I have to confess, I hate poop. I've grown to hate it more as I've had children. And especially with potty training and post potty wiping training. tonight, the kids were going down for bed and WG had to use the bathroom...
"okay, son. Use the potty and back in bed."
He is in there for a while. I am cleaning up last of the dishes and think i better go check up on him. Sure as I thought. He pooped. But this time, his creative brain decided to touch his poop and then when he didn't like it he wiped it all over his shirt. He let me know that it was not a pleasant experience and asked if i would wipe him. I almost lose my cool...JESUS! and I begin to clean him up. Then when he gets off the toilet I observe poop all over the seat. I abandoned any plea for help from Jesus and went straight to my flesh!
I began scolding him (wrong) and explaining how gross it was and what he did was gross (wrong). I begin to clean it all up and realize how it is on his shirt. Out of control rage sent me into a "controlling lecture" and "abuse of my authority" (all wrong). I commanded him like i was an army Sargent. (wrong again) and pointed out how if he would just not touch his poop, and wash his hands a little better, i wouldn't be lecturing him. (dead wrong again!) I put him to bed and went to the kitchen saying every cuss word that described poop I could think of. I'm also thinking that I am quite sure this was just a boy thing...but "not my boy!" (wrong)
I hate poop! But then the Spirit interrupted me. Was that really why I was angry?
I got him in the bed without hugs, kisses, or loving words. He was left to lie there feeling gross, unloved and a failure. But in reality, I was feeling that way about myself and I placed that upon him. Another moment where I realized that I was unfit as a parent.....and then Jesus entered back on the scene in my mind.
As I lean more into the Gospel, the good news draws me into Jesus when I totally screw up.....it takes me a few minutes most of the time to believe the gospel when i fail, but then I can't deny the redeeming power of God and trust that he takes all my failures and makes them for His redeeming purposes.
So, at first I told Stew, who was pointing at my heart after he overheard me with WG...
"Sorry, I just hate poop!"
But then as I scrubbed more dishes and swept the floor with great perfection, I realized that I had let something out of my control, control me. That is the thing about idols of the heart....when they are threatened or seem lost, we get angry...we get self-loathing...we get crazy! And when my work idol (needing to have mastery over all things...like the cleanliness of my home) is threatened b/c of poop....there is no pardon give to me with that idol...only a feeling of "out of control" and I go Army Sargent on anyone who caused that....even if it is my son.
But the good news about the gospel is that it leads me to my savior who for freedom set me free (Galatians 5:1) I am no longer bound to work for my approval....but I am fully approved in Jesus! My idol will always condemn me...it can offer no forgiveness...as I continue to look back over the same thing with the idols of my heart, it seems so crazy that I would ever turn to them...My savior gives not only forgiveness, but grants me righteousness guaranteed to be a right standing with God. I am free!
So, as the Spirit disclosed the things of the Father....I knew I was wrong and needed to make it right with WG. That is what is so hard about being a parent....seeing your failures effect your own children. Stew always tells me,
"Don't worry....you will scar them....but Jesus will redeem all their scars!"
And so with that hope, I went back into WG's room. I told him why I got angry and that the bible instructs me differently and I did not obey God. I told him that it was not his fault that mommy got angry. I told him I was wrong and sorry for my actions. I told him that Jesus is our only hope. He may not fully comprehend...but more we are starting habits....i guess that is part of the redemption happening in my failures....we are passing on "i was wrong" and leaving behind "silence and lack of confession". So then I can hope in Jesus...that as he is making me more like Him, he will point my son to Himself as well...so know that you will scar your children....but our savior has a great redeeming plan both for our lives and theirs...Hope in Jesus, the redeemer of all our failures.