail would do an amazing job. I told her to go because I know that she is an incredible communicator when she is confident in what she knows. I told her to go because it was her turn to get out of the house for a bit, and she hates missing church. I knew it would be so much harder if she took Moses with her so I asked her to leave him too, and the 3 of us had a boys day.
Today I skipped going to church, and instead I was the church to my boys. I put my sweet baby down for his morning sleep, and then I held my sick big boy while we watched How to Train your Dragon and put lotion on his itchy spots.
There are times as a parent, and as a minister of the gospel, when I am called to stay with my children and show Jesus to them. Today was a “stay home day” filled with wrestling and cuddling.
I confess that my heart is full and my body is tired. I love my family so much!
I’ve made my confession, now go make yours.
I confess that I have been spending far too much time on my phone while we are at home. I noticed it this last week, when I got upset at Hosea. He was jumping on his brother and I had asked him to give Moses a little space. Only instead of actually asking him I briefly looked up from the email I was reading and told him. Then I told him again, and again, and when he still didn’t listen, I yelled at him.
Yelling always makes everything worse. I felt terrible the moment after I yelled, and I apologized to him, but the reaction was still there. Later that night after Hosea had gone to bed, I found myself thinking and praying about why I had snapped at him so easily. I realized two things. For one, I hadn’t been engaging with him and he was aware of that. He knew I wasn’t paying attention and he was just being a little boy with boundless enthusiasm. I had not been paying attention and was therefore missing out on spending quality time with my boy because I was reading an email, or scrolling Facebook or some other silly thing that could have waited.
I confess that I don’t want to be that kind of parent. I don’t want to teach my boys that its okay to half-way engage in what you are doing because you’re playing on your phone. I definitely don’t want to be the kind of parent that snaps at his boys. I want my parenting to be marked with grace, and I want my every moment in life to be marked with that same grace.
I am so relieved that God gives me grace in all things, because it is a huge responsibility to be a parent who models Jesus. I find I have to ask for forgiveness from God and from my boys much more often than I would like. Praise God for grace.