The recent 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, bringing with it the realization that over 50 million children have been aborted in America since 1973, has made me consider again how God views children. Why did I tell the Children’s Ministry volunteers at our church recently that if they are involved in Family Ministry, they are involved in a ministry that is close to the heart of God? How do you think about your own children? Is it true that God has a soft spot of affection for little children?
I could give you verse after verse right now that affirms this truth. Every verse about little children in the Bible is positive. But to see what God thinks about children, we simply need to look to Jesus who is God incarnate.
I used to wonder if the paintings that we often see of Jesus holding children on his lap were true. Does it really say that in the text? “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God … And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10:13-14, 16)
“They were bringing” has the idea of a habitual action. This often happened in Jesus’ earthly ministry. But how did the Lord punctuate his rebuke to the disciples? He “took [the children] in his arms,” which could also be translated, “hugged” or “embraced” them. When Jesus wanted to show what God thinks about children, he hugged them. This is a picture of Jesus that we need to remember whether we’re thinking of the unborn, Family Ministry, or our own children.