Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just listen to the kids!

The Bible says in Matthew 18 "1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom on heaven? 2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. 3And said Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
It is clear by Jesus' words that the children hold the answers. We refer to it as the faith of a child. Think back to when your own children were just toddlers....remember the complete and total faith that they naturally placed in you as their parent. Thinking back to all the babies in our family, some of their favorite games included-throwing themselves backwards while sitting on your lap so you can catch them right before their head hits the floor, tossing them into the air and catching them, holding them tight and spinning in circles until you were both dizzy. These types of games produced the biggest giggles from all participants. That is exactly the type of faith Jesus wants out of us. A child will blindly follow their parent anywhere. It does not matter that they have never been there before, do not know what they are going to do when they get there, have no idea how long they will be there, and don't know how they are gonna get out of this new place; as long as their parent is with them they will go. It is not until we fail our child by leaving them in an unknown place or letting them fall when we get them dizzy that their faith begins to falter. We teach our own child not to have faith in us. We were all created with the ability to have the faith in God that is required and the desire to seek him. It is not until the world begins failing us and causing us hurts that our faith falters. The world teaches us to doubt and depend on ourselves instead of trusting in God and his promise that he will never forsake us. In the last few years since we have been homeschooling, I think my children have taught me as much or more than I have taught them. The biggest issues in society are so simple to a child and our world would be better off to listen to them for a change instead of teaching this childlike simplicity out of them.
It is my 7 year old that has prayed for the people in China everyday since she heard on the news that hundreds died last year in the earthquake. It is the adults that say-wow so sad for them but hey what's for dinner?
It is my children that immediately say a prayer in the car if we happen to drive past a wreck on the highway while the adults are saying-sure hope they had insurance.
During the election coverage last year, my 10 year old son heard the word abortion for the first time. After repeated references to abortion he finally asked me what it was. Not really sure how to explain abortion to a 10 year old that doesn't even know how the baby got there to begin with, I struggled for a moment with an answer. Finally I told him that sometimes a women gets pregnant and, for whatever reason, decides she does not want to have the baby so she goes to a doctor and has the baby taken out of her tummy. You should have seen the look of horror on his face as he said "WHERE DOES THE BABY GO THEN!?!?!" I had to tell him that the baby dies. "WHY WOULD THE POLICE LET THEM DO THAT?! WHY WOULD ANY DOCTOR TAKE A BABY OUT IF IT IS GONNA DIE?! DOES THE WOMEN KNOW THE BABY IS GONNA DIE OR DOES SHE THINK IT GETS TO LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE?! I DON'T THINK ANYONE IS GONNA VOTE FOR THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO LET THAT HAPPEN!" I could not answer any of his other questions. There is no answer for them. And he lost a lot of faith in people when they DID vote for someone that wants to let that happen. Luckily he does not know how wide spread and accepted abortion already really is. He understood some of the politicians were saying it should be ok but did not realize that it is already happening thousands of times a day all over our country and the world. I let him continue to believe it is just an issue of discussion for now so as not to totally destroy his faith in people.
Have you ever talked to a child about evolution. I mean a child younger than school age before their faith has been taught out of them, whether the are in a family of believers or not. You try telling a 3 or 4 year old that monkeys turned into people and they will be convinced that you have lost your mind! They know that nothing just turns into something completely different and they know it without doing any experiments or reading any hypothesis or getting any degree. It is the most unnatural thing and nothing you can say will make then understand it. It takes years of teaching them that the truths they were born with are all wrong before they can really believe evolution occurred. Tell that same child that God made everything in the world and it is completely acceptable to them. It makes sense to them.
Our studies of different cultures in school last year took us through many different religious beliefs. When we learned of people that lay offerings of food or flowers at the base of a shrine; the kids all agreed "the statue can't eat or smell flowers so what is that supposed to do?" When we learned that some people say prayers to Mary as well as Jesus; the kids wonder "why would they waste their time? Mary is not God so she can't answer prayers." When we learned about people that set out fruits for the spirits so they will not get angry with them and make bad things happen; the kids say "Why don't they just ask God to protect them instead of wasting a bunch of fruit?" When we learned that some people have to turn a certain way and bow down to pray and they do it at certain times everyday; the kids wonder "why wouldn't they just pray when they want to talk to God instead of when someone tells you to and since God is everywhere, can't He hear you pray no matter what way you face?" When we learned that some religions have thousands of different gods and they pray to different ones for different things; the kids wonder "How do they know which one to pray to and if the god for health can't answer prayers about anything else how can it be a god? God can do EVERYTHING."
These are just a few of the moments of wisdom I got from my children. I could go on and on about the ways that they have taught me about faith. Next time you are having trouble with any issue that involves faith, it may not hurt to ask a child for their input(depending on subject matter of course!) and it would be great if we all would take more time to learn from our children instead of believing we are the only ones capable of teaching.

1 comment:

(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

I don't know what else to say besides I just love this! ALL OF IT! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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