(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
No one is required to be a skeptic of Christianity. It is a choice. Just like parenting is a choice. And one thing I find interesting is that Christian parents and non-Christian parents have many similar desires for their young children.
Take a 3-year-old for example. What parent isn't thrilled to have their little one depend completely upon mommy and/or daddy? We love that as parents, don't we? And our children seem to love it, and need it. It gives them security and peace of mind. It gives us much joy and satisfaction. Regardless of whether the parents are Christians or not, I find that a large majority of parents seem to prefer having their little ones depend upon them for almost everything.
Then we come to religion, and matters of faith. A skeptical mind often develops in a person as he ages. He can easily start to think some very strange things about God. First of all, "Why does God need us to worship Him?" wonders the skeptic. And yet, the skeptic's thinking here is all wrong in its approach. It isn't childlike and creative. It is hard and doubting. God of course doesn't need anything from us, but He has chosen to provide a way whereby we can belong to His family and have a warm and loving relationship with Him.
What's so odd about that? Isn't that what most parents want with their own children? After all, we were created in His image. That means we will have some desires which are very much in line with the way God desires relationships to take place. Parents love to have their little ones depend upon them, no questions asked. It is so natural. Likewise, God loves to have His children depend upon Him. It is a very good thing to have a loving relationship between child and parent, and between us and God.
"Why does God want all the attention on Himself?" wonders the skeptic. Again, man's mind is warped by sin and therefore it entertains thoughts which a 3-three-old never bothers himself with concerning his parents. He just enjoys them, and He enjoys being cared for by them. Skeptics, on the other hand, feel too "grown" to rely upon God. They tend to be self-reliant rather than childlike in their view of God. This is unfortunate. It keeps many of them from ever entering a relationship with their Creator.
Study your children. Watch what they enjoy doing, especially as it relates to their relationship with you. And even more importantly, watch what you enjoy doing with them. Observe the attitudes within them that you find pleasing and fun. And then just try to imagine your Creator having similar desires toward you. Is it really that far-fetched?
Of course, one must first come into the family in order for the relationship to be established. Those outside the family cannot understand or experience what only those inside the family can understand. Likewise, those who have never been parents cannot understand what it is like to be a parent. You must experience it in order to "get it."
So if you are a skeptic of Christianity, and you happen to also be a parent, then you have a head start on other skeptics in getting to God. You have a built-in program that teaches you firsthand how parents feel about their young children. By examining that program and studying your feelings toward your children, you get more than a glimpse of why God loves to have that sort of "warm and fuzzy feeling" with His children.
Remember - you were made in His image. Whether you ever make it into His family through faith in Jesus Christ is another matter. If you use the mind God gave you, and open your heart a little bit, who knows? You might just find yourself loving the feeling of dependence upon God one of these days. It all depends on who and what you choose to study, and how childlike and creative you choose to become.
Will you always remain too "grown" in your attitudes to ever enter God's family? Here is a better approach. Simply allow the little ones in your midst to lead you into the Savior's arms of grace and mercy. You will be amazed at how much you can learn about God from studying children, and then putting their approach into practice as you trust and enjoy your Creator.
Jesus said it better than anyone when He stated, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3) No wonder Christians are called "God's children" in the Bible. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1)