Several weeks ago, my super competitive son made a bad choice and cheated in a game at school. No one, except him, would ever have found out about it. He carried his secret with him for weeks before remorse got the better of him. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he confessed his sin to Curt and I and to the Lord. We were so proud of him for coming clean and praised him for the courage and integrity it took to confess something that only he knew about. We talked about how the quiet nagging in his spirit was actually the Holy Spirit urging him to make it right and how much it pleased God and us as his parents that he listened and obeyed.
And then came the tough part as parents. Do we leave it at that or take it one step farther and ask him to make it right at school, because in this case, he'd have to talk to the principal. My heart ached because I wanted to protect him from pain, but I also knew that sitting in our lap was a great chance to teach a lesson on cheating that he would never forget. We told him our expectation and were surprised by the level of maturity with which he handled it. It was as if he knew in his heart it was the right thing to do and he expected for us to require this of him. We looked up Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go," and talked about how God never asks us to do something that He won't give us the strength to complete. He would go with Grant into his day and help him not be afraid.
Grant was one nervous 3rd grader when he boarded the bus on Monday morning and all day I prayed for strength and courage for my little boy who is not so little anymore. The Lord answered my prayer because Grant was BEAMING when he walked in the door later that day. He had made it right with the principal and not only was she forgiving, she was gracious, compassionate and encouraging. She came alongside us as parents and helped transform his wrong choice into something that was character building and positive in his life. He summed it up best when he said, "Mom, when I told Daddy what I did, I felt a weight was lifted from my shoulders. But when you said I had to talk to the principal too, a new weight went right back on. Now that I made it right, the whole weight is gone and I feel so relieved." Praise the Lord!