Tonight my wife and I each took a child for bed time. She took the five year old and I took the two year old to complete their bedtime routines. My job was a little easier since a late nap afforded the two year old a free pass to stay up later, so Lindsey takes our 5 year old up to bed. About 10 minutes later, I hear "Mark, I need you." This could be one of two things: 1. He is refusing all attempts at bedtime and she needs my manly persuasion to lay down the law to get him to bed or 2. He threw up and I am on clean-up duty because she is huddled in the corner throwing up in her mouth too. (What I don't understand is she has been spit up on, peed on, and had diarrhea run down her shirt and yet when a kid vomits, thats where she draws the line.)
I go upstairs and Zachary, our five year old, is crying. At this point it still could be either of the options listed above but I did not see steam coming out of my wife's ears or smell the sweet aroma of vomit in the air, so something was different. I asked what was wrong and my wife told me that Zachary was crying because he did not want his friends to die and not go to heaven because they didn't have the Holy Spirit. And upon hearing this I realize either a time-out or mop and bucket was going to be a quicker clean-up than this conversation I was about to have. Now, I love my wife and she means well. I love how she wants to teach our children about Jesus and about truth. But this was not the way to do it tonight. Well apparently my wife, Lindsey, and Zachary were talking about the Holy Spirit. But instead of the frilly, "he is always with you, protecting you, and watching out for you" bedtime story, Lindsey gives him the "the Holy Spirit comes and lives in your heart and you will go to heaven, but those people who don't have the Holy Spirit in their hearts will not go to heaven." And at this point Zachary, in his 5 year old brain puts 2 and 2 together to conclude, "I don't know if my friends have the Holy Spirit in their hearts, so they must not, so they are going to die and not go to heaven." And hence the crying. He even said, "I am so worried." I know, right?
So I laid down next to Zachary, started rubbing his leg and comforting him, and gently said, "Well what you should be worried about his blaspheming the Holy Spirit cause that is an unforgivable sin and you will never, ever go to heaven but be eternally separated from God in a dark evil place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for all eternity. Good night. Sleep tight."
Of course I didnt say that. We talked about Jesus and how he loves everybody and wants everyone to come to know him and join him in heaven and that you need to love Jesus, be good and obey your parents (yeah, I threw that in, for good measure), listen to your teachers and do what the bible says and you will have the Holy Spirit in your heart and go to heaven. And you can share Jesus with your friends, so they can go to heaven too. Well he stopped crying, said ok, we prayed and now all is well in our household again. Well at least until Lindsey puts our 2 year old down and their bedtime story is about free-will vs predestination. That will be another fun clean-up conversation.
I never thought I would want to clean up vomit,
The Joyful and Tired Dad
Have you had these theology conversations with your children?