I have been very open on how my kids can give me a really hard time, especially with our first born, RyRy. She is bossy, can be selfish, would argue and cry her way out of trouble. As the mother, I would make excuses such as she was spoiled, people are giving her too much attention, that she used to be the only child and grandchild. We can all agree that those can really be good factors on why my daughter or any child misbehaves. We always blame it on our circumstances.
Last year, we attended a parenting conference held in our church and we heard Edric and Joy Mendoza speak about their family and homeschooling. Joy shared how she is not a stranger in having difficulties in raising 5 kids. They really had a hard time with their second son and Joy realized that maybe it is because they haven’t shared the Gospel to him. And when they did, his son was transformed (read more here: teachwithjoy).
Really? That was it? She just shared and *poof!* her son was changed? The in-denial me doesn’t want to accept this miracle. Maybe his son isn’t as hard as RyRy. Maybe his son doesn’t answer back. Maybe she’s just blessed with God-driven kids.
Those are my thoughts for one year and thus I ate stress for one year.
As days go by I knew God was convicting me to share the Gospel to my daughter. But of course it wasn’t easy for me with all the worries of life, the distractions and that feeling you have that she is just way too young to understand this — plus you know we attend church all the time, her Sunday school teachers probably shared to her already.
Then lately she got scared with a lot of things in our house which started when we watched The Dark Knight trilogy followed by special appearance of the roaches lurking around our home.
One night as I finished tucking my son to bed, here goes RyRy who kept on crying and insisting I stay by her side. No matter how much I convince her that what we saw is just a movie and that Daddy already killed the roaches and she can just pray about how she feels, she still gets scared.
Out of nowhere I thought “hey, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to share to her the Gospel!” Maybe she would have better understanding of what can Jesus do and how he can change a heart, our hearts. Maybe I was wrong for doubting the power of the Almighty and what a simple “yes, I believe in Jesus” can do to a person.
So first I asked her what’s making her afraid. She told me that very scene in The Dark Knight where Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot dead in front of him. She is afraid that there will be bad guys going to kill us. This moment couldn’t be more perfect to share the good news!
I told her…
Well, we will all die. You know why? Because we are sinners. Because our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned and God punished all living things — death. But you know who paid for our sins? Jesus. Jesus died on the cross just so we can have an eternal life. We will die but if you believe in Jesus you will go to heaven. Because if not you will go to hell. Hell has eternal fires and you will get burned, non stop. So do you accept Jesus as your savior? Do you want to believe in him with all your heart?
Of course she did! And so we both prayed after that!
I know it’s a bit harsh — my approach, but I wanted to state a fact that there is hell. I think most parents keep on talking about heaven, how good it is and how we all are going there. But see, not often we talk about hell and the repercussions of sin. This got me thinking that maybe the reason why unbelievers and (sadly) some believers haven’t changed is because they lack information about hell.
Let me give you a little background…
This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
Well all I really wanted for my kids is to come to the Lord that means accepting him and a CHANGE OF HEART. How can a person change without knowing the result of bad actions?
Most social media scholars will probably raise their eyebrows at me for opening up the “hell” topic. Most might think I scared and scarred my daughter because of this. But I don’t want to hide it from her. It’s not a lie, the good goes to heaven and the wicked goes to hell. The Bible says so.
The end product of my brave gesture?
RyRy’s fear of the bad guys and bugs is still very strong, HAHA! But she accepted Jesus in her heart! My 6 year old daughter is a believer of Christ! The next day, I saw the change in her. As in Joy’s exact words, my daughter became malleable and teachable. Miracle in front of my own eyes!
She became closer to me, wanted me to always sleep beside her when usually she asks for daddy. She became sweeter. She would immediately ask for forgiveness whenever she does something bad. She is now being convicted by the Holy Spirit whenever I let her bad behavior pass, but she notices and would come up to me to apologize. She became very responsible with the mess (toys) in the house and by taking charge as the big sister.
Sure she has some lapses because she is a kid and a human. She will throw some tantrums and would want her way to be done. But she understood what it is to be a follower of Christ. She still might be afraid of a lot of things but I know she is not afraid to pray. She even tells me while taking a shower she prayed to Jesus because she became scared again.
Recently as I was talking to our neighbor who’s daughter is RyRy’s playmate, she told me that she is fond of RyRy. Everytime RyRy goes to their house she speaks about Jesus a lot. She once asked her playmate to go to church and read the Bible. My heart cried for joy. I never thought that’s how much I influence my child.
1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Never doubt a child’s capability to understand because I believe it is not what we say to them, it is how we are around them and how the Holy Spirit works in their heart.
So I challenge you parents, young or experienced, if you are having difficulties with your kids of any age, ask if you already have shared to them the good news. Don’t wait for other people to share to them, let them hear it from you!
If I can, why can’t you?