Why kids are awesome.

At my church, there are a remarkable amount of kids. Everyone jokes and says not to drink the water, because there must be something that makes everyone extra fertile. I think between work and church I know at least 7 couples expecting a child. 

The weekend before this, I was around a lot of kids and was just reminded of how great they are. Here’s why…

Kids say the darndest things. Image

Remember that show? Art Linkletter (and I think at one point Bill Cosby did it too) would ask kids a question and they would record the responses. If you want to check some of it out go here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFXti_KRcLw&feature=related

I find that kids I know say the same kinds of things. I won’t use anyone’s names, but I’ll share some examples. one little girl once said to a lady in our church, who had said she was going to take a nap:

“are you and (so and so, a male) going to sleep together? that would be soooooooooo romantic.” (she didn’t know what “sleeping together” meant, she literally meant sleeping side by side)

Another little girl said to one of our college students, “(Brad,) everyone else is getting married. When are you going to get married?”

Kids have a hilarious tendency to tell things just the way they see them, and it’s awesome.

Kids are remarkably talented and/or determined.

I recently witnessed four kids do a rap in front of the whole church. I feel like that speaks for itself. But really, some of my favorite moments with kids have involved music or performance, and vice versa. It’s amazing how intelligent some children are, especially when that intelligence is fostered by their parents (which, parents, even if it drives you crazy, maybe it’s a good idea to let your kids do something they’re good at.) 

Last year I was running with a group of folks, and one brought his 10-year old son along because he wanted to run. He (the dad) said after the run that he brought his son so that he had someone could beat and feel good about himself, and his son ended up running way ahead of us with the front of the pack! It was awesome to see him exceed expectations so well.

Kids are easy to please.

Lately I have realized that there are very few things that kids want in life: they basically want to be taken care of and they want someone to play with them! I’m not talking about sitting them down in front of the TV and giving them a bowl of popcorn and letting the TV take over the babysitting job. I’m talking about playing with kids–wrestling or playing Ninja or house or something like that. It’s important in our day and age, when it’s so easy to resort to a virtual babysitter, to connect with kids. I understand that as adults, it’s easy to get bogged down in our responsibilities, and while I don’t speak from experience, I’m sure it’s easy to think that you’re doing enough for your kids by putting food on the table. 

you’re not.

If you’re going to watch a movie with your kids, put your phone and laptop away, and hold one or two of them. talk to them and joke with them. if there’s a funny song or dance in the movie, pick them up and sing and dance with them, even if it annoys the heck out of them. 

In my experience with kids, albeit limited, I find that if you want a child to obey you, play with them and prioritize loving them and having fun with them above telling them what to do. What they want is to know that they have someone to have fun with. 

Kids are inspiring.

It’s easy to see having kids in certain stages: their infant years, toddler, tween, teen, twenties and then having their own families. At my age, one tends to focus on the first two, because those are the two closest stages of kid-dom to me. I heard someone talk about family once, and I really wish I could remember what she said, because it was awesome, but I can’t so I’ll paraphrase. Basically, she said: you won’t regret having kids when you’re older and you have the tight-knitness and connection and LOVE of your family.

Earlier I mentioned how much I’ve been around kids lately. Sometimes, they’ll come to me of their own accord–That’s when I realized that they are watching me.

I am helping set an example for a whole generation of people. 

To an extent (I say that because I don’t want to give myself more credit than I deserve, but it’s true to a point) I am being looked up to as an example of how to be a friend, college student, employee, etc. That’s really humbling and really inspiring. It helps me to remember what’s really important. Is it more important to spend money on cool stuff, or to save it up to take care of myself and be able to handle any emergency that comes my way? is it important to try alcohol just because I can now that I’m 21, or to set an example of not making it a habit? to date a smoking hot girl for her looks, or a godly woman for her virtue? These are the examples I’m able to set for a generation of young men and women, whether I’m doing it in front of them or not. I’m grateful for the reminder to run the race of faith well.

 

I’m grateful for kids who want to sit with me and play Angry Birds on my phone.

For kids who try to drag me into their room to play with their Barbies.

For kids to play ninja with.

For kids to teach about Jesus.

I’m grateful for kids, because kids are awesome.

regression.

I recently was watching Madea’s Big Happy Family with a friend of mine. (WARNING: SPOILERS.) The youngest son in the family, Byron (or if you prefer, BYROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN) had recently gotten out of jail and was in the process of getting his life back on track. He was working and trying to support his young son and his girlfriend. without revealing too much of the plot, I’ll just say that he’s accused of selling drugs again and is soon after arrested and goes back to jail. He tells his mom not to believe that he did it, because he didn’t.

I was really gripped by this part of the movie. I was gripped by the look in Byron’s eyes as he told his mother he didn’t do it. I was gripped by the disappointment in his mother’s demeanor.

The part that makes it so intense is that as you watch this film, you’re rooting for Byron. He’s plagued by his “baby mama” who claims he doesn’t pay his child support. He’s striving to live a good life and set an example for his son. He’s trying to be in the middle of the reconciliation of the relationships in his family by giving his brothers-in-law some advice on his sisters. He’s trying to make his current girlfriend happy even though she’s not happy with the money he makes and they way they’re living.

Going back to an earlier point, Byron is arrested and sent back to jail, although his bail is quickly posted. Also, at the end of the movie, he makes one more “drop” because he needs the money. He’s fired from his job for being late (because he was in jail) and basically, he falls apart to a point.

Byron is a good example of something that happens all the time: regression.

If you’re like me, at times you find yourself doing something you know is so unlike you and so unlike what you REALLY want to do. in fact, as I write this, I’m reminded of Romans 7–even Paul dealt with this dynamic of doing what you don’t want to do and not doing what you want to do. Sometimes that’s as simple as watching a movie instead of reading the Bible.

As a side note, not related to the main point of why I’m writing, but the Bible is a lovable book. In fact, I’m going to write about this sometime soon–the Bible is God’s book. I love when Mark Driscoll says, “God wrote a book. It’s all about Jesus.” Don’t be down on yourself because you don’t feel like reading the Bible. Instead, ask God to remind you how great His word is. 

Other times it’s doing something you thought you defeated a long time ago. for some, that’s exploding in a fit of anger because you’ve had a bad day. For others it’s manifested in the form of sexual sin. Some people have defeated an attitude of discontent and feel terrible when they complain. regardless, there’s one common result of this happening–

you look yourself in the mirror and don’t know who you are.

Sometimes that’s really drastic, like you’ve hit rock bottom. Other times it’s just frustrating and you know that in a little while you’ll be okay. Either way, the truth of the matter for people in Christ is this:

sin is no longer characteristic of who you are.

Romans 6:6 says that our old self was crucified with Jesus on the cross. So that man who was inclined to sin has been evicted by the Holy Spirit who now resides in us. That’s why sin is so painful, and downright frustrating. Isn’t it?

Our inclination is to want to be like Jesus, and to be straight, the Holy Spirit allows us to be. Not perfect, because we just can’t until the Kingdom of God is fully established and sin is completely lifted from the world.

Think of it this way: sin is like a vicious neighborhood Rottweiler that has been tied up. It’s dangerous, but it’s tied up and out of our way. To approach it is to go out of our way, or in other words, outside of our new nature in Christ. You’ll never feel brilliant for doing that. But your dad would never yell at you for doing so. He’s only trying to protect you, and teach you not to go near that thing, because it’s dangerous and there’s no need to. You know better.

For those of us in Christ, God is our Father. He hates sin, because sin destroys. He doesn’t hate people who commit sin, because that would mean that God hates the whole world. The good news is that God loves people so much that He sent Jesus to bear the burden of sin, even though He didn’t sin. Jesus, 100% sin-free, died a death worthy of a sinner. This was what had to happen if people were ever going to walk in restored relationship with God the Father again, because the law was an unachievable standard for simple men like you and I. Something far more precious than another bull or lamb had to die–the perfect Lamb of God–Jesus Christ. And He did. He abolished sin’s power, or tied up that mean Rottweiler, and invites people to follow Him and live a life free from the power of sin. That’s why it’s frustrating when we regress as previously mentioned, but the good news is that you don’t have to–that’s not who you are if you’re in Christ.