As Little Children

I was a good mother to our kids when they were little . . . most of the time. However, when 7:00 pm rolled around it might as well have been midnight for Cinderella. Calvin often worked late in the evenings and wasn’t home so, like magic, when 7:00 struck I turned into one cross, tired woman and undid all the good mothering of the day.

One night I was especially frustrated with the kids. After they were in bed, I went to our bedroom –as far away from the kids as possible – and lay on the bed. I began to read my scriptures, expecting sympathy and ammunition to use against the kids the next morning. Instead I read, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Zing. I was the problem, not them.

That scriptural experience blessed our home and changed my perception.

As I watch our children and grandchildren, I better understand why Jesus Christ said we should become as a little child.  A little child . . .

  • is determined.
  • finds happiness in simple things.
  • is willing to submit and be loved.
  • is quick to try new things.
  • doesn’t hesitate to warn (cry/yell/complain) when there is danger or a problem to be tended.
  • helps weld marriages together.
  • is filled with wonder and curiosity.
  • is unhurried.
  • brings joy.
  • is trusting.
  • gives vitality and purpose to others.
  • is quick to forgive.
  • laughs often.
  • knows he needs help from someone that is bigger and smarter and doesn’t hesitate to ask for it.

Tonight when you check your child’s bedroom and step on a wet towel on the floor or in a half-full bowl of cereal again, or lecture again to empty the dishwasher and finish homework, or repeat again not to tease and cause contention or complain – all unpleasant but important duties of parenting – perhaps remembering the good child-like traits the Lord wants us to adopt will help you to get through another day like it did me. 

Jane Payne