From beginning to end, God speaks about the importance of children through His Word. Because children are important to Him, children should be important to us.
But the evidence of moral decay in a country full of people who claim to be Christians, and a church made up of shallow believers, points to the fact that our ideas about children are essentially the same as the world’s. We let a culture that kills 1 million babies a year in the womb inform our opinion about children.
Knowing what the Bible says about children will help you connect with God’s heart for them and see how He asks us to relate to and regard them.
God longs to give His people the gift of children in order that they can make disciples of them. He calls them a heritage and tells us that they are instrumental in His purposes for our lives!
Children are an important and valuable part of God’s Kingdom
In Mark 10:13-16 people were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant.
He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them.
Our society doesn’t highly regard the helpless; their evolutionary philosophy tries to eliminate them. But the very nature of children being humble and dependent upon someone else is exactly what we are to revere, since a dependence on God and an eagerness to please Him helps us be conformed to His will.
There is nothing in us to fit us for the kingdom. In fact, the less we have and the weaker we are, the better! The less we have of self, the more room there is for God’s grace and strength to be evident.
Children are a blessing and reward from the Lord
Just exactly why does God consider children a blessing? Is it because they’re so innocent and adorable, and they make us feel good?
Well, not really. The Bible says that we are in spiritual warfare. And children are given to us as an important tool in this battle.
They are compared to “arrows in the hands of a warrior” in Psalm 127:3. Think about that for a minute. What are arrows used for? They are aimed at an enemy as a means of protecting or defending.
If we raise them biblically, they have the potential to be launched from our home like arrows aimed at the kingdom of darkness. When they’ve been trained in the Word of God, they will disarm the lies of the enemy of our souls and thwart his purposes.
They are used for our sanctification
The Lord uses our kids to mold us into what He wants us to be. Nothing drives me to my knees more than the daily failures I experience as a mom. Nothing else reveals my weaknesses and need for a Savior like feeling unqualified for what I’m doing.
Being a mother, especially a homeschooling mother, presents me with the unique opportunity to believe that while I may not be able to handle the next thing that comes, God will give me the grace I need right when I need it.
Motherhood stretches us to our breaking point sometimes, but all that sacrifice brings us closer to God and His faithfulness is always revealed through it.
Children bring us joy
John 16:21 says, “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”
Yes, children were meant to bring us joy. Not without hard work, not without frustrations, not without those days you might want to run away from home… but joy nonetheless. One of the most common things parents say today is, “I can’t handle more than the two I’ve got.” There seems to be a contradiction between this and God’s claim that they are a blessing.
The answer goes back to obedience about how we raise our children. When we don’t have an eternal perspective we parent wrongly and actually heap heartache on ourselves, producing children who are a burden, rather than a blessing.
So we have to do our part by embracing our children (however many that is) as a blessing, and trust God to do His. We would also do well to remember that we live in a fallen world where things don’t always go as they should. If a child turns out not to be the kind of blessing you would prefer, look deeper, and see whether the blessing is still there, maybe delayed, or perhaps in an unexpected place.
They are a critical component in the expansion of God’s Kingdom
When God gives children to believers— biologically, through adoption, or spiritual children through discipleship— He fully expects that we will inundate them with the Gospel. This “go and make disciples of all nations” also applies to our own kids.
The Great Commission begins with our own family first, then extends to friends, neighbors and those in our communities. We so often sacrifice the former for the pursuit of the latter. Quite literally, God desires that His kingdom would increase by the sheer number of children Christian parents have.
It doesn’t minimize our need to evangelize a lost world. But how many well-intentioned Christians neglect to pour into their own children’s spiritual lives as they minister to others outside the home?
When we realize that our children are our mission field that deserve our full attention, it produces a healthy Church. Instead of stretching our families thin on time together, leaving little room for intensive and purposeful biblical training between school and extracurricular activities, we need to turn inward and cultivate the kind of believers that will stand ready to defend the faith under attacks from a secular culture.
Parenting is holy work
Understanding the importance of children in the work God has given us changes our perspective of parenting. We won’t be so quick to denounce verses like “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24)”, or “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will remove it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).
Our main job as parents is not to make mini versions of ourselves so we can have friends or prodigies, as if children are to be displayed as trophies or given to us for companionship. We should be proud of them and have fun with them, but our highest priority is to bring them to Heaven with us. That includes “using the rod of correction” so they will be saved from Hell.
Children are a heritage
Our kids have the purpose of proclaiming the glory of the Creator, just as we do. We need to pass on a legacy of faith to our kids so they pass it down to their children, and so forth.
Psalm 78 says that God commands us to teach about His wondrous works so that “they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments”. Without an understanding of the providential role God has played throughout history, future populations will be stubborn, rebellious, unprepared and unfaithful. Our kids are crucial to carrying the message of the Gospel to the next generation.
Children are worth the investment of being poured out into, just as Jesus did with His disciples. Our chief calling is to feed His lambs. The truth from our hearts should stream into theirs.
Those little people—the ones who disrupt my peace and order, ask me a thousand questions and make messes—are eternal souls for whom I will stand before the Lord and give an account. But He has promised this reward: “Inasmuch as you have it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me!”