Lessons from the Play Place

As a mother to two young boys living in 32 feet of space, I am familiar with play places and parks all around the country. In a desperate attempt for them to run and crawl off all of their excess energy, we cart them to different places and let them play with reckless abandon. In some ways I feel like my full time job is to be an event organizer for a small pre-school consisting of 2 children, my own. While sitting and waiting for them to be ready to leave one day it dawned on me the consistency of some things I observe. Whether in the east coast, the south, or the mid-west I notice things about children and their interactions with each other that we could take to heart and learn from. Herbert Hoover was quoted as saying, “Children are our most valuable natural resource.”

The Bible has several clear passages about children. These truths I have observed as a mother. There is a passage about the faith of a child that I have seen demonstrated in Reese numerous times. Any ailment, hurt, or disappointment simply passes with a “in Jesus name Amen”. Gentry also loves to yell Amen from the top of his lungs. If only I could have faith that every negative experience in life is immediately gone without a second thought simply by calling on Jesus. The Bible demands this type of faith from us in the Gospels. We are to receive without question. Here are some lessons in life we can learn from children that are also spiritual principals.

Mark 10:15-16 15 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them. NASU

#1: Small Children do not Discriminate and neither should we

When I watch my boys play with other children, they have as much fun and invest as much energy into playing with every child regardless of race, gender, and religion. Basically the only thing children discriminate on is the basis of “My dad is bigger than your dad.” Children do not see color or gender as an obstacle to friendship. In doing this, children also do not minimize their difference. Oftentimes adults feel that to be colorblind or not sexist we must deny our differences. This is not accurate. Rather than deny our skin color or gender, we must embrace it and all play together.

#2: Small Children do not know a stranger

While this may invoke fear in mothers, small children do not know a stranger (unless they are the painfully shy hide under mommies skirt type) This is a great quality in life. We should play with all people and treat them kindly. Children are accepting and we should be too.

#3: Money has no value

Where children are concerned, they’d rather have 5 pennies than one quarter. Children do not judge others based on how much money they have. Reese also loves to share(with everyone but Gentry that is). If we give him a gum ball, he wants to buy another for his friends. As adults, we struggle buying for our friends because it is money out of our pocket.

#4: Children love to have fun

While this is a simple and basic point, adults take life too seriously. Many events in our life are out of our control. Sometimes we need to embrace that and enjoy life. If events are out of your control, no amount of worry, fear, pondering, or begging will change them. Enjoy what you can.

#5: Dance

When music is playing, whether in the mall, in church, or in the car, it is time to wiggle your hips, twirl your wrists, and roll your feet. My boys are dancing 24/7 and dancing is not only good for your hip size and health, it brings laughter.

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