Remember when you were a child? Anything your parents told you, no matter how outlandish, you believed. They may have told you that Santa Claus was real; that a large man with a big heart who lives at the North Pole would magically fly all around the world on a sleigh giving presents to good children every Christmas. Or you may have been told that when you lose a tooth and place it under your pillow, the tooth fairy will come at night and replace it with money. Whatever your parents told you, you believed. You believed because you had the faith of a child. Faith is one of the most important ingredient in any believer’s life. The Bible reminds us that without faith it is impossible to please God. That is why Jesus says in Luke, chapter 18, verse 17:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Why did Jesus use this analogy? Because he knows that children have great faith. It is easy for them to believe in the impossible. How is your faith? Are you able to believe in the impossible? Do you really believe that nothing is impossible with God? Do you believe that when you pray for the miraculous it can, and will, happen? Jesus tells us to believe and not to doubt when we pray. In essence, he is telling us to pray with the faith of a child. It takes great faith to believe in the salvation that Jesus offers. We must first believe in God. We must believe there is a heaven and a hell. And we must believe that sin is real and has real consequences. We must believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, his resurrection from the dead, and the promise of eternal life with him; all this without seeing any of it with our own eyes. But if we have the faith of a child, it isn’t difficult to know that it is all true. I encourage you to have the faith of a child.
I’ve been open about my belief in the danger of teaching a child that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny are real. If you are a parent, or when you become a parent, I would encourage you to heed this warning. A child’s faith is great. They will believe whatever you tell them. So, if you lie to them about fictitious characters, what will happen when you tell them about Jesus? Can a parent really expect a child to know which stories are true and which are false? I believe that these kinds of innocent games can actually erode a child’s faith, especially as they grow older. But if you tell them the truth at the beginning; if you purpose in your heart that you will not lie to them about any such thing, when you tell them the fantastic and scientifically unbelievable story of Jesus, you will never have to later tell them it was a lie. Their faith can grow, not erode. I know many believers think telling their child that Santa Claus is real is harmless. But I encourage you to consider the ramifications of that fantasy. Not only will it crush their little spirits when they learn the truth, but you may have unwittingly planted seeds of doubt that may ultimately affect their very salvation.