Parenting In The Moment
“Daddy, are we going to jail?”
“No son, we’re not!”
“Daddy, I don’t want to go to jail.”
“Everything will be okay son.”
That was a brief sample of the interaction I had with my son this past Sunday night. We were in the Lewisville area. We were visiting some brethren and had left their house. We were about a mile from the destination. As I was driving I passed a police officer in the left lane. He was going to turn…Until he saw me!
Then I got that feeling. You know the feeling right? That feeling in your stomach when you see those police lights behind you. Yep, I got pulled over. I knew why!
The officer came to my door and asked the question they typically ask, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“Yes officer, I believe I was speeding. I think I was going 45 or 50.”
“You were actually going 55 m.p.h.”
“Can I see your insurance card and license please?”
“Sure! My wallet is in my pocket. Can I get it?”
“Babe (my wife) can you get me the insurance card.”‘
I got pulled over for speeding. We eventually found our insurance card only to see that it said June-August. NOOOOOO!!!! We have car insurance, but I couldn’t find the most updated card. The police said he would just run my plates (we found the other card after he got done…griiiiiieeeeeeefffffff).
But then he asked another question. He asked, “What’s going on with your sticker on your windshield? It’s expired” Oh no!!! I forgot to get a new sticker.
I’m guilty! Busted! There’s no getting out of this.
The officer eventually came back and told me that he should give me a ticket (about $400). But he was going to let me go! YES!!! Thank you.
As we drove to our final destination I had to talk to my six year old son. I told him and my wife that it was time to have a devotion. There was some lessons to learn.
- Obey the law. Daddy broke the laws of the land. I was speeding. I wasn’t trying to, but I was guilty. We have to obey the laws of the land. There are consequences when we don’t.
- Get things done on time. I renewed my sticker for my truck, but for some reason I missed renewing the sticker on the other car (that is now fixed). Get things done now!
- Mercy is wonderful. I asked my son if he knew what mercy meant. He said that he didn’t. I told him that the police officer showed me mercy. He didn’t have to. I deserved a ticket. I broke the law. Now it was time to pay up. But he granted me mercy.
That was a somewhat hard conversation. But it was also good. As I continue to learn how to be the best day I can be, I felt that I needed to address what happened with my son immediately. I didn’t bad mouth the police officer (he did his job). He was also polite. I was the one at fault. I needed to help my son recognize a couple of important facts. I don’t know it all as a parent. However, I felt that this was the best thing for me to do at that time and as the leader of the house.
Parents will make mistakes. Just as we want our children to own up to their mistakes, we must be willing to do the same. The next day on the way there was a guy riding pretty close behind us. I refused to go over the speed limit. When another lane became available, he sped up beside us. A few seconds later a cop drove by in the other direction. He quickly turned around and caught that guy. I’m sure he had the same emotions I had the night before.
I’m going to continue to parent in the moment! Sometimes, it’s just best to stop everything and address certain issues as they happen. I need to address something else. As I look at what I wrote a few moments ago, I see a sermon.
- God has given man laws, Genesis 1:1. He has authority, Matthew 28:19-20. He expects us to obey His laws. Yet we break them, Romans 3:23. As a result, there is a consequence!
- God gives us time to address our disobedience. We need to do it now while we still have time. Today is the day of salvation.
- Thankfully, God is merciful. What we all deserve is death! But He is willing to give us eternal life if we are willing to submit to Him and obey.
- Will you recognize the existence of God and submit to His authority, Hebrews 11:6?
- Will you allow listen to what it is that He wants you to do, John 20:30-31; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38?
- Will you take advantage of His wonderful mercy while there’s still time, Ephesians 2:1-10?
God wants to be our Father. He wants to guide us and help us. Will you allow Him to do that for you?