We've been painfully consistent with consequences when he has made bad choices; and sometimes even when Teacher Man is the one having tough conversations with Caleb, I can't stop but stand outside the door and listen. Because the man I married says it so clearly. This man who explains things so concisely and more often thinks than speaks, he pours out life-giving words to my son as he reminds him that we can't make good choices on our own. That we can't do the right thing in our own strength. That we need Jesus. That we need Him so desperately to come into our lives and to forgive us for the things we have done that have hurt Him. These ugly things called sin.
Last week at the dinner table after a prolonged session of fighting the good fight with our big boy, Caleb finally sat down at the dinner table to pray and he said, "Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me to take away the punishment for my sins. Please come into my heart and help me make good choices. In Jesus Name, Amen." Teacher Man and I looked at each other in shock and then turned back to our firstborn. Caleb then proceeded to tell us that he asked Jesus to come into his heart and to forgive his sins. Praise. the. Lord. Myy three year old finally conceded. He can't do it on his own. He needs Jesus. Glorious grace.
My husband then started to ask more questions, and indeed this little one's heart understood from as much as we could humanly decipher. And speaking of grace and the cross and Jesus as His Helper came as naturally off his tongue as asking for more cheese crackers.
This mom's heart rejoices right now, not because we've "gotten him saved," but because he's saying "yes" to God. His little faith has started a journey that will challenge him to say "yes" even when he knows that he's made horrible mistakes. It will require him to say "yes" when God asks him to do the painful, the hard, and the unexpected. But now he's not alone. Amen. He's not trying to obey in his own strength. He no longer must live with the guilt of his own sin because Jesus paid it all. It is forgiven through the precious blood of Christ. And forevermore, the Lord will be His helper.
He has, by no means, become an angel. Yesterday's fistfight was proof of the sin-battle still being waged in his little heart, but little by little I see unusual maturity coming out of his life. Obeying the first time when called inside from the sandbox. Finding special ways to love his feverish little brother. Reading to himself for three hours this morning so his momma could get the sleep she missed out on last night. Accepting Momma's decision of no more t.v. without a fight.
For months I felt we were wasting our breath. Speaking those words of sin and grace and love and forgiveness over and over, a record of hearts broken over the sin of our eldest; but the seed of God's Word never returns void. Never.
So his journey begins. My son, now my brother in Christ, has the joy of knowing that his victories reflect his Savior and his sin can be forgiven. And as I hold his hand through this part of the journey, I am ever grateful to know the Hand that is holding him.