As a parent, you do what you can to train your children up the best way you know how. Sometimes you wonder if you are doing it right, if what you are teaching is sticking, or if they are being discipled at all. Then there are times when something happens that brings you hope and renews your faith in even the most feeble efforts.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about our foster son, K. and how he wanted to say “Amen” after our nightly prayers. This week he upped the anti on me a bit.
As he got all tucked in and ready for sleep, I knelt beside his bed as a broad smile spread across his face. In his small, gentle voice he asked, “Misser Parker, can I say everything you say?” My heart melted.
I can’t say what happens spiritually in the heart of a five year old, but I do know what happens in the heart of Jesus when we minister to “these little ones.” Psalm 68:5 tells us:
God in his holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows.
In that brief moment, as he repeated each and every word of my prayer, I knew we had entered the holy dwelling place of God and I was humbled to play the part of spiritual proxy on his behalf. This was pure religion, undefiled before God and it moved me to be a part.
We may not always get it right or be the most efficient disciplemakers of our children. Maybe we do everything well and they decide to go their own way. It happens, but this reminded me to be faithful and do the “next right thing.” It reminded me to model the spiritual disciplines I hope to see and pray the Father and His Spirit will grant growth from this seed of faith into the full stature of a disciple of Jesus.
I look forward to the next time he will “say everything I say.”