Have you ever heard that one? That’s a line that I’m pretty sure every kid has heard at one time or another growing up.
It’s a line that is filled with frustration usually in heat of the moment when you did something to really tick off your mom or dad, and is usually a statement that is followed up later with an apology of some sort.
I remember many times when that line could’ve been used on me and my brother as we were growing up.I could go on and on with stories of how I’ve messed up over the years, stories of how I’ve put my wants ahead of others.
You know what I’m always blown away with though? Every time I mess up, make a dumb choice or stupid decision, there are consequences for sure, but shortly after the offense has been acknowledged and atoned for, there is forgiveness!
I’ve often wondered why my brother and I ended up like we have, considering all the stuff that life threw at us at an early age and right through our high school years. I’m not saying we’re perfect, far from it actually, but how do two kids who grew up in a less than perfect household; end up in full time ministry?
As I get older I think I’m beginning to understand how. You see in the midst of all the dumb choices and selfish decisions of my childhood and teen years, I had some people in my life who believed in me. These people didn’t necessarily come out and say it in so many words, but their actions told me that not only did they believe in me, they were “my fans.”
Now I don’t mean they stalked and cheered my every move, I mean they were there through thick and thin, believing, and cheering, and forgiving all along the way.
None of them had easy lives, and God knows how my brother and I added to it (mostly my brother though…ha ha), but in spite of it all they stood with us, and through that faithful "I believe in you" attitude, finally I understand, and have been given opportunities to pass it on to my children as well.
A few years ago as I sat with my son helping him with his homework, this analogy came to my mind, and I decided to share it with him.
He had been having a rough patch at school and kept coming home with notes from his teacher, saying how he’d been showing off, being loud, interrupting and not obeying the rules. In fact, my wife found the note from the teacher in the trash, and when we asked my son about it, he said “I think it fell in there.” HMMM, guess what blast from the past came thundering into my brain when he said that? Was my mom prophetic?
Here I am with a hilariously rowdy, passionate, prone to wander son who is in every way…JUST LIKE ME!
We sent him to his room, and punished him of course, but deep down I kept praying about how I could get through to him, that the decisions he was making to act out and disobey, were really acts of selfishness, and I knew he can do much better than that.
So, as I was sitting there helping him with his homework, I stopped him from reading and said something like this…
”Ethan, you’re having a tough time at school lately huh? You know, I used to have a tough time as well. I’ve been spanked, grounded, sent to my room, and disciplined plenty, but you know what I’ve learned over the years?
It was all done for my good, because people believed in me, they believed that I could do so much better than I was showing. I’ve realized that these people were my fans. Do you know what a fan is?
They are people who follow a team, and cheer for them when things are going well, and forgive them when they mess up, they believe that their team is going to turn out great, and they stand by them all the way.
Right now buddy, you’re messing up at school, you need to listen and obey and respect your teacher and the other students. When you don’t do that you will be punished…but know this…I’m your Fan!
I love you when you’re good, and I love you when you’re bad. If I wasn’t your fan, I’d let you do whatever you want, but that’s not love and that’s not what fans do.
I want you to know that I believe in you, I believe you can sit still, I believe you can obey your teacher; I believe you can show respect to her and the others…you know why? I love you and I’M YOUR FAN!”
We’re His children, and even though He doesn’t want us to mess up and make selfish choices, He’s right there every step of the way. When we choose right, He’s the loudest cheerleader, when we choose wrong, He’s the loving disciplining Father who delivers judgment followed up with open arms of forgiveness when we acknowledge and repent.
If there was ever a person who had the right to loudly proclaim the line “One day I hope and pray you have a kid just like you, then you’ll see what it’s like to have to deal with everything you put me through”, it’s God for sure.
He doesn’t do that though, He comes through with truths like “I will never leave you or forsake you”, and “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His ONLY Son”, and “While we were still in our sins, Christ died for us.”
I’m so glad, that even though I don’t deserve it... Creator God is My Biggest Fan, and knowing that my son is just like me makes me desire even more to be Just like Jesus!