Over the past several months my husband and I noticed an alarming trend with our 9-year-old son, Jacob. He was turning into a giant couch potato. All he wanted to do was lay around watching videos of grown-ups playing Minecraft or Fortnite on YouTube.
(It’s super weird that adults to this, right?)
Anyway. That’s all he wanted to do. And if he wasn’t watching videos of people playing video games, he was playing video games. And if he wasn’t doing either of those two things, he was reading.
Reading I can get behind, but it’s still a sedentary activity and no 9-year-old, healthy, child should be laying around that much. So, when school started we sat him down and told him some hard truths: he was going to have to sign up for a sport. He wasn’t getting a choice in that, but we did let him choose between basketball and swimming.
He chose swimming.
Now, three nights a week, we make the 25-minute drive from our house to Lebanon for swim practice. Either Jeff or I drive him while the other stays home with Avery, so she can get to bed at a decent time (morning, sleep deprived Avery is NO FUN).
Without really being intentional about it, I found myself turning off the radio and talking to Jacob. I asked him about his day, his friends. We talked about Minecraft and Fortnite. I started asking him about the best and worst parts of his days. And a cool thing started to happen. He started to ask me questions. Jacob wanted to know about my day and how I was doing.
Love that boy!
But that’s not all. As we continued to talk, Jacob began asking me about Jesus. Asking questions that had obviously been stewing in his mind for a while. Questions like: What’s hell like? How can I forgive people who hurt me? Will I see my grandma when I go to heaven? How do I keep from sinning?
So many questions. Some of which I don’t know the answers to, but such a great opportunity to share Jesus with him.
But the Jesus questions didn’t start right away. They only started coming after we had spent several days just talking about our lives, sharing stories and laughing together.
Thinking about these conversations with Jacob has made me start thinking: how much time do we spend, as parents, getting to know our kids? I confess, that I often am guilty of overlooking this in the business of going about our days.
But not anymore. I’m going to keep laying the foundation of a solid relationship with him, so we can talk about the big things. Like Jesus.
And when we’re driving home from swimming, and I ask him what his favorite part of the day was, and he looks over at me, smiles and says THIS. It’s going to be my favorite too.