I whispered in her ear, “Its OK we will go to the pool later and play with two other little girls.”
Instead of giving my daughter the ‘Bread of Life’ I gave her the dust of the world leaving her heart empty of God’s Word and thirsty for His Holy Spirit. I took an easy road, giving her an opportunity to put her hope and happiness in a person or circumstance and not in Jesus Christ. My daughter then said to the two girls, in a very bragging (unloving) tone, “We’re going to the pool and you can’t come!” Only then was I convicted and repented and sought God’s forgiveness for not ‘diligently teaching’ her His Word. After this confession and cleansing, I allowed myself to listen and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit…“He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.” Proverbs 17:9
I bent down on my knees, looked into her big brown eyes and told her, “God loves you, and God loves those little girls who hurt your feelings.” I asked her a question. “What are the two greatest commandments?” And her little voice replied with hand gestures to go with each word, “love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Yes! My next step as her mother was to teach her ‘How’? How can you love someone when they hurt you? How Mommy?
I told her we can pray right now and ask God to give us the grace to forgive them and to love them. We prayed right there, we prayed for the little girls that hurt her, and we prayed for ourselves…we prayed Matthew 22:37-39 and we asked for God’s grace to forgive and love the Way He commanded us to love. After prayer, my daughter immediately changed her behavior and invited them to the pool. Before we left, one of the little girls asked me, “You’re already teaching her Scripture? But she’s so little…” I smiled and told her,
“Even infants in their Mommy’s tummy are at the perfect age to learn about God’s love! Yes, my daughter like you IS little and Jesus says, in Matthew 19:14 ‘let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’
“…the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Wow! God gave us an example through children to show us what heirs of the kingdom of heaven can look like! Also, what a responsibility not to hinder them from coming to Jesus! Those little eyes are watching us. They are watching to see if we ‘do’ what we teach them. Consider our Great Teacher, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–what did He do? He humbled Himself…He even washed the feet of the disciples….all 12 of them! Yes, even Judas Iscariot, the one He knew that was going to betray Him. When Jesus had finished washing their feet He asked:
“Do you understand what I have done for you?”
You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
If my Lord and Savior, the Son of God can humble Himself and wash the feet of someone He knew was going to betray Him (Judas) and those that would deny Him (the rest of the disciples), who am I to not humble myself to love those who hurt me? My actions will show whether or not I truly ‘understand’ what Jesus has done for me. My little children are His lambs. I’ve been entrusted to teach them His Word diligently by reading the Bible to them and showing them how to walk His truth out. I am thankful His Holy Spirit helps me to teach my children by bringing to remembrance His Word every teachable moment opportunity! I’m so thankful that I listened and obeyed….this time.
Father, help us to seize each moment to teach children diligently about Your commandments and the Way (Jesus) to obey Your commandments through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank you for this opportunity to teach and relearn about love and forgiveness.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:7-11