Goldfish and God: How Fish Care Teaches My Kids God’s Love

This week I became something I never thought I would be. Yep, that’s right, I became a goldfish mama. Now this is not like a helicopter mom. I mean literally, I am a mama to two goldfish. Chandler and The Goldfish. There was a third, but, well, I only paid 38 cents for them and you get what you pay for. RIP Hedwig.

You may have guessed, my children each named their fish. Chandler belongs to my nine-year-old son and The Goldfish belongs to my three-year-old son. I took each of my kids to Wal-Mart and let them pick out a fish. A dollar and 22 cents later, I became a goldfish mama.

My kids lost interest by the time we got home.

Sometimes we learn about God's love for us through the things we do for our children. Because God's good at providing us with plenty of teachable moments through our interactions with our children.

As a goldfish mama, I spend time on Wikipedia learning how to care for the fish. Yep, because wikiHow has all the best info. I have learned that frozen peas can help fish bladder. Feeding a fish lettuce can help prevent fish bladder and fish bladder is the number one reason most goldfish die. (Learned that by experience.) Daily I feed these fish and change their water. Basically, I do anything I can to keep these remaining fish alive. I mean, I don’t want to lose another 38 cents!

Why do you think I do this?
Is it because I love these fish?

Not really. I do it because of what these fish represent: my children and their happiness. They do check on their fish often. My three-year-old loves watching them swim around in their bowl. And my kids are proud to be fish owners. When people come to our house, the boys bring the visitors to the fish bowl and show off their fish. I love to see my children happy. I would sacrifice anything for them.

Have you ever thought that’s how our Heavenly Father feels about us, His children? He wants to bless us. He cares and provides for us, even sacrificing His Son for us. Just like I want my children to see the joy in my children’s faces that their fish bring, our Father wants us to have the joy that a relationship with Him brings.

Have you ever let that sink in?
That we are God’s children?

First John 3:1-2a says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why we the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children now ...” (emphasis mine). John tells us the Father calls us His children. Like any parent would, He wants to protect us, to provide for us and loves to see us filled with overwhelming joy, joy that only He can give. Joy that comes from knowing Him personally.

Just like I care for my kids’ fish because I love my children, my Heavenly Father provides and cares for me because of His great love for me. I want my actions of caring for the fish to be an example for my kids. I want them to see that the care I provide to them because of my love for my children, as a direct reflection of how their Heavenly Father loves and cares for them.

You see, I want them to know that my love is not conditional. Do I like taking care of fish? Not really. Do I love my kids? ABSOLUTELY! My Father loves me and my children. It’s hard for them to understand His love. Goodness, it’s hard for me to understand but when I spend time loving and doing for others, I catch a glimpse of how the Father loves us. Living a life that reflects Him draws me closer to Him.

So each day, I try to use what I am doing in life to reflect the love of my Father.

This, in turn, shows others my Father in a real and tangible way. So often with love, how we act speaks louder than what we say.

I continue to take care of Chandler and The Goldfish. I continue to show my kids how to love others. And I pray I can continue to teach them how being a child of the King is living a life that is full of love, protection and provision. And I will continue to be a goldfish mama, and that’s just fine with me!

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Sometimes we learn about God's love for us through the things we do for our children. Because God's good at providing us with plenty of teachable moments through our interactions with our children.

kimberly reedKimberly Reed loves encouraging women to see themselves as God uniquely made them through her passion for writing, leading and teaching women’s Bible studies. Her desire is to see women develop a pure and wholehearted love for Jesus. Kimberly is a Georgia girl. She married her best friend, Matt, and is called “mom” by her three kids. In addition to being a wife and mom, she works as a registered nurse. Kimberly loves all thing autumn, the 1980’s and good food, especially desserts. 
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