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During the time Jesus walked the earth, women and children had very little value. They would be slightly above a nice donkey or good ram. They would not have been allowed to sit at the feet of a Rabbi while he taught, that was unheard of at the time. But Jesus turned the cultural norms upside down throughout His ministry. In Matthew 18 we see Jesus share with His disciples that we must become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
In Matthew 19 we see the disciples rebuke Jesus for His response to the children running to see Him.
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Many of us are spending way more time with children right now, our daily routines have been turned upside down. We are now homeschooling our kids, our usual social playdates have been suspended and it doesn't look like this will change anytime soon.

So let's embrace it! Not just taking time to play with our children, but learning from our kids. I learn so much teaching bible classes to children. They have taught me to really wonder about scripture. That is one of our favorite things to do after I tell a bible story is to wonder about what is not mentioned. "Did Peter take off his sandals before he stepped on the water?" "What did Joseph's sisters think about their brothers selling him into slavery?" "Why did the Israelites keep disobeying God?" And the list goes on of all the amazing wonders I have heard from our kids as we studied scripture.

God also uses our children to teach us deep spiritual lessons sometimes. Just a few months ago I was trying to load my four year old son into the car so we could go to the zoo. He was so excited for the trip and he knew getting into his carseat was how he was going to get to our destination. He was maybe three steps from my arms when I called him to me, but he insisted on going the long way around our van to come to me. He ended up in the carseat ultimately; but it took longer and way more effort than if he had simply taken three steps in the direction I was instructing him to go.
How many times do I go the long way around, instead of listening to my Heavenly Father? I end up in the same place, but it takes longer and many times is a tough journey. The Israelites are a great example of taking the long way around to get where God had planned for them. Hopefully I will learn from this lesson and not wander around for 40 years.

So during this time, let's all take the time to learn from the greatest of these in the Kingdom of God! We are only a few days into this quarantining and all my children have done so far is eat, then fight with each other. This could be a REALLY long quarantine at the Lankford house! But I'm trying to embrace it and allow God to speak through my children.

--Ashley Lankford