August 21, 2011 - Two Lessons From a 3-Year-Old
By Rhea Falig
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:17, NIV).
I’ve been thinking a lot about this Scripture lately. I mean, we’ve heard sermon upon sermon about this, but lately I’ve found myself taking it more seriously. If I don’t receive the kingdom of God like a child, I will NEVER enter it?
So all of my theology, religion, moments of great victory … none of that will matter if I am not like my 3-year-old son?
So this thought led to another, and then to another. What does my 3-year-old son do, that I should become like him? This one little thought opened a floodgate of conviction. So here are two lessons I’ve learned from my 3-year-old son, Josiah, that I would like to share with you.
1. Faith is the foundation of everything that matters to God. Josiah has a real faith. He has faith that if he jumps, Daddy will catch him. If he is sick, Mommy will take care of him. When he prays, God will listen. If his feelings are hurt, Mommy will comfort him. He doesn’t HOPE those things will happen, he KNOWS those things will happen. He is confident.
We adults have been hurt and wounded. So faith is a little harder for some of us. We have to work at it. But to please God, to REALLY please God, we need to have the faith of my 3-year-old. That God is who He says He is, He does what He says He’ll do. A heart full of faith has no room for doubt and unbelief.
2. God is patient, and He wants His children to be patient with others. I forget sometimes that my son is only 3. So when he fills his swimming pool with apple juice and takes a swim or decides to start a nudist colony on my front lawn, in those moments patience is not my strongest virtue.
For the first 2 years of his life I found myself overreacting to everything and anything he did, but I learned through my son’s patience and kindness toward me that God doesn’t overreact to me, He is also patient and kind. Patient when I throw a fit like a spoiled brat when things don’t go my way. Patient when I question whether or not to tithe because bills are piling up. Patient in more ways than I can count.
“Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
My son has taught me this truth because every time I fail, he responds to my failures with patience and kindness.
These are just two of many lessons I am learning from my kids. For those of you who have little children, let God refine you through their pure example the way He is refining me. It is not always a pleasant refinement. At times, it is humbling to look at them and see my own failures. But Scripture tells us the ONLY way to receive the kingdom of God is to receive it the way they do. It’s worth paying attention to their example.
— Rhea Falig attends Life360 Church (AG) in Springfield, Mo., with her husband, Eric, and sons Josiah and David.