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Friday, March 16, 2012

Confession Is Good For The Soul

March 16, 2012

Last week was a week of unburdening for our son. We carefully monitor what he watches because we have had some problems with his behavior after watching certain types of videos. On Sundays the whole family lays down for a rest after lunch. He has been allowed to ‘rest’ while watching a video as long as he is quiet and either Daddy or Mommy is in the room.

Recently, we have had trouble with him watching videos he knows he is not allowed to watch. And when Grandma babysits so that Mommy and Daddy can get some alone time he stretches the limits. His computer privileges have been revoked for a period of time with each violation of the rules. A few weeks ago he was caught watching a video that was not approved yet so his privilege was revoked for an entire week. Another time he bought instant watch videos from Amazon without permission. (I should note here that we purchased an entire season of Davey and Goliath from Amazon’s Instant Watch for him to watch – and he was watching that when he saw a link for Curious George and clicked on it.) Again, his privileges were revoked for a week.

On the eve of getting his privilege back he came to me and asked if I wanted to know the truth. Of course I said yes. “I don’t know if I can tell you this” he said. “Why not?” I wanted to know. “Because you might be angry” was his response. Now my children have seen me angry and it is not a pretty sight so I could fully understand why he didn’t want to speak up. I wanted to stop here and re-emphasize a point we tried to get our children to understand a while ago so I looked him in the eye and said “You can never get in trouble for telling Mommy and Daddy the truth. You may have to live with the consequences but you can never get in trouble.”  Now I know trouble and consequences sound like the same thing, especially to a five year old, but they are not.

I could see he was burdened by something and wanted to come clean so I just stood there waiting. He then confessed to watching videos we did not already know about. I thanked him for telling me and then prayed with him and asked God to help him be strong in this area of weakness.

I guess he was relieved so much by this confession that he was prompted to make another two days later. Again I thanked him and prayed with him but this time I had to deliver a consequence. Since most of the violations occurred while he was ‘resting’ on Sundays we removed Sunday video watching. He know has to actually rest like everyone else. And if you know my son you know that actually laying down for a rest is far worse than just about anything else, including spankings. In fact, he begged to be spanked instead. When we refused he wanted to know why. “Because a spanking is a temporary pain and sometimes our disobedience has long term consequences. This is one of those times.”

He felt better. I was happy to see that he was convicted of his wrongdoing and desired to make it right.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” – James 5:16

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I Want To Go To Hell

February 27, 2012

So I’ve told you how concerned my children get for their cousin. That concern went to a whole new level this week for our son. While sitting around talking after dinner one evening (my attention was divided – I was also working on paperwork) our son blurts out “I want to go to Hell”. He’s made the comment before but this week it took on a tone that was very unsettling for me; and apparently for my husband as well. We both stopped what we were doing and looked at him. “Why?” my husband asked. “I would go to Hell if Sue (not her real name) could go to Heaven.” I wanted to cry. My reaction was to run to my son, grab him by the shoulders, and while shaking him say ‘Don’t ever let me hear you say that again!’ Fortunately for our family my husband was quicker than me. After some further probing we realized that our son thought he could save his cousin.

We knew he was concerned about her. And we knew that he knew she wasn’t born-again. What we didn’t know was just how deeply he felt for her soul. My husband sat with our son and explained that his going to Hell was not going to save his cousin. “Why not?” he asked. “Can I save you?” Daddy asked. “No.” “Who is the only One that can save?” Daddy continues. “Jesus.”

From there my husband explained that the only way ‘Sue’ was going to Heaven was to repent and seek forgiveness and follow God. That was a choice she had to make and was not something he could do for her.

Sunday ‘Sue’ received a sermon on repentance.

Our son believed he could trade his soul for his cousin’s and was willing to do so. A lie I believe was planted by Satan. I thank God my husband was around to handle that one; I think I would have blown it.

I know pride is a sin; but when I think about my son who was willing to condemn himself to an eternity in Hell in order to save someone he loved very much, I must admit I feel pride.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

SAC'RIFICE, v.t. sac'rifize. [L. sacrifico; sacer, sacred, and facio, to make.]
1. To offer to God in homage or worship, by killing and consuming, as victims on an altar; to immolate, either as an atonement for sin, or to procure favor, or to express thankfulness; as, to sacrifice an ox or a lamb. 2Sam. 6.
2. To destroy, surrender or suffer to be lost for the sake of obtaining something; as, to sacrifice the peace of the church to a little vain curiosity. We should never sacrifice health to pleasure, nor integrity to fame.
3. To devote with loss.
Condemn'd to sacrifice his childish years to babbling ignorance and to empty fears.
4. To destroy; to kill.
SAC'RIFICE, v.i. To make offerings to God by the slaughter and burning of victims, or of some part of them. Ex. 3.
SAC'RIFICE, n. [L. sacrificium.]
1. An offering made to God by killing and burning some animal upon an altar, as an acknowledgment of his power and providence, or to make atonement for sin, appease his wrath or conciliate his favor, or to express thankfulness for his benefits. Sacrifices have been common to most nations, and have been offered to false gods, as well as by the Israelites to Jehovah. A sacrifice differs from an oblation; the latter being an offering of a thing entire or without change, as tithes or first fruits; whereas sacrifice implies a destruction or killing, as of a beast. Sacrifices are expiatory, impetratory, and eucharistical; that is, atoning for sin, seeking favor, or expressing thanks.
Human sacrifices, the killing and offering of human beings to deities, have been practiced by some barbarous nations.
2. The thing offered to God, or immolated by an act of religion.
My life if thou preserv'st, my life thy sacrifice shall be.
3. Destruction, surrender or loss made or incurred for gaining some object, or for obliging another; as the sacrifice of interest to pleasure, or of pleasure to interest.
4. Anything destroyed.