I met a little girl this year who was diagnosed with cancer while she was in the second grade. I thought to myself: I had a hard time with cancer and chemotherapy as an adult much less a little kid. How did she get through it? (She did get through it and is now fine.)
But children can teach us a lot. My three children are 10 years old or younger, and I’ve learned that you completely forget what it was like to see the world through the eyes of a child.
With that in mind, here are 5 things my children have taught me that I try to emulate:
Have Short Memories. My kids can get upset about things but in just a few minutes, they’re back at it. They can get mad but soon enough, they’ll forget all about it. Adults aren’t like that — we hold grudges. We remember the hurts for days and even years. Forget about the past. Forget about the hurts. Let it go.
Play Hard. Kids love to play. Tonight, my 3-year-old was running around with his arms spread like an airplane. He wanted me to do it and I did. Felt weird but kids don’t care! Have fun! Enjoy life. After my survival from cancer, I tend to get serious but lately I’ve thought to myself: just have fun, too. God doesn’t want your life to be grim 24-7.
Imagine. My kids love to dream and imagine all kinds of things: that they’re soldiers, football stars, rock stars, pirates. They can take a stick off the ground and make it into a sword or magic wand. They see big trees and marvel at them. They talk about the moon, birds and animals all the time. That’s a great way to view the world!
We Need Each Other. My kids love having their mom and dad around and they need us both. They also love playing with their friends in the neighborhood — by far their favorite thing to do. We need each other. We were not made to be alone. That’s why I’m a big fan of getting involved in a church.
We All Need God. I’ve got three great kids but it’s easy to see why we all need God, regardless of how “good” you think people are. Kids are selfish, they get jealous, and are usually looking out for themselves. Sure, kids can have big hearts but as a general rule, we aren’t born seeking God. This quote from David in Psalm 51:5 sums it up:
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Of course the older you get, the more you learn about how hard this world can be. Even the Bible says with much wisdom comes much sorrow. But the Bible says we also need to be transformed by renewing our mind. Maybe thinking about the wisdom of a child can do that in a small sense.
Is there anything your children or other children have taught you?