I’m not a naturally very funny guy. I like to think I am. But my wife is pretty straightforward with me when my attempts at being funny fall flat. I appreciate her honesty.
Rather, I tend to be more introspective—borderline too serious at times (i.e. I need to lighten up).
And God, the Creator of humor, reminded me of that the other day.
I’m reading a book right now called Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby. Since starting the book, my prayer has been, “Father, help me to see the world through Your eyes.”
On the second day of praying this prayer I was driving on a country road as the sun was coming up over the horizon in front of me. I began praying, “Father, help me to see the world around me today through Your eyes.”
God immediately answered me.
“You forgot to brush your teeth this morning.”
“God, I’m being serious here. I want to see Your activity around me and all you have is, ‘You didn’t brush your teeth this morning?’”
Let’s be honest, we all know what it feels like to not have fresh breath.
But for God to call me out on it? This was ludicrous.
No, it was comical. God’s lighthearted way of teaching me how to interact with those around me. And more importantly, pass this lesson onto my son.
I’m now trying to make brushing my teeth a part of my morning prayer time. I know, it sounds crazy. But it’s a great way to begin each day seeing the world through God’s eyes and readying ourselves to make a difference in those around us. It’s also a way of teaching my son life lessons beyond cavity prevention. What do I mean?
Your Smile Matters: People gravitate to and remember those who smile. I remember Andy Andrews writing that if he had one piece of advice to give before he died, it would be two words: Smile more.
Your smile, or absence of it, speaks volumes about your heart. Practice smiling while you talk, in each interaction you have.
Fresh Breath: There’s already enough negativity and drama around us. Be different. Don’t gossip. Don’t say anything about others you wouldn’t share with them. Instead, be quick to listen. Slow to speak. And let your words be an encouraging breath of fresh air to those around you.
More Than Meets the Heart: Did you know that brushing your teeth less frequently gives you a 70% extra risk of heart disease? The same is true when spending time with God. The less frequently we do it, the greater risk of “heart disease.” If I want to see the world through God’s eyes, I’ve got to know how He sees His children. And the only way to do that is to get to know Him better—by spending time with Him more frequently.
Landon’s favorite time of the day right now is when it’s time to brush his teeth. As soon as Christi or I ask him, “Do you want to brush your teeth?” he’s in the bathroom and up on his stool in no time, reaching out for his toothbrush, ready for clean teeth.
Okay, so he’s more interested in playing with the light switch and chewing on the bristles than he is cleaning his teeth. But he’s learning. And so am I.
Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is the President and Co-Founder of the Connextion Group, a company designed to build relational connections between generations. As an advocate for parenting in the 21st century, his passion is raising the next generation to love and relate well. Josh speaks and writes on the two key ingredients necessary for building healthy families: intentional parenting and a loving marriage. He is the coauthor of God Attachment and The Quick Reference Guide to Counseling Teenagers. Josh wakes up each day striving to love others better, starting with his wife Christi and their son, Landon. You can follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.