Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

When Grace was in kindergarten, she brought a note to school that she had "written" and told her teacher I wrote it and that it said she had to stay in for recess that day. All she knew how to write at this point was her name so Justin and I had to really try hard not to bust out laughing when we were scolding her for lying because she actually believed that her teacher would think I wrote that note. That was our first experience in parenting with a blatant lie. Yesterday we had our second and it was none other than our 3-year-old Joah.

Lainey was in ballet class so the rest of the kiddos and I were in the waiting room with the other moms and siblings. Joah befriended a cute little guy named Cooper and Cooper was very kind to share his toys with Joah. Joah especially liked Cooper's tiny motorcycle. Well, when it was time to leave, the motorcycle was mysteriously missing. I got down and looked Joah in the eyes and asked him if he knew where it was. He looked me back in the eyes and said "No, I don't." Cooper's mom and I searched high and low but could not find it. I asked Joah at least 3 more times if he was sure he didn't know where the motorcycle was. I really didn't think he would take it but with him you never know. I believed him because I thought if he had taken it he would have surely smirked or something when he answered me. And of course, my sweet little boy wouldn't lie to my face, right? Not to mention steal from another child!

So I'm sure you know where this is going...we got home and I didn't even have my coat off yet and he pulled the little treasure out of the side pocket of his pants and exclaimed, "Oh, here it is mom!" Yeah, my son is a liar and a thief. I got down to eye level again and asked him if he knew all along that it was in his pocket, of course I already knew the answer but I wanted a confession and some remorse to go along with it. His innocent act almost made me laugh just a little (if you know Joah you understand this) but I held it together and sent him to his room until daddy got home about 3 minutes later. He and dad had a good talk and Justin said he thought Joah understood as much as a 3-year-old boy could. They prayed for forgiveness and Joah also apologized to me.

We knew there had to be a darn good consequence for this, but what? I was reviewing Grace's AWANA lesson with her and flipped to page 70 of her book where my eyes went right to this verse, "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need." Ephesians 4:28. So we took that as written and had him clean up his room and then pick out two of his toys to give away to another child who doesn't have as many. It made me think again about how much God's Word is truly for our whole lives and how important it is that we actually read it! It is alive and I believe that we can't really know Christ and be free in Him without being in his word. I used to think, "oh I've read that before" or "I just can't pick up the Bible and read it". Let me tell ya, those are lies and I don't believe them anymore.

So now the little motorcycle is sitting on top of the coffeemaker as a reminder not only to return it to Cooper next week with a big apology but as a reminder of how much we need Jesus to save us from our very sinful selves. Even at three years old, we need his mercy and grace because Joah's identity is not a liar and a thief but a beloved child of God. It's also up there so Joah can't reach it, though I'd like to hope he learned his lesson!

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