Having been a Christian since childhood, I have read/heard about the above bible verse numerous times, without actually understanding what it meant. I know that every child is a gift from God, carefully crafted by His amazing hands according to His own image, so every child has to be good right?
Before becoming a father, I could not really grasp this concept. I did not have a younger sibling, so had no experience with babies. The children I knew were either around the same age as me or were my brother's friends (much older), and by the time I remembered anything, we were squabbling, fighting and talking bad about each other already (haha!), so it was impossible for me to believe that every child deserves to go to Heaven. In fact I could have secretly wished some of them went the other way instead *snigger*!
However, age and fatherhood has completely changed my perception of this verse. Perfection is, to me, no longer equivalent to getting full marks in exams or earning a certain gazillion dollars a month. It's more about the heart and soul of the person than how well he reacts to this superficial world where we are measured by invisible scales created by what we know as 'society'.
|Noah sporting his flawless complexion|
External perfection is temporary, but everyone, especially ladies (and more and more so, men like myself) are obsessed with looking young and beautiful for as long as possible. I only have to turn and look at Noah playing with his toy on the bed to understand the ultimate aim of the glut of costly cosmetic and skincare products/procedures in the market.
Babies have flawless skin, shimmering bright eyes, fresh breath all day and look vibrant the moment they wake up in the morning. Most of us are actually trying our best to look like one all over again without even realizing it!
More importantly, babies are completely pure and blemish-free on the inside. They are born with nothing. They do not possess graduation certificates, careers, material belongings, fame nor fortune. They cry for food/when in distress, sleep when tired, laugh when happy, enjoys feeling loved and want absolutely nothing more. Maybe this is the definition of perfection, the kind of perfection that God would love to welcome into his dwelling up there, the kind of perfection that I can only understand after holding a tiny baby in my arms.
|Happy and satisfied Noah|
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
Indeed, this world is full of negative influences, especially with the rapid advancement of social media and ease of access to the internet. Our children are like blank white pieces of paper that will inevitably be written on incessantly throughout their lives. Sometimes, I feel that we are all born perfect, only to degrade at different rates (mentally and of course physically) until we finally die.
As parents, we have been blessed with the privilege to make a positive impact to our children's lives, to steer them in the right path as they embark on their adventures, and to become their dock of support when they need rest.
Our children's initial perfection will not last, but let's maximize this privilege we have and bring them up to become blessings and joy to everyone around them.