Sometimes my kids are absolutely rotten toward each other. I mean, we are talking class A nasty. I break up at least ten fights a day over toys. They call names. They hit and kick and bite. They do time out. They lose privileges. They have toys taken away. They don’t get dessert.
We try to model proper behavior. We offer incentives for hit-free or fight-free days. We make them say they are sorry. And yet, most days, I find myself wondering if I can truly raise kind, compassionate and Christ-believing children.
Today was no different. I have already taken away six toys. We had a disastrous prayer together for Uncle Ben’s surgery. And then I find this:
Joey had run into a wall (a surprisingly common occurrence here). And of course, I was in another room when it happened. So when I got there a minute later. I found this scene. Will put his blanket “Night Night” under Joey’s head and was stroking his head consoling him.
My all-time favorite movie is The Crow. In one of the most harrowing scenes, Eric (played by the late Brandon Lee) accosts and confronts Sarah (Rochelle Davis)’s drug-addled and negligent mother Darla (Anna Levine) after killing Darla’s boyfriend for his role in Shelly’s death. As he squeezes the drugs out of her arm (it’s a movie, we all know that could not happen in real life) he says, “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.” He releases her with a command to go find her daughter and take care of her.
While it’s not perfect but, children, particularly when they are young, look to their parents as images of God and His love for us. It’s not perfect because we’re human and God is God and there is no way our love can perfectly mirror His. And it’s been a good couple of thousand of years since the last time God was presented to us in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. While we have the stories of that time (the Bible) and tradition, the most visible and tangible witness to Christ’s loves is our actions toward one another.
So on days like today when it appears that my children aren’t absorbing any of my Bible Story readings or any of the creative activities I’ve come up to teach them their faith I am reminded: They are Christ for one another when they show their love.