My wife and I have two beautiful blue-eyed full of energy little girls. They love digging for earthworms, playing hide and seek, and working jigsaw puzzles. However, they both have, let’s say, distinct differences in personality and behavior.
Macy Claire has always been our laid back, understanding, well-behaved child. Let’s just say Brooklyn Grace has been the opposite. Full of life, but definitely opinionated and not always the most obedient child.
Yesterday, Kathryn called and let me know Brooklyn was having another one of “those” days. Full of tantrums, complaining, and disobedience. A complete defiance for nearly anything she asked her to do. Days like this are frustrating for all of us.
So naturally I did what any dad in their early 30’s would do upon arriving at home after a long day of work: I took Brooklyn out on a daddy-daughter date.
My intent was not to reward her for her behavior. It certainly wasn’t to ignore the way she had disrespected my wife/her mother.
My intent was to show her what grace is all about.
I took her (much to her surprise) to the local park. She squealed with giddy delight at the unexpected chance to go swing, slide, and play on the seesaw. Just her and daddy. Time she doesn’t get nearly enough.
Afterwards I took her down the road to Wendys to get a Frosty. She wasn’t sure at first what to think because she had only had milkshakes and ice cream before. She was ignorant to the hybrid bliss of the two that is the Frosty.
We both got chocolate Frosties (hers much smaller than mine, of course) and sat down at a booth to eat them. I had to play catch up eating mine because my little Brooklyn full of life and laughter was chugging hers down.
This was the opportunity I was looking for. I got the chance to talk to her about how she had behaved all day. I got to talk to her about how it hurt mommy and daddy when she was disobedient. I got to talk to her about sin, and how even mommy and daddy do wrong and sin sometimes.
I got to talk to her about grace. About how she didn’t deserve a play date at the park with a Frosty to cap it off. I talked to her about daddy’s love for her, and that no matter what she does, my love for her will never ever ever change.
I talked to her about Jesus. About how His love for her is greater than mommy and daddy’s love is. About how even when we sin and hurt Jesus, He shows boundless grace to us, giving us exactly what we don’t deserve.
Did she really understand it? Probably not. Some of it she did though. She went home and apologized to Kathryn for how she had acted. Confession is a great start.
But these are the opportunities to pour God’s love into my daughter’s lives that I cannot miss. God has blessed us far beyond anything we deserve. Sometimes that lesson for little ones is best learned through unexpected play dates, and of course, a tasty Frosty.