“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10 (NIV).
There are many things I want my children to learn. There are many things I dream for my children to become. There are many things I hope my children achieve. There are two things I pray my children know to the depths of their soul: First of all, that they have committed to a personal relationship with Jesus their Savior and know without a doubt where they will spend eternity. Second, they were born into a family who unconditionally love them simply because they are. There is nothing they can do to earn that love and there is nothing they can do to have that love withheld. They are loved just because.
There are many ways to demonstrate love. Thankfully, our children give us multiple opportunities throughout the day to choose a loving response. For example, while writing this blog post, my three-year-old gave me another chance to show him unconditional love. Lately he wants to help around the house, with his first love being dish water. Our youngest is attracted to water in all forms. My job as a parent is to foster his love of pitching in without criticizing every aspect. My patience has been tested multiple times from my “water boy.” Since my office is located in the kitchen, he was being supervised but I was continuously being interrupted. We’ve had two minor flooding incidents, and multiple requests for things he cannot age appropriately do. I could allow myself to be irritated by the constant interruptions to my train of thought, but instead I choose to see it differently. My little one is learning age appropriate skills such as cleaning up after himself when the flooding occurs as well as learning science lessons of depth and volume and other things I don’t understand, but keep him entertained for hours. I hope he is also grasping the fact no one is perfect and the best way to find out about the world around us is to keep trying until we get a more favorable outcome. Lastly, the most important concept I want him and his siblings to embrace fully is we are a house accepting of a little clutter, chaos, and a little confusion.
Do I always make the right choose? Unfortunately not. I was given the opportunity that same week to choose between a pair of shoes and my son’s feelings. I made the wrong choice. However, I was able to learn from that mistake and later that same week make the right choice between the same son’s feelings and the same pair of shoes.
However, even in my mistakes I hope I show my children that despite bad days, wrong choices, or flooding incidents in the kitchen, they will always ultimately be more important to me than a pair of shoes. After all, forgiveness of mistakes is another key element which helps construct a house built on love.
Copyright 2013: Cheri Swalwell