Matthew 18.3 demands unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Many people are familiar with this requirement God gives for getting into heaven. The difficulty is understanding what it means.
Some extrapolate that it means we must be pure like little children.
While many people believe children are born perfect then become corrupt through their environment, the Bible teaches the opposite. God’s view is that we are born corrupt expressed almost immediately in the manipulative behaviors of the infant. This ‘sinful’ behavior is further expressed in the defiance and self centeredness of the toddler.
Since no one from God’s perspective is born pure and we certainly cant get back there even if we were, there must be another explanation.
Children are naturally humble and relatively obedient, born with an inherent nature to want to please their parents though they first seek to please themselves which is why they disobey their parents and all of us disobey God. This humility is what I believe God is seeking from us.
The humility of the child God desires from us is the willingness to obey Him and to trust Him that He is good and has our best interest at heart. In the good or healthy home, the child fundamentally believes the parents will provide for them and protect them from harm. The parent too believes this their duty and does their best to provide and protect.
Rules are established for protection which become areas of conflict because children do love self more than parent and think eventually they know better than their parent what is best for their own health and welfare. We too have a similar view of God particularly when life gets difficult we first head for the exit before connecting to our Protector Who is committed to working out all things for our best – even the pruning process that makes us holy.
Children submit themselves to their parents especially when they feel loved. The more loved they feel the more inclined they are to obey. God loves us immeasurably. Our experience of His love is a result of our time with Him and our obedience to Him.
The more time we spend reading about His love for us through His letter, the more time we spend working at His side in His fields ripe for harvest, the greater our experience of His presence and His love. Children desire a relationship with their parents and parents with their children. God is no different.
He invites us to call Him Father then tells us to follow Him into the world where He seeks to heal the broken hearted, release the captive from their darkness, clothe the naked with His righteousness and feed the hungry who long for the knowledge of Him. We are His hands and His feet in this work He is doing in the world.
If we will know our Father better we must follow our Father more into His work like the child who begs his daddy to be with him as he goes about his day. This eager child to be with his daddy is the child God seeks for us all to become.