Thanks to an idea from one of my Bible study leaders from Seattle (Marianne), I am able to get a daily dose of God's word from an unlikely source: my kids.
Marianne is one of the wisest women I have ever encountered. She offers sage advice about child-rearing, marriage, and life in general. One of her suggestions was to teach my children one Bible verse per month. When reviewed at mealtimes, even small children can have 12 verses memorized in a year. Given the fact that I struggle with my own "memory verses," this idea sounded fantastic.
Parker's memory verse this month is Luke 6:37 "Forgive and you will be forgiven." The actual verse is longer than that sentence, but I thought that portion was sufficient for a 3 year old. Hearing it repeated 3 times a day is truly good for the soul.
I can be as angry as a hornet at lunch sometimes. The kids are hungry, tired, and fussy. They are hitting each other, arguing over who gets the yellow plate and blue fork, and complaining about the food presented. They are spilling milk, launching edamame, and wiping mac-n-cheese fingers on the backs of their chairs. I take a deep breath and ask, "Now what is our verse this month?...Luke..."
A tiny voice chimes in, "No wait, mommy! I can do it! Wuke six firty seven: Foe-give and you wiw be foe-given!"
Each time, it's like God's speaking directly to my heart. Kids and forgiveness go hand in hand; they have to. If I stayed angry at my kids for every minor offense (or even major one), I'd be miserable all day, every day. The fact that they are my offspring, and I love them so much I would jump in front of a train for them, also probably helps the forgiveness process along. They're not being malicious (most of the time) when they hurt my feelings or make me angry. As Parker so often explains, "Mo-om, we wuh juss playin'!" Generally, it's pretty easy to forgive them.
It's other people in my life that are tough to forgive. I won't name names. We all have people whom we need to forgive. Why not do it now? I'll admit, Parker's advice isn't always that great (especially when it comes to appropriate places to put boogers), but today it's truly inspired: "Forgive and you will be forgiven!"