Learning Not to Steal

Last night as we strolled through Target I turned around to see my four year old son munching on a green grape that he had plundered from the produce section. I instantly stopped and gave him a short 'teaching' on stealing and the importance of not taking things we haven't paid for.

Later, as we wandered the seasonal clearance section, I noticed me boy was grasping something wrapped in the belly section of his shirt. I asked him to unravel the fabric and when he did a small toy tiger was revealed. I thought, "Holy smokes, I have a stinking kleptomaniac on my hands." But then I got an idea.

I took all my kids and headed up to the security office of the store. I asked if I could bring the kids inside and I gave them of the camera room and the benches where would-be thieves sit, handcuffed, waiting for a law enforcement escort out of the store. Then I explained that it is never OK to take something we do not pay for, and I tried to impress upon the kids that followers of Jesus do not steal.

Jacob started crying immediately upon entering the room, asking me to please not send him to jail. I think he got the message. Isabelle, on the other hand, keep looking at Jacob and giving me this sly smile as if to say, "What a baby; why is he crying? I'm not afraid!" I have to do a lot of praying for that girl's soul. I really hope that the experience will stick in their minds and that the kids will remember that someone is always watching them. But more than that, I pray that my kids wouldn't be the kind of kids who behave in a certain way because they are scared of the consequences, but rather, that they would live the way Jesus wants them to live because the understand the enormity of what he did when he died for them.