I was driving Jake to soccer practice the other day. It was just me and him in the van.
Jake asks, "What's wrong with Scotty today?"
I explained that Scot had had a bad day at work and wasn't feeling well when he came home. "You know, everyone has bad days every once in awhile. No matter what kind of job you have, no matter what you do. We all have bad days. There's always going to be at least one or two people you'll go to school with and work with in life who annoy you or absolutely drive you crazy. There is no perfect job. I don't even work, but some days I get tired of cleaning the house, grocery shopping, fixing meals, wiping bottoms and being a wife and mom too. We all have those kind of days."
Jake thinks for a minute, then says, "Maybe that's what's wrong with my dad. He switches jobs all the time. Maybe he gets bored or has a bad day and that's why he leaves."
"You might be right."
I went on. "The same goes for churches. Some people go from church to church looking for the perfect church to meet all their needs. But, there's always going to be things you don't like or wish were a little different. There is no perfect church."
"It also applies to marriage. You're going to argue and disagree with your wife one day and that's normal. In fact, that's a good thing. But, the two of you have to work through things. That's what unconditional love is all about. When you get married, you stand in front of God and your family and friends and make a commitment to love each other for life. Through the good, the bad and even the ugly."
"Did my dad do that with you?"
"Yep, he did. We had a big wedding, but he quickly changed his mind. He decided he wasn't happy anymore and wanted to leave. So, he did."
I continued, "There's no such thing as the perfect job, the perfect church, the perfect friend, the perfect wife, the perfect husband. We all have sinful qualities. We all make mistakes. We all have bad days. We all get bored with life sometimes. We aren't going to be happy all the time. This is normal. But, you can't give up when life gets you down. You can't give up on your commitments in life. God wants you to be strong and do the right thing. Even when you don't feel like it."
A second later, we arrived at the soccer field. Jake got all his soccer stuff together and looked me in the eyes before climbing out of the van. In a split second, I knew. He gets it. In his own 9-year old way, he understands. He's learning how to be a strong and courageous, God-fearing man.
And this is just the beginning...