Running into the kitchen, he put on the brakes just before he ran in to me.
“They didn’t make the call! Number 33 just got plowed over and had a face-mask and they didn’t call it,” he reported, tears welling up in his eyes. I knelt down, spatula in my hand from making dinner, and hugged him. I asked about the play again and said I was sorry the call was missed. “It is so hard when others miss what we see as right,” I replied quietly. He nodded, sniffed, and trudged back to the game.
Over the last two months there has been an increase of understanding the games of football and basketball in our house, as well as some impassioned (new) fans. It has been fun to see my seven year-old learn the rules of the game and then actually follow the game.
A realization donned on me that evening, as I saw something of myself in my son–a love for justice. I remember back to when I was pregnant with him. While reading Kite Runner I cried my eyes out and ultimately threw the book across the room at the injustice one of the younger boys experienced. I didn’t want our son to be like that, I wanted him to fight for what is right, speak up for those that had no voice, and seek the God that redeems all injustice. I want him to be a tenderhearted warrior.
We talk a good bit about the poor at our house, as my husband is a missions minister and I work for an organization that sustainably employs women out of trafficking. I confess though, I didn’t think any of it was sticking. We pray for those with no voice at our house and every now and then we spend some time ministering locally downtown.
That Saturday night, I stood in wonder there at the stove… wondering what I had done right? My heart was melting inside of me that he even cared for someone he didn’t know to be treated fairly, but simultaneously, I froze in a panic trying to figure out how that had even happened.
How do you cultivate a love for justice in your children?
1. Provide people or situations to pray for those that live in/with unjust/unfair situations. Pray that the Lord would give your boys eyes to see others as He sees them. Pray that He would give you eyes to see your children and those around you, as He sees them.
2. Read stories in the Bible of those who experienced injustice. Talk about why and how they responded and ultimately, what God did. There are more stories that I can count (Isaac, Joseph, the Israelites wandering, Job, Zaccheaus, the Samaritan woman, etc.).
3. Talk with your boys about how God calls us to speak for those with no voice. Share with them that there will be many situations where fairness isn’t even present, but that does not mean God isn’t. Show them where God uses injustice/unfairness to further His plan and increase the Kingdom.
Fairness and injustice is a painful struggle we will all experience during our lifetime. Helping to equip our boys with a godly response not only gives them wheels to their vehicle, but sets them on a road to success, instead of disappointment.
I am honestly not sure I am doing everything right with my kids. I disappoint, hurt, and sometimes yell, even when I don’t mean to, but as I trace back to some things we are trying with our kids, I am seeing small buds of fruit on the trees.
Lord, I pray that You would give us eyes too see others with compassion. That you would give our boys a heart for those who have no voice. Jesus, thank you for your passion for justice and that nothing and no one escapes your watchful eye. Father, help us guide our sons to be Tenderhearted Warriors for You, that they would love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with You.
Wife to one tall man, mom to two littles (1 boy, 1 girl), lover of laughter, passionate about freedom, ending human trafficking, and you. Praying you know today the value you hold as the daughter of the King