There is no question that we learn from our kids; the funny thing is that it often happens while we THINK that we’re teaching THEM.
Last night I picked up a book I’ve been reading to my girls about the travels and travails of a china rabbit. (I giggled when one requested that I “please read chapter 15,” since she’s only two and has no clue what chapter we’re on…but I said, “OK” and began to read.)
We came to a point in the story where the rabbit begins devising methods to exact revenge on someone who’s mistreated him. I put the book down to ask my nine-year-old daughter what she thought about that.
We talked for a while about what the Bible says about getting revenge. (Am I a great mom, or what? Answer: “what.” Keep reading.) We continued through several more chapters of the story, and then I kissed the girls good night and left the room.
Fast forward to the very next morning. I’d been volunteering at our homeschool association’s used book sale and had plenty of time to get from there to Addison’s baseball game…or, at least I would have had plenty of time if it hadn’t been my turn to bring snacks and drinks for the team. Even needing to detour to Kroger for the snacks, we still had enough time, but none extra to spend dilly-dallying around. That was one of the reasons I was so annoyed with the driver in front of me, who was sitting still through a green light because she was so busy texting that she forgot all about that driving thing she’d committed to doing. (The other reason? People who text while driving just really annoy me.)
Well, since I couldn’t afford to sit there behind her all day, I switched lanes…voicing my complaints as I did so. I’m ashamed to admit, I even went so far as to say, out loud, “I wonder how SHE likes it,” as I maneuvered into the lane in front of her and slowed down a little.
Immediately, I heard a sweet, soft, little voice coming from the seat behind me. “Mommy, don’t get your revenge. Let God take care of that.”
And I needed to hear it.
I was glad I had taken a moment to teach her that lesson, because it turns out I needed it more than she did, and right away! I was thankful for her gentle reminder, and glad for the chance to make it right.
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
What have you learned from your children? How have they made you a better person? Let’s be thankful for all those people–big and little–who “keep us on track.”