Dec
27
2011

How Jesus Viewed Children

Yesterday we posed a question, asking how pastors genuinely felt about the whole “be fruitful and multiply” verses in the Bible. (Read Were Children Blessings to Jesus?) That sure stirred the pot with some of you! Some actively defended the words of the cited pastor. While the discussion was healthy, we think it is disappointing to hold a bitter view of children. In his day, Jesus rebuked such thinking.

See, Jesus’ disciples had a similar view of children. Children were in the way, should be silent and not heard, send them off so that the grown ups can get on with what is really important.

Check out how Jesus reacts to this attitude in his day:

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. (Mark 10:13-16)

Let the little children come. We so love that.

Before we get on a high horse and condemn Christian pastors for thinking like the disciples, let’s get down to earth. We all tend to resemble the disciples at times. Doesn’t every parent? We get short with the children, testy, annoyed.

Here’s something that broke my (Chris’s) heart the other day. I had been busy with a lot of high-pressure business relationships. Nothing to do with family. I hadn’t noticed my indignation, but my son, Joshua, sure did. Out of the mouth of babes (he’s 6), he came up to me and asked, “Do I annoy you?”

“No,” I responded, surprised at the question. “You don’t annoy me. I love you!”

“You told me to not be so annoying.”

Well, tear my tongue out and pierce it with a Buck knife. I didn’t say that exactly, but came close to it. Earlier in the day, Joshua was bouncing around the house singing an annoying song, and I told him to be quiet. I was “busy,” and I let out that the tune was “annoying.” My, my, how easily we let hurtful words fly.

“The kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” Jesus says. There was much more kingdom glowing from Joshua’s “annoying” song than my business deal.

This is a small example of an all-too-common view of children. It seems like the only joy parents are allowed a child is up through their maternity leave. Once the poop stinks, they’re off to work and the kids are in daycare. The two-year-olds are “terrible.” The kindergarten blues set in and they lip off to their parents. That’s nothing compared to teenagers. “Awg, teenagers,” parents grumble. The view is commonplace: Parenting is a burden.

Just drop into any casual conversation among young couples. Are they speaking fondly of their children? Are their attitudes like Jesus, welcoming them, blessing them?

Here’s conviction for you. What if you had a microphone wired in your living room, and what was said was broadcasted on national TV? Would viewers admire you for your love for your children? Or would they report you to the police?

If we’re honest, we will admit that our attitude hasn’t been all that great. Jesus was indignant toward his disciples, and he is indignant toward us if we have the same attitude. The disciples were grappling with the concept of accepting children, just as you may be. Actually, we hope every couple is grappling with the idea to love another childJesus had something profound to teach the disciples, and he is teaching us today through his Word. His final action:

And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Do you see the heart in this? Don’t you want to have this attitude toward children? We sure do. The disciples thought they should sweep the little children aside, but Jesus swept the children into his arms and loved them. We can just imagine the disciples staring at Jesus, surprised by his rebuke. Actually love these children? Bless them, and let them bless you? The kingdom of heaven is like them!?

It was a radical concept back in Jesus’ time. We fear it is radical once again today. The point we are making is simply this: Scripture challenges us to love children. When we really meditate on this, make it the core view of children, we start to change our view of family and fertility. The blessings start to come.

And life starts to look pretty doggone good.
With children.
Perhaps more children than we planned.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • http://thepassionatehomeschooler.blogspot.com/ Pam

    Awesome post. I can relate. We don’t always show children that they are the blessings that God tells us they are. In fact, in some cases we train them up to become burdensome. See, they are in the way of us getting ‘stuff’ and pursuing our own wants and ideals. Society mostly does think them burdens and that attitude clings to us. I see 4 car garages and 2 bedroom homes and get a little puzzled. When we’ve told our parents the great news of a pregnancy it seemed like I was telling them I had cancer. But if we would have won the lottery…

    God’s perspective is often directly opposite of ours. He turns our values, desires, ways and our world upside down! His ways are higher than our ways. His perspective richer.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      Very well said! How our patents’ generation view children…now that’s something to talk about.

      • Hana

        Our parent’s generation used plenty of birth control. In fact, that was when the pill was invented–and it was an instant hit. I don’t think romanticizing the past teaches us anything. People have needed birth control since time began. Back when women died in childbirth with some frequency, birth control was a lifesaver, a boon, a wonderful thing. 

  • Sheila

    A very thought provoking post! I know that I would not want a microphone in my house to share my words with the world. I have often said things in the heat of the moment that I soon regretted and it is so humbling when our children repeat our words back to us.
    I doubt that there is a parent on earth who does not stumble in this area.
    May God grant us all a love for children as He loves children!

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      Amen!

  • T. Gates

    This has nothing to do with this post, but I was wondering your thoughts on the peace sign.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      Go ahead and use the contact us section to ask off-topic questions like this. Thanks T!

  • Carel

    I don’t think loving children has any relation to the number of children you have. 

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      You are right, Carel. We agree with you. Our point is quite different. LOVING a child is first and foremost, and that lends to LOVING children in general. We are bothered by some people’s attitudes toward children, not the same as Jesus’ attitude toward children, which is what this post questions.

      • Carel7373

        I don’t know–people make a huge fuss over my kids wherever we go. I don’t really see a problem there.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Wow, that is really neat. Thanks for sharing this, Tereza!