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3 Ways to Learn Christmas Spirit from the Heart of a Child

3 Ways to Learn Christmas Spirit from the Heart of a Child

Each year the Christmas season brings to my family the experiences and celebrations of joy, hope and traditions. This year is no different as we prepare our home for a season of color mixed with excitement. There is however, one exception; we recently welcomed Chloe, a white dwarf hamster as the newest addition into our family. She increases our family tree to seven members, Mom, 2 daughters, 2 King Charles spaniels, Chloe and me.

A couple of months ago my daughters provided us with numerous reasons why our family would benefit from the addition of a pet rodent. I was so impressed with their presentation that we marched off to the pet store to research our options. We consciously chose and acquired $110 worth of necessities for our new pet including her "pedigree" purchase amount. Much to mom's trepidation we arrived home to introduce Chloe to the remaining family members. The laughter and stories experienced in the last few weeks have spawned wonderful childhood memories for me and my wife as we remember the pets of our youth.

One lesson I’ve learned through this current journey is my children understand how to be more joyful than does their father. A dwarf hamster has helped me to realize, being a child in my joy and laughter is something, as an adult, at times I tend to forget.

In the bible, people brought children to Jesus so he could place his hands on them but the disciples rebuked them. Jesus replied, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Mark 10:13-15, NIV).

It is evident in reading this scripture children approached Jesus with a childlike faith. But, as with most children they also approached him with the heart of a child full of innocence and trust. As an adult it is so easy to forget the heart of a child as the world tends to minimize the importance of such simplicity. Let's review three characteristics of a child's heart.

1. A Trusting Heart

A child, at their core, trusts the authority figures in their life to provide security, protection and provision.

2. A Hopeful Heart

Children live out their "today" believing all is fine as they rely upon the authority figures in their life. They also will believe in the future as their vision and goal help define a bright tomorrow.

3. A Joyful Heart

Every child is born with the desire to be happy and full of real joy. This depth of joy brings forth laughter from the soul and a tingling from the heart.

Jesus understood the simple faith and pure heart of children. The disciples did not understand this childlike faith and purity of heart because they rationalized it with their mind and emotions. This leads me to a question I have pondered in the last few days," What kind of heart do I have?" Do I have the heart of a child or the rationalized heart of an adult?

The honest answer is, “I live my life with the heart of an adult as I head into my life’s battles by trying to charge up the mountaintops defined by this world.” Upon reaching the summit I often experience its utopia alone and with an empty heart. Too many times we utilize time and energy attempting to fill the emptiness within our hearts by following the blueprints the world created to define success only to find our efforts futile.

The good news this Christmas season is you can recapture the heart of a child. You don't necessarily have to purchase a family pet to accomplish this task all you have to do is gaze into the manger. The manger points our hearts not only toward salvation but hope and joy. It will transform your heart back to the heart of a child.

Guy Hatcher – known as The Legacy Guy – has spent his lifetime helping families plan their legacy. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or go to

Publication date: December 19, 2014