What We Can Learn From Children: Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It is so simple and yet because of that, we almost miss it. Little children are innocent and their imaginations are so remarkable that just by you being excited about something, they not only believe, but want to know more. They are so open minded because they have not seen the many harsh realities of the world that are out there. As parents, we try to protect them from this world and keep them in a world that is living for the glory of God.
God has this extraordinary way of opening up His world back to us as adults. My father and my oldest son are very similar in the aspect that they are both extremely social and outgoing and they love talking to everyone! I am more of a shy person until I am comfortable in my surroundings and have gotten to know people, quite like my youngest son. I have noticed though, how people stop and not only open up and talk, but are delighted by the conversations initiated by my father and oldest son.
We encountered two scenarios at our community pool this week that I am so incredibly proud of both of my sons for. Do you ever notice how children can just make friends in the second they meet another child, and how as adults we become more skeptical of people? That day at the pool, my sons met a little boy about their age. He was there with his grandmother and my oldest ran right up and introduced himself and his brother and asked what their names were. I kindly smiled, but something in me said to do more, so I started a conversation. I borrowed a lesson from what my son always does and you know what? We ended up at the pool having a wonderful day for almost three hours! The children got to play and neighbor got to know neighbor. That’s what God designed us for. He wants us to not only fellowship with Him, but he wants us to fellowship with each other.
The other scenario was horrific, but God always has a way to turn bad events into good ones. My sons and I went to the pool and there was more of a separation at the pool that day. There were some people sitting independently just tanning and relaxing, and others just wanting to spend time with their own families. Children don’t see that scenario I just described though. They saw children there and that meant they wanted to make friends and play.
All was going smoothly until a group of people showed up. There was one child in this group that went beyond the call for attention, and at one point, had a pool of about 23 people silent because of her behavior. This was more than the grocery store melt down, which all of us as parents have run into no matter how good our children are. I was completely taken aback by the behavior as were the other parents at the pool to the point where we all almost left. The only one not affected was the child’s mother who seemed to be the only person not hearing the cry for attention.
Suddenly something amazing happened. My sons and the other children at the pool “killed” this child with kindness. They let her know her behavior was not acceptable because they started to ignore her. They didn’t react in a negative fashion or get confrontational, but they continued to enjoy their time at the pool. Eventually, this child got the concept and she began to play with the children and there were no more episodes.
Sometimes, as adults, we want to get confrontational or react in a negative way when someone is bullying or not treating someone fairly, but that’s not our place, it’s God’s. I don’t know what the mother of that child or the child have going on in their lives, but it’s none of my business. All I could do was pray for them. I also acknowledged and gave praise to my sons for how loving and kind they were to someone who at the time really didn’t deserve to be treated so nicely. It is good to give praise to your children when you see them doing something good.
I believe this is what Jesus wanted not only his disciples to know, but also us. Come to the Lord open and excited so that you may see the world through His eyes and children’s eyes. See possibilities and not failures. See hope and not loss. See dreams and reach out and find a way to make it happen. See others as God’s creation and love them for who they are.
Is there a time you encountered a problem and saw how God turned the situation from a bad one into a good result? What are some things that you have learned by seeing your children do something?