As I sit down to write my heart is so full. Today, or maybe I should say the last few weeks, parenting Max has been a challenge. Ive noticed since his 5th birthday in January and since Jacob moved a few weeks ago Max has been less mellow and more argumentative. He's been expressing his displeasure at having to obey or being corrected with rude words, angry faces, stomping, things he's never done quite to this level. I think in some ways as he's grown he's been testing the boundaries and trying out a few new tricks. Tonight we required that he try at least a bite of either an orange or black beans with our meal. There was much wailing, gnashing of teeth and in the end a spanking. As he expressed his frustration and anger we tried to help him to understand that some expressions (especially rudeness and setting your parents straight) are not appropriate.
The terrible ordeal ended with him crying with orange in his mouth, which led to choking, which led to him going to bed early. Unfortunately there will be orange for breakfast, we'll see how that goes. As I got him ready for bed he was very emotional and crying still. Between tears he sobbed he was nothing but trouble, he just couldn't do things right. As much as that broke my heart I believed I was hearing conviction. I took the opportunity to talk him through what he was feeling.
I should clarify that this all started a few days ago in a time out for something or other. I asked him why his heart was so angry. He told me it was because his heart was black. I asked him what he thought would help his heart. "God's blood, I need God's blood for my heart." Profound. When I originally asked the question I wasn't expecting anything quite so deep.
So, back to tonight. As he was telling me he was nothing but trouble I realized one thing that was distressing him was that if Jesus blood was in his heart why was he still trouble. Oh, haven't I asked the same question a hundred times. He said he believed God loved him but not that Jesus died just once, because he needed his blood again. I took the opportunity to explain that even though Jesus blood saves us we also need to ask for his blood applied to our hearts to forgive us again when we sin, but that Jesus doesn't need to die again. So he said right away well I better ask for his blood to forgive me again. He squinted his eyes real tight and prayed, "Jesus, I'm sorry I was rude and I'm trouble, will you give me your blood to forgive me, Amen."
He was hooked and wanted 'to know more'. So I told him a little about the Jewish sacrificial system and why Jesus was our lamb. His eyes got wide. I told him about sanctification. To which he replied, "I just don't get it." I told him I didn't get it when I was little either but that he would learn. I explained that sometimes mommy and daddy are still trouble and we need Jesus blood in our hearts all over again too. But that one day we would all be perfect and we wouldn't be trouble or need to be forgiven ever again.
He relaxed and went to sleep. And I left his room full to the brim to hear my child cry out to his savior. I learned so much about myself, my son, God. Life is painful, even when you're five, only Jesus blood gives the pain meaning. I love how he grasped the concept of the blood. Where there is sin someone has to die, there must always be blood. I'm so grateful Jesus provided his. I don't ask Jesus to "put his blood in my heart again" often enough. I'm thankful for the reminder of a child.