Friday, February 8, 2013

Helping a Kindergartner Choose a Wife

It started out as a discussion of the word mine. 

Wasn't a mine a place for gold?  If so, why was I saying "That's mine," meaning something belonged to me.  These are the annoying dinner topics I expect, those intended to serve as delay tactics when what's on the menu isn't what my children would choose if they ruled the world.

Realizing mommy was growing irritated with his feigned ignorance, Wyatt turned the dinner conversation to a more serious topic: "What's a wedding ring for?"

This was another feeble attempt to delay eating the meal before him. Even his younger sister, Amelia, could explain how that small circle of gold meant mommy belonged to daddy and that daddy belonged to her.  As her daddy had taught her before she was two years old, the ring meant "I choose that one."


Last year, it became no longer acceptable for her to hold my right hand.  Only the left hand with such a precious ring adorning it would do.  Many times while walking down the long gravel drive to Oma's house or while training for our marathon, she would realize her mistake and suddenly duck behind me to grab the proper hand. 

One afternoon, she and Emerson actually got into a heated argument over who should hold what hand, never mind that both bore beautiful gifts from their daddy.

Wedding rings, the forever commitment between a husband and wife, this promise of love for better or for worse--these are topics much discussed in our household.    In a society where divorce is present even in the church family, husband and I have already found it necessary to explain God's design for marriage.  We have needed to explain that not everyone chooses to honor their forever promise to their spouse.  We have also needed to reassure our children that even when we argue, husband and I promise to love each other forever, "and a promise is a promise."

These are not the conversations I expected to have with a six-year-old.  I thought surely I'd have a few more years before I had to address the serious topics, but here I was again with a captive audience of three children watching me, waiting for my answer.

The wedding ring. 

God must have directed my lips, because the words that came forth from my mouth weren't part of the typical pat answer. 

"When a man feels in his heart that he has found the woman God has for him to marry, that man gives her a wedding ring and asks her to marry him.  If she feels in her heart that this is the man God wants her to marry, she says 'yes.'  If she doesn't feel in her heart that God wants her to marry that man, she says 'no.'"

This was new information--the idea that you didn't have to marry someone just because they asked you.  All three began talking at once before Wyatt yelled over the twins, "But there are SO many girls that I like.  How will I know which one to choose!?"

The comment seemed ludicrous; yet, the look on his face showed such serious concern that my heart went out to him.

"Oh honey," I said softly, "When you get older, your heart won't love all the girls around you." 

I pointed to the weed flowers Amelia had placed in the makeshift bamboo vases just that afternoon.  "You will be like a bee who passes up all the other flowers because he sees just the one flower he wants, just the one flower God has told his heart to land on."

With that, I let my finger touch the single yellow strawberry flower in a sea of clover and purple before looking across the gathering table to see if he understood.

Wyatt's smile was anxiety-free.   For now at least, he understood God would help him choose a mate.

"Yes," he said with sudden authority.  "Daddy was a good choice.  He loves me and gives me piggy back rides and takes me to Chick Fil A and...."

To my kindergartner, these are the qualities that show I made the right choice when picking my husband from a sea of flowers.

It's at moments like these I wish I could push the pause button and erupt in laughter.  Instead, I am like Mary, tucking away all these precious nuggets in my heart.

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