Luke 18: 15-17
People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them, and when the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”
When you think back on your childhood what are your most treasured memories? Was it kick the can and hide and seek in the backyard with the neighborhood kids? Was it swimming in a backyard pool in the hot summertime? Was it sitting on your Mom or Dad’s lap and listening to Dr. Seuss books? Think for a minute about your favorite memory. I bet it was a time when you felt free and enjoyed having no responsibilities other than to play with others and to have as much good wholesome fun as possible. Don’t we all love to visit that little corner of our minds sometimes, it is so freeing. But now we are adults and have house payments, jobs, bills and way too many responsibilities in our lives!
What do you want your child to remember about his/her childhood? I want mine to have the same freeing feeling when they look back. Well what I see around me all too often is parents, I am guilty as well, expecting their children to be short adults. Once I saw a mom say to a child in a zoo after that child jumped in a rain puddle, wearing tennis shoes (not dress shoes), “Why on Earth did you do that?” My answer was because he is a kid. I think we forget so often that our children are children. They are suppose to have fun and love every silly little thing, jumping in puddles, yelling out loud, swinging too high on swings, skipping instead of walking everywhere they go. Yes there is a time and place for everything but have we as parents limited that time and place to a very small place and a very short window of playtime? Sometimes we tell them don’t do that, why would you do that and they answer I don’t know. Well it’s because they are still children. Even when children are 12 years old they are still children. Their reactions and actions are that of a child. I know it would be more convenient for us if they acted the way we want them to but do we really want them to have to be adults before they need to. When they turn 18 they have the rest of their lives to be adults, and let’s think about how fun that is all the time.
So today when your child does something, well childish think to yourself is it hurting anyone else or are they just having pure innocent child like fun. Think to yourself could this be a memory they are making and instead of telling them to be a little quieter and less bouncy let them have their fun and remember when you did the same things.
Jesus says in the quote above “anyone who does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it”, we need to find that innocence in ourselves and let our children experience it as much as they can. So today let your child jump in the rain puddles left from last night’s rain, let him/her chase his/her brother around the backyard yelling and playing as hard as they can. We always want to give our children what they need: vegetables, discpline, love well they also need to be a child, today give them the joy of just being a child.