Faith and hope in God, love for God and fear of God. These are a child’s most powerful assets and defenses in a world of darkness, and can continue to be their most powerful assets and weapons against an often cold and unforgiving world when they become adults, and we may be slowly destroying them.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms… In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6: 11, 12 and 16
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. Psalm 33:17-19
We see a child’s faith in things unseen and we think it’s cute. We look at them and think, “We should give them something fun and sweet to have faith in. Something that will make them happy.” So we give them characters like Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. We give them many reasons to look forward to the arrivals of these beings, and tell them to be patient until they come.
Then, eventually, a day comes when we have to tell the children that these beings don’t exist. That they never actually brought them anything, it was all us. We have designed something for children to put faith in and then pull it away when we decide that it’s too childish for them to believe in it any more.
What do you think that makes faith look like to them once they’ve grown up? They look back and see how ridiculous their belief in the Easter Bunny was, and although it may bring warm feelings to their hearts, it likely dampens their faith. Have we perhaps designed a system that has an end purpose of making humans have faith in humanity instead of God? A system that is made to program a society into an understanding that no transcendent being has ever actually done anything for them, but that is was always man?
My father has always been about the truth. He wants knowledge and accurate knowledge. That’s what he wants for us, too. So once we were all in school he told us the truth about Santa Clause. He told us the story of Saint Nicholas, a man really lived and really gave wonderful gifts to people, and whose legacy of generosity became the basis for the story of Santa Cause.
We knew the truth. We understood that jolly old man in the big red suit was not really preparing for Christmas all year round at the North Pole, and that the gifts under the tree were from our parents. From our mother and father. Not from some stranger who watches us all the time making judgments on whether we are “naughty” or “nice”, and gives out rewards and punishments accordingly. No, our gifts were from our parents who truly knew us, not because they watched us and judged us, but because they loved us and walked alongside us in our everyday lives. They gave us gifts not because of anything we did or didn’t do, but because they loved us and wanted to bless us, and invest what they had into your lives. That is now part of how I see God.
I understand that thee are many children who do not have such blessings. I know that there are many children who don’t have parents that truly know them and are there for them. I understand that there are many orphans who need hope, which is all the more reason to be honest about concepts like Santa Clause. How compassionate is it really to give a child hope that we know will eventually be taken away from them? It may seem like nice fairy tales to us, but to a child, it could be the foundation of faith.
Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂
~I do not believe that when Jesus sees a child’s faith he thinks, “Oh how cute, this child is assured of me.” I believe that when he sees a child coming to him with complete confidence in whom he says he is and what he says he has done and will do in the future, he takes that child more seriously than all the rulers of the earth.~