After having written the last two posts connected with “Child Theology” I asked myself the question in the title.
And I have a few suggestions but I would love to hear what readers think too.
My first thought is that children are imaginative and spontaneous. For too many of us, the older we get, the less spontaneous we become and we are governed by what other people think and past failures. Children are not bound by that.
My second thought is that God’s uses the young at their stage of development. I have some suggestions from the Bible to back my ideas up.
When Joseph had his youthful dreams about his brothers and family, aged wisdom would have told him to keep his mouth shut. Experience tells us that blabbing these dreams would be a mistake. However Joseph in his immaturity and ego centered youthfulness informs the family. Even his dad was annoyed. Foolish as this was, Joseph’s actions ultimately led to his family’s rescue from starvation.
God used Miriam as the responsible older sister care for her baby brother.
Other events include Isaac’s childlike innocence when being prepared as a sacrifice and David’s childlike faith and idealism when facing Goliath. There is also Samuel’s childlike openness to the idea that God was speaking to him. How many of us would have been that open?
My contention is that God used young people because they had qualities that age had removed from the next generation. Are we missing out on the qualities of our young people simply because we are judging and assessing them on a maturity that we may have but that they haven’t reached?
What are we as churches and families missing out on by not recognising that childishness and youth also have a place in the kingdom?
Great post Pieter! I think another quality that children often exude better than adults is simple trust.