2am, I’m sound asleep. I went to sleep at 1am… my oldest, 6-year-old Aletheia has a bad dream and wants to climb in bed. I’m very tired, in the middle of a sleep cycle, and really not up for sentiment. I’d prefer her ‘getting over it’ and getting back in her bed, being a good and obedient little girl.
But she hardly ever does this, and these can be the moments where her whole view of our relationship can change. It would be different if she did this every night, but she doesn’t.
In every encounter with our kids, they’re asking us a question. Typically, especially for the little ones, the question is, “Who is in charge here, and can I trust you to actually lead me to the right thing?” They want somewhere to stand. They don’t want to be left alone.
It’s funny, a lot of times we don’t typically think of moments like that as the defining moments of showing our kid who’s boss. But they are. They’re deeper and more real than the rebellious moments when you’re about to pop on them because YOU’RE THE BOSS AND THEY’RE THE KID!
Jesus showed his followers that he was the boss in a lot of different ways, and got pretty upset with them in their more rebellious moments when they should have recognized His authority and trusted him. My favorite is the stormy sea story… Jesus, the boss, the very Word of God, the word that was spoken to create the waters, asleep in a fishing boat. The disciples panicking. Waves crashing and thunder raging… the King and Lord of all creation was taking a nap.
I would freak out. In fact, for the longest time, I would get mad reading that story, because I didn’t get it. “What were they supposed to do? Lay down and take a nap with you? That’s ridiculous! That’s stupid!” But the more that storms came in my life, the more I felt the spirit answer that question time and time again, “Yes, John… you’re supposed to lay down with me in the boat and take a nap.”
Jesus said that He only did what he saw the Father in heaven doing. He said that we should follow in His steps. If he’s lying down in the middle of the storm, then I should be too.
So what’s this have to do with showing our kids who’s boss?
Well, Jesus showed us who the boss is by commanding the wind and waves. He healed the broken and hurting, and held the power and authority to forgive sins. His life, everything he did, showed us that He was the boss, and we need to follow His every move. The authority of His acts of compassion and mercy, gave weight to His deeper commands to give up your whole life and trust in Him and Him alone.
Just as he show’s us what the father is doing, we need to show our kids the same. You want your kids to know that you’re the boss? Show them with YOUR WHOLE LIFE! Mean everything you say. Beg the God of all creation to make you an honest person and not a hypocrite. Let every look into their eyes give them hope and encouragement. Let every touch of your hand speak to them that no matter what they face, you’re for them, and with them. Let every time that you listen to them, really listen. May they feel you hearing them.
Be the vision of God for them. SHOW them everything you want them to learn about our glorious Father.
So, back to 2am…I have a choice; I can belittle my little girl, tell her that it’s silly for her to be afraid and that she needs to hush and go back to bed… or… I can be Christs hands, and reach out and help a genuinely frightened child. One will produce the fruit of an independent child who feels like she has to face every trial alone, the other, will tell her that her daddy is bigger than her dream…and he is. Into the bed she comes. And I’m gonna mean it when I hold her.
Enough talking at our kids about being the boss, time to start living it.