By Contributing Writer, Yvonne Harink
“From children’s lips you let your praise be sounded,
and on this praise a fortress you have founded:
our little ones your strength and glory show;
through them you silence the avenging foe.” Psalm 8:2, from the Book of Praise
Jesus said, “Suffer little children to come unto me… for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.“ (Matt. 19:14) Throughout Scripture babies are held up as an important element in God’s design of advancing his Kingdom on earth.
For the last 23 years our house has been blessed with the presence of babies and toddlers. Well, we did have a six year break after baby #9, and we had to get used to training and disciplining a baby again. While many in today’s society would pity us for the inconveniences of having all these babies around for so many years, I want to share how much we’ve learned from the little people in our lives, and how they’ve brought rich blessings to our home.
Babies help us to see the world as it really is.
Babies show no fear. They know of no social boundaries. They love people around them unconditionally. Babies help us to see the world with fresh curiosity and wonder.
Babies help us to stay at home, which is a good place for us to be.
Babies are happiest and safest in their own environment. They thrive when they have a structured routine and can nap in their own beds. I don’t know about you, but I have found that the more I stay at home, the more contentment I find there and the more productive I become.
Babies help us to grow in grace and die to ourselves.
As we learn to discipline another little person, the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness and self-control—have the opportunity to grow.
Babies help us to understand our need for a Savior.
As our latest baby is finding his place in our family, he is learning the painful lesson that we all had to learn: he is not god. He is finding out that he is not autonomous. He has to abide by certain rules or he finds himself losing all his privileges and getting plunked back in his bed. He is finding that he can not steal his sibling’s cell phones, crumple their books, hide my crochet hooks, or smash his brother’s Lego project. He is learning that temper tantrums don’t pay off.
Our little boy is learning at a young age that all humans have to live under authority. A family is a very natural place to learn this as children don’t have to know deep theology to guard their private property and function as the first form of government. Babies remind us that we all live under authority our whole lives. The only way we can submit to authority is through the blood of our Savior and Lord: Jesus Christ.
Babies remind us what a miracle a person is.
Right from the time we make that first eye contact with him or her, a baby is a testimony to the truth that he was created a unique, mysterious, relational being. Getting to know a little child is an experience that will profoundly change us. This is because a child is born a person, a reflection of God Himself. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit communed together and said, “Let us make man in our own image.” The entire universe was prepared to be home for man. While Adam fell, Christ died to restore man to true personhood. Every baby born is a unique reflection of God Himself.
God uses babies to inspire us with hope and courage for the future.
Arriving into the world with no credentials or accomplishments—not having had any say in his time, place, or parentage—each little baby reminds us that salvation is not about what we do, but rather about who we are. We are children of the KING. Sons and daughters of the Lord of Hosts. Children born to believing parents are heirs to rich promises. God has amazing plans for them. He promises to use them to advance his kingdom and push back the very gates of hell.
“God will be faithful through the generations
to children’s children who with dedication
uphold his covenant and obey his laws. ”
(Ps. 103: 17, From the Genevan Book of Praise)