Jana prays for our kids a lot, and in a lot of different ways. As a matter of fact, if you came into our kitchen, you would see a set of notecards on the windowsill. Each notecard has a specific characteristic on it – things like courage, faith, purity, gentleness – these are things she regularly prays for Joshua, Andi, and Christian. Each day she flips to a new card, and so the cycle continues again and again.
But there is one prayer she prays that always catches my attention. It’s super simple, but I think incredibly wise:
“Lord, please let them get caught.”
When she prays that, she will often pray along with it Proverbs 10:9: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
Much to our children’s chagrin, their godly mother prays regularly that they would not be able to get away with anything. She prays that the God of heaven would sovereignly position traps in their way so they will remember that sin has a way of being of found out even when you think it’s a secret.
And thankfully, God has answered that prayer. Our kids get caught. A lot. They have, even on occasion, even asked when they get found doing something they know they ought not to be doing whether or not mommy has been praying. And she has.
But getting caught, while frustrating for them, is I hope an opportunity for us to show them grace. Not grace in the sense that they aren’t punished; but grace in the actual discovery of wrongdoing. It’s a chance for us to remind them that they are disciplined NOT because of our lack of love, but as evidence of that love. Indeed, if we never disciplined them, it wouldn’t show we love them; it would show our complete and utter indifference.
There is grace in getting caught. It might not be the kind of grace we want or think we need, but it’s grace nonetheless.