I was on the computer when my six year old, Edan, came to me in tears. “What’s wrong, hon?” I asked him. He went to hide himself in a corner for a few seconds until I gently insisted that he come to me. “I stained the chair, mom. My fingers were dirty and I touched the chair and left a mark.” He was barely able to finish the last part of his confession. That’s it? This is why he is troubled. What a tender conscience. I hugged him immediately and said, “It’s okay. Mom is not upset about that. Why did you cry?”
“I thought you would be angry because you said to be careful about the chairs.”
I had just had the chairs re-upholstered in beige (probably not a good idea because I have four children). But, that was hardly more important to me than my son. I was so touched that he didn’t want to disappoint me. We went out to the dining table to look at the damage. There were two little finger print smudges. It looked like he had tried to fix the stain on his own.
“Mommy can fix that,” I reassured him. And I went into the kitchen to grab a wet towel.
After I removed his smudges, I asked him, “Did you really think that I would get upset about those things? That doesn’t make mom angry. Do you think mom gets angry easily?” He shook his head to say “no.” Whew. Okay, that’s good news.
“Well, I want you to know that you are much more valuable to me than this chair. And I am very happy that you told me the truth and said sorry for what you did. That makes Jesus happy, too.”
This incident made me think about my own relationship with God. God is not the kind of father that rejects his children when they repent and say sorry. He welcomes us with open arms and with love. There is no condemnation for those who truly repent and receive his gift of forgiveness.
When my son came to me with tearful trepidation, I wanted to comfort him. I was glad that he came to me even if he was afraid and ashamed. Similarly (but on a much more perfect level), God gladly receives us when we “come clean” before him in humility. It must have taken alot for Edan to admit that he stained the chair. I can just imagine that he must have wrestled and struggled with himself as he tried to erase his own mistake. But he needed me to do it for him. It is the same way for us. We need God’s forgiveness to remove the stains of our heart. Only he can truly restore us and make us new in Christ.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Preserve a tender conscience in our children. Keep a tender conscience before God.