Today I'm sharing a guest post by my friend Shelley Fisher.
Shelley is a Wife, Mom to four boys (God bless her) and teaches in Christian Child Care. She has a heart for children and for sharing the love of Jesus with them whenever she can. I'm excited to share a bit of her heart with you here today.
“We do not see through our eyes or hear through our ears, but through our beliefs. To put our beliefs on hold is to cease to exist as ourselves for a moment." -Lisa Delpit
This quote rings especially true for me as a Christian believer and how my beliefs affect me as a teacher and as a parent.
My beliefs not only dictate how I behave personally, but how I interact with children overall. Teaching children is an extremely high calling and one God takes very seriously. He places a huge emphasis on this, as He himself said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
He also states in Luke 17:2, “It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin.” In literal terms, this means to show children the love of Jesus, bring them to Him in the light of our own love and belief in Him, and do not harm them in any way that will cause them to sin. Sin, in this instance, means to cause them to not believe because our actions prove He is not who He says he is.
Unbelief is a sin in and of itself… blasphemy. This command is given to every “teacher” of children...any person who has ever encountered or engaged a child has the opportunity to positively or negatively impact their lives forever. That’s a long time.
I work in a Christian childcare center and so I am able to exercise my beliefs in an open environment.
I’ve also worked in a secular childcare on many occasions where my beliefs are not openly accepted. To put my beliefs “on hold” is to deny my God and “cease to exist as ‘myself’”. Even “for a moment” can be life altering to a little one. I haven’t been allowed to pray during mealtimes with them, read bible stories to them, or, in most cases, even say “Jesus loves you.”
But…I can for myself.
I can bow my head and pray for my food quietly.
I can bring my bible and read during quiet time or lunch break.
I don’t have to push my beliefs on anyone.
I simply have to be myself and they will see Him in me.
Even still, I can show them His love for them through my love for them. I can pray for them as I go through my day with each one. I can look for those special moments as I sit and play or dine or even through toilet training, that I can smile, laugh, talk and just be completely devoted to them even if… “For a moment.” A brief moment in time, that hopefully will plant a seed and they will remember me and see Him.
Because I wasn’t called to see through my eyes or hear through my ears, I’m called to see children through His eyes and through His ears.
And so here, I confess, I have blown it. I’ve blown it big time, both personally and professionally.
I’ve had bad days. I’ve said things under my breath and out loud in the confines of my own home.
I’ve “ceased to exist” around those who I love, who love me, and with the children God has entrusted to me.
Such a contradiction, isn’t it? Here I say it’s unacceptable, yet I’ve done it on many occasions and even willingly in the heat of the moment.
But, I’m not perfect. I’ve never claimed to be. I’m a sinner, like anyone else. So, how do I reconcile that?
Simple. I understand and allow the children to see that part of me too. It’s not something I’m proud of or that I like about myself, but it is part of my nature and part of theirs, as well. Because I do blow it, and so will they. I do yell at times, and so will they. I don’t want to share, or obey or honor my father and mother always, and neither will they.
I teach them by my imperfection, that to be human, is to be imperfect. But, I’m also able to show them that adults act like fools sometimes, and that adults, too, need to be sorry and ask forgiveness… even by the little children.
“For it is by Grace we are saved, through faith, and this is not of ourselves- but a gift from God” and it is by Grace that I intend to lead them.
It is by Grace I’ve been saved and it is by Grace that I lead them.