Thursday, November 12, 2009

Childlike Faithfulness - Fruit of the Spirit Part 7

We are nearing the end of our journey through the Fruit of the Spirit. It's been an amazing exercise to consider how God is using our children to teach us the character qualities that He wants to supply in our lives. Faithfulness as used by Paul in Galatians 5:22 is the Greek word pistis, which means conviction of truth, reliance upon Christ for salvation, and constancy in such profession. Faithfulness is a challenging proposition these days. At the risk of being considered dogmatic, we hold to the central root of our faith that one comes to salvation through Christ alone.

My daughter has not yet accepted this truth as her own. This is one of the primary reasons that I started this blog. I have big questions about how to impart faith to her in view of her learning differences. She is immersed in a community of faith. We attend church each week. We are working on making Sunday School a place that will meaningfully communicate God's truth to her. At home we pray before meals and before bed. I have recently asked her to pray for specific friends or problems, and I try to point out miraculous things we encounter along the way (like the day we found important confidential papers that had fallen out of our stroller about six hours earlier). I hope for the day that she will ask more questions about who God is, why Jesus came, and what it can mean for her. Since she just recently started asking even concrete questions I sometimes wonder if I should just be initiating the conversation more, but if she isn't asking is she really ready? The debate just rages in my mind until I entrust even this significant piece of her future to the only One who already knows.

Still this child can teach me some important things about faithfulness. Regarding the conviction of the truth I can learn a lot. My daughter is among every other quality very truthful. I don't think the idea of falsehood has even entered the edges of her understanding yet. Even when it would serve her own interests (of which she is keenly aware) she tells the truth. When I hear one of her siblings crying and I suspect she has had something to do with that I can ask her, "Did you hit him?" and she will say "Yes, I hit him." and off to the time-out area we go. She is also pretty firmly fixed in what she thinks is right. There is very little gray in her universe. Items are liked or not liked, rules (though challenging to obey) are powerful, and friends are forever. While this steadfastness can lead to problems - e.g. in a sea of children insisting on playing with only one because "she's my friend' - it can also be inspirational to watch. Do I speak truth with so little self-consciousness? Do I hold fast to what I believe is right? With God's graceful provision I can!


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