? Jesus loves the little children… ?
A song we’ve sung since our own childhood and have likely taught to other children. The song speaks of His love for all children and bumps us right into Matthew 18:5-6.
Verse 5 is so encouraging! When we welcome a child into the realm of believers we are welcoming Jesus. Could there be anything better? If we grasped this concept, no children’s minister would ever have to beg for volunteers!
Verse 6, though, carries a dire warning. If we cause any of these little ones to fall from faith in Jesus and into sin, we’re facing some serious judgment.
Let’s work through this.
If we welcome the children, we welcome Jesus. We’re inviting Him into our midst. We’re embracing Him when we embrace that child.
If we do something that breaks that child’s spirit or harms their emotional wellbeing in a way that destroys their faith in Jesus, thus killing them spiritually, Jesus says we have chosen death for ourselves. It’s like we’ve done it to Him.
He says it would be better if we took one of the huge millstones used to grind corn and wheat and tied it to our necks and jumped into the sea. Have you ever seen a millstone? (I’m including a picture.)
Now, I am absolutely certain Jesus wasn’t declaring that every abuser of children – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – should kill themselves. No one should take a life, especially their own. What I see Him saying here is that IN COMPARISON with the torment that abuser will suffer, a terrifying death of drowning would be preferable.
I don’t know how that works. I’m not God. What I do know is that Jesus said this and we need to take heed.
When we are with these little ones, whether as parents, caregivers, or teachers, we must be careful of our words and deeds – even those we don’t think the children see or hear. We must be careful that nothing we say or do gives the enemy the opportunity to draw these precious ones whom Jesus holds in high esteem away from Him.
I used the word “abuser” earlier, and I meant that. What I don’t mean is only those who touch inappropriately. I mean anyone who uses words, especially scripture, that damage a little heart. Every time we pour adult things into a child’s mind or heart, we’re wrong and abusive. They’re not old enough to understand. They’re just not. Every time we use scripture to rein in the beautiful God-created spirit, we’re knocking that spirit in the head and pushing the child closer to the enemy.
We must stop this!
Let’s be more mindful today of what we say and do in the vicinity of children. Let’s care deeply for the ones Jesus says are so special that welcoming them welcomes Him.
Let’s don’t do things deserving of a millstone.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.