“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” ( Matt.18:2-3 KJV)
One day, I overheard my three daughters having a discussion. The older ones interrogated the youngest who recently turned 6 why she always reports to daddy every single thing that happens. She comes to me to report or complain about any unpalatable action or whenever something doesn’t settle down well with her or when she’s being intimidated by her older siblings or cousins or classmates as the case may be.
Her answer to their question was both intriguing and insightful. She said, “ Daddy can fix anything.” What a sublime faith in her daddy! I mused. And her siblings jocularly retorted, “ Daddy – Mr Fixer.”
In recent times, I have made it my a top yearly goal to consciously improve in two vital areas of my life – faith and family. This particular goal has made me to be more family oriented and the bonding is phenomenal. Also, my level of awareness helps me to learn even from the most unsuspecting or ignored areas of life.
Mentorship is both vertical and horizontal. Vertical mentorship could come either from top or bottom. My children have indeed been mentors to me and they remind me of the immortal words of Christ as quoted in the text above. Christ Himself recommended them as mentors to us but sadly, many of us have failed to recognize them as mentors by not walking in their steps.
Children are patented and patterned mentors that we are expected to imbibe their attitudes and manner of life. If we must experience transformation in this life and hereafter, Jesus instructs us to emulate the lifestyle of children.
As a diligent and conscious student, I learned and caught some lessons relating and interacting with my children. Here are 9 of them, though not exhaustive.
1. Have a child-like faith.
My children have unfettered faith in me and their mother that we can fix anything. Every promise made to them is as good as performed. I’m challenged to believe my Heavenly Father the same way.
2. They live in the moment.
Children live in the moment and not for the moment. They are not captives of the past and neither do they borrow the worries of the future. I have learned to live in the moment. I live fully and mindfully today to have the future I desire. Mother Theresa advised thus: “ Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
3. They love unconditionally.
Children love unconditionally irrespective of color, culture, social status or creed. Our children have made us to adopt some other children from other color and different religious persuasions as our own. I’ve been taught to love.
4. They forgive and forget easily.
I see my children quarrel this minute and without determining who’s right or wrong start playing and laughing the next minute. I have learned to forgive without resentment or holding any grudges or reservations.
5. They dream big.
My children have dreams and they are big dreams. And with simplicity of faith, believe in the possibility of their dreams. I have learned to dream big.
6. They are easily satisfied.
Children are contented. They are easily satisfied. The wiseman said, “ Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.” (Prov.27:20 NLT) Therefore, it’s wisdom to borrow the easily satisfied eyes of children and enjoy the gain that comes from godliness with contentment.
7. Sincerity of heart.
Children are pure and sincere in their hearts. You can see their purity of heart from their eyes, in their speeches, conversations and actions. Jesus said, “ Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt.5:8)
And the interesting thing about their purity is that it has nothing to do with their efforts but their nature. It reminds me of the grace that made me righteous and enables me to live a life of purity. Therefore, I have learned to live out my identity as the righteousness of God with sincerity of heart.
8. They are willing to take risks.
Watching my children play some times could give someone some palpitations. They are risk takers. And they take these risks believing nothing will harm to them; knowing that mum and dad are there to protect them. To them they’re playing and having fun. I have learned to stretch myself beyond my perceived limits knowing that my Heavenly Father got my back.
9. They are willingly to give.
Children can be generous. You can buy something new for them and they hand it over to their friends when they come visiting or when they ask for it. They give willingly and cheerfully. I have learned to give willingly and cheerfully as enabled by God.
You can glean and learn from my own experiences and become more aware from today the influence of these great mentors that got the attention and recommendation of Christ.
To the recognition of the child-mentor,