And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3) (KJV)
While there is no doubt the unbridled candor of children and their wide-eyed wonder at the idea there is more to life than what we can readily see or hear is part of what so endeared them to Christ, there is more to the analogy than this simple comparison. Fulfilling our roles as God’s children is predicated on first forging a familial relationship with Christ, his firstborn. It involves accepting Christ’s position in the Godhead, not just as a symbol, but as a living, crucial figure in the deity. Their relationship as Father and Son patterned the reciprocal love and respect we as Christians are to imitate. Ideally, we will offer them the same unconditional love they afford us.
Although we may begin life without guile, temptation and sin contaminate our behavior soon enough. We need the framework of family, of parents in order to flourish. A child’s dependence on his earthly parents is not viewed as weakness, but as a fact of life, as our dependence on our Heavenly Father should be. If we are ever to become spiritual adults, we must first acknowledge and then accept our roles as mere children with all of the growth pains, false starts and heartfelt apologies that entails.
Heavenly Father, Please guide us in our attempts to pattern our lives after your blessed son. Amen.