Recently, I spent a day in a battle with my 5-year-old over some obedience issues. During one of his stays in his room, I entered to have a discussion with him about the decisions he had been making. He was still in his fired-up mode, so the conversation was… tense. But it did clear up some previously undetected points of confusion for both of us. Read on to see how.
Me: “I’d like to talk with you if you’re calm enough now. I love you very much, but this has been a tough day as you know. Our choices always have a ripple effect. Can you see how bad choices just lead to suffering? Suffering for you. Suffering for others.
5-year-old (with an angry tone): “No, they don’t lead to suffering.”
Me: “Yes, they do. Look at how much you and I have both suffered today. You don’t think we’ve suffered?”
5-year-old: “No” (putting his hands up to his throat and pretending he can’t breathe). “Suffering is when you can’t breathe; like you’re getting choked or something.”
Me: (very confused): “No… well, yes, that would obviously be an example of suffering, but…
Me: “…do you mean suffocating?”
5-year-old (still with his angry face): “What is suffocating?”
Me: “That’s when you can’t breathe, like you said.”
5-year-old (processing): “What it is that we say when we say, some word ’under Pontius Pilate?’”
Me: “You mean in the Creed? We say, ‘suffered under Pontius Pilate.’”
(long pause; 5-year-old processing)
5-year-old: (still giving me the angry look): “Oh.”
And I suddenly realized that this little boy has probably had an image of Pontius Pilate putting a pillow over Jesus’s face, or something along those lines, every time we’ve recited the Apostles Creed.
Glad we got that cleared up.