Posted by: glorifyhim1 | August 22, 2009

A Child’s Hug

 

I had a lot of good-bye hugs in Sunday School this past Sunday. This was the last Sunday these boys and girls would be in our kindergarten class since they are being promoted to the first grade. Oh, those sweet hugs! I think sometimes I keep on teaching because of the hugs. What is it about a child’s hug?

 

For one thing, a child’s hug says I love you in a way that just about nothing else can. It is not I love you because or I love you in spite of. It is just I love you. You didn’t have to do anything to deserve it and unfortunately, sometimes, you may have even done something to not deserve it, but a child’s hug says I love you anyway.

 

Secondly, a child’s hug says I accept you. You may not look like me, act like me, and I certainly may not always understand you, but I accept you just as you are.

 

Another thing a child’s hug says is thank you. I know I’ve rarely, if ever, had a 5- or 6-year-old thank me for letting them paint on Sunday morning, or for playing a fun game during group time, but that hug at the door says thank you in a very special way.

 

A child’s hug is genuine and sincere. There is no second-guessing that spontaneous joy when a child wraps his arms around your neck or waist.

 

Mark 10 tells the story of parents who brought their children to see Jesus. They just wanted Jesus to touch their children. The disciples, however, thought Jesus was much too busy and tried to keep the children away. “But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)

 

I personally think that Jesus probably wanted a hug, too! But more importantly, I think Jesus not only loved those children, but that He also seized an opportunity to point out some important characteristics of children that are vital to those of us who want to reflect God in our lives. As I think about what Jesus said and reflect on all the things a child can communicate in a simple hug, I realize that I probably need to go back to Childhood 101 and ask myself some important questions.

 

  • Do I really love others unconditionally or do I love others based on my opinions or preconceived notions? Jesus said to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…” (Matthew 5:44-45).

 

  • Can I accept those with whom I disagree? Jesus said “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1). God calls me to obey Him, not pass judgment on the actions of others. The Bible tells about the prophet Jonah who fled on a ship to Tarshish to avoid preaching to the wicked people of Nineveh which was what God told him to do. As a result of his disobedience he was thrown overboard during a storm at sea and was swallowed by a big fish. Jonah prayed to God for deliverance and was vomited on the shore. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh again and this time he obeyed!

 

  • How do I show appreciation and gratitude to others? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 advises “in everything give thanks.” True thankfulness is an attitude of the heart. When we truly live thankful lives, it shows in the way we treat others. Some of God’s greatest gifts to us are other people. Do I take people in my life for granted, or do I seek to let them know that I truly love and appreciate them?

 

  • Am I genuine and sincere with others? In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he prayed that the Philippians “…may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ…” (Philippians 1:10). Do I say one thing, but mean another? Am I guilty of saying or doing what I think people want to hear me say or do? While we must learn to be tactful (which can come from loving and accepting others), we also need to be sincere in our dealings with others.

 

Love, acceptance, thankfulness, sincerity – “for of such is the kingdom of God.” I’m glad God made children such excellent teachers. I have so much to learn and it all begins with a hug!

 

For Further Study: Mark 10:13-16

                              Matthew 18:1-6

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Responses

  1. Children’s hugs are great. And I agree that it is a way to say thank you, to express what they cannot otherwise. I have been surprised lately by hugs from children that usually don’t do that. I think it’s their way of communicating appreciation when they can’t any other way.


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