Children have an amazing perspective on life. Here are 4 Life Lessons we learn from our children.
1. It’s NOT about you.
Rick Warren begins The Purpose Driven Life with those same four words. However, nothing makes those 4 words sink in quite as deeply as becoming a parent. When all you want to do is sit down with a warm cup of coffee, your favorite TV show and some quiet, children are a fantastic way to train you in the art of denying self. You think you had everyone’s needs met only to find out they need you to put the blanket on them, tie their shoe, iron their uniform or “carry” them. I’m making light of it but the reality is that, we need that lesson. I need a constant reminder that it is not about me. I can turn the smallest, pettiest things into something personal that has nothing to do with me. We all need the reminder that the world does not revolve around us.
2. It Doesn’t Have to be So Complicated.
As adults we can make things so complicated. Our lives are jammed with so much “stuff” that the reality of our life is complicated. But, it doesn’t have to be. We don’t need so much stuff. We don’t need a nicer house, a new car or a fancy boat. We don’t have to go to another event or another meeting. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting breaking commitments. However, most of what makes our lives complicated is a pursuit of more stuff.
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that pursuit is just a chasing after the wind. I watch my children as they have some of their most imaginative moments with a paper towel roll and some tape. Children are trained to fill their lives with “stuff” because they see it modeled in us. It is okay to scale back in their lives and our’s. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simplify.
3. Learning is a Process.
I love watching Kati Ann (6) and Kie (3) learn something new. Watching the wheels turn as Kati Ann solves a simple addition problem or Kie struggles to get his arms and head in the right holes of the shirt can do one of two things: 1. It can make me want to do it for them or 2. It can teach them to learn something new.
Sometimes mastery requires the struggle to really learn the lesson. As adults we forget the process and struggle of learning and tend to get frustrated and just give up. We have bought into a misconception that mastery should be easy. Yet, we need to press into a different reality; we have so much to learn especially when it comes to Christ-like living. Give yourself a break. Strive for holiness and recognize that learning is a process.
4. Life is an Adventure.
Both of my children love for my husband to look at them and say, “Get your shoes on, we’re going on a trip.” They don’t know where they are going or what they are doing. What they know is if Daddy says they are going on a trip, they better get those shoes on so they don’t get left.
They may be going to Starbuck’s, Cracker Barrel, the indoor playground or even on a long trip to see grandparents in Texas. It doesn’t matter because their daddy is taking them. They trust him completely. Here’s the thing, God often says the same thing to us. “Child, get your shoes on we’re going on a trip.” Instead of getting excited and rushing to prepare for what God has planned, we argue, sulk or complain because we don’t want to go on a trip. We want to stay put. We may not like our present circumstances but going requires faith. We don’t want to go because we don’t know where God is taking us. Life is an adventure and our Heavenly Daddy wants to take us on a trip, it doesn’t matter where we go because He’s the one taking us.
Question: What life lessons have you learned from your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts…there might need to be a Part 2 to this post compiled from your life lessons.