I’ve gotta be honest. When I would read the scripture about “come unto me like a child” years ago I didn’t really give much weight to it. If you’ve been around here for a minute, you know that large groups of small children are NOT my thang. Gimme teenagers all day, but booger eaters in large quantities? Nope. I’m out. It honestly wasn’t until I had my own kids that this scripture started taking root and making me examine the way I approach my Heavenly Father. I mean, sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know, right? But for those of you who are where I used to be (or maybe you never struggled with that) here is some fresh perspective on things my children have taught me about my relationship with God and spiritual growth and development.
5 Things My Kids Have Taught Me About Spiritual Growth
1. There is no such thing as personal space
- One of our kids’ very favorite games is to have us lie down on the floor so that they can lift up our shirts and blow raspberries on our tummies. It’s hilarious and provides LOTS of giggles all the way around. This is totally fine and cool… until we were visiting friends and my son decided to do this to my friend who happened to be laying on the floor. Lol! Once she got over the shock, she was fine with it and happily received slobber raspberries on her tummy too.
- How many of US operate like that with God? If I’m being frank, very few Christians I’ve known approach God with that measure of closeness in mind. We allow other’s preconceptions of what’s ok or our own past refusals for intimate contact to come between us and the one who longs to be closer to us than anyone else.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8a ESV
2. No question is off-limits or awkward for them
- Oh the awkward questions I have answered since becoming a Mom. And I’m certain that it is only beginning. You see, we have an “only truth” policy with our kids and we also believe in using anatomically correct terms for body parts… So ya…. I’m sure you can imagine.
- I think so often we as “mature” adults fear asking questions that really need to be asked because we don’t want to look stupid or make things feel awkward. But lemme tell ya, God is NOT scared of your awkward questions and will never chastise you for asking for wisdom.
3. No ask is too big
- One night before bed my (then 3-year-old) daughter asked if we could go on an African Safari. Now, she has no idea what that would cost for 4 people. How much travel time and days off work that would be, or the logistics involved in planning and executing a trip like that. She doesn’t know that we are saving up our money to build a house and a trip like that would drain that account. She doesn’t know any of those things, but EVEN if she did, it SHOULDN’T change her ask. Because all she knows is that her Mama and Daddy take good care of her, that she always has everything that she needs and most of what she wants.
- Far too often Christians limit what we ask for based on our abilities and our savings accounts when I really think God is after some people who will just ask Him BIG because they believe He is good enough and big enough to come through.
- See Phil 4:19 and 2 Cor 8:9-10 for more here
4. They naturally just believe me like I am made to just naturally believe my Father
- When I tell my kids something they don’t question if it’s true or not. They don’t second guess if we are going to feed them or give them clothes to wear (if they will actually wear them), they don’t walk around reminding us of broken promises. They believe us because we have come through for them.
- How many times do we adults question whether God meant what He said? If His promises are true for you or just the guy down the street who keeps his yard in better shape?
- Even if people have failed you or you have failed yourself (hi, me too) God has never and WILL never fail you.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:5 NLT
5. Growth is and should be a constant thing
- Nobody has to tell a child “ok, sweetie, you should be progressing. You need to try to learn more now.” No. They are naturally curious, inquisitive, and always wanting to crawl, run, walk, climb better, faster, and higher. There is never the thought of “well, I think I’ve matured enough. Potty training is a little too much to ask. I’m cool. Growth is overrated.
- NO! Kids WANT to grow and progress and we should too! Somewhere along the way we have gotten the idea that getting saved and saying “Jesus you’re my boss now” is all there is to it and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Salvation is instant but sanctification is a process. As children of God, we should WANT to look and act more like Him daily. We should WANT to progress. I’m a firm believer that there really is no such thing as neutral in our faith walk. We are constantly going against the grain of the world’s system as Christians, so we are either fighting forward or sliding backward.
- If you look at your life and honestly assess that you haven’t been pressing forward, you haven’t been desiring growth, then I want to challenge you to repent and make that change right now. It doesn’t have to be some giant Facebook announcement, but it does need to be a change in your thinking and a shift in your heart.
Allow me to leave you with this thought:
God desires intimacy and closeness with you, His precious child, even MORE than the best Mom and Dad desire closeness with their kids. Don’t be afraid to take him up on His invitation to draw near. It may be different than what you’ve known. Shoot, it may be different than anything you’ve ever heard your friends and family describes. But I can PROMISE you that a childlike approach in your faith will radically improve your spiritual growth and could ultimately change your life for the better.