Grace Evangelical Free Church of Strasburg » Children and the Bible

Children and the Bible

As Christians, we turn to the Bible as our guide for living. It has much to say to us about spiritual things, but also about what’s practical. So what does the Bible say about children?

1. Children are part of God’s creative plan.

God blessed them and said to them, ‘And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it’… – Genesis 1:28

After creating Adam and Eve, God commanded that they be fruitful, or have children. The original design included families with children. Kids weren’t an afterthought. Everything about creation was pronounced good, including his design for children.

2. Children are gifts from God to families.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. – Psalm 127:3

The word “heritage” comes from the root meaning “to get or inherit.” It is an honor and responsibility to be entrusted with a little one from God. We stand beside him to shepherd their growth and development, to advocate for them, and provide for their needs while they’re in our care.

3. Children need nurture and guidance.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6

When planting vines and some bushes, gardeners will attach them to a framework, like a pole or trellis, to keep them from spreading out of control. Kids need solid structure to keep their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual growth on track too. This means we are present in their lives, supporting their growth and development, and leading by our godly example. 

4. Children need discipline.

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. – Proverbs 29:17

There’s no question, disciplining kids is hard work. It takes the fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control spoken of in Galatians 5:22-23. Parents who really love their kids will discipline them, as God does with us (Hebrews 12:7). Not harshly, but gently with the goal of leading them in the ways of the Lord. Done this way, they’ll become adults that fulfill all the Creator intends for them to become.

5. Orphans, displaced and refugee children, and children living in poverty need special care.

Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor… – Zechariah 7:10

Children are vulnerable even in good circumstances, but when there’s poverty or violence, kids can suffer real damage. The Bible singles out orphans for us to help. Those without fathers are close behind orphans. And children living as refugees (strangers) or displaced by conflict or living in extreme poverty (the poor) are also vulnerable. There is no social or financial safety net for them — no one to provide for their nurture or needs. God asks people who worship him to help take care of kids in such vulnerable places.

6. Children need protection.

… Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants in the land. – Numbers 32:17

We live in a world corrupted by evil. Child labor, physical abuse, child exploitation, and child marriage are only some of the challenges kids today may encounter, not to mention things like drug and alcohol addiction, bullying, or gang involvement. God is our deliverer from trouble and enemies, and we should protect kids from people who seek their harm as an extension of our love for him. Some of us are even called further by God to act as advocates or to become professionals in child-protection programs and organizations. But whether a professional or not, we can all be aware and help protect the kids in our lives.

7. Children are blessed by God.

And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. – Mark 10:16

In blessing the children while here on earth as God incarnate, Jesus shows his heart toward little ones. In v. 13 of this passage, the disciples rebuked the people for bringing their kids to Jesus, probably because he was talking with self-important religious leaders. His response was anger at his followers’ ignorance and pettiness. Their actions were unkind and unworthy of disciples. Children aren’t too unimportant to have God’s undivided attention. He always desires to bless them in every way.

Ten Incredible Children of the Bible

David (1 Samuel 17:48-51)

When the whole Israelite army was too afraid to attack the Philistines, this young tyke went into battle, armourless, and brought Goliath down with a single sling-shot. Some scholars believe he was aged between 10 and 15! Just another day in the life of a guy who killed bears and lions (v. 35) in his spare time I guess?

Little maid of Israel (2 Kings 5)

Living in a foreign land, this young slave girl had amazing faith and love for others. Learning that her master Naaman­—the king’s army commander­—had leprosy, she bravely told her master’s wife that the prophet Elisha could cure him. And he did!

Daniel (Daniel 1:17)

Scholars believe Daniel and his friends may have only been eight years old when they stood up to the king and refused to eat the palace food. Most eight-year-olds refuse to eat broccoli, let alone stand up to a king!

Boy with loaves and fishes (John 6)

Some commentators suggest that the little boy in this story intended to sell his food to the crowd—otherwise, why would he pack so much? And yet, despite Andrew’s emphasis about how “small” his offering was, he willingly gave all he had without shame or hesitation. And through his generosity, thousands of people were fed!

Mary (Luke 1:26-36)

Mary was only a teenager, perhaps as young as 12, when the angel Gabriel told her she would have a baby. As a newly-engaged young woman, surrendering to God’s plan was a courageous decision. What would Joseph say? Would she have to raise the child alone? In that moment, she was willing to sacrifice everything.

Miriam (Exodus 2:7)

Moses’ older sister Miriam approached Egypt’s royalty unapologetically and they listened to her. Thanks to her bravery, their mother was able to nurse Moses during his early years.

Josiah (2 Kings 22:3)

Josiah was only eight years old when he became king of Judah. Eight! Succeeding his father Amon, who did evil in the sight of God, Josiah set to tear down the idols that had ensnared the people of Judah for more than 70 years. It makes us wonder, who raised him right?

Jesus (Luke 2:41-47)

After being lost for a whole day, Jesus was found teaching the elders in the temple. At just 12 years old, the Bible says that everyone was amazed at His understanding and the way He answered their questions. It seems wisdom isn’t a factor of age after all!

Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12)

During Paul’s second missionary journey, Timothy became his companion and partner along with Silas. We know that he was young because Paul tells him not to “let anyone look down on you because you are young”. Even when imprisoned, Timothy remained true to his pastoral calling and spread the gospel throughout the world.

Samuel (1 Samuel 3)

Dedicated to the temple when he was just a baby, Samuel was destined to lead an extraordinary life. When he was a young boy, God spoke to him audibly for the first time. As he grew, his prophetic gift increased—God let “none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground” (v. 19). Significantly, it was Samuel who chose David to be king of Israel.

About the Author
Grace Evangelical Free Church is based in Strasburg, VA, Tony Raker is the Pastor and author of these articles. Rob Moses is the IT Manager and Media Lead. We are a small bible-based church preaching from the word of God. Scott Tucker is the backup IT support tech.

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