Analyze the following texts: Matthew 11:25-26; Matt. 18:1-6, Matt. 18:10-14. What truths, not just about children but about faith in general, can we learn through these stories? Think about just how harsh Jesus’ warning was here. Why should we tremble before it?
There exists a unique genuineness within children that Jesus frequently appealed to when illustrating His kingdom. Their genuineness, humility, dependency, and innocence somehow capture the essence of Christian living. How we should all long for that simplicity and trust in living out our faith.
Modern disciple-makers need to learn another lesson: children need never leave their childlike dependency behind. Properly educated, children may carry their trusting innocence into adulthood. Certainly, as children mature and get older, they will question things, they will have struggles and doubts and unanswered questions, as we all do. But a childlike faith is never unfashionable. As parents, or as adults in general, we should do all that we can to instill in children a knowledge of God and His love, and nothing can do that more than by revealing that love to them through our lives, our kindness, our compassion, and our care. We can preach and sermonize all we want; in the end, as with adults, the best way to disciple children is to live out before them the love of God in our lives.
In cold, fearsome, and stark contrast, criminal acts against children-especially during church-sponsored activities-can destroy a child’s confidence about the church and, usually, about the God of the church. What wrath must justly await those who perpetrate such actions and those who protect the perpetrators. Christ and His message awaken confidence and trust. How dare any human organization compromise that childlike faith through lack of vigilance?
What is your church doing, not only to nurture its children but to make sure that they are protected in every way possible? Think what it means when Jesus said their angels
do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven (Matt. 18:10). Why should that make anyone who hurts a child tremble?