As I sit on my bed listening to them play on this beautiful summer morning, I notice their laughter and yelling takes a turn toward anger. Injustice is rearing its ugly head and I can hear the voices getting more and more heated. My 6-year old, Titus, is the one who usually comes to me in tears. My 4-year old, Levi (my baby) he. is. tough. He is still learning. He's still growing. The struggles that he has with hitting when he finds himself angry...are the ones that his older brother used to get in trouble for...OFTEN! Titus has since learned that there are consequences. He prefers
I don't always immediately rescue my kids at the first sounds of a disagreement with their siblings. I leave them room to choose wisely. I give them space to learn from experience rather than constant reprimand. On this morning...after a few moments of struggle...I decide to stop the fight before it escalades to the hitting phase. I begin to stand and what is it that I hear? Laughter? Yes...they have forgotten why they were angry...and they are laughing. Like for real, belly laughing. It. is. my. FAVE!!
I plop myself back down, smiling. I did not choose for them today. This one time...they chose what was right. They chose what was pleasing. They chose what was good.
I can no longer sit and listen. I want to be with them. I want to see what is funny...and I want to be joyful with them. They are teaching me...and I am learning.
Kids so often get it right when it comes to relationships. I am aiming to be more like my kids. (For real...I am!) I sometimes have to even remind my brain that they don't need to hang onto MY relational setbacks. If I am the one who's been hurt/offended...they don't need to take that offense on as their own.
These are the things that come most naturally to my kids...
-To quickly forget what made them angry in the first place.
-To easily let go of bitterness.
-To live as if they will not be hurt.
-To go from I-wanna-hit-you-angry to carefree-joyful in a moments time.
They don't need to be talked into forgiveness...it comes naturally.
Some days we adults aren't willing to get past our own anger. We feel entitled...and so we wallow. We cling to it. Or better yet...we allow it to attach itself to us. It becomes a part of us. It refuses to leave.
And when we allow a little anger here and there to become part of us...eventually it can overwhelm. Eventually joy will seem like a dream. Eventually we will struggle to see anyone without hardness in our heart.
I am learning to take my cues from children. I aim to love easily...even when it is not easy. I strive to forgive immediately...even when I want to feel entitled. And I will forget the sting of those who hurt me...and instead look for the love of Christ to fill my heart again.