A Child Shall Teach Them By Bill Stough
The phone rang at 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 16, 2007. It was my son, and he said, “Hi, Dad. It’s show time!”

It was time for him to take his wife Lisa to the hospital where she would give birth to their second child. My wife Scarlett and I would go to their house and take care of two year old Sophia while Lisa was in labor. As it turned out Lisa delivered her son Ethan Andrew at 3:30 a.m.--a fast delivery indeed!

Is there something we should learn from infants and little children? Christ thought so. He said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, 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, put his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:14-16 NIV)

Little children are so trusting, so innocent, so open and undisguised. When we took Sophia to the hospital later that day to see her parents and new brother, she was so glad to see them. She wanted to hug and be hugged by her mommy and daddy. There was no sophistication there--just pure openness. She was not ashamed that she needed to be loved.

Sophia was also very kind and loving to her new brother. She wanted to stroke his hair, touch his face, kiss him, and even asked to hold him. A pillow was set up on one side, Sophia was in the middle, and Grandma Scarlett on the other side. Then newborn Ethan was placed on their laps so Sophia could “hold” her new brother. It was very touching sight and one I’ll never forget.

How much pretentiousness and covering up of “the real Sophia” is demonstrated by such an act? How much of a mask was Sophia wearing because “she had an image to protect?” Is there something we can learn from this?

A young child is what she is - not something else. She wants to play, wants to eat, wants to go on the swing and the slide. A young child is aboveboard, guileless, undisguised and candid. There is no phony face or faking it to appear to be something else. 

Just as Ryan and Lisa deeply know their children so also does God know us. We should not try to fake it with God. He loves openness with him. Why not tell your Heavenly Father, “I feel like I need a hug today.” And when we pray never try to be phony before God to be “acceptable” to him. We don’t have to  be.  He knows us for what we truly are. 

Ryan and Lisa also know Sophia’s flaws. Do they despise her for that? No--they care, they love, they cherish, they protect her. If we are to learn from children, remember that those parental desires to love and care are given to humans by God. It is just a small part of what he is like. We, too, need to become childlike before our Father in heaven for he loves us, cares, and cherishes us too. It is not valid to feel beaten down and needing to prove to God that we are trying to “qualify for the kingdom” and become worthy. It’s not a matter of being worthy. It was He who gave us life. It is He who will give us eternal life. “Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32 KJV)

So be open with our Heavenly Father just as a little child is with her human parents. We are all flawed but he is on our side. He cares for us as a parent does. “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:10-14 NIV)