Learning from your children

The setting

I recently experienced some unintended reproof from my son. As I was trying to get my daughter and son prepared to leave the house, I was beginning to grow frustrated. Getting out the door with two children under the age of three can be challenging. It is not a quick ordeal.

As I attempted to push my daughter's tiny fingers through her coat sleeve, she was not cooperating very well. She has grown past the point where her arms simply go where I put them, but not to the point where she can help me get her dressed. She was putting up a bit of a fight, and I was growing impatient. I expressed my frustration verbally by saying, "goodness!"

The Lesson

All the while, my son was sitting near us waiting for me to finish getting him ready as well. I hear him chime in...

"faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (in a sing-song tone)

My wife has been teaching our son the fruit of the spirit and has employed a short song to help. When I remarked "goodness," it was only natural for him to continue the song with the final three fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.

Upon hearing his response, I was immediately struck with the lack of patience, gentleness and self-control I was demonstrating. God's Spirit brought conviction nearly immediately.

The Response

I said a quick prayer to confess my own impatience and harshness, asking God to help me respond better to my children and grow in obedience to Him. Praise God for the ways He helps us see our own sin and our need for Jesus. May we all be a bit more open to hear from God today. Even when it comes from unlikely places.