How to Cover for Your Kids

by Rob Tims

It had been sitting out for about 20 or 30 minutes.

By “it” I mean the much-beloved frozen vanilla yogurt.

I don’t know how they manage it … I probably don’t want to know … but somehow the folks at Mayfield make frozen yogurt in such a way that it is very soft and smooth to spoon out of the container, yet firm and stiff at the same time.

So, when it’s been sitting out for 20-30 minutes, it takes on the consistency of Chick Fil-A’s ice dream: still delicious to eat, but questionable for refreezing.

I know precisely how this happened. The boys had dessert that night, and the last one to indulge left out the tub in a hurry to enjoy this delectable frozen delight. They had faithfully done the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned their bodies, and dressed for bed in time to enjoy a Star Trek rerun, which they were doing when I found the tub of love.

With their mother resting upstairs and the babies fast asleep, I had a choice to make other than whether to throw away the yogurt or refreeze it: do I cover for my son’s transgression, or do I accuse him of doing wrong?

He’s clearly done wrong. He deserves to be punished for it some way (no dessert for a week, pay for a tub of yogurt from his own money, etc.). It would be right in one sense to stop the video, accuse him of his wrong, and have him act to rectify the situation as best he could.

Or I could cover for him. I could look upon his blunder as an opportunity for grace to act. I could snag a mostly-melted scoop for myself, replace the lid and place the tub back in the freezer without a word.

It was one of the moments where it was so reaffirming to believe the gospel.

Satan accuses, but Jesus covers.

The Law condemns, but Jesus sets free.

So I chose to cover.

And I can’t decide which I loved more: the dessert, or the satisfaction of knowing that I covered for my son and got preached at simultaneously.

Rob Tims is husband to Holly and father to Trey, Jono, Abby Jane and Luke. He’s the author of Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt, and manages the team behind smallgroup.com at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville. He writes regularly at RobTims.com and blogs every Friday at Forward Progress.

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