I have a cute 8-year-old guy who has such a tender heart right now. He is growing and changing so much and it is a delight to observe.
Last year, homework was torture, a nightly gritting of the teeth and too many nights of tears.
This year, he wants to start his homework in the car on the way home, and then he says, "Mom, can I just stay in the car when we get home so I can finish this?"
Last year, he didn't even want to write his full name on the paper, so tedious was writing for him.
This year, he's reading The Magician's Nephew slowly, steadily, faithfully filling in his chapter grid, without prompting and without assistance.
He is still full of emotion, hot or cold, angry or joyful, easily offended, full of thoughtful observations and needy of lots of hugging and affirmation.
A few nights ago, after a particularly bad episode of disrespect and disobedience, we were talking in his bed. He was still hard-hearted and seemed not to grasp the idea of consequences.
I had the sense that he felt condemned and hopeless. Sometimes I react with anger and hard-heartedness when I feel condemned and helpless. So I asked him if he felt that maybe God was mad at him.
"Of course! He should be!" Scowl, grimace.
"Theo, do you want to know something amazing? If we love Jesus, it's impossible for God to be mad at us!" I went on to explain that God DOES have anger about sin and about our wrong-doing, but that He poured out all that anger on His own son, Jesus.
"Well, He should have poured it out on me! I am the worst!" How often I have told myself the same lie from the pit.
The next few minutes were a sweet time of telling my son the gospel. I was telling myself at the same time because I forget it all the time! I pray the Holy Spirit will make my words alive to Theo and effect real change in his heart as he grows up.