I am a dismal failure in many ways. I screw up, I treat people badly, I am judgmental and selfish and ugly. Oftentimes I am not a good steward of resources. I use bad language and laugh at things that I should be offended by. I am grateful for the grace of God and the cleansing blood of Jesus. Because I need it desperately.
But, you can say this of me. I love kids. I really, really love kids. I was raised around lots of kids. I come from a family of only two siblings, but we had many cousins. There was always a baby to hold or a toddler to chase. My parents instilled in me a love for children. My parents have always seen children as people of value, ones to be treasured. I am a mother myself, I have worked with children in one capacity or another since I was around twelve. I love children.
I love their enthusiasm and their uninhibited weirdness. I love their very specific and individual personalities. I love their uniqueness. I love the crazy stuff they say and I love the way they follow Jesus with all they are.
I am certain that God also loves children and I have several reasons for thinking this.
1. Back when Jesus walked the earth, people would bring them their children to receive a touch from Him. His disciples rebuked the people who brought their children to him. They were concerned perhaps that they would distract the adults or that they would wreck everything or they would be a bother to Jesus. But Jesus rebuked the disciples and said that He wanted them near Him. He called them over to Himself. He held them in His arms and He blessed them. Jesus loved these little ones. Here is exactly what the Bible says:
“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16
Jesus loves children. He says that children have the sort of faith that we must aspire to. Isn’t that humbling? When Lila, who is almost four, says to me, “I want to call Jesus the Storm Calmer.” or when she says, “Jesus is here, in my heart, because that is His home.” she believes it. She has no doubt. Her faith is strong and unshakable.
We must learn to embrace God and all that He is as our children do. They just open their hands and say, “Yes” and “More” to the Lord.
2. He values what they have to offer the kingdom, and believes they have tremendous potential. 1 Timothy 4:17 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” The Bible plainly says here that even those who are young can be examples. I happen to believe that this verse endorses the power of children in the kingdom. God has a purpose, a plan and a calling for kids. I love that as a mom and as one who disciples children. I am used by God to help them meet their calling, my own children and the ones I’ve been charged with. He has a mighty purpose for these ones.
An example of this is Silas Cameron. Silas is the child of my dear friends, Jon and Jen Cameron. Silas is very sick right now, fighting HLH in the hospital. He has defied doctor’s predictions and has seen many miracles. What he has also done, is rally the people of God. People from all over the world have learned what it means to pray without ceasing. People have experienced Jesus as they’ve interceded for this sweet, precious one. People’s hearts have been changed as they watch Jon and Jen and their other children hang on to faith and hang on to Him. I have seen Silas’ life unify the body as we’ve joined hands to pray for him.
Let no one look down upon the young. They are mighty in the kingdom of God.
3. Children are a reward and a blessing from the Lord Himself. I don’t know a parent who would not say that they’ve experienced a glimpse of the Father’s love for them through their love for their children. It is our closest, most tangible example of how He loves us. Training my children to love the Father, to know Jesus has been the most glorious and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Helping them become the people He made is such a joy, such a blessing. I love seeing His hand in their lives. I love the way He’s designed them. I love the art, conviction and passion He’s given Julia. I love the wisdom, humility and servant’s heart He’s given Aubrey. I love the compassion, enthusiasm and openness He’s given Chase. I love the intuitiveness, curiousity and humor He’s given Lila. I love the sweetness of baby Claire, her personality has yet to unfold. I love motherhood and all that comes with it- the struggles and the joys. My five are truly a glorious heritage. They are treasures and I adore them and am grateful every day for each one of them.
Psalm 127: 3-4 says this, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.” There is no better evidence. Children are a treasured gift from the Lord God.
I believe this is true for the entire body of believers, not just parents. There are many people who do not have children, either by choice or by circumstance. But God provides so many opportunities for us to serve His little ones. This is an honor, to usher them into their destinies, to show them who they are in Christ, to teach them to love and be loved.
I want to honor those He calls blessings. I want to bless the ones He says are a heritage and a reward. I want to be used by Him to teach them where they fit in the kingdom. I want to be one who says, “No, let them come to me. They are not a bother, they are a delight.” I want to teach them how to know Him, how to love Him. I am fairly confident that more likely, they will teach me what faith really is.