Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I’m tired today. So. Tired. We’re going on two weeks strong of really bad sleep from the kids. We’re all exhausted, cranky, emotional, and very short on patience. Parenting is hard, with no weekends off, no vacation days, no sick days. I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure how anyone survives it, but we’re all still here, so I guess it happens somehow. Never mind, I do know how. Purely by the grace of God.  But, anyway, through the tired and the cranky and the inconvenience and the unruly children, I still strongly believe this:
Raising children is a high calling from God. He treasures His children, and the littlest of these He calls to Himself.
But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ ”
Matthew 19:14
We are raising them to be followers of Jesus, “little Christs”, and in turn they bless us daily. They give us joy and teach us patience and are tools in our own sanctification (oh, are they ever tools in our sanctification!) And they point us to Christ.

Our toddler prayed her first prayer the other day. It was simple and cute and full of childish innocence.  She thanked God for Mama, and Daddy, and Charlotte, and Ice Cream, and Kona the dog. Aaaw, adorable, too cute, precious…moving on. Only, that’s not all my husband and I saw in it. To us, it wasn’t just something sweet to jot down in the baby book. It wasn’t just a cute little anecdote to post on Facebook. To us, it was awe-striking.
" Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger."
Psalms 8:1-2
The praise of the little ones is a mighty thing. Without prompting, without truly understanding herself, our two year old just praised God for ice cream. She gave God glory for the things He has created. And God loves her praise! He ordains it, He creates it in her heart, and He establishes strongholds against enemies through it. That simple prayer that we witnessed was her first purposeful act of praise to God. It showed us the tenderness of her heart, and the working of the Holy Spirit. It gave us hope for her salvation. It turned us to Christ, and made us glorify His name as well. It filled us full of awe. It may sound childish to thank God for ice cream, but when is the last time you simply thanked God for the things you love? Our daughter gave heartfelt thanks for the things most important to her in her little, two year old world. For the things she loves the most - family, and ice cream.
So, consider this. If God values children so highly, how heinous is it for the world to devalue them? To slaughter them as unborn babies, to dispose of them as unwanted newborns, to disregard them as irritating toddlers, to belittle them as immature grade-schoolers, to ignore them as angst ridden teenagers, and to excuse them as irresponsible young adults? How surprising is it that this generation is full of selfish, immature, worthless adults when they were so cheapened as children? Who are we to put such a low worth on children when God Himself deems them so very precious? Who are we to kill them when they are unwanted, to ignore them when they are inconvenient, to disregard them when they are seeking guidance? Sure, you say, that’s how the world thinks, but we Christians understand the importance of children. So, I challenge the church. Who are we to automatically usher the tiny babes from the worship service because they’re too distracting? To shush the toddler belting out his favorite psalm because he’s too enthusiastic? To quiet the chatty preschooler, fervently praying the Lord’s prayer at the top of her lungs? To be embarrassed when our child is the one who shouts a lusty amen with the pastor at the end of the prayer?
God cherishes the praise of babes. We should see those moments for what they are. Pure, childish, godly, awesome praise. Let’s join them.

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