Jesus and Oxi-Clean

I just had one of the most amazing bedtime moments with my daughters. If you’re like me then you might have amazing plans for all the books you’ll read to your children before bed. You may think up ways to tell the most awesome adventure story that has your children literally sitting on the edge of their seats and begging for more.

I used to do that kind of dreaming, too. Then I got tired and turned into something less than awesome. My stories were terrible and dry. Stale. My kids would beg me to tell them a story about Diego, Dora, Boots, Backpack, Ariel, Prince Eric, etc. and I might go into full, unrestrained despair.

But tonight was different.

Today my friend had a baby named Samuel. So I decided to introduce the Bible’s Samuel to my daughters so they’d know where we first heard this special name. We have a nifty paperback called 365 Read-Aloud Bedtime Bible Stories by Daniel Partner and illustrated by Kathy Arbuckle. (I wonder if this brings back any memories of Reading Rainbow or the cartoon Garfield’s Jon Arbuckle…how in the world can I remember Garfield’s owner’s last name, but I can’t remember my online banking password one day to the next?????)

Oh my. Let me get back on track.

So we read about how Hannah prayed for a child and how Samuel’s name literally meant “asked of God.” Then we read how Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord and left him in Eli the priest’s care. My children weren’t exactly displaying riveted attention at this point. It wasn’t until I read to them where God calls out to Samuel three times and then Eli shows Samuel how to answer God by saying, “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.” (This could be a whole blog series in and of itself, I imagine. Something like, “How to Answer God When He Wakes You Up in the Middle of the Night and You Don’t Know What Is Going On”.)

{God is about to drop a complete bomb in this little boy’s lap. I know I’ve read this story many times, but I don’t think I ever experienced it like this before. Being a parent does that to us, doesn’t it?}

God proceeds to tell little, tender Samuel, “I am about to punish Eli’s family forever. Eli knows about his sons’ wickedness. They are a curse to me and steal my sacrifices. But Eli does nothing, so the sins of Eli’s house will never be washed away.” What? Eli was like a father to Samuel. How would you have reacted if God told you that the people you love and trust are, in fact, about to be confronted with their own sin in a very, very serious way?

In this moment God provided a window into my daughters’ hearts. I can’t fully explain what happened, but earlier in the day my 5-year-old asked me if, after she did something wrong, would God not want to look at her. That question impacted me so deeply. We had an incredible talk and I began to share the beginning of what we would pick back up later on during this Samuel talk.

Again, I hope I never, ever forget this moment because as a parent I so often feel like a lot of noise and static interferes with communication between my children and my heart. And supernaturally Holy Spirit opened up a window of opportunity and took out all of the static. I’m just not sure I’ve felt it like this before.

My child expressed an understanding of why discipline is different from punishment. In my mind punishment is a negative consequence that we experience because we did something wrong. Discipline is correction so that we become trained in what to do next time so that we can reach our destiny.

She began to understand why parents who don’t discipline their children aren’t showing them love at all. They are enabling them on a path of destruction. I shared with my daughters that God is holy and cannot allow sin in His presence. Sin means separation from God. It results in loneliness. Loss of connection. No relationship. No love. But there is Good News. Jesus took our sin on Himself and became a substitute for us.

The way I was able to explain this is partly due to the modern day infomercial for Oxi-Clean. Landry has seen this commercial a thousand times and often chirps, “Mom! Do you need some Oxi-Clean? Because it gets the stains out!” I told the girls that before we ask Jesus to be our Savior we are covered in sin. It’s like rolling around in the mud and being stained. And Jesus is like Oxi-Clean because He’s the only one that can get the stains out. (I can’t believe that I could remember to use that analogy, but remember we were experiencing some incredible Holy Ghost Power right then! :-D)

Landry doesn’t ever have to wonder if God will turn His head away from her. She doesn’t ever have to be afraid of experiencing separation from God because God turned His head away from Jesus at the cross. He punished Jesus once and for all. It is finished. God does not double-punish. We worship and adore Jesus because He paid the price for us. My daughters can choose to put their hope, trust and faith in Jesus Christ and receive the free gift of righteousness. They can know what it is to live wholehearted lives. That I get to be one who showed them the way to the Father’s heart is beyond the most incredible honor I will ever, ever receive.

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  1. What an incredible way to teach your children about sin and Christ’s love for us! I am so thankful that He wipes away all the stains. Beautiful words, my sweet friend!

    • jodilafrance says:

      Thank you, Stephanie! It was a sweet, sweet moment! And I love that God is no respecter or persons. He’ll show each parent what is needed for the moment.

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