My kids have completely overhauled my life. It looks like they took an eyeful of my life’s priorities and had a long belly laugh. They then made it their mission to sift through the list, weeding out the baggage and all vanity, leaving only the things that really matter.
Thank you, babies.
Besides that, I often sense God speaking to me through my children. Life-altering lessons neatly packaged and delivered through my tots.
My firstborn is a preschooler. She is on a roll as she tries to exercise her independence. Pushing limits and trying to control us, her parents.
Yet God in His infinite wisdom chooses to use her to speak to me. Here are five lessons I have gleaned from her character.
A while ago, my daughter and I were taking a walk when a rat crossed our path. Oh, the adrenaline! I sprinted away from the \”scene\” in an instant, running for dear life. When I came back to my senses, huffing and puffing from the physical exertion, I spotted my heroic child standing at the exact spot I had left her. Completely unruffled.
\”Really mom?\” She quipped with a smirk on her face. Needless to say, bugs and crawling insects give me the same flight effect.
I did a little research and found out that I could be suffering from Musophobia –fear of mice and rats coupled with Entomophobia-Unrealistic fear of bugs and insects. How fancy!
As if I wasn\’t feeling mortified enough for \”abandoning\” her in time of peril, she recounted the escapade to anyone who cared to listen.
Anyway, I will never forget that day. The day she outsmarted me in courage.
Children come with a clean slate and one of the virtues they exude is courage. Because they have not lived long enough to soak in life’s fears.
It can be scary trying to pursue your dreams when you have watched others fail in the same line. You already have the script rehashing in your head. You know exactly at what point the cookie will crumble.
You may be sensing God urging you to make a move alright but fear of failure has frozen you in your tracks. Because you have perhaps seen how ruthlessly life has pulled the rug out from under the feet of folk who have gone before you.
But God would have us choose faith over fear.
In Mathew 14, Peter sees Jesus walking on water and his adventurous bulb lights up. He\’s never seen anything like that before and he wants in. Jesus graciously urges him to join in. Peter manages to saunter on water for a while but on seeing the boisterous wind, he starts sinking.
Just like Peter, fear holds us at ransom and keeps us from launching out. We need to choose faith over fear and fix our eyes on the promise in God’s word.
When my daughter wants something, anything really, she knows how to get on our nerves by crying incessantly. Never mind that she could be throwing a hissy fit for the most outrageous reason. Like when she wants to run off to school without a jumper on a rainy nippy morning.
I have often found myself giving in to her demands just because I couldn\’t stand another second of her shrieks.
Turns out that God doesn\’t mind our hissy fits as we pray. It doesn\’t irk him when we pester Him with our requests. He relishes stubborn faith that refuses to walk away empty-handed.
Luke 18:1-8 details the parable of the persistent widow and the judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. The widow did not relent. She drove the judge up the wall until he granted her request.
Jesus summed up this parable by giving an assurance that persistence in our prayers will yield answers.
And so I have learned not to throw in the towel too fast. To be more persistent in my prayers because God honors fervent prayers.
“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” James 5:16 (NKJV)
3. Need for Spiritual Nourishment
My daughter is generally a picky eater; there are days when she will barely touch her food. This tends to frustrate me to the core; I would do anything to have her gobble up her meals.
On the days she decides to torture me by refusing to feed, I worry about her a lot. Will she grow well? Is she more prone to illnesses?
This turmoil that she plunges me into helps me reflect on my spiritual feeding habits. How often do I frustrate my heavenly father by walking around with a starved Spirit?
Does He worry the same way I do about my daughter?
Will she withstand temptations? Will she fall prey to false teachings?
“ But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Mat 4:4.
I too need daily nourishment from God\’s word and communion with Him through prayer. When I don’t feed my Spirit, I certainly displease my heavenly father.
My daughter does not take my attempts to discipline her kindly. Yet I must nip in the bud some habits that she surprises me with.
So when I discipline her, she gets really hurt and sobs bitterly. She feels betrayed. Then she figures that she needs comfort from the shocking event in her life and runs to me for comfort.
That really speaks to me because I struggle to forget the ills done to me. The fact is that in life people will hurt you; some won\’t even realize they did.
Yet Jesus while teaching His disciples to pray warns that if we do not forgive others we should not expect God to forgive us.
\”But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.\” Mat 6:15
5. A Glimpse of the Fathers Love
I love my daughter with everything in me. Fierce unrelenting love that often threatens to rip my poor heart apart. My mind cannot conjure up anything that I cannot do to ensure her safety and well-being.
“As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.” Ps 103:13
God assures us that He digs this kind of love because He is a father Himself. In fact, he loves us more than we could ever love our kids. I don\’t know about you but this realization makes my faith soar. It adds a spring to my step and emboldens me as I tackle life\’s punches.
We Must Become Like Little Children
Jesus\’ disciples were incensed when some people brought their children to Jesus. He swiftly rebuked them and pointed out that the Kingdom of God belonged to young children,
\”Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.\” Mat 18: 3
We have so much to learn from children. If we hope to partake of God\’s kingdom, we must adopt the forgiving, trusting, and loving attitude they effortlessly exude.
I am grateful that God is using my daughter to speak to me. Look, she even inspired me to start this blog!