One thing I appreciate about kids is their honesty. Children can be quite candid with their reactions to things. Sometimes these reactions are cute and endearing; other times, they’re mean and ugly. We like to remember the cute and funny, but dealing with the mean and ugly is a regular occurrence in weekly programs. There are fights, there are tantrums, and there are tears. These things happen over snacks, games, homework, etc. And as trivial as their problems and conflicts may seem to adults, kids are learning to process difficult emotions like anger, disappointment, jealousy, fear—and it can be a volatile process.
When emotions implode, it becomes easy to pinpoint a child’s weaknesses/fears. This kid can’t deal with losing. This one has jealousy issues. This one is insecure and needs constant affirmation. I do my best to love and discipline the kids effectively, but there are days where my patience runs thin. They push all the wrong buttons and it becomes a struggle to attend to the kids’ needs.
I have my limits. And like the kids, I wrestle with my own insecurities. As we get older, we learn to filter our feelings and emotions, masking our fears of failure, our jealousies and insecurities. But God sees through it all. Before Him, we are all children throwing fits and tantrums when we don’t get our way. He sees the unfiltered mean and ugly in all of us. He knows our innermost insecurities and flaws. He sees us at our lowest points, but continues to love us all the more, sending his Son to die in order to redeem our brokenness in sin.
Again, I have my limits, but God’s love knows no bounds. The kids will come to Elaine and I during programs for solutions, but at the end of the day, it is not our love or patience that can meet their needs. As young as these kids are, I pray that they would come to know the redeeming love of the Father. And that no matter what challenges come their way, big or small, the kids would grow and mature understanding their Father in heaven is walking with them.