I know it is the love month and I was intending to share about great family new year’s resolutions focusing on building relationships today. However, my daughter posted a nice story that is very much related to what I shared last week on building the habit of prayer as a family especially when the children are still young. So let me share instead my daughter’s experience with her kids with her permission, as it illustrates the topic from last week. Names have been changed to protect their privacy. Here is what she wrote:
Sara’s grade level will be doing a Peter Rabbit play. They were only taking 25 kids to be part of it. Sara (age 7) really wanted to be in the play so I filled up the approval slip but dilly dallied on submitting it. I didn’t think the slots would fill up so fast. The teacher reminded Sara about the form and asked her to submit it tomorrow or slots will close. Unfortunately that same day when Sara came home, her teacher messaged everyone saying that all the spots have been filled.
Sara was crushed… she cried, her heart was broken… and I could feel her pain… I felt so bad especially since I knew it was my fault. I messaged the teacher that Sara will still submit her form just in case someone backs out, she can be on the wait list. I tried to console Sara, letting her know that if it’s God’s will, He will move mountains! If not there will be a next time. Let’s just pray about it.
Merly (age 6) approached her crying sister and said with such certainty that “I know Sara will be in Peter Rabbit tomorrow!” I tried to explain to Merly, that will only happen if someone backs out… again, Merly said with such certainty “I know Sara will be in Peter Rabbit tomorrow!” I just answered “ok Merly, let’s hope so.”
That night we prayed. The next morning, I received a message from her teacher saying that a spot opened and Sara can have that spot! I cried in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness. This is not the first time my kids have prayed about something and God answered. But I am so thankful that even at this young age they can experience God’s goodness and faithfulness in their lives. God can use any situation to bring His Name glory!
By the way, just a heads up, if you see any Dinosaurs roaming the earth again, that’s Zedie’s doing (age 4)! He’s been praying every night for dinosaurs to come to life! In this case I’m glad God doesn’t always answer our prayers with a “Yes.”
She further said, “As of now, I am reminding her that she needs to keep on praying daily for God to help her memorize and play the parts well … that she can’t do it without God helping her all the way. Thankful for these teaching moments… God teaches us faith and belief in him through these little children.”
Indeed, God placed children in our midst to teach us a lot of things. Jesus himself wanted us to learn and be like children when it comes to God. In Matthew 18:1-6, the disciples came to Jesus with a question, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus’ action and reply were intriguing: He placed a child in their midst and told them that unless they change and become as little children, they will “not enter the kingdom of heaven.” He answered their question by saying, “whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in my name receives me.” He also issued a warning that a person who causes a child to sin deserves death. This is especially important in these times when abortion, child abandonment, child trafficking, child neglect and abuse are prevalent in many societies, including ours. A fresh look at the Bible shows how God calls and uses children (David, Daniel, Joash, Josiah, to name a few), reveals his plans to them (Samuel), welcomes and enjoys them.
Thus, I really encourage parents to establish good family habits and practices that build character and faith for the children starting them young. It is believed that the ages four to fourteen are when children are most receptive to spiritual and moral input and development (http://www.4to14window.com). Barna’s research has shown that the moral foundations of children are generally determined by age nine and the spiritual identity is largely set by age thirteen (Barna and Lee-Thorp 2009, 9). Contrary to many Filipino parents’ belief that young children do not have sense yet at age four, science and the Scriptures say otherwise. With children, every moment matters and serves as building blocks for their lifetime!
By Evelyn Pajaron