THEY ARE PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5
Children are gifts from God. Though many people consider them to be a “mixed” blessing because children can often be exasperating and more than a handful with which to deal. God set forth a different design for how humans nurture and train their offspring than He did for the animals. Animals generally take little time raising their young before they are pushing them out of the nest to go into the world and make it on their own. Human children, however, are dependent upon their parents for many years before they can effectively survive alone in this world. Thus, the divine direction for fathers not to provoke their children but to properly raise them (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21). One of the greatest responsibilities given by God to man was to bring up children properly.
Jesus used children as a powerful analogy of the nature and disposition His disciples must have. Once when the disciples were questioning the Lord about who is greatest in the kingdom, Jesus brought a child to Himself and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:2-4).
Later, when children were brought to Him to bless and pray for them, His disciples rebuked the people bringing them. (No doubt, they still thought the Lord had more important things to do than be bothered by children.) Jesus scolded His disciples and told them not to hinder the children because to such belongs the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19:14). Jesus loves the little children!
Children are important:
- They are dependent on parents (and others) to care for and instruct them, thus preparing them to one day be able to think and act of their own volition.
- They are examples to the rest of us in things like humility, love, obedience, trust, enthusiasm, curiosity, simplicity, etc.
- They love God whole-heartedly, if they have been properly taught about Him.
- They keep us humble, honest and responsible (unless through our own willfulness we are not).
- They give us hope for the days ahead.
- They teach us about our relationship with God (2 Cor. 6:16-18).
We must love the children… even when they don’t seem so adorable. God loved us when we weren’t lovable (Rom. 5:6-8). They are precious in His sight; may they always be precious to us.