I try to be real careful with what I share about my kids now. Especially Levi. Because he’s not a little boy anymore. And what I say about him likely matters. Very much. The last thing I want to do is to dishonor this precious son of mine…
Sometimes, I have to share my boy’s thoughts, though. Because I think he possesses quite a bit of insight into the matters of God. He goes deeper than I often give him credit for. Yep, he’s acquired a bit of wisdom in his short years. And he showed me just how much last week…
For whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19
We read the above verse on Thursday. And when we did, I nearly fell over. That’s because my son and I just had a big conversation on Monday about something called generational curses. The not so good things handed down from father to son and mother to son, and so on.
The above seemed to reiterate everything we talked about.
I’d explained to Levi that we pick up “habits” from our parents. Some things are good. Blessings. Others? Well, let’s just call it what it is. Sin. Curses. We pick up sinful behavior and over time, it can be so deeply ingrained, it seems as if we’d never rise above it. That we’ll never overcome.
I asked my boy… can you think of ways I’ve positively and negatively impacted you? He responded, “Oh, yeah.” And out came all the negativity. A little too easily, I might add. He had several things to say but basically, it all revolved around my anger or wrath. The yelling and slamming of things when I don’t get my way.
Yep, that’s what he said to me.
When I asked about the positive, he said, “You show me how to keep going.” I’m going to call that perseverance. Anyway, that phrase – show me – stuck with me.
Show me, my son said.
In all things, show yourself to be an example of good works… Titus 2:7
Days later, I heard a woman of God give a children’s message. She mentioned that Missouri is the “Show-Me” state. And since I’ve walked with God a number of years now, I knew He was getting my attention with that statement.
Yes, through a child’s message, God was showing me something about myself.
See, there was a man named Thomas who was full of doubt. When he heard the news that Jesus had risen, he wouldn’t believe. No, he wanted to see with his own eyes the risen Lord. The testimony, or words, of his peers just wasn’t good enough. No, Thomas wanted living proof that Jesus rose from the grave. That He overcame death.
And he got his wish.
This spoke to me on Sunday, though, because I realize I’ve shown my boy an awful lot. And I do mean awful. I’ve shown him again and again that anger has gotten the best of me. Especially when I don’t get my way. But there’s more.
Sadly, and without realizing it, I believe I’ve shown Levi that words are cheap. Because I say a lot around here. And I’ve said quite a bit at church. And my words sound good. Full of conviction and epiphanies and knowledge.
Like my grandfather, I can preach a good word.
However, my actions just haven’t lined up with what’s been spoken. Seems there’s been no application of knowledge gained. Even my husband confirmed this. About a month back, he conveyed a hard truth. After I’d shared something personal at church, he told me he just doesn’t see it. No, my husband didn’t see the change in me…
And that hurt. But worse, it was the truth. Such is the way of truth. It’s painful.
Yep, seems I’d been so busy showing myself to be a pattern of good works to the outside, I neglected the weightier matters of the law on the inside. Within my walls. The justice and mercy and faith I should have been exhibiting, and living, wasn’t evident at home.
That’s because I always allowed the outside stuff to take precedence. My family may not have seen Christ in me, but the world for darn sure was going to see me deliver a batch of brownies. In Jesus’ name, of course.
And so, I knew that children’s message from Sunday was for me. God was showing me what He expects. Basically, He wants me to shut up and put up. He wants my actions to speak louder than my words. He wants me to walk the walk before I talk the talk.
Yes, God calls me to be the example.
He wants me to rise up and be the mom He created me to be. To provide my boy with living proof that the resurrected Jesus lives in me. Because my son’s heart cries out, “Show me!” And the last thing he needs is another empty argument.
Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ if fully developed in your lives. Galatians 4:19
Indeed, God calls me to rise to the occasion. Because when my son sees his mother overcome sin so deeply ingrained, he’ll know it’s all real. He’ll see evidence of the risen Lord on this earth because Christ will be evident in me.
Let’s be real, though. I will not attain perfection. Not one human is perfect and I’m sure to make mistake after mistake. However, there are some things God requires. Some things are meant to be put away. Or dealt with. I must overcome certain sin issues in my life.
Because truth is my actions convey a whole lot. Without trying, I show my children how to be a mom. A wife. And a woman. And without trying, my husband shows our children how to be a dad. A husband. And a man. We show them through our daily activity.
It’s what I heard from my boy when we had that deep conversation… “you show me how to keep going. Daddy shows me how to be a dad. Daddy shows me how to do things outside and work.”
We even show them what we don’t want to.
Thus, my son and my daughter… they need to see a change in me. I must show them.
My kids have to see Christ in me first. Here at home. Or else they might not ever want to see Him. No, they may not want firsthand knowledge of a God they can’t see with their eyes if they witness nothing but negative behavior through the one who brings them the second-hand, not-so-good news.
So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see… I will not believe.” John 20:25
I heard something on the news yesterday. “Parents, be the people you want your children to become.”
It really hit home. Because I want to be a person my children look up to. I want to be the wife and mom that causes my babies to want to live a life of purpose. Meaning. I want them to see a woman of strength…
A woman who may have found herself on the ground a time or two but was able to muster the strength, through Christ, to rise up.
Yeah, that’s what I want.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will stand up; though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Micah 7:8
Back to Levi and his insight…
We discussed John 5:19 on Thursday. It reopened our generational curse discussion. The one about the negative effects of sin and how it passes down. And I’m so glad it did. Because it seems I forgot to mention the most important thing to my son. The good part.
See, I told my boy I had hope for him. I exhorted him and said that the curses can be broken in his life. Because he has a better foundation than I did. And I asked him if he knew how the pattern could be stopped?
He seriously considered the question. Finally, he looked in my eyes and said, “You overcome.” Yes, I said. Exactly. “You overcome,” I told him, “but only through Christ.”
When I came across Romans 8:37 later that morning, I was astounded at my boy’s wisdom. Because through my bible study, I read: “In all things we can be overcomers but, indeed, only through Him who loves us.”
She riseth… Proverbs 31:15
Funny. I heard the word “testimony” two times today. It reminded me of a passage I read in Revelation 12 last week (this is what I looked up after mine and Levi’s “overcoming” conversation). Because I wanted to know more.
How exactly does one overcome through Christ?
First, I learned I overcome by the blood of the Lamb. In truth, I’m already a victor because of the One who died for me. Secondly, though, I overcome by the word of my testimony. And that brings me full circle. Back to my words verses my actions. And because I work for an attorney, I can’t help but think about a courtroom.
See, before witnesses give testimony, they stand as they’re sworn in. Truth is, though, they don’t have to tell the truth. They could lie. But that doesn’t work in daily living. Because actions nullify the spoken testimony. Yes, testimony goes so much deeper than words for it goes to the heart of a person. And how they live…
Which brings me to my mom. And generational blessings. And I remember Levi’s words…
“You show me how to keep going.”
I smile because this is what my mom showed me. She changed the course of her life. She overcame adverse circumstances. And because her perseverance is passed down to me, I know I’ll overcome. Through the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony, and through generational blessings,
I will rise.
I do so because I must. I do it for them.
Her children arise and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28
In closing, that word for arise in the above verse is a Hebrew word meaning: to rise, arise (become powerful), stand (established, endure, fixed, valid), rise up, raise oneself, etc. It’s the same word as in Proverbs 31:15, “She gets up…”
That’s powerful to me. Because when the mother rises up, her children learn to do the same. It’s what my mom did and it’s what I’m doing now.
This is what I’m showing my children how to do. Thus, perseverance is passed on. It’s a blessing.
And because my children’s little hearts have cried out, “Show me,” I give them their wish. I provide them with living proof of the risen Lord…
Just as Jesus did for Thomas.
Yes, my children shall see living proof of Him.
Because He’s in me.