Between Edric and I, he is perceived as the “stricter” one by our children. It’s not that I’m not strict. I also set boundaries and rules for our kids. When I use the word “strict” I mean it in a positive way. Our children know our values, and why we want them to internalize them.
At the same time, we don’t want them to honor or obey us out of compulsion. We want them to develop convictions about what is right and wrong, to be discerning about their choices because they want to please God. After all, they won’t always live at home and we won’t alway be around. Someday they will be on their own. When they are confronted with moral choices in the future, no one will be looking over their shoulder. It will be between them and God.
Some nights ago, Edric walked into the kids’ bedroom to pray with the boys and they scrambled away from the IPad. I had told them earlier that they could play for a little while before going to bed. But it was 8:27 by the time they finished taking a shower and putting on their pajamas. This was just three minutes before their bedtime, so they didn’t really have time to play.
Edric asked, “What happened?” He wanted to know why they ran away from the IPad.
“We were scared.” Edan said. He thought that Edric would say no more playing on the Ipad because it was time for bed.
“Why are you scared? You don’t have to be scared. You know that whatever you enjoy, I also enjoy. I will only be concerned if you are not growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and men.” He wanted to assure them that they didn’t have to feel unnecessary guilt or fear.
The kids looked relieved and they smiled.
They conversed for a bit about playing on the IPad and Edric went on to say, “Sometimes there are things that are not good online and that’s what I want you to be careful about. You have to guard yourselves, because sometimes the devil puts things there that you aren’t supposed to see. And you know, daddy’s not going to be here all the time…”
For some reason, Edan latched on to the line “daddy’s not going to be here all the time,” and he started to cry.
When Edric asked him why he was crying, his answer was, “I don’t like it when you talk about you dying or mommy dying.” This wasn’t really what Edric was saying, but this statement created an emotional chain reaction and all three of our boys were in tears.
Edric very comfortingly said, “I finished a book today and I learned about the principle of a dot and a line. Our life is the dot and we don’t live for the dot, we live for the line, for eternity. What we do here on earth matters in heaven. And because we all believe in Jesus, we will see each other in heaven someday.”
The boys’ fears were somewhat alleviated and he tucked them all in to bed and prayed with them. Afterwards, he came into our room and told me about their conversation.
As a mom, I couldn’t help it. I went to check on them, to make sure they were okay. They were buried under their covers.
I hugged each one of them. Titus looked up at me with tears in his eyes and pleaded, “Mom, can I sleep with you in your room?”
Edan and Elijah appeared from beneath their blankets and I went to each one of them. I was laying beside Edan on the bed and he seemed to be deep in thought. When I asked him if he was alright, he didn’t divulge all the details of the conversation he and his brothers had just shared with Edric. Typical. He’s a pretty mysterious fellow. But he did admit that he cried.
When I asked him why, he started to get teary-eyed again. Elijah, on the bed across from him, told me, “Edan said his one wish in all the world is that we all go to heaven together.” And with that statement, Edan bawled again. Elijah was trying to be more mature about it and control his emotions, but he was tearing up. Titus looked pretty weepy himself.
Oh these boys! So incredibly sweet and loving. My heart melted.
To lighten the mood, I said, “That’s my prayer, too! I pray that we will all be raptured together!” (I really do pray that!)
They still seemed distraught over the reality that Edric and I will die someday, so I gave them an invitation, “Do you guys all want to sleep in our room tonight?” Their eyes lit up. Of course they did! The one thing they wanted at that moment was to be with us.
So we had a slumber party in our room. The kids dragged their bedspreads and pillows through the door and slept on the floor. Edric was all for it, too.
We both looked at one another as we took in the site of our five children all around us. (Even the girls were with us.) How incredibly blessed we felt. I whispered to Edric what Edan’s one wish was – about being together in heaven – and then it was our time to get emotional. We had this knowing look as we glanced at one another, we don’t deserve these kids!
What a privilege and responsibility to have their hearts like we do. Our children want to be with us. They are happiest when they are in our company. They feel most secure when we are around. We are the people they feel most attached to.
I’d like it to always be this way. But the reality is this earthly togetherness will change as our children grow up and as Edric and I age. And at one point, physical death will separate us here. But if we have heaven to look forward to, we need not dwell on what we will loose in this temporal world. What we enjoy on this earth as a family — the like-mindedness and like-heartedness in Christ that is our bond — is but a foretaste of what we have to look forward to in eternity. So while it is sobering to consider the passing of what we hold dear, we must cling to the hope that the joy we share can go on forever if we love and follow Jesus Christ. Edan’s wish need not be a balm of a dream. It will be a certainty if we, as parents, teach our children to make choices that mirror that hope.
John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
10 thoughts on “Go to Heaven Together”
I was about to have my quiet time when i got this notification of new article from you Joy. 🙂 reading your new entry made me cry also, reminded me of the things that i always say to my children about asking for wisdom to do what is always pleasing to God and conviction to say no to what will break God’s heart. That is my prayer too, that someday we will be together in heaven though i told them i might not be their mommy anymore when we get there. And they would just give me the tightest hug and sweetest kisses. But the idea of being together in heaven someday gives all of us the genuine hope that our life here on earth together will never end because the part 2 which is the eternity will be in heaven. 🙂 It is indeed a great joy to see our children walk in truth (3 John 1:4 )and the bonus, God allows us , parents to walk with them. Your articles are a blessing to me, Joy. You are a blessing! :)God bless you and your family always.
Praise God, Jing! Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing your heart. You are a blessing, too!
Hi, Joy. Can’t help but identify with your kids… And after losing both parents, I’ve learned to fervently hope in the promise of these two particular verses. Thank you for your post, and may God continue to bless you and your family as you continue blessing countless others thru your blogs.
Wow, Karla, I can’t believe you lost both your parents. Was this a long time ago? Thank you for reaching out to me and I’m glad to be a blessing. It’s a privilege to be able to write about the life lessons that God brings my way. All glory to him.
Thank YOU for selflessly writing about your family life so that others may be inspired. 🙂
My parents passed within 2.5 years of each other, 5 years ago. I can only look forward to Heaven. <3
Hi! Not-so-new reader here. I’m so blessed while reading this piece. It is also my prayer that my own family will not only serve the Lord together here on earth, but on heaven as well.
You have such a lovely family. Thank you for being a blessing.
i had a simiLar experience with my parents during my childhood. we were praying together as a family before bedtime…and i remember suddenly tearing up after the Amen, the young toddler that i was, and saying “i don’t want mama and papa to die”.
ANYWAY, thanks for sharing, miss Joy. i hope I could be a Godly parent like you someday. keeping you in my prayers. 🙂
Awww.. that’s sweet Xera. 🙂 I guess all kids feel that way about their parents 🙂 I still feel that way now 🙂
This just made me cry. I’m a twenty-something mom to a 3 yr old daughter who I don’t regularly get to see due to work. This helped me realize my role most importantly. Hopefully, by God’s grace, I’ll achieve my goal of being a work-at-home mom soon so I can focus on her. 🙂 More power to your blog and continue inspiring people! 🙂
Hi, Celene! I used to be homebased, and I’d still be doing that if my in-laws hadn’t needed help in the family business. I can hook you up with honest-to-goodness non-scammers. Email me your CV (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I we’ll see what we can do. Be blessed 🙂