A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a Pure In Heart Conference with my daughter. While I was hopeful this particular weekend would plant some seeds of truth in her growing heart, I will have to confess that it was my spirit that received awake up call. I was not only reminded of the innocence of life through the eyes of young children, but also convicted of how my role as a parent is preparing my children, and their hearts, for the years to come.
A sweet story was shared which ministered to me as a Mom while my spirit was confronted with numerous questions.
And so, the story went something like this….
As the young children were gathering up items from their desks and waiting for parents to pick them up at the end of the school day, their teacher decided to go around the classroom and ask each child what their definition of love was.
One young child said, “Love is a hug.” While another student said, “Love is sharing with your friend or your little sister.” One child responded, “ Love is helping someone or just being nice,” and this exercise continued until the teacher asked the last little boy, in which his response was, “Love is slow.” The teacher nodded and smiled but was not quite sure what he had meant until his mom came to pick him up. Running a few minutes behind, she came rushing into the classroom hurrying to gather all his things while explaining the numerous plans and preparations for his after-school activities. “Johnny, Honey, let’s get your things packed up quickly so we can get you to soccer practice. I have your bag all ready in the car, and you can change there. We can eat dinner on the way to pick up your sister from dance.” The instructions and afternoon to-do list continued as they left the room together.
After watching and listening to this conversation between mom and her son, the teacher realized what the child had meant for his definition of love because for that little boy love was slow because his life and his time with the people he loved was always so rushed.
Admittedly, it was not long thereafter that the humbling and very real questions began to present themselves, as I could not help but ask myself,
Is the time I am spending with my children rushed or slow?
Am I tending to their hearts as much as I am tending to the “to-do” list?
Am I preparing them for success in this world, or am I preparing them for eternity?
I know I am a good mom, but am I being a godly mom?
Deep down inside I knew I could not truthfully answer these questions in the way that I would have liked, and it made me dig even deeper into my relationship with my heavenly Father. I began to wonder if our Lord feels the same way about our relationship with Him, and so, more questions came to mind.
Is the time I am spending with my Savior rushed or slow?
How am I showing Him my love?
Am I tending to my walk, my prayer time, and His Word with as much enthusiasm as I am to my earthly responsibilities and interests?
Then in the vast stillness of my thoughts I was reminded of how Jesus blesses the children in Mark 10: 14-15 which says, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth; anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
How I prayed, right then and there, that I would have the faith of a child. Faith like the little boy from the story who knew that “love was slow.” And, very sweetly and softly my loving Father spoke into my heart, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Then He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them. Mark 10:16
From my nest to yours,