He put his hands on my cheeks, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “When little boys grow up and marry their mommies, they kiss like this.” He proceeded to plant a whopper – a kiss so hard I felt teeth! Yes, I had to squeeze my little man – the one who looks just like his daddy except shorter and with less hair.
I do love him, but with that great big kiss came a huge sense of responsibility. Those little blue eyes looked at me and I was reminded again that his view of Jesus, as well as his choice in a wife, would depend largely on what he saw in me. Oh my.
The thought is a little scary. I want him to see the Jesus I know – the one who loves and serves and protects and provides, but also the one who has expectations, allows consequences, and teaches me to be better. So much seems to rest on my choices of every day.
I know we all take this responsibility seriously, displaying Jesus to the children around us, but I think God was teaching a bigger lesson here. Yes, my children watch me daily and I need to model Jesus to them, but others watch me every day as well.
In talking about being like Jesus last night with my husband, he said, “I don’t think the guy that cut me off on the way home saw Jesus. Can’t really imagine Jesus honking his horn and flashing his lights at someone. Jesus would have probably turned the other headlight.” Funny, but true. It is in those little things that we display Jesus to others. And although I use my husband’s story from yesterday, I am pretty sure I have far more stories of my own. (his way of putting it was much funnier)
Reading my Bible today just to see what it had to say about setting an example or “being Jesus” for others I found a couple of verses. In these verses God doesn’t seem to talk about the “big things” we encounter, like do we go to church or not steal anything? He instead gets into the nitty gritty of every day. For example, Paul wrote:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:31 – 11:1).
Or, after washing the disciple’s feet, Jesus said:
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:14-17).
In both references, they are talking about very menial tasks. No grand schemes or high profile engagements. Simply doing everything we do for God’s glory – whatever that might be (dishes, school, work, grocery store shopping, etc).
The burden can feel heavy, just like with my son. So much seems to ride on our seemingly small choices of everyday. How will we ever accomplish such a feat? Lots of prayer – that was my answer when I looked into the face of my son this week – but I believe prayer is just part of a bigger picture. The life Christ wants us to live, the example He would have us to display is an outpouring of our relationship with Him. If Jesus and I are where we need to be, the rest seems to follow suit.
Will I fail? No doubt about it, but that is exactly why I am a big fan of grace.