As moms, we spend so much of our time teaching our little ones new tasks, behavioral guidelines, hygiene practices and well, pretty much everything right? We are literally teaching our children how to be little humans – and that includes every aspect. It can be exhausting at times, but also incredibly rewarding as we see them blossom into well-behaved and (mostly) clean mini-mes.
Sometimes we get so caught up in all of the teaching we do, we don’t always see that there are many lessons to be learned from our children. Yes, I think most moms learn motherhood lessons often, but the specific kind of lesson I am referring to today is when your child teaches you a lesson or behavior directly, not just insight we gain from being a mother in general. Let me tell you about a recent revelation of mine.
Last week as the weather started warming up and the sun finally decided to make an appearance again, my husband and I and our three little babes decided to take a walk around the block and to go grab our mail. It felt so nice to get out of the house and breathe in some fresh air.
As we walked around the neighborhood, we crossed paths with one of our neighbors. Now, we’ve only lived in our home less than a year, so we are still getting to know most of our neighbors and this particular neighbor we had never officially met before. We went through the expected pleasantries and introduced ourselves and our three children, as well as meeting them and their brand new baby girl.
After the required minimal small talk (I mean it was warmer out, but not actually warm out. Ha!), we continued on with our walk and our day. The night fast forwarded in much of what you would expect – some cleaning, dinner and bedtime. As part of our bedtime routine, we always have each of the boys pray and then we close the prayer out.
The personal way in which my oldest son prays has always been precious and encouraging to me, but this night his prayer really challenged and stretched me (this isn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last). He was listing through things in life he is thankful for and suddenly told God, “Thank you that we met our new neighbors. Please keep the little baby safe and healthy and let the baby sleep well so that the new mommy and daddy can sleep. Keep them all safe”.
Okay y’all, listen. I love meeting new people and I am always looking for ways to show Christ’s love through new relationships. I truly was happy to have met some new neighbors, but in all honesty, after meeting them earlier that evening, I hadn’t really thought of them since then, much less thought to pray for them. And here my sweet son was praying for them because they had been on his heart to pray over. I should have thought of that!
His prayer for our new neighbors and the thoughtfulness that went into it was so touching to me and made me realize I wanted to be more like that in my prayer life. Every time I meet someone new, I should be praying the same thing: blessings over them, thanking God for bringing them into our lives, and praying that God will guide me in showing His love to them. Maybe that seems naive or childish to some, thinking that every single person we meet we should pray that way for, but why? Honestly, if you ponder this, every person on this Earth is God’s child and we are to honor them. We are also to yearn for their salvation as God does and our great commission is what? Reaching ALL with the good news! What better way to start than recognizing that every relationship we have, we should be praying over for blessing and guidance.
That night I learned this lesson from my son. Not necessarily from “motherhood” in general, but from my son. And I’m going to be on the lookout for other things I can learn from my children. As adults, we can often complicate things and sometimes kids do better in keeping things simple. Time to realize that the learning goes both ways.