I want my children to see the Word of God as living and active. I want my children to really experience God’s word, but most of the time I feel like I am giving them watered down stories and trite moral lessons. Last night God gave us an opportunity to open up the Bible in a real way with our oldest son, and it was beautiful. And I am so grateful.
We are participating in a course at a church in town called Perpectives on the World Christian Movement. It is great, and once every week our boys go to child care from 6:30 to 9:30pm. They love the teachers, but it is a late night for them. This week, when we picked them up our almost 7 year old son was visibly disturbed. As we loaded the boys into the van, he tolded me that he watched a movie with “evil” cats in it. I asked him to describe the movie, and he said, “Well it had two dogs and some spaghetti.” “Oh,” I replied, “Lady and the Tramp.” And I proceed to sing, “We are Siamese if you please.” Immediately he started covering his ears and screaming, “Stop, Stop.” I looked back at him. He was sitting in the back of the van with his feel pulled up into a fetal position, shaking.
Actually, I started to giggle a little. I know, I am mean. But it just struck my funny bone that someone would be terrified and shaking over Lady and the Tramp. Now, I did fight back the urge to keep singing “We are Siamese” when I saw that he really was terrified. I started to give a short answer like, “you don’t have to be afraid…it’s just a movie…it’s not real.” but I stopped myself. I know that feeling. That throat clenching, paralyzing fear of the “not real.”
I started to explain, “You know how your little brother is afraid of the people in the cow costume at Chick-Fil-A. He screams and shakes if they get near.” “Yes,” he said slowly. “Well, why aren’t you afraid.”
“Because, I know it’s not real. It is just a person dressed up.”
“Right,” I explained. “And, we are telling you that these ‘evil cats’ aren’t real either.”
“But I keep thinking about them. I wish I could just wash them out of my brain,” he cried.
That’s when the light went on in my head. Three living and active Scriptures that I have been learning to practice lately came to my mind,
“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
and “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” Philippians 4:8
and finally, “take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5
I explained to Josiah, that being afraid is normal, that I sometimes get afraid too. I am not afraid of stuffed cows or Siamese cats, but I afraid of losing my children, my health, or my husband. But, God gave us a spirit of power and self-control. We can decide what we think about. We need to examine every thought that passes our mind and decide if it is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, excellent or worthy of praise. If it is not any of these things, then we need to take it captive and throw it out.
When we got home, we opened the Bible and read those verses. You could see the light come on in his mind too. As we said goodnight and he climbed into bed, he said, “Mom, I am not going to think about those cats, I am going to think about my birthday.”
I am so grateful that our God is near to us, that His Word just makes sense.