It’s amazing how God can change the inside of you. He changed the inside of me when I was going to stop teaching Sunday School.
You see, I had this kid. I hated this kid. He was one of those children who disrupted every single class I tried to teach. He would rifle through the shelves of materials. He wouldn’t sit down, and stay down. He talked incessantly and would bother the child that would have to sit by him. He frequently would get under the table and pick at the other children. He wasn’t necessarily malicious, but he made the Sunday School a nightmare.
So I quit. Well, I prayed and told God I just wasn’t cut out for teaching children and that I was sorry but I was going to quit. I heard Him say ” just touch him”.
I am a country girl and we got “touched” when we were growing up. and boy did I really want to touch this kid, but I knew that, that kind of touching wasn’t what God was talking about. My second thoughts were “fooey” I was quitting, and had my mind set on quitting and now God wouldn’t let me quit. So my choices were to touch this kid next Sunday or really quit. Quitting wasn’t an option because I had made the conscious choice to follow Jesus when I knew He was speaking a work for me to do.
So, the next Sunday, I prepared my lesson and when this little boy came into the room, I put my hand on his shoulder and said hello. It didn’t do any good. It was the same for several weeks. I did nothing but try to keep order in my classroom and get some kind of lesson out there.
So back I went to God and told Him it didn’t work and I was sorry, I tried but it just didn’t work. He replied to me “Call him names”.
Again, the names I wanted to call this child should never be spoken aloud or even thought of in polite company but I knew God wouldn’t let me quit until I had done what He said to do. So back to Sunday School I went, armed with my teaching materials and stickers and resolved to keep going.
When he came into the room I said “how you doing’ sweetie”? as I put my hand on his shoulder. The next week I changed the name to Pal or something similar, and I hugged him when I went by his chair. The next week I tousled his hair and called him something new. And each week it got easier and easier. He didn’t change right away, but I did. I began not to notice that he was too noisy or he was out of his chair, I would just quieten him or steer him back where he needed to be an he just didn’t bother me so much any more.
Then he began to change and he began to play with the other children in a way that wasn’t disruptive and Sunday school began to be enjoyable.
I am thankful that God didn’t let me quit, I’ve been teaching over 35 years and he was one of the first children that I led in the salvation prayer.
God will teach you to love the children as well. It may not be this way by touching and calling names but he will teach you to love His children if you let Him.