All right dads, this one is for you. My son and I have been having an interesting week now that Spring is finally in the air. Between videos, walks outside, the park and pancakes for breakfast we have both learned a valuable lesson in Mercy this week. I would like to preempt this story by the fact that my son has been very trying on my wife and has been a little on the "testing his boundaries" week. Anyway, two nights ago I was putting him to bed and he lost his privilege of a bedtime story, which was also going to include a final video on the computer from You tube (Veggie Tales - Jonah).
My wife and I firmly believe in rearing the children and we also believe in spankings, however, we don't always believe that spankings are necessary as kids can sometimes get the point a lot quicker when you either remove them from a situation or you remove something they want from their situation. In this case, he was tired and very distraught and instead of spanking him, I leaned on the premise of taking away his privilege (not a right) to the bedtime story and video the next night. As I was putting him to bed we knelt down and said our prayers and we talked about what he did wrong and why he was being punished. He understood and even though he wasn't completely happy with the situation, he accepted the terms willingly.
Here is the point of the night that I want to resonate with all of you. I asked my son the following question about God's Mercy. I asked him what is God's Mercy. To my surprise, he said, "A second chance." I asked him to explain that to me and he said in his own kind of way that when we mess up God still gives us a second chance. It was at this point that I felt moved with compassion and I said to him quietly in his ear, "Son, because God loves us so much, he gave us his son Jesus and had mercy on us even when we didn't deserve a second chance." God had compassion on us and gave us his son Jesus to save us so we could be with him in Heaven. At this point of the night, I also said, "because of God's Mercy, I am going to show you mercy and let you watch the rest of Veggie Tales with your sisters tomorrow night before bed (we were finishing the last part of the 1hr22minute video).
The next night as we watched Veggie Tales Jonah, the part of that movie talked about God's Mercy and compassion for his children. I looked at my son and whispered to him, do you see how God's Mercy works all the time? He smiled and said to me, "Yes daddy."
Even in our worst of days, God still loves us. I think he gives us children (sometimes our own, sometimes others that we mentor, teach in kids programs at church, etc.,) in order to teach us what true love really means and to also give us (parents, teachers and mentors) the gift of Mercy and Compassion.
With this, I said to him last night as I tucked him in bed, "God is good" and he said, "All the time," and I said, "God is good.
To God be the Glory, forever and ever, Amen!