What does God say about children?
Abuse and pain, whether physical or psychological, angers and outrages us, particularly if it involves children.
When we hear of children being neglected, beaten, told they are unloved and worthless, or made to endure great loss and suffering, our hearts break for them.
Instinctively we know children are precious. Just how precious, God reminds us in His Word.
God says children are a gift and a blessing from Him. "Sons are a heritage from the Lord," it says in Psalm 127 verse 3; "children are a reward from Him."
Jesus says children are precious in His eyes. They are also an example of what we must become like to enter the kingdom of God.
In Matthew chapter 18, the disciples ask Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "[Jesus] called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me'."
"Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" – Jesus says in Mark 10 verse 14.
Children should not be seen as inferior. "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones," Jesus commands in Matthew 18 verse 10. "For I tell you their angels in heaven always see the face of my father in heaven."
And they should be protected, not harmed, because they belong to God.
"If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea" – Jesus explains sternly in Matthew 18 verse 6.
Children have a simple and pure faith that makes it easy for them to believe in and accept God's immense love for them. If you want to know what God expects of our faith, just follow the example of a child.•