Taking the time out


Jackson sits in time out

Jackson sits in time out

“Mom, can I be in time out for her? Like what we talked about last night?”

During our bedtime devotions yesterday, we learned about Simon of Cyrene and how he carried the cross for Jesus. Lauren wanted to talk for quite awhile about how Jesus died on the cross, and even if that was a bedtime delay tactic, it’s one I’ll always go along with! We all tried to help her understand that Jesus died on the cross for us, and for her, to pay for the penalty of her sins. My husband described it this way: Jesus dying on the cross for our sins is like you getting in trouble but someone else taking your punishment. For instance, if Lauren hit Jackson, and she was definitely the one who did wrong, instead of her getting a spanking or going to time out, Jackson would choose to take her time out instead. Jesus loved us and paid for our sins, even though we were the ones who did wrong, not Him.

After breakfast this morning, I was cleaning up in the kitchen and turned around to see Lauren grabbing Jackson and pinching him. After talking with her about her unacceptable behavior, she was sent to time out.

That’s when Jackson turned to me and asked if he could go to time out instead of her, like what we talked about the night before. He wanted to show Jesus’ love to her.

Well, I couldn’t say no! I made sure that was what he really wanted to do, and he went over to Lauren in the corner to askĀ if he could sit in time out in her place. She agreed, and Jackson sat quietly and took her time out.

Jackson’s precious spirit pierced my heart. He was willing to humble himself in order to display the Gospel. He was willing to take on a punishment He didn’t deserve to demonstrate the redemptive power of Christ. That must be my theme, my aim, today: showcasing the message of Jesus’s sacrificial love.

If a seven-year-old gets it, his mom should too.

He became sin who knew no sin
That we might become His righteousness.
He humbled Himself and carried the cross.
Love so amazing,
Love so amazing!

– Chris Tomlin, Jesus Messiah

Time out

Jackson has recently been spending some quality time in “time out” each day. This morning, he found himself there once again. However, on this occasion, he was not alone.

Lauren decided to join him.

She wasn’t there to pester him (which has been known to happen) or there to try to play with him because she didn’t understand why he was there. She sat beside him, patiently and quietly waiting until his punishment had ended.

This is not a photo of the kids in time out, though I wanted to take one to show Lauren sitting with Jackson. It just didn't seem right to take a picture of Jackson getting in trouble. So, here's the duo playing happily together!

This sweet act by my precious girl made me think of and thank my Heavenly Father. Even though Jesus paid the penalty for all the sins that ever were, are and will be by sacrificing His life on the cross, so many still see God as only a sin-punisher, rather than a grace-giver. Even as Christians we sometimes place our sin above God, allowing our shame to trump His forgiveness. We are children that run away and hide when we’ve done something wrong, no different from the first man and woman who God created.

When our sin is exposed, and we come to God’s feet and ask for restoration, we still deserve discipline and punishment. There are always consequences to sin, whether you are living as a part of Christ’s family, or you have not yet embraced Him as your Savior.

Yet, as I watched Lauren sitting there, sharing in Jackson’s time out, I realized that when I am experiencing the results of my decisions, bearing the consequences of my sin and am under God’s discipline, I am not alone. Even though my suffering is a result of my sin against God Himself, God chooses to stay by my side through the punishment, sharing it with me. God promised me that He would never leave me. He will never turn His back on me. I am His, and He is mine. That means where I go, He goes too.

Even to the corner for “time out”.