Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
~ Psalm 127:3-5
Children are hot on the tongues and hearts of so many right now. Indeed it is back-to-school season and everywhere we see ginormous backpacks strapped to their little backs as they manage a slight run, that looks more like a weeble-wobble toy tottering on the sidewalk edge, as they beat feet for the awaiting school bus. Around here, the bus doesn’t spew rotten diesel fumes and the child doesn’t hitch up his backpack, he just saunters down the stairs in his jammies and gives his mamma-teacher a hug, also wearing her jammies.
This Sunday our preacher man spoke of having a heart like a child when accepting Jesus as one’s Saviour. He reminded us of Jesus rebuking His disciples for trying to steer those pestering kids around the main attraction.
He reminded us that children have very trustworthy hearts. For most, they aren’t yet tainted by the world’s battles of ego and power, nor are they marred with stains of shame and guilt. Kids love to love.
What about you? Do you love to love? Do you love to love as Jesus did? As Jesus does?
Or does it feel plastic or even rubberized or way too glittery?
Does it feel real?
Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them;
but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them,
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them,
and blessed them.
~ Mark 10:13-16
Our kids not only require us to care for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, but they need us to care for their hearts and souls and eternities. It is not up to your Sunday school teacher to introduce Jesus. It is not up to the youth pastor to instill biblical morals. It is not up to grandma to teach right from wrong. Parents, it is up to you. Up to you.
This generation of ginormous backpack-wearers needs to tote more than new pencils, clean erasers, and cheesy crackers. They need to pack the love of Jesus in their hearts. Do you let them? Do you hinder them? Do you help them? Do you encourage them?
Like I mentioned, we homeschool our son. We aren’t fancy and we don’t stick to one smarty-pants curriculum. I find what works. I use what I have. I make it simple. And fun. I want him to love learning. But most of all, I want him to love Jesus and then I want to step out of his way — so he can remind me how to come to Jesus as a little child.
Last night was our first official soccer practice. Boys, cleats, grass, hot sun, parents in the shade, my husband as the assistant coach and me as the head coach… I had one rule statement for the 6-year olds to remember about our season together:
We want to have the BEST KIND of FUN.
always try your very BEST
be KIND to one another
have lots and lots of FUN
And that they did. When one of those wily feet kicked another and tripped him, the offender stopped and lowered a hand to help the fallen to stand again.
When they bumped and tumbled and toppled like dominos, they giggled and re-stood.
When they chased my husband for a warm-up, they went back to gather the slow-pokey joe, making it fun for all.
When their nutty coach (that would be me) asked all the parents to take to the field during a drill, those boys smiled giant and tried their best. (So did the parents, even though they were a little hesitant at first. And when I accidentally stepped on one of the moms’ bare feet, I apologized and she promised to bring sneakers next time.)
As we gathered balls and cones and water bottles, my son was already counting down the days until the next practice. As a new coach, but a woman thankful to finally use her elementary physical education know-how, I was ecstatic that the boys had fun. En route to home I asked my “why?” and “what did you like the best?”
He told me when the parents played with the kids. When the parents were dribbling and the kids were stealing their soccer balls, that was his absolute most favorite part. And I could tell from their red-cheeked, sweaty, giant smiley faces that it was the best part for all the other kiddos too.
Is your enthusiasm for the Lord visible enough for your kids to see?
Do you have the BEST KIND of FUN with your child? How about with Jesus? Do you come to Him as a little child, eager for the warm lap, tight embrace, and accepting lap?
Do you take off your work shoes and run through the grass, chasing Him together?
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
~ Proverbs 22:6
* This is my first time participating the One Word at a Time challenge with Bridgett Chumbley. Go there for more “children” stories…
* Sorry, no soccer pix for this post. Perhaps I will figure out to manage the camera and the boys all at the same time. Oh yeah and how to also avoid all those wild flying soccer balls! 😉