I am quickly beginning to realize why Jesus loves kids so much. I have two of my own and their sweetness is incomparable. They are so open and strong in their love, when it's good, it's a little taste of Heaven. They are also so eager to learn and to please. I don't think this gets worked out of them until they hit the teenage years when all they want to do is please their friends. But the desire to please is still there. They are uncomplicated and easy to read - issues with them tend to be because they are hungry, tired or upset - nothing too deep and easy remedied.
I've had the privilege of spending a great deal of time this summer with my nieces. That's great, but the reasons why we get to see them so much are unfortunate - my brother and his wife are divorcing.
They are happy, healthy girls but have been put in situations, whether their parents know it or not, that will force them sooner or later to make a choice - between their hearts and their love for their parents. That will have lasting effects. I pray daily for them to come out of this unscathed and with solid relationships with both parents.
Jesus loves kids because they want to please. And I think the worst thing you can do to a child, psychologically-speaking, is to make them choose who to please. Marriage or divorce not-withstanding - we can force them to play favorites and that is a dangerous and slippery slope. They will grow up and realize they've been played. You can only pray that when that happens, they love you enough to forgive you - otherwise you are up a creek without the paddle.
I am starting to really understand why Christ told us to become like little children for then we shall truly inherit the Kingdom. We have to recognize when we play favorites in our own lives. When we choose a worldly action to make ourselves (temporarily) feel better; please our friends; or keep up appearances - we make a choice against The One who created us and finishes us. The Lord asks us to make a choice, daily, for Him. Not because we want to but because He is worthy of it. He knows the other road leads to destruction. It's pretty clear when you have an uncluttered mind like the children in my life do. If we can get rid of the junk and lies - then maybe we can see Christ and His Kingdom with much more color than we ever have.
I pray I will speak & act in a way that never makes my girls feel like they have to choose between what is right and their love for me. I pray The Lord will give me wisdom to know when to say the right thing - and own up to it when I don't. The more time you spend with someone, the greater your effect on their life - I just pray I can help each one of these girls understand how much The Lord loves them, how His way will save them from so much heartache and how miraculous living a life for Him can be. If I can live that way and train them up in it as well, I feel sure they, in His power, will not depart from it.