Monday, October 26, 2015

Tornadoes

He quietly walks into our room, long past the time of saying "good night," whimpering with wet, red eyes. He is scared of tornadoes. Again. Yesterday it was the booming thunderstorm that sent him into hysterics. Tonight he imagines our home being destroyed by a tornado. I invite him onto our bed and sit him straight up and tell him to look me in the eyes.

Pause & think: this is where I'm tempted to tell him that tornadoes aren't real. This is a moment where I can hush his worries by assuring him that a tornado isn't going to "blow our house down." This is when I'm tempted to shape his theology by saying that God wouldn't allow such a thing.

"Tucker, there are no tornadoes here tonight. But do you know what? Bad things will happen in our lives but God is always with us. God will always take care of us. So we don't have to be afraid. God is better than anything terrible that could happen to us." 

Pause & think: some people actually have their house decimated by a tornado. Their lives are shattered into literal, tiny pieces. Then their theology is shattered into little tiny pieces because someone told them that God doesn't let bad things happen to good people or that easy, sheltered living is a sign of God's blessing.

Honestly, I've never seen him calm so quickly. He doesn't argue or whine to stay longer. He doesn't beg to snuggle under the blankets. His eyes light up, he takes a deep breath, and he confidently leaves our room. I conducted a two-minute seminary with my four-year-old without a degree in theology. 


Have you considered what you're teaching your littles? Have you taken just a moment to think about how you're shaping their tender hearts toward God with the words you use? We have hundreds of moments throughout a week where we place life-shaping truths into their minds so they can cling to God throughout their lives. Put the right stuff in there first and two things will happen. First, you won't have to waste time replacing foolish ideas you've given them over the years. Ain't nobody got time for that.

More than your own integrity or time well spent, your child won't have to work through as many distorted thoughts in their adult years. Of course, their hearts are broken and twisted and will have chosen sin before they choose God. This topic though - the fears and the what-ifs and the real-life suffering they'll face - you at least have the privilege of giving them a little help. Speaking these little truths now is like planting little seeds. Your harvest and their harvest will be great. 

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