One of the things that concerns most parents is to get their children to tell the truth–about their dreams, about where they went, what they spent their money on, who they went out with. The list goes on. But let’s face it, at some point in our lives when we were young children, we used to lie to our parents, too, just to get our way and to avoid trouble.
Because of my experience, one of my prayer items is for our kids to tell the truth to us–always. In addition, I have been praying that if they choose to say a lie, that they will feel bugged by the Holy Spirit into confessing and telling the truth. I want them to grow up with sincere and honest hearts because they will carry it to adulthood and that will affect all their dealings in the future.
As parents, we know our daughters. We know that Dindin would naturally tell the truth. I don’t know, but it seems like a spontaneous thing for her not to cover up something, even if she knows she can get scolded. But the other night, something was different.
Hubby, Shane, and myself went to the supermarket for a short while. Dindin opted to stay home and rest after a whole day of doing her PACEs. She was playing with the tablet before we left and I specifically instructed her to stop after five games, which I estimated would last about 15 minutes, and then to play with something else, like her dolls.
After an hour and a half, we came home and brought the complete set of Happy Meal Minions from McDonalds that we pre-ordered. We thought of surprising Dindin. When I entered the bedroom, I knew that she just got up from the bed. I asked, “Was Dindin a good girl while Mama was away?” She replied quite hesitantly, “Yesss…”, her face with a rather questionable expression. I tried not to mind but I knew that something was not right but took her word for it. Then I told her that I have a surprise for the two of them, as Shane did not see the Minions box anyway and so that the ownership of the toys gets established early on–they are co-owners.
They got so excited and they played with the toys until they retired for the night, which was rather late. Then I forgot about the incident. The following morning, I helped Dindin with her bath. Before we got started, Dindin faced me and fidgeted with her fingers. She started by saying, “Mom…” in a rather serious tone. Here’s our conversation:
Dindin: I have something to tell you…
Mama: What is it?
Dindin: I wasn’t exactly honest with you last night (remorseful and couldn’t look straight at me).
Mama: Yeah? What happened?
Dindin: Well…I didn’t stop playing when you told me to.
Mama (with a gentle voice): You mean you kept playing with the tablet until we got home?
Dindin (teary-eyed now and bowing her head): Yes…
I felt compassion on her. I knew that she felt bad, not only for not obeying but also for not telling the truth. I did not have to scold or punish her for her to realize her wrong.
So I asked, “How did it make you feel?” Dindin lost it, hugged me, and in between sobs, said “Bad…”
I took the opportunity to comfort her while she felt bad for doing wrong. But in my heart and mind, I was relieved. I was reminded of my prayer and indeed, the Holy Spirit continued working on Dindin’s heart to correct her, even if we had already slept on the matter. I also thank God for the wisdom that I did not scold her, which would have probably just made her defensive and clam up instead of talking to me.
To make it clear: I am not a perfect mother. I love my children but I also have a bad temper. I shout at them when I am under too much stress, I nag, and I am also capable of emotional abuse with my words. I know my limits and I know my faults, too. But I believe that I have a perfect God who is so gracious and loving and who honors prayers. Alone, I am incapable but God is just awesome.