Do kids ever surprise you? It seems to happen multiple times each day around our house, in both good and bad ways. I am often surprised at how quickly a clean room can turn into a disaster area in a matter of a few minutes. I am also surprised at how well kids can remember something you said 2 weeks ago, but don’t recall what you said 4 times within the past two minutes. If it is quiet for very long, either they are trying to sleep, or getting into something I told them to stay out of multiple times before. They can be kind and compassionate one minute and throwing toys and fists the next. They are at an age where they grow and learn very quickly, but it is a mixed bag of good and bad behavior, so lots of surprises. What things do you most remember doing as a child that got you into trouble?
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
When I look back and recall my childhood, I remember mostly pretty good things. I do recall fighting with my siblings from time to time, but don’t remember anything specific, or what it may have been about. I recall mostly fun times and new experiences, which is probably a good thing. If you were to ask my parents or my siblings, I’m sure they might remember a few things differently. I don’t even recall specific instances when I willfully disobeyed my parents, or yelled at them, but I’m sure there were moments of that somewhere. I might even think I was a pretty good kid, but in reality was probably far from perfect. I see the daily discourse and disasters developing in my house today from the little ones and often question, ‘was I like that?’ I don’t ever recall my parents quoting scripture to me to help me behave, but I often knew without any words when my mom or dad was upset or displeased with what I had done. There are lots of ways to learn right and wrong as you grow up.
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:49-52
We may have somewhat fuzzy memories or judgement as to how obedient we were as kids, but how are you doing with that now? If you now know the things your Heavenly Father expects and asks of you, how obedient are you now? We can all probably list things we have done well and also those things that we have not done so well, which we usually try not to publicize. But, as you grow, learn, and mature, hopefully your judgement improves as well, and you do not remain as disobedient, unruly, or oppositional as you once were. Just as your kids grow and mature, you eventually learn to trust them to do what is expected, and to keep their word with you and others. You may see signs that they can even be trusted without having to check in on them all the time and that they are becoming responsible adults. If these are your hopes for the little children in your home, I’m sure your Heavenly Father’s hopes for you may be along those lines as well. If you are not sure, just ask Him how things are going, and I’m sure He will lead you to the right answers.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:10-11
Yours in Christ,