This was one of those nights where I was just going to forego reading the Bible with Brady and Halle. I was sick last night and had to sleep most of today. But I knew I needed to eat and felt well enough to take them to Chic-fil-A. It was an easy way for them to get active playtime without needing me to be involved. We came home past their bedtime.
And then, I decided that it was a poor excuse for not reading the Bible. Tonight’s story was about Nicodemus talking to Jesus in the middle of the night. You know, the one where Nic doesn’t quite understand what it means to be born again. After we finished, Brady says, “Well, I know how it happens.”
“How what happens?”
“How you can be a baby again. You just have to believe in God and love Him.”
I’ve heard Brady talk about these things before. I know he understands so many of the points about sin and God’s forgiveness, but I can’t help but make sure his understanding is complete. So, I told him how it’s not just about loving God, although that is a great thing and very important.
“When Jesus talks about being born again, He’s talking about being born spiritually. We’re all born the first time physically — that’s our bodies — but we need to be born spiritually, too.”
Brady displays more of his understanding: “Just like you were born from Nana. And we were all born from Adam and Eve.”
“That’s right. And because we were born from Adam and Eve and because they sinned, we’re all sinners, too. And that’s why we need to be born spiritually by believing that Jesus died to forgive us of our sins.”
“Well, I’ve said those things to God. Like, I’ve told Him that I love Him. In my head.”
“That’s really great that you do that, Brady! God loves that. But God also says that we need to believe in our hearts that we need Jesus to forgive our sins, and we need to confess it. That means, we need say it with our mouths.”
“But why do I have to?”
From here, I can tell he’s struggling about that part of it. For some reason, despite knowing all important theological points necessary, I’ve sensed that he was uneasy about expressing it verbally. As we head upstairs, I know he’s on the verge of being upset. I know my Brady, and when he didn’t come in to brush teeth, I found him in his room with a tissue on his eyes. I asked him what was wrong.
“I don’t want to tell you.”
“Please tell me. It’s important to me, and I want to know.”
He finally relented and told me that he couldn’t say those words. He didn’t know how. I told him that it was okay if he didn’t know how.
“How about this: I’ll say the words and all you have to do is repeat after me.”
He nodded his head. We were a go. So, we laid on his bed and prayed together.
“Dear God, I know that I’m a sinner. And I believe that Jesus died on the cross to forgive my sins. Please come into my life and forgive me. Thank You. Amen.”
I smiled big and told him what wonderful news that was. “Now you can call yourself a Christian. That means ‘little Christ,’ because you’re trying to be just like Jesus.” After getting Halle into bed, I came back in his room and told him how I was trying to decide how we should celebrate this exciting news. It’s like a second birthday. Only better.
Usually, he wants me to pray, but tonight, he decided he would.
“Dear God, thank You for this day. Please give me good sleep, and give Halle good sleep. Please help Daddy to sleep very well so that he isn’t sick the next time. And please give us a new mommy who’s just like our old mommy. Please give us a mommy who is fun and beautiful because our old one was fun and beautiful. In Your name, Amen.”
I added, “And thank You that Brady became a Christian today, and how exciting that is.”
So he added, “And thank you for the people, and for Daddy teaching me how to be a Christian.” (I found out later that by “people,” he meant Adam and Eve because we wouldn’t be here without them. A solid point.)
The part that really gets me to tears is to think about how Heaven is rejoicing tonight over Brady. And Stephanie is most definitely at the head of that celebration. And that’s a thought that is too precious to me.
I am certainly beaming tonight. I praise God so much for this night. And I’m a pretty proud daddy. I feel I have done my job well as a father, that I could take a child who’s mother died when he was 3 and raise him to love God so much. He knows that I love them more than anything, except not more than I love God. And he says he loves God more than he loves me. And that makes me smile big.
This is quite possibly one of the greatest nights ever.