Alright, for those of you who have spent any time around littles, I'm curious if you've noticed this same “phenomenon”, if you will. My youngest is Navy, she's just over 2 years old, but this has been consistent with all my kids around this age, and even a little older.
It happens when it's time to start teaching them consequences for their actions, calling out behaviors that need improving or correcting, or no longer granting their every wish and command. All of which can be so frustrating for their young minds! Hence we start to see the pouty faces, the epic tantrums, that lovely word “no”, and the dramatic exits as they storm off to prove their disapproval—this was always the common one for my kids.
It seemed we had just lost their trust forever as they turn away and begin their journey to find a new mom or dad that would give them what they want!
But this is the part that was always so curious and beautiful to me. Not a few moments would go by before they'd peek their tear-filled eyes around the corner and find ours, and as we'd open our arms wide, sure enough, they always came running. Even though just moments ago, we were the ones scolding or reprimanding them, we were exactly who they came back to. They knew our love had not changed one bit. They knew we'd be there still, awaiting their return, every time.
Now, I may be reading into this analogy too far, but bear with me! I want to draw one more comparison to this sweet, childlike pattern.
Specifically with our Navy girl, she would always return with something very important. She'd storm off, find her ragged and worn blankie, and then she'd come back to find us for snuggles, apologies, and an exchange of “I love you's”. Now how quickly she forgives herself (and us) and skips off on her merry way is a lesson for another day. Oh, the things we can learn from our young ones.
Annnyway. I know I didn't dive too much into the actual text of the talk this week, but I wonder how keeping this sweet relationship and behavior in mind can relate as we read about becoming as a little child, accepting the will of our Father, and finding comfort and safety in our Savior.
Do we turn back to Him, despite the difficult things He may ask of us? Do we trust His love is always there? Even when we make a mistake, do we believe His arms are open-wide even still? Do we seek out the comfort and safety in our brother, Jesus Christ. Do we follow His example to hearken unto the Father and align our will with His?
It seems so simple when we notice the natural tendencies of a little child—their humility, meekness, loyalty, and patience—a state of being one must desire to return to often if we wish to survive spiritually. As Elder Eyring said, "Our natures must be changed to become as a child to gain the strength we must have to stand steady and at peace in times of peril."
I return to my Father's embrace daily as I become like a little child—humble, obedient, and full of love. I seek out the comfort and safety in my brother, Jesus Christ in every step of my journey.
What other behaviors in the little ones around you can remind you of your relationship with your Father in Heaven and brother, Jesus Christ? Spend time with them, observe their natural tendencies and childlike natures. This week, be prayerful about how your behavior can become more like that of a little child, and ask what characteristics you can develop to change your nature and transform in Christ.