As Isaiah and I were talking about his day at preschool, he said something like, “The mean kid gets to be the line leader this week.” “The mean kid,” I asked, “Why do you call him that?” Isaiah proceeds to explain to me that this mean kid chases him and his new friend Charlie around and calls them names. “What do you do then?” I ask. “We run away and try to play somewhere else.” Great! That is what I have taught him, if someone is not being a good friend, play somewhere else or with someone else. The next preschool day as I go to pick up Isaiah, he points to another kid,and says very loudly in the kids face, “That is the mean boy I was telling you about.” (I love it how kids have no filter). The “mean boy” looks up at Isaiah and says to him, “Hey, I’m not mean.” We get in our car and drive home as Isaiah proceeds to bubble over with excitement and share the other details about his day. When Trevor gets home I share with him about the “mean boy” and he tells Isaiah how proud he is of him that he handled things well.
We are praying before the kids go to bed that night and we are praying for Isaiah’s new friend and Ayla’s new dancing buddy. Trevor (he is so wise) tells Isaiah we should also pray for the mean boy. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44 tells us. This was a great real life way to show our kids how to do that. It is something that I struggle with. The times I have prayed for those hard to love people in my life, God has brought redemption. He has not only redeemed my heart towards them, but also restored the relationship. If I am honest, there are times I don’t want that. It is too hard or what they did was too awful to forgive, there is just too much history or bad blood, I rationalize. I was convicted to begin praying for the “mean boy” in my own life. Trevor not only taught Isaiah and Ayla a great biblical principle, he taught me one too.