Why We Need to Become as Little Children

I witnessed something beautiful recently.  Something completely out of the ordinary.  God revealed to me what it was like to become as little children.  How to have love and humility in it’s purest form and be like that of a child.


A little boy of about three years old sat on a bench all by himself.  He had the biggest blue eyes and cutest rosy cheeks.  He instantly caught my attention because he was all by himself.  There wasn’t a parent in sight.


This small child bobbed his head from side to side while dangling his tiny legs over the edge.  I listened as he sang a little song to himself, smiling ear to ear.  I scanned the area looking for someone who could have been his mother.


No one.


Nevertheless, he went on singing his happy tune and all I could think of was how this toddler was too young to be alone.  I was transfixed because he wasn’t afraid.  He was perfectly fine being on that bench alone, unaware and without sense of danger.


Then out of no where his mother came walking up.  She had a baby on her hip and she looked tired and agitated.  His mother calmly walked over to her beaming boy and it was soon that I realized that this small child had been “sent” to the bench to give her a breather.  She pointed her finger down at him as she quietly scolded him.  Still he was all smiles as he looked up endearingly at his Mom.


Read about what Jesus says regarding little children and the Kingdom of Heaven. We are to become as little children and love others more than ourselves.

No sooner had this mother given her small son permission to leave the bench, that he leapt to his feet and ran several feet away to wrap his little body around a man’s leg.  I could only assume that the man was his father.  It was the only way I could make sense of it.


Yet, the man was startled.


I could tell by the look on his face that he was of no relation to this little boy.  He looked down at this little guy and politely tried to free himself from his clutches without much success.  That’s when the man cracked a smile.


As the little boy looked up I thought, “Okay, he must have mistook him for someone else so surely he’ll let go now.”




He gave the stranger the biggest smile and squeezed even tighter.  That’s when all who were witness to this smiled and laughed.  His mom, the man, bystanders, and myself…all of us tickled by the love of this little guy.  It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen.


Almost instantly the Lord spoke to my heart, “This is how to become like a child.  Love like a child.”


I had to hold back the tears.


Of course.  Now it made sense.

Jesus and the Children


This little guy had no reservations or preconceived notions.  He was just an innocent one with a full heart, ready to love on anyone.  The rules didn’t apply to him and “no” wasn’t in his vocabulary.  He was going to share his joy no matter what the cost.  As a matter of fact, there was no cost to him.  He just felt love at that very moment and nothing was going to stop him from showing it.


I thought of how the children gathered around Jesus and the disciples got annoyed.  They were probably worried the kids would interrupt and be a nuisance.  The Lord set them straight though…



“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them.  But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.  But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.  Don’t stop them!  For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”  And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.”
Matthew 19: 13-15  NLT


There were two dynamics set in motion here.  Adults behaving in a logical methodical way, and the innocent children coming to the feet of Jesus.  Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.  We are to have hearts like children.



Loving like Children


As adults our hearts become calloused by the trials and pain of experiencing the pitfalls of life.  We start to put protective shields up so that we are not too vulnerable.  We become hardened to the point where showing love is only for special occasions.  I believe that the Lord wants us to lose our protective shell and love others unconditionally, without reservation or hesitancy.  We have to love people past ourselves.


“Don’t just pretend to love others.  Really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Romans 12: 9-10  NLT

I had to examine this about myself.  How many times do I want to safeguard my heart and withhold my love?  Do I really love others without reservation?  Am I like this child that I witnessed clutching to a stranger?  The answer is that I withhold my love far too often.

Do I fall at the feet of Jesus ready to worship and trust Him as a child trusts a parent?  Probably not as much as I should.

I want to exude love.  I want to give it as abundantly as I receive it.

“About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”  Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them.  Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Matthew 18: 1-4  NLT

May we make the most out of every oppurtunity to become His little children.

Be blessed,

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  • That was fantastic! Having that kind of faith is a beautiful thing. When we grow up we tend to shut down and it is a rare gift to be able to act as this child once an adult. Great observation.

    • Thank you Sherry,
      I truly felt honored in being able to witness something so precious. My heart hasn’t been the same since. I love when God speaks to us through the simplest of circumstances.

  • What an amazing story! I have a 2 year old granddaughter who has a genuinely sweet disposition so I’m tracking along with your experience with this little guy with very real images of how the child like love plays out. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Thank you Gene : )
      I’ve become much more aware of how I’m acting and if what I’m doing exemplifies love. I’ve also become more aware of little ones and how they see everything through a happy filter. I’m so glad you were blessed by it.

  • What a picture this post painted. So good Natalie! Really makes us stop and evaluate how we love and how we can become more childlike. That little boy just blessed my heart and the relation to how we can love like him. Great words! <3

    • I felt so privileged to witness it Rhiannon. I’ve heard it over and over and now I finally get it. Little children have an innocent pure love. Their joy usually radiates from their faces. When they worship in Church it makes my heart skip. They don’t question why, they just love God.

    • Amen Brandon! Thank you so much for stopping in. I’ll be first to raise my hand to say I need to be better at loving others.

    • Awesome Desiree. I’m so happy that you got something from this post. Sometimes I find myself weighing the costs of putting myself out there. Will I be embarrassed, shunned, or look like a fool? It doesn’t matter in the eyes of a child.

  • Wow, what a beautiful picture in action! I love how the Lord uses children, especially my own, to show me different spiritual truths. It’s so important for us to dependent on and in awe of Him, just like little kids.

  • Love this, Natalie. What a beautiful way to capture the simplicity of Jesus’ love. We can so tend to over complicate it and forget just how pure it is – and even more than that, we can fail to love the way He has called us to. This is beautiful encouragement of cling to Him first, and love others as a result. Blessings, friend.

    • Thank you dearest Tiffany,
      God is remarkable and when He brings things like this to my attention, I’m just in awe. Because it’s truth. It’s simple truth and yet it’s so impactful. Praise God!!

  • This is so beautifully written and speaks directly to the heart! Having childlike faith is a beautiful thing. I remember the other day, one of my girls ran and leaped into my husband’s arms. Then after he put her down, he asked me “When when they stop doing that?” I replied, “The day you drop them.” He then said,”But I would never drop them”. And I said,”Exactly, so they never stop.” This post makes me think of this moment and how much we need to leap with complete and without fear of being dropped into our Heavenly Father’s arm always.

  • Natalie, this is such a beautiful story. I bet it was absolutely incredible to witness! You’re so right that as we get older, we become so hardened by the trials and disappointments that we cannot escape in this life. But it is so important that we continue to love, and love freely at that. We can learn so much from children! Thanks for sharing this with us!