Have you ever wondered what are children good for? They can’t work; they can’t contribute. They tend to be loud, needy, and self-centered. Why did God create us so that we come into the world in the form of an infant, rather than fully mature? Why did He send His Son to earth in the same form?
Anyone I’ve ever known who has become a parent has said the experience changes him or her. All of the sudden, you are not living for yourself. As a pregnant woman, everything you eat, drink, or breathe affects your child. After a baby is born, it relies on its parents for everything. The choices the caregivers make will affect whether that child learns to trust them to meet his or her needs.
A child teaches you to love in a way that you’ve never loved before. It’s unconditional and fierce. It protects at all costs, yet disciplines without regret. It believes that anything is possible, and teaches how to deal with reality. It is completely patient, and always yearning for more time.
Children look at the world differently than adults do. Their view is free from a lifetime of cultural and media bias. They look with wonder at a flower or an insect. They see people as people, no matter what color or shape. They see play in everything, from parking lot stripes to grassy hills. Everything has a story to tell; anybody and anything might be a character.
When we are children, our memories are formed. Our pictures of who we are as a person is formed. We pick up on the cues from those around us and decide how important we are and what we are good at. We learn what it means to be a member of our gender, of our family, of our neighborhood, of our school. We make friends with people we share common interests with.
God gave us this period of life to make us into the person He designed us to be. He gives us the opportunity to be a part of this extraordinary process in the lives of children who take on our own DNA. These little people look like us, act like us, and depend on us to teach them about life and the world.
God gave us childhood to give us an opportunity to grow. He gave us children to give us an opportunity to mature. He calls us His children and loves us in the same encompassing, forgiving, heartbreaking way we love our own children. Be still and know.