“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3–4
Jesus loves and cherishes little children. God has commanded us to bear children when we are able. The greatest joys we will ever experience will be within our own homes with our little ones.
As we conceive and bear children, we are creators of life. Our children come to us as soft, adorable, innocent babies. We love them with a true love we could never describe. As we feel this overwhelming love, we get a small taste of the love God must have for each of us.
Our little ones rely on us for most everything they need, as we should rely on our Savior for our spiritual needs. Our children love us and trust us more than anyone, which is the relationship we should have with our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ.
One of the reasons we are commanded to bear and raise children is so we learn firsthand how to become like little children, who:
Find beauty and wonder in everything.
Children never get so busy or distracted that they forget to gaze at the sky, listen to the birds sing, watch the bugs crawl, pet the animals, or smell the flowers. They are truly grateful for all of God’s creations.
Value the simple things in life.
Little kids don’t need much to be happy. They need food to fill their tummies, clothing to keep them warm, a bed to rest in, simple toys to play with, and most importantly, family to love and comfort them. They don’t find joy in material things, but rather in their experiences with those they love most. They smile and laugh more than anyone else because they are satisfied.
Thirst for knowledge, and are teachable.
Children are curious, and they always have questions. They want to learn new information. My kids would read books all day if they could, for they are learning new words, learning about different animals, and learning how friends help each other.
They also want to learn how to do more things – things we do. When we are cooking dinner, they want to stir the noodles or crack the eggs. When we are picking the tomatoes from the garden, they want to help pick them too. They want us to teach them how to play sports, how to do magic tricks, how to play the piano.
Our kids trust us to teach them what they want and need to know. We have a great responsibility as parents to teach them the right things.
As parents, we wish our little ones would just sit still and not always want to do something. What a great trait, though, that they always want to be learning, doing, experimenting, accomplishing. If we teach them to sit around and play video games and watch TV all day, they may learn to do that, but it is not in their natural characters to vegetate. They thrive off of physical and mental stimulation.
Little children are comfortable in their own skins. They aren’t embarrassed by their traits or personalities. They are themselves, and they love it.
They seem to most enjoy being themselves around their siblings. They can be anyone and do anything when they are with each other.
Make friends wherever they go.
Once children get to an age where they start playing with others, they make friends easily. They have conversations with, and play with any kid they meet. They don’t judge by looks, age, or circumstance, and they don’t think they are too good to play with certain kids. They just see a chance to have fun together.
Love unconditionally, give willingly, and forgive immediately.
Little children can love anyone. They do not hold grudges. They forgive as quickly as they get angry.
One of the sweetest things about my kids is that when they get in trouble, they want me to hug and kiss them and hold them, even though I was the one doing the disciplining. It makes it impossible for me to stay angry, and their
unconditional love permeates through me, softening my heart.
They also are so sweet to share their food with us, or to do nice things for other family members, like draw pictures or just give sweet kisses. Casey has gotten to an age now where he wants to buy gifts for special occasions, when he can. He bought Rigel a toy for his birthday, and this past Valentine’s Day, he bought Jad and I some candy.
Want to be around us all the time.
Our children cherish us. They want to be with us. They want us around to help them with their needs, to give them kisses and hugs, and just to be in the same room as them. There is nobody they would rather cuddle with, nobody they would rather comfort them when they are sad, nobody they would rather sing to them, talk to them, or tell them stories.
My children ask about their daddy every day when he is at work or school. They are sad when he won’t be with them that day, and they pray for him. They also don’t like it those times when I am not there to put them to bed. As parents, we are everything to our little ones.
Desire our approval.
They get upset when we are upset with them. They want us to be proud of them. That is why they proudly show us the picture they drew, or tell us the cool thing that happened at school that day, or show us their empty dinner plate when they eat all their food.
Can tell when we are sad, and want to make it better.
Children’s priorities and countenances change when they see that their strong mother or father is sad.
All my kids, even my oldest, are so discerning. When I cry, or appear low, they will ask me what is wrong with the cutest concern in their tones and eyes. They then proceed to hug me, kiss me, and tell me they love me in the ways they know how. That really does make it all better.
Teach us to be better.
We often hear the phrase “From the mouths of babes.” It is true. Little ones say the most profound truths – truths that are so simple, but so essential.
My son, Rigel, when I am upset, will always ask, “Mommy, can you please be happy?” or “Mommy, can you please be happy with me?” This always stops me in my tracks. If I am distracted with something unimportant, Kamren
will take my hand and lead me to play with him or read him a book. My oldest, Casey, though not so little anymore, will have the most wonderful gospel conversations with me. He teaches me lessons he has learned from reading his scriptures.
Little children don’t say what they think we want to hear. They call things exactly as they see them. They are still working on tact, but what a great example they bring. It is true sometimes children lie when they are afraid of getting in trouble, but they don’t do it for any other reason. They don’t want to hurt anyone, and they aren’t trying to betray trust. As a matter of fact, when they realize that is the reaction, they are usually heartbroken.
Follow a lot of rules, just because we tell them to.
We give our children many rules, ranging from cleanliness, to good manners, to safety, to kindness, to routine. We spend much of our day enforcing them. Our children sometimes choose not to obey the rules, but much of the time, they do what we ask, even if they don’t understand why, because they love us and trust us.
Have the light of Christ in their eyes.
Little children are the most precious angels in our lives. They are pure. They are the most like Christ of any other people on this earth. Their countenances shine with His light.
Jesus has commanded us to be like little children for all of these reasons and more. He wants us to apply their sweet traits into our interactions with others, as well as our devotion to and trust in God.
Sometimes we don’t see all the wonderful things about our little ones because, in our day-to-day lives, there may be an abundance of tantrums, messes and disobedience. I truly believe that these are mingled into our lives to help
us feel a little of what our Father in Heaven feels when we do not listen to, obey, or show love to Him. However, His love never falters and He never gives up on us.
We must always appreciate and love our children, as they are little, and as they grow. They bring us true happiness.