Being Childish

Today my son turns 5 years old. It will now mean that I have a nearly 7 year old, a 5 year old, a 1.5 year old, and a baby on the way. I’ve heard it said many times that time flies and we need to enjoy the here and now. I am learning that lesson. I look at my kids now, and then I look back at pictures when they were younger and it hits me how they have grown. It is really exciting to watch them grow and develop. It is a beautiful thing. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of that process.

One thing that has especially fascinated me is that as I have been training my children, they have been training me. I have learned so much from watching my children develop, particularly in their thinking abilities and their emotions. It has opened my eyes to many truths that I need to be developing in myself.

Learning from children is a very fitting and much needed process considering what Jesus had to say about them. Look at what happened in Matthew 18:1-4. “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them 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 the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” The disciples had a shortage in their mind and in their hearts. All they could think about was themselves. So Jesus brought a child in as a visual aid. He told His disciples that they had to think and feel as a child does. On one other occasion, Jesus did likewise (Mark 10:13-16). Jesus made His point loud and clear to His followers. If they wanted to be in Heaven with God one day, then they would have to be childish. Childlike. Jesus said we need to learn from children.

We all need Jesus to place a child in our midst, point to them and tell us to be more childish. So, what can we learn from children? How can the example of a kid impact my way of thinking, feeling, and acting? Here are five points to think about:

  1. The Love of a Child – Children are so pure in love. So full of love. Watch kids play with their friends. They can get mad at each other one minute and by the next they are ready to play and have fun again. They forgive and move on. I have seen that in my kids. I have also seen from my children that even when I don’t act like I should as a dad and lose my temper, within minutes they are running up to me with open arms and treat me as if nothing ever happened. They also have a love for God that is so pure. Their love for God and others is amazing. We are to love God with all our heart and secondly love one another. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-40).
  2. The Honesty of a Child – One thing you learn quick when you are around kids is that they will be earnestly and brutally honest. They call it like they see it. If you have a big tummy, they’ll let you know. If you said something wrong, they’ll tell you. If you don’t remember to do something you said you’ll do, they’ll remind you. And if you do something right, they’ll tell you good job. Children have a very simple approach to life. Be honest. It’s not hard. Say what needs to said without twisting the truth. “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25).
  3. The Joy of a Child – Children light up the world from the day they are born. The laughs, giggles, smiles, and excitement that they have is contagious. They are so happy. They don’t worry. They focus on what’s fun and good about the day. When I’m stressed or having a tough day, seeing my kids playing and enjoying themselves really cheers me up. We need to learn to have the joy in life that children do. We need to be happy in Jesus. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
  4. The Imitation of a Child – When you’re a parent, one thing you learn is that children will imitate you. So we try to make sure that we are giving our children a good example to imitate. Children learn to love like their parents. Act like their parents. Do things like their parents. If we show our children what is right and good, then they will develop to be the same. We are to imitate God. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1).
  5. A Child’s Desire To Learn – Children learn so much, very fast. As they develop through childhood, they absorb things like a sponge. I have seen my children learn more and more over time. They ask a lot of questions. A lot of questions. They are eager to learn and understand things. They have a big appetite for knowledge. Why this? Why that? What’s this? How did that happen? We need to have the desire to learn more and more from God. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).

Watching children grow and develop should cause us to grow and develop. Jesus said we must become like children. We are to be childish. Often times children are saying and doing the things that we adults should be doing and saying. Spend time watching and listening to children. If we do, we’ll most likely learn some very important lessons.


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