Spring is in her glory in the Southeast right now. Last week, I waved to a crowd of happy children catching minnows and lizards in my friend’s side yard creek as I walked inside for afternoon tea.
I love how Spring brings out the inner Thoreau in each of us.
Three moms were deep in conversation and tea drinking when my friend’s four-year-old son abandoned his minnow net and suddenly burst into the kitchen. James looked distressed and headed straight for his mom to inform her of his brother’s less than kind treatment. I was impressed by my friend’s response.
First, here’s what she didn’t do:
- React emotionally: “What in the world?! Not again!”
- Scream: “That’s it! No tattling!!” or “Don’t interrupt me. Can’t you see we’re talking right now?!”
- Coddle: “Oh you poor baby!”
Here’s what she did:
- Acknowledged the wound: “Oh no! That must have hurt.”
- Assessed the pain with a gentle touch: “Let’s have a look.”
- Assessed the problem: “Did your brother mean to do that or could it have been an accident?”
- Reengaged him with play: “Why don’t you go back outside? Try asking your brother to please be more careful. If he doesn’t listen, come back in and talk to me.”
Still rubbing his booboo, James pulled himself together and was able to return to the creek for more lizard encounters. My friend isn’t a perfect mom, but her intentional and kind response tossed pebbles of tenderness and grace into her son’s world at a time when he really needed some TLC.
We live in a world that undervalues these pebbles.
Today’s post goes out to an often overlooked group: moms who are training their kids to be grace givers—children who pay attention to those who are hurting and take time to toss pebbles of their own. When I witness a mom giving careful attention to one who is often overlooked or misunderstood, I’m reminded of Jesus.
While the culture of His day often ignored children and women, Jesus paid them attention. In His eyes, women had so much worth that they were given some of the most significant roles in the Bible. I’ll come back to that in a moment. Check out this clip of a son raised by a feminist mom who asks Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias, an outstanding question: Does God favor a gender?
“God is a God of humankind,”Dr. Zacharias responds. Next, he poses another great question. “The greatest truth on which the Gospel hangs is the resurrection. If Christ be not raised from the dead, our faith is in vain. So, if God were a discriminator of gender, why did He reveal Himself to women? All of Easter hangs on the testimony of womankind, with whom He trusted the entire Gospel.”
It’s no mistake that a woman—Mary Magdalene—was reported as the very first eyewitness of the resurrected Savior, according to Mark 16:9. In fact, in all gospel accounts of Jesus’ appearance after His resurrection, all of the original eyewitnesses are women.
Jesus first entrusted womankind with the Gospel. And He is still entrusting us with that very same Gospel today. Moms, He trusts you with the Gospel in your own homes, with your children. By showing your children you’re not a perfect mom, but one who loves and cherishes them enough to take time even when you’re tired, you are extending the Calvary-purchased love of Jesus Christ.
To the mom with spit-up stains on your shirt, who’s umpired countless sibling squabbles, burned dinner then busted open a few boxes of mac ‘n cheese only to discover an empty jug of milk in the fridge. . . this one’s for you:
1. Take time to gather.
It’s not the food on the table but what’s shared in the gathering they’ll remember.
2. Take time to hear.
Profound healing takes place in the simple act of listening.
3. Take time to play.
An hour of play discovers more than a year of conversation.
4. Take time to pray.
You’re shaping lives on your knees.
5. Take time to repent.
Two of the most powerful pebbles a parent can toss into their children’s lives are “I’m sorry.”
6. Take time to rest.
They need rest too. Your example paves the way to healthy habits. And makes you a happier momma.
Take time. Join the conversation. In what small ways to you “preach” the Gospel without words to your family?