There are probably lots of things that remind us of our childhood. Maybe you watch something that reminds you of an event, or you do some of the same things with your own children that you did as a child. We may become nostalgic for the time we grew up when we see photos or hear songs that remind us of our youth. I don’t know about you, but the memories I recall most from my childhood are generally good ones. Growing up with my family, going for walks, going sledding, celebrating Christmas, Vacation Bible School, taking trips, and visiting relatives. There are probably things that I didn’t enjoy, like when I first lost a grandparent, but they are not as frequent as the positive memories. How did the things you experienced as a child shape you into who you are today?
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
What did you like about your childhood? The lack of responsibility and the ability to play. The ability to work without the obligations of as many bills to pay? There are lots of advantages to growing up in America, but lots of things to long for as well. We don’t have the right to do many things until we become adults…the right to vote, drive, get a loan, etc. Yet we have the God given right to live and the desire and will to learn new things. We have many legal rights that we may not even understand as a child, but our parents and those in charge over us ensure we have the best life possible. Children are often humbled by the peers and adults around them, until they become adults. When we lose our pride and have a humble, open attitude as a child toward God, he can use us more effectively than when we act as childish, selfish adults.
He 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 little 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. Matthew 18:2-4
If someone calls you childish, do you take it as a compliment? It probably means you are acting selfishly, or with the impulsive attitude of a child. I may also imply you are thinking simply about something, which may not always be a bad thing. As we grow older, things tend to get more complicated. Relationships become more complicated, we have more obligations and not as much time for ‘fun’ things and we get more selective with what we do. Returning to an uncluttered, simple childlike way of looking at life is not always a bad thing, and may even help us understand things better. As it is with God, some principles of His Kingdom are simple enough for a child to understand. Yet, there is more depth to explore and understand than is possible in multiple lifetimes if we desire more knowledge.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. I Corinthians 13:11
So, take those things that were significant and meaningful from your own childhood and share them with your own children. Read bible stories with young children, so they will remember them in a positive light. Talk to youth and model good behavior, so they will have someone to look up to. Even a simple word of encouragement can go a long way. Have an openness and a curiosity like that of a child toward the things of God, so that He can continue to show you the ways of His Kingdom. May this bring you joy as you grow and discover how this applies to every area of your life.
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