A Word to Women
‘Little children, abide in him.’
(1 John 2:28)
The expression, ‘little children’, appears quite a few times in Scripture. It is an affectionate and homely term. Children are a gift from the Lord, and are to be treasured and loved. The Lord Jesus rebuked the disciples when they tried to turn away mothers bringing their children to Him, declaring “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Luke 18:16). John frequently addresses believers as “little children” or “my little children”, indicating how he had been instrumental in bringing them to faith in Christ and in nourishing their spiritual growth. And it spoke of the attitude they needed to have – to abide in the Lord. We too need to abide in the Lord, and can accomplish this by having a childlike spirit.
Little children have complete trust in their parents. They feel safe and secure when surrounded by their parents’ love. We talk of a child “making strange” – the child feels insecure or afraid in the presence of an unfamiliar person. The child of God should always feel secure in the knowledge of his Heavenly Father’s love. The Bible abounds with promises of God’s presence. The promise given to Joshua, “I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Joshua 1:5) is repeated in Hebrews 13:5. Just as the frightened child calls out for its father or mother so we find solace with our Father, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”(Psalm 56:3)
Little children are usually humble. Hence the Lord Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4) Pride, early acquired, grows like a weed in our lives. The disciples argued about who would be the greatest, but John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) We must guard against attributing success to our own strength. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31)
Little children wish to please. A child shows us his drawing. We might have to check what it is before praising its beauty! We should desire to please our Heavenly Father. We can do this only with His help for we please Him by obedience. “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:11)
Little children are easily influenced, for good or evil. The little children who mocked Elisha (2 Kings 2:23), had undoubtedly picked up their words and attitude from their parents. We are easily influenced by the world around us. Would companies spend millions on advertising if it had no influence on consumers? So how can we protect ourselves against ungodly influence? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15) He did not mean that only children could be saved, but that we needed childlike faith, that absolute trust which takes God at His word and depends solely on Him for salvation. May we never lose that simplicity of faith, yet, “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18).