I find myself unable to convey with words what I know to one so young and small. Realizing that only in time and from growth and experience can he know what needs to be said but for which I find no words.
How can I convince a child that what others think and say, things that are not true, that cut deeply and bring forth tears will one day matter not? To one just beginning, who loves unceasingly, accepts freely, and cherishes deeply, how can I explain that all are not the same. Some will learn and grow, will care and become kind, but some will not, and all of them we are called by God to love regardless.
So often I recognize in my own journey that human beings reach an impasse in understanding because of differences of heart and experience. We know the things we know, both by who we were created to be as well by the experiences we have lived. Each person is unique, different, and special. Trouble arises when differences are demeaned, when some uniqueness is considered valuable while others are devalued.
I found myself arming my son with the profound truth of scripture this morning before dropping him at school by reminding him that he is wonderfully made, created by God, called by name, and declared one of God’s very own.
Our children need to know who they are and who others are as well. When we forget that we are made in the image of God and for HIs glory, we are subject to believe false words that may be spoken against us, telling us we are not special, not lovely, not valuable. If only I had held firmly, in my own early years, to the truth of who I was, not by any doing of my own, but by the very will and divine providence of God, I could have been spared much suffering.
Last night Noah and I worked on a scripture verse from 1Peter 4:10, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I talked with him about being thoughtful, gracious, and serving others. He asked, “what can I do to serve you Mama?” That question caught me off guard so I told him I would think about it and let him know. I later asked him to do a little chore to help me out and I could tell he took great comfort in doing as I had asked, knowing he was doing a good thing. LIttle lessons like that help to build the child’s understanding of the necessity to serve and to be gracious and how they can indeed live that out even as children.
I well remember while raising Heather making the statement, “we don’t base our behaviors on the behaviors of others.” I’m trying to teach that same truth to Noah while recognizing how very difficult it is to honor. We sometimes feel provoked and angry and other times feel loved and cherished. Either way, we are admonished by the Lord to love and to show kindness to all. What a challenge, but one worthy of our best and prayerful effort.