Lexi was sitting at the table, and before I got her down, she said, “Let me pray first. Dear God, please help Mommy to be a good girl. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.” Then she flashed me an aren’t-you-so-proud-of-me? smile.
I wasn’t sure if I should be ecstatic to hear my child talking to God or if I should feel convicted that even my two-year-old can tell I need Jesus in my life. Now I realize that both things are good things. A “perfect” mother is the mother who models for her children that she is totally dependent upon God to help her successfully navigate the challenges that each day brings. And I can’t fully model that to my girls without letting them see me sin, confess my sin, and ask forgiveness in front of their little eyes. They have to see the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of me, and how I rectify the bad and the ugly if I want them to learn to depend on Christ, too.
I wanted to get to the real meaning behind Lexi’s prayer. Did she think I had done something bad that day? Had I hurt her in some way? Was I a complete and utter failure in her eyes? So I asked Lexi, “Have I been a good girl today?” “Yup!” was her response. She had meant nothing by the prayer! She just wanted to show off that she COULD pray because she knew it would illicit praise from me. Two-year-old’s are MASTER manipulators.