“Children are a humble reminder of a heart yet to be tinged by an adult life of pretense and pride.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 29, 2023
But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise’?” Matthew 21:15-16, NKJV
Last week, I mentioned my friend Shane and the God-ordained experience with his daughter Gianna at the JH Ranch daddy/daughter week. With their permission: After hearing a camp leader’s story, here is the fruit from the lips of Gianna praising God and affirming her love for her dad, so powerful:
Dear Dad, I have such a great dad. I am so grateful for you. And I’m grateful for the things you’re not. Thank you for loving me more than anything. My relationship with you is something I cherish. After hearing this sermon, listening to all the pain in that man’s voice, all the pain, and others around me, I am blessed not to share the same memories. But I don’t know about you? I know you have pain from your parents (gosh, I can’t stop crying). I just want to say I am sorry. I am so sorry. I also want to say that any hurt I have ever felt from you is healed. I forgive you wholeheartedly for anything from our past. I don’t have ANY burdens with you at this moment. Dad, I love you so much! God loves you so much, and as I am praying for you, I want you to know that it is OK to feel hurt. It is OK to be hurt. But just give it to God. Honor comes with healing. I want to say sorry for dishonoring you and for thinking, I know more than you. For not spending enough time with you. I am so sorry. I love you too much. Thank you for loving me.
Tears. Wow, what words of love and wisdom from the heart and lips of a 14-year-old. Making space for the Spirit to bring two tender hearts together in love, honor, and affirmation is a priceless gift and a memory to celebrate over a lifetime. A child’s heart will never ever wonder if it’s loved where there is shared intimacy, and a parent’s peace will never be more settling than being in a setting where their child honors them with words of truth and love. And Spirit-led spontaneity normally follows prayerful preparation and intentionality. When you take the time to create or be in environments for you and your child to be brave, you are set up to grow relational wealth. Just as some strive for professional success and financial freedom, that same level of intense effort is what God blesses to build a home on the love of Christ and family. Pray and plan with other parents how to love your children in a manner that frees them to become God’s best.
Children are a humble reminder of a heart yet to be tinged by an adult life of pretense and pride. Their tender smile, comforting hug and caring words bring relational gentleness that is honoring. When children praise God and praise their parents, a blanket of love and respect warms their hearts into oneness. Adults who refuse to dismiss and demand of their children but instead invest time to know their child and be known by them experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Consider writing your child a note and specifically express your love and appreciation. In the process, your heart will grow and begin to see the Lord’s vision for your child for you to facilitate.
“Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4, NKJV).
Heavenly Father, help me slow down and listen for you to speak through the humble words of children through me through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, Amen.
We The Kingdom: Child of Love (listen to Franni’s testimony just before the 6-minute mark)
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