I held my child as he cried because of the remorse and guilt he felt from sin he had just confessed.
“I was afraid to tell you mama. Do you still like me? Will you stop loving me?”
Looking into his tear filled eyes, I said to him, “Well, the choice you made saddens me, but I could never stop loving you. I may be sad or disappointed by your choices, but I will never stop loving you. Thank you for your honesty.”
“Am I in trouble?”
Sad smile, from me. “Yes, my love. Our choices always have consequences.”
“I wish I had never said anything.”
“But I’m glad you chose to come clean to me and to God, in repentance. Remember, what defines a person isn’t whether they make bad choices — that’s a given — but what they do after they make them. What we do when we are at that crossroads will define our character. Do we harden our hearts and move away from God, taking the path of least resistance? Or will we repent and move toward God — through the small gate and onto the narrow road that leads to life? (Matthew 7:14)”
I comforted him as he continued to cry, tears of sorrow, both for his sin and for the consequence of his sin. Much later, I took my sorrow into the arms of my comforter. I hurt for my son. I cried for him. I saw God working in him. I could see the pain of the process of sanctification. The fiery furnace that refines the saints. I could see the love and mercy of a Creator who takes the time to gently refine. Is this the heart of a parent? Is this what my Heavenly Father feels as He watches me struggle in a broken world? As He watches me fall into sin? He is not a High Priest unfamiliar with temptation, after all. He walked the very road we walk and experienced these very struggles. But He did overcome.
I pray for my son.
I pray that, God, out of His glorious riches would strengthen my son with power through His Spirit in his inner being, so that Christ may dwell in his heart through faith. And I pray that my son, being rooted and established in love, would have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that he may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)