See what great love the father lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! - 1 John 3:1a
For those who are lead by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And in Him we cry, "Abba Father." The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. - Romans 8:14-17
Do you sometimes wish you were still a kid? What is it about being a kid that seems so inviting? Is it the sense of excitement, imagination, carefree attitude, with no responsibilities that makes us want to be kids? On the other hand, aren't kids also kind of naive, vulnerable, confused and mischievous? So what is it about being a kid that seems exciting? Whatever it is, I know I sometimes wish I could be a kid again. I have also been intrigued lately by Gods desire for us to be His children. This picture of God as our Father and us His children is throughout the Bible. So here is a question: Why does God want us to be His children? If kids can be both excited yet mislead, imaginative yet naive, carefree yet vulnerable, why would God desire us to be children?
CHILDREN LOVE RELATIONSHIPS
Probably what best differentiates a child from an adult is their dependency and desire for relationships. Children desperately need relationships with their parents for their very survival, yet they also desire it as much as they need it. In my mind, this is one of the most profound reasons God wants us to be his children: he wants us to depend and desire Him. I see this in my son. He needs me to provide him food, clothing, and love but he also desires to sit in my lap, sing with me and cuddle at night. As we grow older, we tend to develop fewer relationships and a stronger independent streak, an attitude of self-reliance. We grow to depend on ourselves and trust less in other people. For many, this is emblematic of their relationship with God, and sadly a description of my relationship with God as well. I forget to depend and desire Him and tend to depend on myself and desire the things I want.
DEPENDING AND DESIRING
What does it look like to be a child of God? Focusing on dependency first, I think we first realize we need Him, or learn to depend on Him. We tell Him our deepest worries, we ask, seek and knock. He is a trustworthy Father, righteous in all His ways and desires to give us blessings (Matthew 7:11). As children, we should thank Him for our blessings, sing to Him, tell Him we love Him, spend time with Him. We should listen to His words and repeat them, stand up and not be embarrassed by Him.
The rewards of a child-like relationship are great: it relieves us of our worry and brings us closer to Him. If He is our Father and we can depend on Him, then we need not worry about life circumstances but instead know He is in control. It also allows us to draw close to Him, as children love to be near those they love. And I can only imagine how it warms God's heart to see us excited to be in relationship with Him, choosing to love Him deeply everyday.
BE A CHILD
Allow yourself to fall in love with the Father and see yourself as his child, maybe even more than his disciple or worker. Yes, we are to be his disciples and do kingdom work, but we are also called to be his children, to depend on Him and desire Him on a daily basis. Maybe this perspective will help keep our faith fresh and healthy, vibrant like a child rather than cold and hardened like an adult.