Why it is Good to have Kids

Dear Reader,

Not everyone is blessed with kids. And those of us who are know that the blessing is not all bliss. One of the biggest blessings of having them, though, is that, if we are paying attention, they will humble us completely. Everything is upfront with kids. We were asked in our Sunday school class today, “What is your reaction when you are hurt by someone else’s sin?” And I thought of my kids and what they do. Kids tend to be either tattlers or hitters. They either become self-righteous and immediately seek out justice (i.e. punishment for the one who has wronged them) or they just retaliate with violence. I don’t think turning the other cheek comes automatically to any of them. But we grown-ups are the same. We just hide it better. Our tattling is more subtle, perhaps taking the form of gossip (though we would never call it that). Our revenge is often delayed and more subtle as well. But our hearts have not changed.

When Adam and Eve were confronted with their sin, the very first for our race, they reacted with denial and a shifting of blame. My kids do this all the time. It is still their first instinct. And, well, unfortunately, it is mine as well.

And seeing the splinter in another’s eye? That is still very easy too. My kids are always eager to tell me their brother’s faults. Their own are harder to see.

No one could convinceĀ me that young children are inherently innocent and pure. But neither are they any more evil than their adult counterparts. If anything, children, having not yet learned to hide their natural reactions under layers of social nicety are a little less evil than many older folks (which is maybe like saying the Atlantic is less wet than the Pacific since it is smaller). But the human heart is unchanged. And when I look at my kids in their less noble moments, that is what I see–my own fallen nature laid out plainly.


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