What do you do when you homeschool and the teacher gets sick? Not long after we first started homeschooling, I woke up one morning with an aching fever. "Great, now what am I going to do?" I thought to myself. My parents were out of town, and realistically, caring for my two toddlers was all I could handle for the day. Calling my two older children into my bedroom, I weakly said, "Mom's really sick today. You'll have to work on your schoolwork by yourself or just read books and play."

Not batting an eye, they surprised me when they replied, "That's OK, Mom. We can take care of everything." What was even more surprising was that they did! Throughout the day they brought me juice and medicine and helped me keep their younger siblings happy. When the babies and I took an afternoon nap, my seven and eight year old grabbed their school materials and did all the work they could by themselves. Smiling, I realized my children were learning more than academics in our homeschooling. They were learning character qualities like responsibility and kindness.

Children are great helpers, and throughout the Bible, we read stories of when God used them in special ways. Consider young Samuel serving God in the temple (1 Samuel 3), Naaman's servant girl who directed him to Elisha for healing from his leprosy (2 Kings 5:2-3), the boy who shared his lunch with Jesus to feed 5,000 (John 6:9), and little Rhoda who told the other believers that Peter was knocking at the door after his angelic escape from prison (Acts 12:13-16). Although they may seem small and insignificant, each act was great in the eyes of God.

Are you ever tempted to underestimate the value of your child's obedience and faithfulness to the Lord? Every time he speaks with kindness to a sibling, remembers Grandma with a special hello when she comes to visit, or invites a friend to Sunday school, he is doing God's work on a grand scale. Like the disciples who thought the little children were wasting Jesus' time, don't become a stumbling block to your child's small acts of love. "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).

Father, thank You for my children. Forgive me for underestimating what You can do through their prayers and acts of love and help me to encourage them to love You more. In Jesus' name, Amen.