Ever imagine a world—your world—without children? It is hard to imagine such a place. Perhaps the nursing home is the closest to such an experience. By the patients’ reactions when children are present, it’s easy to see the light of a little child. God’s design was for a continued refreshing of the world by little children. Jesus loved the little children (Matt. 19:14).

Jesus said except you become as little children “you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven” (Matt. 18:3). Note the qualification given in His statement, “except ye be converted.” It is in conversion that the heart is purified resembling the heart of a child. He is not saying be exactly like a child, rather He is emphasizing certain imitational points of children.

Do children make mistakes? Yes, lots of them, but they are typically very open for instruction. If a child becomes angry at corrective instruction, then it doesn’t last long. They usually get over it quickly and are trying out the new instruction. Closely connected is the receiving of punishment. The scripture is clear on God’s authority for discipline of children, even the administering of corporal punishment (Prov. 23:13; Heb. 12:9-10). After such punishment any parent can testify of the humble return of the child. That’s a trait needed in Christians. When disciplined of the Lord, return to Him in humble adoration like a child.

Children don’t hold grudges for very long, but Christians do! Let something happen between individual Christians, and it can divide them for a lifetime. Not children—you’ve seen them fall out with one another, but soon they’re back together again. In Christ one should learn and live with a forgiving spirit. It’s part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:12; 7:12). The building up and holding on to a grudge is not a productive masterpiece but a very destructive mess. Not only does it tear down others, but also serves to destroy the individual holding the grudge! Children don’t do such things and children of God don’t practice such. Live free of it and you’re guaranteed to feel better!

Children typically recognize authority. In the home authority must be established (Eph. 6:1-4), but once established children recognize it with humble compliance. Children of God should be even better at the practice. A recognition of God’s authoritative, eternal power will be seen in humble obedience to His will and way (Matt. 18:4).

Vacation Bible School is a great time for children, and always attracts a number of them each year. Seeing smiles of joy, hearing their laughter, and their excitement is priceless. Jesus charged to take care of these little ones, and woe to those who would harm and abuse them (Matt. 18:5-7). Can you imagine how beautiful Heaven must be with all the children? Without the heart of a child, you’ll not get to experience it.

-David Hill, President of Tennessee Bible College