Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Teaching Jakob Repentance

Leif and I take the responsibility of being parents very seriously. Sometimes we're a bit too serious and we expect a lot from Jakob (Caleb will be in the same boat soon.) We re-evaluate often and try to make the right adjustments.

Recently, Jakob has become a lot more aware of what is right and wrong. He'll often correct Leif and I if we say a "strong" word (as we put it.) He'll point out whether his friends chose the right, and he is aware of his mistakes most of the time. Yesterday Jakob told a blatant lie. We have had to deal with him sneaking out of the house or away from the yard to go into his grandparents house. He knows that he has to ask First, Wait for an answer, and then Respect the answer. Last night he went into the grandparents house where Leif was studying. Leif asked him if he asked me, and Jakob told him that he did and I said yes. This was completely false.

When I came down to find Jakob, we were faced with a dilemma. How do you teach a 4 year old that he lied and lying is completely unacceptable. The first thing Leif and I came up with was to take away the privilege of watching his favorite show with us that evening. But something just wasn't sitting well with me and that consequence. A little while later, the answer came to me. We needed to teach him about repentance and HOW to repent.

Jakob came back up to our house after I had left and said that he wanted to ask me if he could go over to Grandmas house (he recognized that he really didn't like the consequence in store for him.) I sat Jakob on my lap and we talked. We talked about the fact that he didn't choose the right. I often teach Jakob a lesson and have him repeat it to me after it's been taught. The first lesson taught was, "Make the right choice The First Time!" Once that lesson was established, I talked to him about who his wrong choice hurt (himself, Papa, Mama, and Heavenly Father) and then who he needed to fix things with (Papa, Mama, and Heavenly Father.) He told me that he was sorry and he eventually told Leif that he was sorry. But he was confused on how in the world he could tell Heavenly Father he was sorry. He talked about the fact that he couldn't see Heavenly Father and he couldn't hear Heavenly Father. Basically, it was all completely abstract.

So I started from the beginning and as basic as I could get. I explained to Jakob that we talk to Heavenly Father by praying to him. Kind of like talking on the phone except that you have to "feel" Heavenly Father's answer instead of hearing it. He was thrilled to find out that Heavenly Father knew him and He knew Jakob's name. The fact that this was a novel concept to Jakob showed me that the Spirit was teaching him. It was finally sinking in.

Then came the prayer of repentance. I started the prayer for Jakob and asked Father to help Jakob feel His love and His answers to the prayers Jakob prayed. I then told Father that Jakob had something he wanted to say to Him. Jakob then told Heavenly Father that he was sorry for telling a lie and that he wouldn't do it again.

After the prayer was over I asked Jakob if he felt Heavenly Fathers answer. He said "Yes, it was soft and warm." ... Lesson Taught!

1 comment:

Scott said...

Lena, This is Harmony's Dad.. You are such a good writer, and this story of "Jacobs Lie" touched my hart.
I think after trying to teach our 5 children gospel principles this should be passed on to the Church magazine headquarters and get it published in "The Friend".
Scott L.

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