When I was a kid I often could overhear my parents say their nightly prayer. Every night they would pray that my sister and I would grow up to be “wise and kind.” I didn’t think much of it then, just that it was sweet or something to strive towards. Now at 29 I don’t feel like I can answer if that came true in my life, I’d like to think so, but you’d have to ask someone that knows me. But now as a mother I can tell you it has become part of my prayer for my children.
As my 4 year old has grown and interacted with other children at Sunday school, preschool or where ever, I find my primary concern is whether she is acting out of kindness to the children around her. Obviously this is a work in progress for a 4 year old and for my husband and me as we parent her but teaching her to have a heart for others like Jesus has is so important. Things like being adorable, funny, or smart seem to come naturally to her, and she does have a very sweet heart, but kindness isn’t something that comes naturally to most kids. Like most of the other fruits of the spirit it has to be cultivated.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Just reading that scripture has me thinking the whole world could really use more of these fruits right now, but I can’t do anything about everyone else. What I can do is be an example to my children, pray for them, and teach them to strive to have a Christ-like heart. (Speaking of example, I am so thankful that my husband is such an excellent example of patience because I am still a major work in progress on that one!)
I’ll be honest, the wisdom part isn’t something I am very concerned about right now with my 1 and 4 year olds, but I still pray for it. As they grow I know wisdom will likely surpass kindness as my concern for them. As teens and adults I know I will want them to make wise choices in their lives, so why not start praying for that now?
It’s true what they say, kids are like sponges, they absorb what’s around them. It’s a daily challenge to try and be what I hope my children will be, but taking that challenge on is not without reward. Having yet another reason to challenge myself to be more like Christ as an example to them is ultimately beneficial to me the most. I certainly don’t succeed every day, but those failures can serve as a lessons in forgiveness and that’s good for them to learn too.
I have a lot of hopes and dreams for my children, but 30 years from now if someone came up to me and told me that they thought my children were wise, kind, and had a Christ-like heart, I would know that my biggest dream for them came true.
Author: Cassia Hobbs