“But I don’t know how to love!”
The statement caught my husband and I off guard. We turned our eyes away from our frustrated four year old and stared at each other in disbelief. Sometimes the most profound statements have a way of simply slipping out of the mouths of children and this was one of those moments.
The conversation had begun like many others in our home. Perhaps a toy had been taken from a sibling or a harsh word had been uttered in anger. Whatever the exact circumstance, he had once again failed to be kind to his brother, revealing an unloving heart in the process. As we often do, my husband and I took the opportunity to remind our son that loving others means being kind to them and seeking to make them happy, even if it means not getting your way. When you love someone, we reminded him, you treat them the way you would want to be treated.
It was in response to this common correction that our brilliant little theologian made his argument. And he couldn’t have been more on the money. After taking a moment to compose ourselves, my husband and I affirmed that what he said was true.
“Yes son, we know that you don’t know how to love, and that is exactly why you need Jesus so much…”