It is my prayer that through my everyday life, my children will see a life that at least attempts to take a stab at living the way the Bible outlines. I know I'm not perfect -- and I could give you a list of references to attest to this -- but I do try to do things the right way.
I know that there are events in my mundane life that show my children integrity. I have been honest about my kids' ages even though it means I had to pay for a buffet for a kid that was one day over three. I've trudged back into stores to pay for something that got tucked behind a diaper bag or sleeping child or was snitched away by sticky baby fingers. I have been kind to people that my children know have hurt me. I have helped people when we barely had enough money to help ourselves. I have my children in church even on days when the weather is gross or I feel yucky because that's where they need to be.
I firmly believe that children will grow up and live life close to the pattern that they saw as a child. Since I want them to have successful, honest, productive lives, I must provide these patterns for them. (Sorry, kids, you will probably never have an uncluttered house if you pattern that after me.)
But sometimes I feel that I forget to have the real conversations with them. My oldest two children have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior (Thank you God!), but just because they have salvation doesn't mean that there aren't a ton of eternal conversations that we should have both so that they can understand their salvation better and so that they can be positive, vocal, knowledgable witnesses for Christ. However, every once in a while something happens, and I think, aha! I haven't done such a terrible job after all.
We spent Thanksgiving in Tennessee at my brother in law's house. He has a kid's dream "play room" in the back of his house complete with TV, Wii, fooze ball, air hockey, pool, and probably some other things I never saw. My oldest Jayla and I spent some time playing pool. She is intensely competitive for 11 and gave me quite a bit of ribbing whenever I got ahead. I refuse to "let" her win, so she was pleased whenever she got ahead and plucky when I was winning. But during our competition, we ended up having a very interesting conversation when I was leading about a very "un-Biblical" event. Here goes:
(I was stripes; she was solids)
Jayla: I think that the striped balls are the evil balls.
Me: Why's that?
Jayla: Their sin makes them have stripes.
Me: Or... they are the good ones. The 8-ball is the "bad" ball -- you don't want to sink it because you automatically lose and it's dark like it's sin-filled. The solid balls are all still full of sin so they have the "colorful lives." But the white ball is like Jesus -- nothing good can be done without Him being in the middle of it. It's through Him that you make it to the pocket. The striped balls still have their solid color representing their sin, but they also have a white stripe because Jesus has redeemed and forgiven them.
Jayla: Poor Jesus. He gets all beat up.
Me: And isn't that the way it was? He was beaten and flogged and nailed to a cross for your sin.
Jayla: Wow. It's your turn.
And just that quick we were on to playing pool. But I had my moment. And I know that I've done my part to make sure that my baby girl is in Heaven with me forever.
I pray that God will give me the wisdom and opportunities to guide my other three children in that same direction.