I was praying for the boys. Putting my hand on their sweet sleeping foreheads and seeking guidance. You know that proverb, “Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it”? After study one discovers that “train up” means “create a thirst for”. Has to do with newborns and ancient midwifery in the Middle East. But anyway…I was praying about creating a thirst for God in my sons. How on earth does one do that? I mean the obvious answer would be to live an honest and real life of faith in front of them. Nothing squelches a thirst for God like hypocrisy. I myself am so turned off by hypocrisy that when I have been less than patient with my offspring on the way to church I feel duty bound to be less than patient with everyone else I encounter just to avoid it. This goes over well I can assure you.
Sounds easy. Live an honest faith. The problem…um…I’m not always honest, or faith filled, or even remotely nice. So now what? In the face of daily failure, how does one create a thirst for God in her sons?
Then an epiphany struck, coincidentally just a few days after praying about this very thing. One of the most under-rated social skills known to man…The Apology. I look back to all the times that I myself have been hurt by believers. Their sins against me causing me to doubt their faith. Not much could have changed my opinion of them…except a genuine apology. The power of truthful apology, supernatural. I realized that all of those painful memories could have disappeared with a soul-baring apology. And so that is my new mission in life. To apologize, not go though the motions, but really apologize.
And believe me it is humiliating to take a two-year-old’s face in your hands, a two-year-old who has just put shortening in his brother’s hair and say “Momma was disobeying God when I used that voice with you. Will you forgive me?” But until I am able to accomplish perfection, I think it is my only option for avoiding hypocrisy and creating that “God Thirst” in my boys. So terribly tough, and still so very true. But you should see their faces when I ask. They think, nod their little heads, throw their arms around my neck, and say “yes, Momma”. So worth the humiliation. And it just might come with eternal rewards.