We went for a walk today. Not everybody, but most of the family. Michael and I, Brendan, Nathaniel, and our two grandchildren made our way to the park not far from home. Once we got there, Julia ran to the swings, with Uncle Brendan not far behind.
“Push me, Brendan,” she said, “Push me!”
After a while, Brendan grabbed a swing of his own, while I stepped up to take over the job.
Not five seconds in, however, she turned around, saw it was me, and fell off of the swing.
She wanted Uncle Brendan to push her. Not Grandma, not Grampa, not Nathaniel… just Uncle Brendan.
There’s something about that man that lights up her world. From the minute she sees him until the time she goes home, she’s glued to his side. Passing toys, drawing pictures, going for long walks, playing with his watch, and looking at rocks, while talking 12 miles a minute.
I don’t know how he does it some days. I tire out after an hour or two, but Brendan will entertain her for hours on end.
“Don’t you get tired?” I asked him. “Don’t you want a break after an hour or two?”
Every time the answer’s the same. “Oh no,” he says, “I enjoy it a lot.”
In Matthew Chapter 19, we read a story about Jesus blessing the children. Matthew starts out by telling us that large crowds had followed Jesus to this region and that He was healing them. No doubt this was exhausting as Jesus was healing and teaching those who came to see Him, but even so, He made time for the children.
“Let the little children come to me,” He said, “and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
They say it takes a village to raise a child. A church family to surround them with love. And, like Jesus we have an opportunity to reach out to these children. We have a chance to walk alongside them as we point them to Christ.
I’ve spoken to some families over the years who haven’t felt welcome at small groups because of their children. Mothers have said that once their family increased the invitations decreased. Unlike them, I was blessed when my children were young. Blessed with a village to help us. Friends that rocked our babies to sleep, friends that invited them over to stay the night, friends that looked past the terrible twos, when that’s all that others could see.
Yes, indeed we were blessed with a village. A village that reflected the love of our Savior. A family that welcomed us home.
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Tilling the Soil
Be open to God’s leading as you reach out to young families to show them support.
Read Matthew 19:13-30
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14, NIV)
About the Author
DARLENE SCHACHT is an award-winning and NYT best-selling author. She is the founder of Time-Warp Wife Ministries, an online publication that encourages women to live Christ-centered lives.
Her passion for scripture and hunger for truth is the driving force behind a unique ministry that offers Bible studies and daily marriage prayers. Darlene is joined by her husband Michael on the daily podcast “5-Minute Marriage.”
Connect with Darlene:
Amazon: Darlene Schacht (affiliate link)