My kids never lie, ever, actually - an astounding statement? Absolutely! It is a true statement non-the-less! How can I say that you wonder? Because my kids don’t lie, they get “mixed up”!
This concept first reared its ugly head a few weeks back. Let me take you there…
My blond-headed, ball of spunk is short in stature (only stature I assure you). What he lacks in height he makes up for in personality and determination for sure! So, he is short… much like his daddy and his mommy. I am only 4’ 11”, so it sort of goes without saying that he will not be a tall man. His sister, on the other hand is a bit taller than he is, however, both of my kids are on the short side comparatively.
A situation we have been working on recently – is, in this, the latter part of Kindergarten, is that he’s finally begun to notice his height, or lack there-of. He’s had friends point it out, some not so kindly and others just as a statement of fact. So my son wrestles with the teasing and the label. This mommy is very sensitive to these conversations. My best friend, who’s boys are very tall, is very careful to correct her boys when they call him “little guy”; they mean it with love and there is no malicious intent what-so-ever but I appreciate it for sure. There is, among us, a common “awareness” of the label.
Back to a couple of weeks ago – we’re riding in the car, I’ve just picked them up from school and my son tells me that this boy… let’s call him Mr. All-Around-Athlete; who is tall, plays basketball , football, and who knows what else, is friends with both of my kids. They talk about Mr. AAA all the time! My Faith-Child has an itty-bitty crush. UGH… Anyway, this day, Mr. AAA has told my son that he can’t play a game with him at recess because he is too short.
My son goes on to tell me this story of how he was left out and the kids didn’t let him play. That he spent his recess time sitting under a tree by himself. Do
you have the mental picture of this one? Are you enraged for this mommy?
So what goes on inside this mommy at these revelations? This mommy’s heart breaks for the shattered NBA dreams of her son. This mommy wants to rip Mr. AAA’s head off and slam-dunk it into the hoop on the playground in front of the other kids as a warning. What do I do instead? I build him up, I say all the things that I am supposed to say – Including, and your limitations are only contingent on what you believe you cannot do. Realistically, I know he won’t be in the NBA, but does that mean he can never play hoops with his friends? He continues to combat my every comment; every uplifting thing I have to say is met with what a kindergartner said to him. I simply tell him I am sorry for his bad day and I assure him that I will speak with his teacher about it tomorrow so that this situation doesn’t happen again.
Do you want to know what happened then?
My son got very quiet, the middle of the night quiet where nothing is moving, only audible breathing resonates… Then, my son slowly told me that I didn’t need to talk to his teacher. That he could “handle it” with Mr. AAA, then the pleading started. At first I didn’t understand… until I said the following sentence that was like the shot heard around the world… “Unless you are lying about this situation and Mr. AAA didn’t do any of these things”…
And that my friends, is when “I got mixed-up” was born.
Since then my kids have used it numerous times and I don’t know what to do with it. There are a lot of thoughts that go on in my head regarding “I got mixed up”.
They know lying is a sin, but is getting “mixed up” a sin? Certainly “getting mixed up” sounds a heck of a lot better than lying, especially to my kids who know that they need to obey their parents and sin is bad in the eyes of God.
Call it what it is… Lying… that’s what I call it. I make a point to correct them; Mommy believes it’s not getting “mixed-up” - It is lying!
Getting “mixed-up” gives me pause though… Getting “mixed-up” - In and with; getting “mixed-up” in and with / who, what, where, when.
- I get “mixed-up” in a situation at work (as early as last week) and lost my identity a bit
- I get “mixed up” with a late night, girl’s night out and have an extra glass of wine
- I get “mixed-up” in a conversation I normally wouldn’t find myself in an
compromise my beliefs a bit
- I get “mixed-up” in anger at a situation with my husband
and say things I shouldn’t say, do things I shouldn’t do
I get “mixed-up” all the time… it’s not lying, I am not lying about that extra glass of wine, I am not lying about the situation I was in, and I am not lying about an inappropriate conversation… I just got mixed-up in and with/ who, what where and when.
However, it’s all still a sin. In those moments, I don’t have my eyes squarely focused on God, on what he wants and expects from me. If I am honest, I am bending the truth a bit, because these seemingly innocent girls nights out, the work situation I couldn’t reconcile to myself, the conversations I normally wouldn’t take part in and the arguments I have with my husband are all things that rob me of my identity in Christ and what he wants for me.
Just like my son, who makes up these wild stories… he gets “mixed-up” in the moment… we have some growing up to do.
I am so very thankful, there is reprieve from these sins… His name is Jesus!