What I Learned from a 3-year-old

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One of the great benefits of ministering to children is the way God uses them to minister us—for example, their wonderful excitement over simple gifts of God, gifts like blowing bubbles. Oh, that we might express that much excitement and give thanks to God for every good gift! There are also times that children are like “mirrors of the heart,” showing us things we, as sophisticated adults, have learned to cover up with proper and respectable outward behavior.

This hit home the other day as I observed my 3-year-old grandson. He had been over for a visit when his mother informed him it was time to put on his jacket and get ready to go home. He didn’t want to, and he proceeded to have a “melt-down,” evidenced with all the characteristic actions of a child who wants his own way. When his mother reminded him of Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (ESV) David’s response was to lie down on the floor and repeatedly wail, “But I don’t want to obey! I don’t want to obey!” What a sight! This child needs Jesus!

But after David went home, I got to thinking: Although I don’t lie on the floor and wail out, “I don’t want to obey!” that is often what my heart is expressing to God. My outward behavior is much better disciplined than a 3-year-old, but too often my heart is having a big-time temper tantrum. My 3-year-old grandson served as an important heart mirror for me that day. He showed me: This adult needs Jesus, too!

(Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

 

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Children Desiring God.

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