why i pray my kids get caught

kids rulesI’m generally not a rule breaker.

And it’s a good thing.

Because, on the rare occasions when I do venture outside the white lines, I’m like a magnet for rule-enforcers.

I can be going 36mph in a 35mph zone with 20 cars whizzing past me at 60mph and who is the officer going to pull over for a ticket? Moi.

I could be in the 10 items or less lane with 11 items, while the woman behind me has her cart piled up like Mount Everest and who will the grocery police come after? That’s right. Yours truly.

The school drop-off line is a prime example.

Micah and I were running late for school. Despite our spotty track record, we hadn’t been late in a long time.  I didn’t want to break our streak.

Then I remembered the “forbidden” drop-off entrance conveniently located outside of Micah’s classroom.

Do I dare? I thought.

This entrance is usually militantly patrolled to keep deviant parents from bypassing the official drop-off line.

I quickly surveyed the scene. No Coach Bob (aka “The Enforcer”). I was emboldened by several other brave souls taking advantage of this scarce opportunity.

Hmmmm…. Why not? Everybody’s doing it. (This rationale works so well for my kids.)

So I threw caution to the wind and careened into the secret entrance.

Go! Go, Micah! Hurry! Before we get caught! (You can give me my Parent of the Year award now, please.)

As I prepared to make my getaway, I saw an imposing figure coming toward me out of the corner of my eye.

Terror struck my rule-following heart.

Coach Bob was on the warpath.

I kept going and tried to avoid eye contact.

He began to run and wave his arms …”This is NOT the drop off line! You MUST use the official drop off line…!!!”

Can you say it a little louder, please? I think there may be a few parents in Japan who didn’t hear you.

I gave him a sheepish expression and a “yes, I’m completely humiliated” wave and went on my way.

Getting caught is humbling. It reminds me that I need to model respect for authority – even in the little things – if I expect my kids to do the same.

I hope my kids are like me. I want them to always be caught in the act, too. In fact, I actually pray for it. Regularly.

When they go off track, I want it to be revealed – quickly. My kids often tell me I have some kind of superhuman powers. And I do. The Holy Spirit often gives me the uncanny ability to sense when they’re being deceptive.

Something inside me tells me I should check up on something they’ve told me.

Or, I’ll ask a question that reveals I’m not getting the whole story from one of my children.

When the truth is revealed, then there’s an opportunity for them to think twice — and feel remorse. As their mom, I have the chance to help keep them from deeper trouble.

Just knowing I have this “superhuman power” helps keep them in line. My daughter has told me so more than once.

And if I fail to catch them, I can only hope and pray that the “Coach Bobs” in their lives will be on vigilant patrol.

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  • I am so behind from catching the cold from hell, LOL.

    I love this post…don’t I always say that? I model for Dino to do the right thing too and he does get it. But it’s so hard when other kids aren’t taught the same thing and push past him in line or cheat right in front of him. Part of me, the “bronz guidette” as my hubby calls me, wants to run up to them and teach them a lesson their parents obvsiously hadn’t OR I sometimes go up to Dino and loudly say that I am proud of him for not pushing other kids out of the way even though some kids are doing that to them. yes the parents here, some care and some seem proud.

    Then there are times when I thank God I have a son who not only respects the rules, but isn’t vindictive like me and just accepts that some people don’t listen and to let them go.

    • {Melinda} I do think that what we teach and model as parents goes a LONG way with our kids. But as I’m knee-deep in the teen years, I’m finding that there is a point where they make their own choices, which sometimes reflect your values, and sometimes not. Which is part of learning I know. And I have to trust that the Holy Spirit will remind them of what they know to be true.

      You are doing such a great job with Dino … he is so blessed to have you as a mama. 🙂

    • {Melinda} Absolutely! Sometimes I think it’s tempting to be their safety net, but it really doesn’t help them in the long run, does it? 🙂

  • I’m with you. I WANT my kids caught. It is truly the best thing for them. And, like you, I’m always the one who gets caught with anything. I’m pretty sure I’ve passed it along in my genes. But it’s okay. It’s better this way! –Lisa

    • {Melinda} Yes, there is a silver lining to this. It’s always kept me in line and hopefully will continue to do the same for my kids, because I definitely passed it down to my daughter! 🙂

  • And sometimes that is the only way we can learn a lesson: the sting of embarrassment. It helps the lesson stick, too. It’s like telling your kid the stove is hot; they don’t believe you until the actually touch it…and then they believe you for life. Let’s just hope that their lessons are learned from the little embarrassments and not the big ones!

    • {Melinda} I pray that all the time, Julie … that they learn from their smaller mistakes, so they don’t have to learn from the some really rough stuff. But I know that God can use that in their lives, too. It’s just tough for parents to watch!

  • So true! I am fortunate to spend a good portion of my time with like-minded friends who are allowed to get after my kids when they are being naughty. I worry about them as they get older, though, and spend more time away from me, my friends, and supervision that I trust.

    • {Melinda} You are so fortunate and blessed to have the support system, Rabia. Yes, it does get more challenging as they get older. That’s why I’m always praying for the Holy Spirit to go with them when and where I can’t. 🙂

  • All I can say is… I’m glad I’m not the only one who always gets caught! It’s absurd, really, how much—and how publicly—it happens to me. I’ll think of you next time it happens. lol! But seriously, I pray the same thing. It’s become one of my most often-uttered prayers since middle school started. I just won’t see everything and be there in every car ride and conversation. By the grace of God, I’ve got a preschooler who hangs out with her older sisters so much that I have a constant stream of intel, but even that won’t be there forever. So God, we need our kiddos to get caught! Lord, may our kids get caught in the first tries and first missteps so they don’t have to face life’s bigger consequences!

    • {Melinda} Amen, Laurie! 🙂 As a mom of a child who will be turning 18 next year, I am praying she learns many lessons while she’s under my care. Ones that I can help guide her through. But I know she has a Guide that is a much better Protector than I am and I have to trust that. Deep breath. 😉

  • I think it’s a good thing to get caught- otherwise, why would anyone follow the rules if they never see consequences for breaking them?

    • {Melinda} Absolutely, Shell. That’s why it frustrates me so much that our society often wants to remove consequences in the name of “tolerance” or “compassion.” Holding people accountable is the most compassionate thing we can do for them! It saves so much more heartache down the line!

  • Getting caught, for me, is a reminder that I am subject to the rules just like everyone else. My favorite catch? When my kids catch ME!


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i’m melinda


I’m a woman who was radically changed when the God I thought I knew since childhood opened my eyes to the overwhelming depth of His love for me. I love speaking, writing, and pointing women to the Father so they can experience for themselves the healing power of His incredible, captivating love.

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