Shelby G. Floyd
Children study and imitate their parents. School teachers know quite a lot about the parents by observing their children in the classroom and on the playground.
Parents Should Study Their Children
Parents would do well to study the character and traits of little children, because Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mark 10:15). What are the basic traits and character of little children before they learn some things from the adults that are not good? They are (1) honest; (2) forgiving; (3) joyful; (4) trusting; and (5) dependent. Those are definitely some things that the parents and all adults should imitate and practice!
Parents Bless Your Children with Love and Affection
Matthew and Mark declared that the parents on one occasion brought young children to Christ that he should touch them (Mark 10:13), pray for them (Matthew 19:13), and bless them (Mark 10: 16). Luke declares that they even brought infants to him (Luke 18:15). In the Old Testament one of the ways that parents gave their children the family blessing was to touch and hug them, thereby conveying acceptance, love and affection.
When Isaac blessed his son Jacob who was about forty years old, he requested, “Please come close and kiss me, my son” (Genesis 27:26 NASB). Grandchildren also need the hugs and kisses of their grandparents. Grandfather Jacob had his grandchildren come close to him, embraced them, kissed them and laid his hands on their heads and gave them his blessings (Genesis 48:9-14). Little children especially need the hugs and kisses of their parents for their emotional well-being and development.
Parents Should Let Their Children Be Children
But “The disciples rebuked those that brought them” (Mark 10: 13). It is a fact that many adults and some parents do not want to be bothered by their children. Even in the church, some people would be happy if there were no children present. There are few children in dead and dying churches!
Parents should allow their children to be children. Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Parents, let your children think, understand and speak as a child. They will grow up quick enough, and then they can put away their childish habits and become an adult.
Christ Loves Little Children
Christ had a completely different attitude. He was very displeased with the disciple’s attitude and action. He gave them a double command: (1) Allow the little children to come unto me; and (2) do not continually forbid or hinder them (Mark 10:14). The reason Christ wanted the little children to come unto him was for a spiritual object lesson, “For of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10: 14).
Christians Must Be Like Little Children
On a previous occasion the same disciples asked Christ, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1)? Here also Christ called a little child and had him stand among them:
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 19:3-6).
Children Are God’s Reward to Parents
“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him” (Psalms 127:3). Let us treasure them and bring them up in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4). “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV).
Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd, minister at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142 @sgf1964