Just last week, Jessica and I were fortunate enough to head to Austin for a conference on discipleship. A true blessing from the Lord is when you have small kids & some family that is willing to keep them for a few days (and nights). All of God’s people said??
We had a great time learning and worshiping (and eating). But as you would guess, after a few days, we missed our 3 crazy little boys. On Saturday, we headed home. As we got closer, I began to imagine my first interaction with the boys. I dreamed of them being off in a distance, and I, like the father in the Prodigal Story, would see them and run to them. And they to me. And we would embrace. And it would be a beautiful reuniting between parents and children.
We saw them. They ran around in circles. To get away. Finally, I convinced them to come. Caleb was the first to speak.
What I expected? “Oh father, I missed you and I love you. I missed your masculine influence on my life!”
Nope. Instead? “Dad, on Mario Kart I opened a new level and a new character and yadda yadda yadda!!!” I can’t even describe the excitement on his face. Ear to ear smile.
At first I was offended (on the inside). I am already not that excited about his obsession with this video game…and that was the first thing he had to say? But then God struck me down in my spirit with 2 things.
Caleb does love you Jonathan. Your son loves you so much he wanted you to know about everything that he loves.
His desire to tell me everything is a sign of his love for me. I know how to turn my wife on (this is clean, I promise). I take her for coffee and we talk openly. We share feelings. We share hurts. It is a deep showing of affection.
This is exactly how God wants us to relate to him. To share with him honestly about our passions, our dreams and even our hurts and our fears. God desires authenticity in prayer because it shows affection.
The second thing He dropped into my spirit was this…we don’t have to be trained to talk about the things we love. Caleb doesn’t need training to talk about Mario Kart. I don’t need a seminar to open my mouth about the Eagles. Jessica? Fingernail polish & shoes. Isaac? Underwear (don’t ask…he’s at that age). Abram? His mom (and he talks LOUDLY about that beautiful woman).
Don’t get me wrong, training to share your faith is valuable. I want you to have it. But you don’t need it to talk about Him. Jesus is better than everything. If you believe that and know HIM…then you LOVE Him. If you love Him, you will talk about Him.
On the spot, God spoke to me. “You love me? Let it be known.”
I love kids. God uses them to teach me so much about living BEYOND myself.
Side note: I like to play Mario Kart too. There, honesty. A sign of my affection to you.