And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
When I read this passage, I want to ask, “Really, God? Really? You want a heaven filled with children? Don’t you know that kids are messy, whiny and oh, so much work?” From my vantage point, my kids have a lot to learn. They need manners, book smarts and common sense. Why then would God want to make children His litmus test for heaven? Well, if we take some time to learn from our own kids we will see that it makes perfect sense. Here are some things He showed me about child-like faith.
• Child-like faith TRUSTS – When my kids are in the back of the car, they are usually looking out the window, reading a book or listening to music. They often don’t even know where we are and they don’t question every turn I make. All they know is that Mom is driving. Mom is in control and that is enough for them. Yes, God wants us to be like little children.
• Child-like faith SEEKS FELLOWSHIP – My daughter loves to be with me. She doesn’t care much what we do, as long as we are together. It could be the everyday mundane tasks of emptying the dishwasher or a special time of a “girl’s day out.” She just likes to be with me. Yes, God wants us to be like little children.
• Child-like faith FORGIVES – I have done some things as a parent that I regret. Things that make me want to rip out the tape player of my life and hit “rewind.” Humbly apologizing to my children is always met with a ready and heart-felt, “I forgive you, Mommy.” Forgiving 70 times 7 comes naturally to them. Yes, God wants a heaven filled with little children.
• Child-like faith HOLDS ON TIGHT – When we were in a crowded mall or on a busy street, my kids would grip my hands tightly. Keeping me near, letting me guide the way gives them a sense of safety and security. They have complete confidence that Mom will always do her best to protect them. Yes, God wants us to be just like little children.
• Child-like faith STUDIES – It is not an uncommon sight in my house to come into the living room and find one or both of my children engrossed in a family photo album. They love to hear stories of when I was a child, how their dad and I met and their infancy. They relish learning everything there is to know about their mom and dad. Yes, God wants a heaven filled with little children.
Child-like faith is EXACTLY what God wants from His children. Children are precious to God because they embody the traits of a true believer. They follow without question and they love without limits.
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. Matthew 10:14