In the Bible, Jesus often speaks about the importance of having faith like a child. He emphasizes the simplicity and humility that children possess and how these qualities are essential in our walk with Christ. In today’s fast-paced world, where success and achievement are often measured by worldly standards, it can be challenging to cultivate a childlike faith. However, understanding the characteristics of childlike faith can enable us to grow closer to God and experience a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with Him.
In this blog post, we will explore the various characteristics of childlike faith, providing insight into how we can develop and sustain these qualities in our lives. By adopting a childlike faith, we not only strengthen our relationship with Christ but also become a living testament of His love and grace to those around us.
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- Childlike faith is marked by simplicity, trust, humility, dependence, forgiveness, and wonder.
- Jesus emphasized the importance of having faith like a child in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Cultivating a childlike faith requires intentionality and a willingness to let go of our own understanding and control.
- Childlike faith enables us to experience a deeper, more intimate relationship with God.
- Demonstrating childlike faith can serve as a powerful witness to others and help them draw closer to Christ.
A child’s faith is uncomplicated and straightforward. They do not require complex theological explanations or intricate doctrines to believe in God. Their faith is simple and pure, focused on their love for God and their desire to please Him. As adults, we can often become bogged down with intellectualism, allowing our faith to become cluttered with unnecessary complications.
To cultivate the simplicity of childlike faith, we must be willing to let go of our own understanding and trust in the simplicity of God’s love for us. This means focusing on the essential truths of the Bible, such as God’s love, forgiveness, and grace, as revealed in verses like John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. Practicing simplicity also involves embracing a prayer life that is heartfelt and genuine, rather than focusing on eloquent words or lengthy supplications.
Children have an innate ability to trust in those who care for them. They rely on their caregivers to provide for their needs, protect them, and guide them through life. This level of trust is a key characteristic of childlike faith, as we are called to trust in God to provide for our needs, protect us, and guide us in our journey with Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Trusting in God requires us to let go of our need for control and to believe that He will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). To develop this trust, we must spend time in prayer and God’s Word, allowing Him to reveal His character and promises to us, enabling us to fully rely on His goodness and faithfulness.
Children possess a natural humility that is often lost as we grow older. They are not afraid to admit their need for help or to acknowledge their weaknesses. Jesus emphasized the importance of humility when He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3, NKJV).
To cultivate humility, we must be willing to acknowledge our own need for God’s grace and help. We must also be willing to serve others, recognizing that we are all equal in God’s eyes (Philippians 2:3-4). By approaching God and others with humility, we are better able to receive His grace and experience the fullness of His love.
As children, we are naturally dependent on our caregivers for our needs. Likewise, childlike faith is marked by a dependence on God for all aspects of our lives. Jesus encourages us to depend on Him when He says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NKJV).
Cultivating a dependence on God means recognizing that we cannot achieve anything of eternal value apart from Him. It involves surrendering our desires, ambitions, and plans to His will and seeking His guidance in all decisions. As we learn to depend on God, we will experience a deeper intimacy with Him and see His power at work in our lives.
Children are often quick to forgive, not holding grudges or dwelling on past hurts. This is another characteristic of childlike faith that we should strive to emulate. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus teaches us that if we want to experience God’s forgiveness, we must also be willing to forgive others.
To develop a forgiving heart, we must be willing to let go of bitterness and resentment, choosing instead to extend grace and mercy to those who have wronged us. This not only frees us from the bondage of unforgiveness but also reflects the character of Christ, who willingly forgave us even when we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
Wonder and Awe
One of the most beautiful aspects of childlike faith is the sense of wonder and awe children have towards the world around them. They are captivated by the beauty of creation and often express their amazement with excitement and joy. This sense of wonder is another characteristic of childlike faith that we should aspire to cultivate in our own lives.
To develop a sense of wonder and awe, we must learn to see God’s handiwork in the world around us and take time to appreciate the beauty of His creation (Psalm 19:1). This can involve spending time in nature, studying the intricacies of God’s design, and expressing gratitude for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us.
Children are often incredibly resilient and persistent in their pursuits. Whether it’s learning to walk, ride a bike, or master a new skill, they are determined to keep trying until they succeed. This perseverance is another characteristic of childlike faith that we can learn from.
To cultivate perseverance in our faith, we must be willing to press on in our walk with Christ, even when we face challenges, setbacks, or discouragement. As the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” By seeking God’s strength and guidance, we can continue to grow in our faith and overcome the obstacles that come our way.
In conclusion, cultivating a childlike faith requires intentionality and a willingness to let go of our own understanding and control. By embracing the characteristics of simplicity, trust, humility, dependence, forgiveness, wonder, and perseverance, we can grow closer to God and experience a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with Him.
Furthermore, as we demonstrate childlike faith in our own lives, we serve as a powerful witness to those around us, helping them draw closer to Christ as well. May we strive to embrace the beauty and power of childlike faith, allowing it to transform our relationship with God and impact the world around us for His glory.
Many people focus on the importance of developing a strong faith as an adult, and just as adults have faith, young children can rely on their own faith-building potential as well. Every child should develop a strong faith foundation as it will act as a guidepost and will remain with them throughout life. Below are some of the characteristics of childlike faith that can help children develop faith into adulthood:
1. Being unafraid to ask questions: Children should never be afraid to ask questions about things they do not understand. This fosters a sense of curiosity and encourages exploration, both of which are vital components of a strong faith.
2. Putting trust in an authority figure: Children need to trust a figure of authority, usually a parent or pastor, to help guide them in their exploration of faith. This is an essential part of a child’s faith journey because it gives them a point of reference and stability to trust as they face life’s challenges.
3. Understanding doctrine through stories: Children learn quickly and most efficiently through stories. These stories can go a long way in helping children understand and learn key elements of the Bible. Offering children stories of faith can be the first building block to their developing a stronger faith.
4. Expressing their feelings openly: Children often don’t know how to articulate or express their feelings in a mature way. Therefore, it’s important that they are able to express themselves in a safe and freeing way so they can tell their pastor or parents how they feel about certain topics.
5. Being forgiving: Being forgiving is a large component of faith and understanding the concept of being forgiven and forgiveness. Teaching children to be forgiving and accepting of times when they make mistakes will give them a strong sense of faith and one that will likely continue through adulthood.
Ultimately, building a strong and lasting faith requires parents, pastors, and other loved ones to help children build their faith. Working with children to foster these characteristics of childlike faith is the most effective way to help them develop a strong compass of faith that they can draw on throughout life.