I (Richee) cannot fully describe how powerful it is to discuss the Word of God with my son at this present time.
When he was younger and I couldn’t converse with him because of the language barrier, there was something in me that strongly desired for these days to come. Where I could discuss the revelation of my heart with him but also hear and see him share (with fervent passion) the revelation of his heart with me concerning the Bible. Part of my desire is connected to the radical changes God has done in me over the past 2 years, and badly desiring for Arden to know what I didn’t know at such a young age. Giving opportunity right now for his heart to discover the Lord in ways that I discovered in my early 30’s.
Where he takes hold of the Word, really believes God’s mission of restoration at the end of the age, has a grasp of the Biblical narrative and it all forming into a daily, humble cry of “Help!” to the Spirit for grace unto walking worthy of the invitation to receive his hope (resurrected body unto life at Jesus’ return), becoming saved.
For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope.
Months ago, the day I had desired finally came, where Arden just wanted to hear Bible stories at the dinner table and talk about the Word when we were sitting on the couch, in the car, at bed time, etc. His passion for it hasn’t slowed down at all but actually increased. He sings his own songs about the Word, blurts out comments concerning it, asks tons of questions and even discusses the exacts of Bible stories with his little friends. It has been non-stop and I found my heart at times loathing what I had so badly desired, wanting to quickly bypass Arden’s hunger to discuss the Word and move on to other things. God’s mercy broke in through prayer and “woke me up” one morning to some of my barrenness as a parent & spiritual leader of the home.
I felt I was doing a decent job of loving my son well, spending time with him and even discussing Biblical truth with him. Grace and I had laid a foundation that we hoped would launch a hunger in Arden for God’s Word and prayer. But when our hope went from unseen to seen, my insides began to become aggravated and frustrated by a feeling of inconvenience. Arden’s hunger for the Word began to disrupt what used to be “down” moments for Grace and I. I had to wrestle through what I had internally calculated as “my right” to down time and choose to die to the expectation of what my flesh wanted. I ran to God in prayer about it all, knowing that only He could shift my insides and give the grace to choose Arden over what my flesh wanted. Ultimately, my heart came to the question, “Was I willing to die that he might live?” Now Arden has to choose Jesus as his Messiah for himself but as his father my heart should desire his ultimate well being and follow the Spirit in making way for that. Thus, I faced another layer of dieing to self. It truly is the mercy of God to reveal the motives of my heart and give me the opportunity to run to Him for grace to overcome.
God has to constantly remind me that parenting is top on the priority list. Perspective is everything…in the life of a parent!
This life is a vapor, passing away and I desperately desire to see my son in his resurrected body on the Day of the Messiah’s return. And I believe that he will probably be alive to actually see Jesus break through the sky, which means that he also could be alive when the Anti-Christ is given charge over the saints for a time (Rev. 13:7). In order to endure to the end with a heart that is pure, he must set his hope fully on the resurrection of his body (1 Pet. 1:13) and have faith that his Messiah really is returning to judge the hearts of all humanity (James 1:2-4; Rom. 5:3,4; 8:25,28; 2 Cor. 4:17; Heb. 10:36 1 Tim. 1:18,19).
We have found that when the Spirit gives wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of His will, then prayer is the natural outflow from the heart. Why? Because there is a realization that we must be strengthened by His Spirit with all power (grace) to walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, bearing (internal) fruit in every good work with all endurance and patience in joy unto salvation at His return (Col. 1:9-12). We not only have discovered this through our own journey in being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, but also through watching Arden. The purpose of prayer is beginning to be understood by our little boy and my hope is that humility takes up residence as a consistent reality in his heart through God shaping his insides. Keeping him from exalting himself as his own messiah with the attributes of self-reliance, arrogance, jealousy, fits of rage, pride, etc.
In God shaking me awake to the massive implications of this season of Arden’s life, Grace and I decided to purchase the Word of Promise dramatized audio Bible. As a parent, it has been the best investment of our money to date! I have made a playlist in iTunes called “Arden” with chapters from all over the Bible. That same playlist is on my iPhone for car rides as well. Our family listens to the Word together and then we often pray around whatever we listen to. We are definitely all growing together in the good news of God’s plan and mission of redemption. Thank you Lord for your patience and mercy with our family.
Because this post is already too long I won’t share any more testimony on this subject, but I will tell you that it is a joy to see my son’s face light up in the truth of God’s Word. Below is what his face looks like a lot of times when he gets talking about the Bible.
Here is a little audio discussion between Arden and I on the subject of spanking that I recorded in the car while driving one day. It is from last April and our conversations have come a long way since then. I edited it to make it shorter.