Convicted & Inspired to have a Childlike Faith

What does it mean to have a childlike faith? Jesus said we won't enter heaven unless we learn how to become more like the children. So what does that mean?

Have you ever wondered what have a childlike faith means?

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Jesus taught some pretty serious lessons regarding children in the gospels, lessons about how precious children really are in His sight, and how the angels of children always have His Father’s ear.

One of the most simply stated and most challenging was to have a childlike faith and be like the children.

Matthew 18:3 ESV And said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Become like children? Often when we consider Jesus’ command, we think, I don’t want to have a childlike faith. I want a mature faith, a sturdy faith based on wisdom and understanding, consistently walking with the Lord.

But when we think about a childlike faith as immature,  we’re missing the point Jesus was making.

One point of this passage became really clear to me over the past few weeks.

I’ve been listening to Pastor Shane Idleman who preaches on fasting often. It’s not my favorite topic. While my father fasted a few times when I was a child, it wasn’t discussed in our perfectly polished suburban churches.

I have never attended any churches that spoke on it at all, and in my spiritual immaturity, fasting seemed out of step with a modern faith.

Until I grew some in discernment and wisdom, then I could see that the scripture clearly calls for fasting, but I didn’t want to fast.

I have a food problem. While I do overeat some, I mostly eat the wrong foods for my body. I let laziness choose my meals more than my desire for good health. I’d rather eat healthy foods, but not have to cook or prepare them. I just want easy. Making meals is not my happy place. (So if I ever cook for you, know you are well-loved.)

Additionally, I’ve struggled with eating disorders. While never long-term, I have certainly skirted with anorexia in an attempt to be thin. Struggling with body image has been a lifelong issue.

And all the fun stuff seems to happen around food.

But, over years of listening to Pastor Shane discuss the numerous times that fasting appears in the scriptures, I’ve realized fasting is an important component to spiritual warfare. I certainly have strongholds I am praying over. I have sin in my life that I need to defeat.

But I fight it. I don’t want to give up a meal. I don’t want to turn off my television. My flesh says in its sneaky, slithering tongue, “psshaw, it’s not that important. You don’t have to give up eating. Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re faithful to God in so many ways. Does He really need this one too?”

And that voice has won more times than I care to admit.

This is where the childlike faith of a seven-year old convicted me.

A couple of weeks ago at church, my daughter’s Sunday school class was learning about following God, learning to recognize His voice and direction.

I didn’t even know that fasting was discussed in her lesson on obedience until the next day.

Mom, we need to fast today,” she said while I was making her breakfast.

Okay, why?” I know God’s been bringing up fasting to me over and over, so I was a bit taken aback. God was REALLY trying to get my attention.

Because I need more of God and less of me.” (She was referring to John 3:30)

She didn’t argue with what she had learned. She just obeyed.

We skipped lunch that day. We spent lunchtime praying and worshiping. It was pretty powerful and convicting.

She didn’t know that she could debate with God or rationalize away a conviction. She just obeyed.

That’s it. Simple.

So what about a childlike faith are we called to have?

  • Humility
  • Obedience
  • Trust
  • Belief
  • Love

My sweet seven year old just blesses my socks off. She knows God’s word and lives it as well as she knows how.

A childlike faith doesn’t ask who is my neighbor.

Yesterday, her team won the challenge in Sunday school. She got two pieces of candy while her friend didn’t get any. When my daughter’s friend was sad, she let her have the that candy was her favorite.

Her teacher was blown away by how my daughter exemplified generosity. She didn’t just share, she gave her the first choice. I’m humbled by that example.

She seeks knowledge and wisdom.

My daughter asked a question that STUMPED me last week.

“If God knew Adam and Eve would choose sin, and sin would cause so much hurt, why did he make us at all?”

Um . . . I don’t know. Because he wanted to? She’s seven, y’all.

I thought and thought. I couldn’t think of any scripture to clarify my answer. Then, I prayed to God for an answer.

My Bible reading Saturday was in Isaiah 43.

Isaiah 43:7 ESV  Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

It was just one verse, but it did answer her question. After consulting our pastors, who confirmed this was a good answer, I took my daughter to lunch and we had a chat.

“God created us for His glory. We may not know why or what that means in full on this side of heaven, but when I prayed for an answer to your question, this verse was in my Bible reading.”

“Okay, Mom.”

I asked her if she needed a better answer. “No, Mom, I think that answers it. Remember, if you pray for wisdom, God is faithful to give it to you.”

I really struggled not to cry.

In her childlike way, she demonstrated a spiritual maturity well beyond her years. The same child who struggles to obey me, taught me how easy it is to follow Jesus.

Love God. Love people. Believe what he says is true. Obey.

We adults make it so much more complicated.

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Heaven Not Harvard: Faith Focused Parenting & Living

Parenting with a Kingdom mindset, focusing on Heaven not Harvard has become the definition for more than just my parenting-And changes me more daily.

Heaven not Harvard was a cute blog name brainstorm, but now, it means so much more. Parenting with a Kingdom mindset, focusing on Heaven not Harvard has become the definition for more than my parenting journey.

(this site uses Affiliate links-purchases support our ministry through a small referral fee that never affects your cost.)

God is encouraging me to strip away more and more worldly fluff and focus on Him. As I went from full-time teacher to staying at home to home-schooling, God is changing my focus and my heart.

What should we focus on? Sending our children to Heaven not Harvard, giving them a kingdom mindset
My little at 2 1/2, nothing beats a swing.

As a teacher transitioning to SAHM, I thought I understood what staying at home entailed since I had been home weekends and vacations. I thought I was prepared. I thought it would be easy.

As a former teacher, I thought staying home would be easy, like summer, but nothing has been more challenging. Click To Tweet

Well, um, yeah. Best laid plans and all that. How was a super driven, type-A personality going to handle a job without any external validation? How would I gauge success or failure?

I created this idealized image of a stay at home mother.

Was I parenting to please people or God? I had to shift focus to Heaven not Harvard

I imagined this breezy, carefree, yet impeccable, June Cleaver existence. My house would be clean. My child would be sweet and smart and kind. All poor behavior would be quickly and lovingly addressed. I would somehow be the perfect juxtaposition between Martha Stewart and Carol Brady.

Then life got in the way. Medical crisis after medical crisis left me struggling to just parent at all. And, I found having a strong willed child threw quite a monkey wrench into my perfect picture.

The reality of parenting 24/7 was harder than I could have imagined.

I’ve called my mother a few times just to say thank you. When she asks, “For what?” I simply answer, “For allowing us all to live.”

We both laugh, but we know how it feels inside when the threenager has been screaming from timeout for ten minutes.

We wonder how we’re going to make it one more minute, or to dinner time, and holy crow, please hurry up bedtime!

I couldn't meet all the world's demands. I had to parent for Heaven not Harvard

I’ve been growing in my walk with Christ, understanding who I am and whom God has called me to be. As I grow in Him I realize how I parent will have significant impact on her faith in Christ, her walk with Him on this earth, and her eternity.

But worldly pressures seep into my head about what is important for me to consider as I parent. Different ideas and values surround us on social media.

Before I started blogging, I read a Parents article that stated three year-olds without a specific daily bedtime scored lower at seven on reading, math and spatial learning tests.

Argh, are you kidding me??

For being so type-A, I thought I was winning over my demons by being laid back about schedules and bedtimes.  My child slept enough and went to bed within a 60 minute window, but inadvertently, I might have damaged her intellect for four years from now?!?

I sat there reading the article in the quiet 5 minutes I get since my daughter has learned mommy wants to potty alone. Locking the door helps.

I struggled against tears.

I had waited a long time to be a mother and wanted to get everything just right, as if all the waiting to adopt my daughter automatically gave me wisdom that would prevent the typical parenting pitfalls.

But here I sat, wrestling with fear and pride over potentially lost IQ points in a wonderful child who is creative and bright.

Why? For my own ego?

I felt pressured to prove I am a worthy mother to the world.

Her ‘being smart’ would validate my parenting, right? As if only good parents have smart kids, or good parents only have smart kids, or if being smart is even important!

When we measure our parenting against worldly standards, we miss the measure that matters. Click To Tweet

Wow, am I that vain? Harsh reality, but sometimes I really am/was.

Convicted, I decided my sin wasn’t going to be the focus of my parenting.  I want her to enjoy learning because I do, because getting an education can lead to a fulfilling career, but even then, so what?

What is my real goal in parenting? What do I want her to be?

A loving, kind, compassionate follower of Christ, an example for the world of Christ’s love and God’s grace.

What does the rest matter if she is living out loud for God? Would I love her any less if she were a janitor or any more if she were a doctor? Is the bigger, better job always best?

My job is to be a good steward of this child, but I’m raising her for His plan. When I started to look from God’s perspective, I realized she is how He made her.

Parenting with a Kingdom mindset, focusing on Heaven not Harvard has become the definition for more than just my parenting-And changes me more daily.

My child is who God made her. My job is to be a steward of His child, raising her for Heaven, Not Harvard. Click To Tweet
My job is to raise her for HIM, Heaven not Harvard. Everything else is unimportant.

If I dedicate my life and parenting to Christ, she will be who He needs her to be. I can love her and prepare her for the trials of life educationally, socially, and spiritually, but she has to be prepared to live for Him on her own.

Nothing is necessarily wrong with Harvard, but I’d rather focus on Heaven than worry about silly articles that provoke fear and self-doubt.

Which is why I’ve chosen to write about my experiences as a wife and mother: learning to be Christlike, teaching my daughter to follow God, and living as a witness to those who don’t know Christ as their personal savior.

Because in the biggest picture of them all, eternity, not much else really matters.