Jesus loved the little children. He taught the necessity of being like them. (See Matthew 18:3-4).

As we bear and raise little children, we learn firsthand how to become like them.

Find beauty and wonder in everything

Children never get so busy or distracted that they forget to gaze at the sky, listen to the birds sing, watch the bugs crawl, pet the animals or smell the flowers. They are truly grateful for all of God's creations.

Value the simple things in life

Little kids don't need much to be happy. They need food to fill their tummies, clothing to keep them warm, a bed to rest in, simple toys to play with, and family to love and comfort them. They don't find their joy in material things. They smile and laugh more than anyone else because they are satisfied.

Thirst for knowledge, and are teachable

Children are curious and always have questions. They also want to learn how to do more things - things we do. They want to help with dinner, clean and garden. They want us to teach them to play sports, do magic tricks, play an instrument. They trust us completely to teach them what they need and want to know.

Love themselves

Little children are comfortable in their own skins. They aren't embarrassed by their traits or personalities. They are themselves, and they love it. They also love their siblings who help give them courage to be anyone they want to be and do anything they want to do.

Make friends wherever they go

Once children get to an age where they start playing with others, they make friends easily. They have conversations and play with any kid they meet. They don't judge by looks, age or circumstance, and they don't think they are too good to play with anyone.

Love unconditionally, and forgive immediately

Little children can love anyone. They do not hold grudges. They forgive as quickly as they get angry.

Often when they get in trouble, they want comfort from us, the ones who just disciplined them. They reach out ready for hugs, kisses and cuddles. It is so hard for us to stay angry, as their unconditional love permeates through us, softening our hearts.

Want to be around us

Our children cherish us. They want to be with us. They want us around to help them with their needs, to give them kisses and hugs. There is nobody they would rather cuddle with, nobody they would rather comfort them when they are sad, nobody they would rather sing to them, talk to them, or tell them stories.

We are everything to our little ones.

Desire our approval

They get upset when we are upset with them. They want us to be proud of them. That is why they proudly show us the picture they drew, or share the cool thing that happened at school that day, or show us their empty dinner plate when they eat all their food.

Comfort us when we are sad

Children's priorities and countenances change when they see their strong mother or father is sad.

They can be so discerning. They come up to us with the cutest concern in their tone and eyes. They give the best hugs and tell us they love us in the most genuine ways. That really does make it all better.

Teach us to be better

We often hear the phrase "From the mouths of babes." It is true. Little ones say the most profound truths - truths that are so simple, but so essential.

They might remind us to be happy, or refocus us on what really matters, or tell us what they have learned from reading or observing.

Children are honest

Little children don't say what they think we want to hear. They call things exactly as they see them. They are still working on tact, but what a great example they bring. It is true sometimes children lie when they are afraid of getting in trouble, but they don't do it for any other reason. They don't want to hurt anyone, and they aren't trying to betray trust. As a matter of fact, when they realize that is the reaction, they are usually heartbroken.

Follow a lot of rules, just because we tell them to

We give our children many rules, ranging from cleanliness and good manners to safety and kindness. We spend much of our day enforcing them. Our children sometimes choose not to obey the rules. But much of the time they do what we ask, even if they don't understand why because they love us and trust us.

Have the light of Christ in their eyes

Little children are the most precious angels in our lives. They are pure. They are the most like Christ of any other people on this earth. Their countenances shine with His light.

The love we have for our children is pure and unconditional, as is God's love for us. They rely on us for most of their needs as we should rely on God for all our spiritual needs. They love and trust us more than anyone, which is the relationship we should have with God.

Sometimes we don't see all the wonderful things about our little ones because, in our day-to-day lives, there may be an abundance of tantrums, messes and disobedience. These are mingled with our lives to help us feel a little of what our Father in Heaven feels when we do not listen to, obey or show love to Him. However, His love never falters, and He never gives up on us.

We must always appreciate and love our children, as they are little, and as they grow. They bring us true happiness and sweet lessons of life.

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