Since my wife and I started dating, we’ve maintained a quote book that we sporadically review for a few good laughs. But when we started making entries for our kids, we now enjoy many great laughs! As I peruse these today though, I’m realizing how much wisdom pours out of those little mouths, even as they make us grin, so I’ve compiled a few of my favorites for your laughing, learning pleasure. Hope you enjoy!
“Dad’s a real nice guy. When I was a baby I used to really like him.”
Well, at least I’m still nice even if I’m no longer likeable! Despite the slight ego bruise (I know my kid really likes me still…), this quote is a perfect example of how God intended our family relationships primarily to teach us about our relationship with him. In fact, knowingly or not, many adults have uttered essentially the same quote about God. Something like: “He’s nice and was likable when I was younger, but now I don’t see the need for him.” Now I totally understand that the complexities of life and important difficult questions crop up as we age, necessitating that we study harder about God and why he does what he does. But even as we do so, our heart keeps beating, our brains keep working, our lives keep going, and everything we have we have, all undeserved, non-entitled gifts that God has no obligation to give us (Click to tweet). Not to mention his own sacrificial self-gift of Jesus to save us! At many points, all parents feel the sting of knowing how much they’ve sacrificed throughout their children’s lives and how little they will often be liked or acknowledged as needed. God is a real nice guy because since we were babies, he’s done a lot we should be liking.
“Racing isn’t about having fun; it’s about who goes the fastest!”
I have to give it to my son: he is fast! But he also exchanges the seriousness of speed for the enjoyment of the experience a little too often. And so do I. I have been known to prioritize finishing tasks or my to-do list over finding joy in what I’m doing, especially if an unexpected event or person slows me down. Efficiency is a huge virtue, don’t get me wrong, and I know firsthand the diversity of fruit it bears in life. However, when it leads us to ignore the sporadic needs of those we cross paths with or view people as obstacles instead of opportunities, the virtue has become a vice. To at least stop my task long enough to lovingly address the threat to my efficiency is something my speedy son, myself, and perhaps others could all do a bit better.
“Dad, if you’re next to a volcano, run!
Every now and then you come across a nugget of advice that is applicable to everyone. This quote is probably one of those. But even when you’re not wondering whether or not to flee from a lava stream, other dangers that might be underestimated should probably evoke the same response. Maybe it’s a bit of gossip that will damage one’s self image or friendship. It might be that attractive, free spirited coworker you’re finding ways to talk to more than your spouse. Or perhaps it’s a series of financial decisions you legitimately felt hesitantly about before that have become a little to comfortable now. If you take a few minutes to step back far enough to see what’s really going on, you can see a volcano for what it really is. And if there’s a volcano by you, run!
“Mom, are you tired from saying “no”?”
To most parents on many days, the answer is certainly “yes”, but this is another perfect example of parental experiences teaching us about our eternal parent, God. He laments about us what we often feel about our own children: “All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations, a people who continually provoke me to my very face” (Isaiah 65:2-3). We say “no” to the harmful and hateful so our kids can experience the “yes” to the helpful and hilarious! It’s tiring day after day, but how much more so for God who has done the same millennium after millennium! “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go (Click to tweet). If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:17-18). If only this child—and his own boys—would take such advice from their father more often.
“I burped; it hurt my ankles.”
Honestly, I got nothin’ here. Just laughs. I guess if this has not been a problem for you, keep on belching away! Can’t wait to hear what my silly sons come up with next…
To further explore the many ways God set up our relationships here to help us understand our own relationship with him, as well as many other topics we all ponder about him, check out my free e-book series Healing Hereafter (instant download here!).