Children, I believe, are one of life’s greatest blessings from God. All adults, with the exception of Adam and Eve, were children at some point. Even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ started off as a child. But you may be asking, “If this is an article about children, what do they have to do with faith?” Well they have a lot to do with faith, and the Bible talks about children several times. So this time we are going to look at these passages to see what the Bible says about children.
The first passage we are going to look at is in Matthew 18:10-14 which reads, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”
We see here that Jesus is comparing sheep to children in terms of lost souls. Just as a shepherd is not willing to let his sheep wander from the pasture, God is not willing to let us wander from the path of righteousness. God cares for everyone, including children and we see that emphasis in this passage. We must also consider the fact that salvation starts young. If we can guide and direct children in the way of the Lord, they will learn it. Once they become adults, they will not leave that path. As the great Solomon once wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”- Proverbs 22:6. Some might ask, ‘How can you guarantee they won’t go astray?’ Well, let’s use an example in nature to illustrate. When a tree needs water, where does it draw its water from? Its roots. It uses its roots to soak up water underground and send it to wherever the tree needs water. With struggles in life, people do the same thing, if properly trained and brought up in that way. They will always reach to their roots, the foundation of the things they know to help them through the struggles of life, and hopefully that foundation is Christ. Just as 1 Corinthians 3:11 says, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Let’s look at another passage that Jesus speaks of children in. Matthew 18:1-4 says, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” How do we change to become like children? What does Jesus mean? Jesus is talking about the inner self, not the outer self, that changes. It is the characteristics of little children that Jesus wants us to become like. It is the humble, trusting, and unassuming characteristics that Christ is talking about here. Children trust those that are older than them to guide them in the right direction. In the same way, we as Christians should trust in God to guide us in the right direction. Reading and applying his Word to our lives is an act of trust. Believing that He will deliver us through tough times in our lives is trusting in Him.
Jesus also mentions the “lowly position” of the child that we need to take. What is this lowly position? Especially in that day and in that culture, children were not looked at as having any position of authority at all. They were humble in this way. We should also be humble as Christians because God has the authority in our lives. We should always listen to His word, even if it doesn’t seem right at the time. It is the humble, and trusting characteristics that children have that we also need to possess.
I hope that as we come to a conclusion, you can see that children need to be dealt with great care. Every child is another soul that could be saved, and God wishes that all be saved. We must guide and direct them in the way of the Lord. But, we must also possess some characteristics of children. Remember, we have lessons for them. We have things to teach them, but sometimes they may teach us something.