Every so often, without them realizing it, my children will tell me something that just absolutely thrills me. Yesterday, it was my son that brought me one of those “mother moments.” A few days ago, some children that live nearby erected some sort of ramp that they could use to do jumps on their bikes. In his excitement over this, Paul began to tell my husband about what fun he had jumping that day. My husband wasn’t trying to squelch his fun, but he told Paul he wasn’t allowed to jump off the ramp anymore. About 6 months ago, we had a neighbor across the street who broke his collarbone and arm and scraped the side of his face while jumping off a ramp. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Paul wasn’t happy about his dad’s decision, and the next day when dad wasn’t around, he was complaining about it. I reminded him that he won’t always like the decisions we make, but it’s wise for him to obey, because we love him, we try to do what’s best for him and the Bible teaches us to obey our parents. Later that day, after he had been out playing for a while, he came in to get something to drink. Then came that magical moment.
He told me that a bunch of kids were jumping off the ramp, and he wanted to jump really bad, but his conscience wouldn’t let him. I praised him for making the right decision. I think he understands that even though he probably could get away with it when nobody was watching, God would still know. Not only that, but he would have to carry the knowledge with him that he had disobeyed his dad. I’m thankful he chose to follow his conscience rather than give in to the temporary thrill of jumping a ramp, only to find himself bearing the guilt of disobedience. A couple of years ago, there was an instance where Paul did do something that he was instructed not to do. He ended up coming to me in tears and confessing. I urged him to tell his dad, because it was the right thing to do. He followed my advice and made things right. I think that instance made a big impression on him.
I know that as my son grows, there will come many more tests of his conscience and more choices between right and wrong. It is my prayer that he’ll seek to have the mindset that the apostle Paul displayed in Acts 24:16.
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.