Our educationally neglected third child and I have begun alphabet work. I say educationally neglected because for the first 2-3 years of the older two children's lives I was the picture of spiritual education. The third kid, she'll pick it up along the way. God help the fourth.
I admit there are a couple teaching points that make me tee-hee like a grade-schooler. The first- getting to the "it" endings in a rhyming lesson. The second one I hadn't thought too much about until today.
The letter F.
Now the girl is 3, and a bit precocious, so we play this school stuff loosely. A brown cinderblock wall makes a fabulous chalkboard, so we get to work making our "F Word" Wall. F words all over the place. You can laugh if you want. It's ok. I said F words a lot today, and the child in me giggles as I type that.
The F says ffff. We repeat. We draw, color, laugh. I search for just the right F word. Family, Frown, Fun, Flowers, Feet, Farm, Four, Five... She hears the clues and guesses the F word and laughs again.
Good times- when F words are safe.
I can't avoid the F word forever, I know. She'll hear it, learn it, possibly say it. She'll learn F words that will cause more pain than profanity.
The mother in me wants to protect her from those words. Whisk her away like a sleeping beauty, so she'll never feel the prick of words that kill spirits. Failure. Fear.
I can't do it, though. For a flower to bloom, must it not cease to be just a seed? Must it not break open? And this little princess, she has been born not of perishable seed, but imperishable.
There's an F word for you.
Found. Forever found.
I'm not called to remove God's precious child from a world of hurt, but to prepare and equip her for the victory that is hers in Jesus Christ. I am called to gift her with words, and The Word, like battle armor. In fact, Ephesians 6 gives a few F words I can appreciate...
Finally- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Flesh- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Firm-Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Fastened- Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Feet- ...and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Faith- In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Then one day, my dear ones will be able to confess with King David that there is an F word they can't help but proclaim...
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.