Many of us love little children, especially new babies when they are in our family. It hurts when we can’t see them and spend time with them like we would so love to do!
I think about characteristics of these children and why they are so lovable, I then see that some older children and adults that are simply very difficult to be around and so hurtful sometimes. Often, it’s because they are aggressive, prideful, and arrogant.
Jesus loved little children, the Bible explains in many passages in the New Testament. The disciples were concerned and tried to prevent these little ones from getting too close to Him. Mark 10:13-16 says that the disciples rebuked those bringing children to Jesus. They felt Jesus was interrupted or that they would be interrupted. What was Jesus response though?
“14 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. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Jesus was happy to receive them and love on them!
He said “ whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, will not enter it! A child appears to be more willing to receive, believe and love!
They have not yet become bitter and angry by what they have been dealt in life. They do throw their tantrums if they don’t get what they want, but they don’t stay mad about it for long, they move on. Us adults, when we don’t get what we want often get bitter.
Some of the characteristics I see in babies and small children, are humility, honesty, trusting and innocence. They love to display affection and kindness also. At this time in their life, they are very needy and don’t fight to be the greatest and best. They simply need love, time, affection and care for their basic needs. They want to do well and please their parents, but they don’t feel they constantly need to “ beat” someone else( until they get older).
When I think of good kids that I saw on television when I was young, I remember Opie on the Andy Griffith Show, Wally and Beaver Cleaver on Leave It To Beaver. These shows portrayed kids who were smart, well behaved, funny, and raised in good homes . They were raised in very wholesome family environments. Kirk Cameron and his sister, Candace Cameron Bure are even spiritual leaders today!
The disciples were concerned though, about who Jesus considered to be the greatest! They asked Him, “Who is the greatest?”This describes pride to me! They were in competition with one another for who Jesus considered “the best.”
I find it is very easy, especially as an adult to compete, to find out who is most liked. In most of our high school’s there was a most liked or most likely to… status. It looks to me that they were looking to be on Jesus’ most liked list! There’s nothing wrong trying to do your best and make an effort in life, just not at the expense of being so arrogant and prideful.
I find too, that honesty is another great characteristic of little children. While at times they may lie about something silly like making a mess or taking something they shouldn’t, they often are not at all afraid of telling the truth. Sometimes adults even get upset because they “ tell on them”, but kids are just being honest about what they know. I think of a particular situation where a child told my husband and I something his parent didn’t want exposed. We never asked or probed, but this child had no reason to cover up anything. This child was telling us a story! Being honest with ourselves and others including God, is often something we stop doing after we get past a certain age or point in our life. Often a parent who “ gets caught” gets upset at their child and rebukes them for being honest. They start teaching them to cover up and not tell everything they know.
They are affectionate and kind. A sweet child we know, hadn’t seen me for several months and he was still loving and wished me “ Happy Birthday!” recently.
It brought me to tears truthfully. I felt like he is already learning things that harden his heart, but he still has a sweet, affectionate spirit in him that is so precious.
It is really awesome watching a child learn something new! They seem so excited about it! They start gaining some independence by learning something new such as crawling, walking, riding a bike and eventually driving a car! They learn how to feed themselves, get dressed, and play with a new type of toy, like a Nerf Gun! In this new independence though, they also lose some of the dependence on us and others who help them. When I review these verses, I look at Jesus saying “ Let the Little Children come to me!“, as “don’t forget about me” We all have times of need in our lives and we need to remember who is truly there for us, even when others are not!
When we were real young, we had no choice but to trust. These areas of trust were for our parents to feed us, to change and provide our clothes, keep us warm, protect us and comfort us! As we grew older, we began to trust others less. Either we became confident in ourselves and looked to who we knew we trusted or we realized who we could Not trust.
With our little babies, we see no wrong and can hardly believe they ever will make any mistakes in their life. Unfortunately, we realize though before long that they do! They get into cabinets, eat things they shouldn’t, say words they shouldn’t and many things we don’t want them to do. This sense of innocence is no longer there! It is very disappointing and can be very hurtful! Jesus still said “ Little Children, come” though, didn’t He? If we don’t return to Him though, we don’t experience this forgiveness He provides for us!
Matthew 18:3 says…”Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” He is saying Change and become like little children. Kick that pride, dishonesty, relying on our own independence, lack of trust, unkindness, grown up attitude and wrong behavior out and come to Him! You, the one He created from the beginning, in your mother’s womb, is who He wants!
Luke 9:48: Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
When we bring “ this little child”( ourselves) to Him( Jesus),we are welcoming Him to be part of our life, and the one who sent Him(God). This “child” is great in His eyes!