So, my husband and I have not been communicating great lately. It has been either non-existent or completely different languages. We were not seeing eye-to-eye, we were both feeling hurt, and it was sitting heavy on my heart. We’ve been married 6 years and together for a total of 11, and throughout that time I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve hit these road blocks in our communication and relationship.
I was praying to the Lord and trying to leave it all at His feet. I was putting my trust in Him. I was seeking godly counsel from friends and our pastor. I felt like I had all my emotions disguised from the outside world. Clearly, what I felt in my heart had found a way to seep through.
When I was putting my oldest son to bed the other night, he asked me, “Mommy, why are you mad?”
I was so thrown off by his question. He has never asked that before. He was serious in his question; not making a joke of anything. Bedtime routine had gone so smoothly that there was no arguing or pleading. In my mind, I knew I was hurt, but didn’t feel mad. I didn’t know how to answer him. I really felt like I had been disguising my heart well. All I could muster up was, “Mommy’s not mad,” and we left it at that.
After closing his bedroom door, I sat down and reflected on his question. Was I mad? Was I allowing my heart to be exposed? Could my son see something in my attitude or behaviour that showed my hurt and anger?
So, I let these thoughts sit for a couple days, then sat down and evaluated my own life. I asked myself, “Are children simply more in tune with other people’s emotions than us adults? When I look at my own life, I can see how I’m easily “busy” or distracted with my day to day things. I get caught up in rushing around trying to get from point A to B, crossing things off my to-do list, getting everything done in my day with as little hiccup as possible. When I look at my children they are just so carefree. They have such an incredible innocence about themselves. Their directness and honesty always catches me off guard and often times feels like it’s at the most inopportune moments, yet something about it is just so innocent. They do not hesitate to ask direct questions of people, even if it may be socially awkward or incorrect. They know no better and often mean no harm or insult by it. They are simply curious and trying to understand the world around them. They often times display empathy in a capacity that I feel I so often lack.
I think as adults, there comes a point where we become hesitant to ask those difficult questions. We may sense something is wrong, or the Spirit moves us to intercede in certain situations, yet we shy away because we feel that we may offend someone or stick our noses into someone’s personal life. We also know that often times asking questions in those situations can lead to a deep discussion that often requires us to give of our time and ourselves. We quickly evaluate and ask ourselves—Do I have time for this? When really the questions we need to be asking ourselves are—What does this person need from me? How can I provide love, encouragement and support? How can I put this person before myself?
I need to make sure I’m not missing those opportunities with people. I need to be childlike in my faith—humble, honest and open. Jesus said, ““Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10: 14-16) We are called to humble ourselves before people and put other’s interests before our own. God calls us to serve those around us and love those in need. I need to make sure I have a plan in place to properly love on people during these times. I need to be able to rearrange my schedule to have them over for tea or take them a meal. Not only do my children reveal to me my need to love my neighbour as myself, but they reveal the darkness of my heart and expose my sin. They help me to work out my salvation daily and trust in the Lord. My son’s question forced me to shed light on the anger I was holding on to in my heart. I had to leave it at Jesus’ feet and trust that He will use this situation for His good and His glory. I’m always humbled by all that I learn through my children. They are truly a blessing from the Lord.