I always tell my kids, “Be a child as long as you can…you have to be an adult the rest of your life.”
Now, I say that to them when they are enjoying games in the yard with the neighbors or swinging on their well-loved swing set or going on adventures in the forest…and they know what I mean. I DO NOT encourage them to be childish in their responsibilities, respect, or emotions. In those areas, I expect them to be mature at a young age—to be self-governing and self-controlled. But when it comes to play—bring it on!
Play is the work of childhood. If our children are too busy with organized activities and we don’t allow them enough time to freely play, we will stunt certain areas of their development. It is in this “work” that our children will feel most satisfied. It is in this “work” that our children will bring the most glory to God. Children bring glory to their Creator when they play because of this: We are all created to do SOMETHING; and when we do that SOMETHING that God created us to do, that SOMETHING brings great glory to God. Bumblebees are created to gather pollen and make honey—by doing this—this SOMETHING that God designed them specifically to do—they bring glory to the One Who made them. Flowers are created to bloom and provide beauty; when they show off their brilliance in the spring and summer, they are doing the SOMETHING that God created them to do, and they are glorifying the Flower-Creator. Children are designed to play…and play…and play. It is when children are playing and experiencing the world and marveling at nature that they are most like God—because they are doing the SOMETHING that he created specifically for them.
When we bring glory to our Lord, that is when we are most like Him, because He is ever glorious.
Don’t allow your children to grow up too fast. They desperately need the experiences of childhood. Childhood may be the only time in their lives when they know EXACTLY what they are supposed to be doing. NEVER tell your daughter, “You are too old for that", or belittle your son for enjoying childish routines. God designed children to need to play and to laugh and to love and to believe they are safe. These are a child’s most basic needs. When they are met, a child can be a child. And in doing this, they can bring glory to their Heavenly Father.
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”