Last week at VBS, Marcus had the privilege of sharing an abridged version of a Bible verse in front of everyone. His was Luke 9:25 "God is better." Short and simple, and pretty much what we've been trying to share with him...that Jesus is better.
(If you're interested, you can watch Marcus' class presentation here and Audrey's here.)
Today, I had to correct him for some bad-boy behavior and as I was praying with him, I couldn't help but literally cry out to the Lord. I clenched him tight, let my tears land on his shirt, and just begged the Lord to pour out His grace on my son. It is the Lord who saves, not Marcus' capacity to understand the Gospel, so I pleaded with Him to give him a saving faith in the incredible love shown through Jesus. I felt like a baby, just begging.
Later in the evening, I put on my Wicked Stepmother outfit and yelled impatiently at the kids in the car, being especially ugly to Audrey. I could see the poor girl whimper in the rear view mirror and I realized how harshly I'd treated her. Normally, I would let her sulk for a while so she would feel guilty for turning me into Meanie Mama. (Because it's all her fault, right?) But after a few minutes, by God's grace, I asked her to forgive me. It went something like this:
Me: Audrey, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. Mommy was so ugly, huh. Mommy was so angry and impatient and I shouldn't have yelled at you. Mommy's heart was so full of sin, wasn't it?
Me: Why are you crying?
Auj: Because I thought you didn't love me anymore. (ouch!)
Me: (heart pretty much crumbled) Audrey, I'm so sorry. I love you SO much. But because Mommy's heart is sinful, my love for you is not perfect, even though I wish it could be. Remember how we learned that God loves you no matter what you do or don't do because of Jesus? Only God's love for you is per...
And that's when Marcus chimed in.
Marcus: Jesus is better. God is better.
It was the first time he had said those words without us prompting him to. I'm not sure if he really understood the meaning of it in his heart, but it sure spoke to mine. God's' love for my kids is better than my love for them could ever be. I ache for my kids to know this. Especially when they experience heartbreak and pain of their own, I want them to know that nothing can ever separate them from God's love; a love that was proven when He hammered nails in the hands of His perfect and beloved Son so that He could carry the burden of their fallenness. A love that calls them His own children and doesn't change because HE doesn't change. A love that welcomes them with open arms no matter how much they don't love Him back.
I'm seeing more and more how I need to cry out at the feet of Jesus for my kids (for our whole family, actually). Even if Marcus couldn't speak a word or if he never showed signs of "understanding", I want to grow in faith that it is HE who saves and His grace is wide enough to cover over our little ones.