I hold a master’s degree in talking and thinking about God, but most often I feel completely inadequate when it comes to talking to my kids about God. So, of course, the significant conversations occur when I’m flying solo and cannot look at JJ and say, “so, daddy, what do you think?”
I’m not sure where it came from, but H Boy tossed into conversation at dinner that we “don’t want to break God’s heart.” I think we read that in our storybook Bible and he clung to the phrase. With a deep breath, I asked – what does break God’s heart? “Well,” he responded, “when people are mean.”
“I think you’re right,” I responded. Okay, I like the train of thought. “So, what else breaks God’s heart?”
“When mommy cries all by herself.”
For. The. Love.
It’s hard to express the emotion that welled up, but it came out in the form of tears. Some of it was the humility that comes with your children seeing you at your weakest. Some of it stemmed from sadness that my littles have experienced their mommy crying because I know how powerless you feel in the midst of someone’s hurt. In theory I understand that it’s okay for kids to see that you’re human and that it’s normal to express emotion. In practice, it takes every ounce of humility I have (which, let’s be honest – isn’t much).
Often, in our teaching we become the student. In my attempt to teach my 4-year-old about God’s love and compassion, he turned the tables to remind me that God’s love and compassion extends to all of us. Which is probably an even bigger lesson for a little one to experience. I want each of the kids to grow up with an awareness of God’s deep love for them at a personal level; however I don’t want to forget that He feels the same about every person on this earth. It seems that H Boy is ahead of the game on that one.
The conversation eventually turned to what makes God happy, to which we decided on 2 things – when we give hugs and change a clock. I have no idea where the second one came from.
So, I suppose I can’t read too much into my theological conversations with a 4-year-old.
But my heart is appreciative nonetheless.