Every so often we have a conversation with our boys about how we’re doing as parents from their, albeit limited, perspective. These are spaces were Tammy shines in parenting – getting to what’s really going on in their hearts that they want to share, or often don’t know how. We know that their view of what a parent should be is a bit warped, but it’s not uncommon to get some very helpful information out of these times. Maybe even more importantly, the boys get to share what burdens them or even what’s been hurtful to them (of course you know that as parents we unintentionally hurt our children sometimes). And sometimes what they say is simply profound. We were blown away last week by the words of a child.
When we asked something like, “What’s hard in life for you right now?” one of the boys, with deep emotion while choking back tears, spoke of the increasing challenges of obedience. He said, “I don’t like how hard it is to be good when you grow up.” He went on, “I don’t like it when I’m disobedient…I just (and this is where the tears broke through) want to be like Samuel.” Tam and I just sat there dumbfounded. For about a month, for whatever reason, on his own initiative- we’ve watched him set his alarm for 30 minutes before we normally get him up …to read his Bible. He evidently had been reading about Samuel – one who was clearly and uniquely called by God and was one of high devotion to Him. Although the sensitivities to God have been evident in his life, it had yet to be so clearly articulated from his own soul. To hear a child with such deep conviction declare that, “I just want to be like Samuel,” is…well…convicting isn’t it? Who is it that I passionately want to emulate? In whose life do I see goodness, dedication, courage, peace… Godliness, that inspires me to follow? Samuel is a good choice. Who do you want to be like, really?