A rubber duck accompanied my walk around the room. I laid it in plain sight on a shelf of the bookcase. Its classic yellow face and orange bill pointed to the door where my daughter would skip through in a few seconds.
“Heidi,” I called, “Come find the ducky.”
Heidi scampered inside. Her eyes sparkled. They went immediately to the bookcase, the exact same spot where she had last placed the duck. A flicker of confusion puckered her brows. The bright yellow toy didn’t sit on the second shelf, left side. She turned to look at me. My eyes went two shelves above, dead center, where the little fellow waited. She followed my hint and found him.
“There it is!” she squealed.
Her arms stretched high. Her little fingers danced. I reached up, plucked it off the shelf, and put it into her waiting hands.
Hidden things are usually delightful surprises when children are small, but it doesn’t take long before our wonderful innocents discover the deceit of covering up something they should not.
Our middle daughter hid a trove of unwanted smashed green peas under her dinner plate. Our youngest daughter hid a pile of notes from a boy in her drawer. Our oldest hid a piece of candy she stole.
How do children learn this? Who teaches them to play hide and seek with things they shouldn’t? What prompts the guilty cover-up?
It’s in our DNA.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden
in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves
from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’
So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden,
and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’”
· Gen. 3:8-10 ·
The guilt of Adam and Eve’s disobedience produced immediate shame. They disobeyed. They sinned. Fear drove them into hiding. We are the same today. All of us struggle with admitting when we’ve done something wrong.
The lesson of Adam and Eve is a simple but powerful deterrent to misconduct for adults and children. Our tendency to hide what we shouldn’t can be curtailed with two simple guidelines:
If I feel I need to hide something, it is probably not something good.
If I feel I must hide an action, it likely is not something I should do.
Discipline is a difficult balance. How can we nurture forthright behavior? The best instruction grows from a foundation of truth.
As parents, we must:
> Teach our children an All-Knowing Father. He knows everything. He sees all. There is nothing hidden from Him.
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.” · Psalm 139:1 ·
> Teach our children a Loving Father. His love is unconditional. We are happier when we obey Him. He is pleased by our obedience.
“…perfect love casts out fear….” · 1 John 4:18 ·
> Teach our children a Forgiving Father. He forgives if we confess what we have done wrong, repent and turn away from sin.
“He is faithful and righteous to forgive…” · 1 John 1:9 ·
When we teach our children to hide God’s Word in their hearts, trust deepens. Faith matures.
Honest transparency follows.
(Adapted from a post previously published on Just18Summers.com)
Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay.com
previous cover photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
in the Quiver
14 thoughts on “Hidden Things”
Sylvia, your post serves as a good reminder for all adults, as well as those raising children. Thank you!
I’m so glad you liked it. You are right. I’ve been asking myself what is hidden in me? I do so want it to be God’s Word, but I don’t have to dig too deep to find some things I’d rather not! Thank you for commenting!
The truth of God seeing all used to be a source of fear for me. Now it gives me comfort. May we help our children learn the joy and relief of living according to God’s good will.
Thank you, Sylvia, for this thought-provoking post. And, I love the reminder to teach our children of our all-knowing, loving, and forgiving Father.
Thank you Julie. I need that reminder in my own life as well. I am so grateful His love and forgiveness reach far deeper than my own sins and failures. Thanks so much for commenting.
What a wonderful lesson this morning Ms. Sylvia. And not just for our children and grandchildren I might add. For many of my formative years, I only saw God represented as a mean and vengeful God; one who was waiting to smash you like a bug as soon as you sinned. I carried that image with me for far too many years. Should we fear the Lord? Absolutely. Should we always remember He is a loving God who wants only the best for His dear children? Absolutely. Am so pleased you shared this post; to show young parents how to better represent God and explain His mercy and grace to their children. What a gentle reminder ma’am. God’s blessings.
Thank you J. D. I appreciate that. This has been a process for me as well. I am beginning to love some of the aspects of God that before I saw as negative. I am so grateful His character is always perfect and good even when I don’t understand it all.
A great message for adults, too! We need to be reminded that our Father is holy but also full of grace.
I am always humbled by that reminder of God’s perfect balance. Holy and full of grace. I just love how one attribute never takes away from another. Oh to be more like that!! Thank you for your comment and reminder!
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Thank you reminding us of this trio of God’s traits; All knowing, loving, and forgiving. So often we focus on one or two of these, but He is all and we need all of what He offers all the time. God bless you.
Thank you Rachael. You are so right. It is easy for me to focus on one of God’s attributes and find it difficult to balance it with another. He doesn’t have that problem!! I am grateful he is all and all we need. Thank you for your comment!
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Hiding God’s word in our hearts will curb the desire to hide from Him when we sin. Your post clearly points to the cause of hiding when we sin but Gods arms are open wide when we run to Him in repentance.