When you’re at the hospital preparing to take home that 7-pound bundle of joy, the nurses don’t provide any advice on dealing with stress. They don’t even hand you a book.
I was thinking about stress recently when my wife called me at work and said, in a tone of voice that matched the circumstance: “There’s water in our basement!”
We already had a garbage disposal that wasn’t working, a dishwasher that was leaking and a clothes drier that wasn’t drying. With three small children, clean clothes and dishes are a necessity. Things weren’t looking good, but God soon provided. The basement leak slowed, and we pinpointed the problem. We fixed the drier (lint blockage) and then discovered that the dishwasher leak was linked to the broken garbage disposal.
Through it all, we told one another: Don’t stress out, this is small potatoes. In other words: Keep things in perspective.
Each night, before I put my 1-year-old daughter Maggie or her twin brother William to bed, I ask them simply, “Who made you?” They’re usually their sweetest at these moments, and they often smile while pointing heavenward and shouting in a tiny voice, “God!”
I’ve always been amazed at how quickly small children learn, even though they’re barely – if at all — talking. At 19 months Maggie learned the color yellow and was telling her surprised grandma about her beautiful “yella” dress. I’m pretty sure William knows the color “blue,” but he’s usually too rambunctious for me to stop and quiz him.
Scripture tells parents to teach their children about the Lord from an early age and to talk about Him throughout the day (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). But how do we do that when young children can’t even talk, when their attention span lasts mere seconds?
Isn’t it too early to teach them about spiritual concepts? In one, word, “no.”
We often hear that children are like “sponges.” Let them soak up God’s Word – no matter the age. Start with the “complex” subjects, and the simple ones, too. We teach our 1 year olds about Christ’s death, burial and resurrections, but we also teach them more basic concepts – for instance, simply that God made them.