Children Are to Enjoy

One day the secretary called from our daughter's school saying, "Arla is sick." When I arrived to pick up my eight-year-old, I found I was not the only mother there to pick up a sick child.

"Several children got sick this morning," explained the secretary. "The illness doesn't last long," she encouraged us as we walked out the door.

We drove out of the parking lot, and Arla spoke shyly, "But, mother, I don't think I'm really sick. This morning I put my head down on my desk and teacher asked me what was wrong. I said that my stomach hurt, and she told me to go to the office. Teacher didn't ask me why it hurts. I think it's because I'm hungry."

We laughed, and I determined that tomorrow morning Arla would eat more than a few bites of cheerios for breakfast.

After lunch an older friend called, and I shared with her Arla's reason for not being in school. She said, "Isn't it wonderful you'll have her with you to enjoy this afternoon?" Her beautiful response reflected the joy she found in her own children. How good it is to look at "sick days," vacations, or "summer vacations" as opportunities to spend extra time with our children.

"Enjoy these years," my mother-in-law advised me when our younger child was a toddler. He who made us for His pleasure intends for our children to be our pleasure. 

Delight in their homespun riddles, their imaginative stories, their affectionate hugs. Don't stifle the thrill of a newly discovered bug or the wonder of the intricate design of a corner cobweb. Enjoy what they enjoy. Revel in their enthusiasm, their honesty, their spontaneity.

Dear Jesus, help us to enjoy children just as You do.

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:13-14 NLT).