In my current job, I work with children in a variety of ways, from Sunday School to group events. During these encounters with children, I have been surprised at some of their comments in recent weeks. (Since I have several people from my church who read my blog, I will try to keep some of the details vague.) The first story involves a child making a remark to their sibling that said they wanted to go to Sunday School that day. To which, the sibling replied back, mom and dad said no, they were only going to worship. The second story included a child who has a desire to grow in their faith, but knows their parents don’t go to worship frequently. Therefore, they expressed a frustration that they could not grow as much as they would like to.
Both of these incidents saddened my heart. Often times our expectation of others, especially children, is that they do not want to have anything to do with God or greatly dislike going to church and Sunday School. But the reality is that their expectations often follow our expectations as adults. If we make worship a priority, they learn to make it a priority. Yet, there are times, that their desires go above and beyond our expectations, like in the two stories I shared. I am most saddened by the fact that what holds the kids back is not their desire, but the actions of their parents.
I share these stories for the purpose of encouragement. When we see so many things around us going awry, we tend to overgeneralize how bad our world is. What I see is God’s hand at work in the lives of children. His Spirit is working inside their hearts, creating a desire for them to learn more about Him. I pray that we might see and recognize God’s working by finding ways for them to grow in their faith. “Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest’” (Luke 9:47-48).