“I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.”

art by Celeste Clark

My brother and dad came to visit me during my freshman year at BYU. My brother, Luke, was seven at the time.

I took them to the Carl Bloch paintings of Christ exhibit. My dad and I were looking at a piece of art and realized that Luke was gone.

Panicked, we started looking everywhere for him. My dad found him sitting on a bench facing a picture of Christ. When he touched Luke’s shoulder, Luke jolted up and looked at my dad. To my dad’s shock, there were tears in Luke’s eyes.

Immediately, my father felt terrible. Luke had been looking at the painting!

“Did I just interrupt a spiritual experience?” My dad asked.

“Oh, no!” My brother said. “I was just having staring contests with the Jesus in this picture. He always wins.”

Teaching kids the gospel is like throwing spaghetti noodles at the wall. You never know what will stick.

Enos was in the wilderness hunting when the words of his father sunk deep into his heart.

I think one key comes from Fred Rogers—loving people where they are.

He said, “I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.”

It’s ok if your child is still developing into the person God wants them to be—so are you.

It’s ok if your spiritual experiences aren’t theirs—that’s the beautiful thing about personal revelation—it’s personal. Everyone feels it differently and at different times.

So we just have to keep throwing those noodles onto the wall and wait.

But this you can be sure of: God is working in your child’s life, too. He loves them more than you do and desperately wants them to come Home.

So, love your kids where they are.

Don’t give up.

Take comfort in the fact that you aren’t doing this important work alone.

You are yoked with Jesus.

And if there is one lesson I learned from my brother that day, it is this: Jesus always wins. 😉 

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