This question has been stirring in me the last few days. I’ve thought about it before but it’s really been on my mind lately.
Why did God make children to be so playful. Think about it. Children LOVE to play. They live and breathe playtime. It nourishes them, challenges them, inspires them…the list goes on. So as I’m pondering this question I’m wondering what God’s purpose was for that. What is the reason for God’s design in children to be so playful?
Have you ever seen a child, perhaps your own, be in a bad mood and as soon as you get a new toy or a ball in front of them they light up? Especially if you engage and play with them! They love to play with others. Like, I want to be that playful. Maybe you’re like me and you don’t even remember the time in your life when you were as playful as a child. Or maybe you aren’t and you’re like “hey, I still feel like a child most days!” If that’s the case then why do you think some adults can still be playful like a child and some can’t?
Something that’s obvious to me is that children don’t have problems with trust and worry. Generally speaking that is.
Children generally don’t think “oh man when am I going to have my next meal,” or “Am I going to have enough money to even purchase my next meal.” They definitely don’t usually think, “Do my parents love me?” “Can I trust my mom or dad to feed me or to clothe me?” In a healthy circumstance, these aren’t thoughts that consume a child. Therefore they are able to just be a kid! They’re able to play without a care in the world.
Think about the game hide and seek. Kids LOVE that game. It’s funny because as a little one or two year old their length of time hiding is average about two seconds, if that. And we laugh about it and begin to teach them that to play the game well you have to be quiet and still, keeping yourself out of sight, until they begin to stay hidden for longer times. But here’s the thing. Kids love to play hide and seek because they love to be found! The highlight of the game is when they are found. Their face brightens up to pure joy. In fact, you can probably picture your child doing that right now as you read this. If we never taught them how to hide better, they’d probably still be “lousy” hiders.
There’s something to truth here though.
The more we grow up, the better we become at hiding. We hide from our sin, we hide from pain, we hide from the Lord, and we hide from others. Heck we even hide from ourselves. We know that sin separates us from our Heavenly Father but it’s the enemy that brings shame which causes us to hide. The Lord would want us to be like kids and desire to be found—even after doing wrong.
I just can’t help but wonder if God’s design in children to be playful and also desiring to be found was actually meant to be the same design in an adult. Why would he want it for a child but then not for an adult.
There are so many things in life we can learn from our children. Or better yet unlearn.