Evidence that Children and Short Lives Matter

Last week when I wrote about the words  EXCEPT and CONTINUE HERE , I mentioned an evil king of Israel named Jeroboam who continued to sin throughout his entire reign.

Bad news for Jeroboam

When Jeroboam’s young son, Abijah, became very sick, Jeroboam sent his wife to a prophet named Ahijah at Shiloh to find out “what will happen to the boy.” In that meeting, the prophet delivered a message to Jeroboam’s wife so she could tell her husband. It was all bad news. The prophet said, …you have not been like my servant David, who obeyed my commands and followed me with all his heart and always did whatever I wanted. You have done more evil than all who lived before you….I will bring disaster on your dynasty and will destroy every one of your male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel. I will burn up your royal dynasty as one burns up trash until it is gone. (1 Kings 14:3, 8-10 portions, NLT) Yikes! Utter destruction of royalty in the family line.

What about the child?

Then the prophet Ahijah said to Jeroboam’s wife, “Go on home, and when you enter the city, the child will die. All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only member of your family who will have a proper burial, for this child is the only good thing that the LORD, the God of Israel, sees in the entire family of Jeroboam. (1 Kings 14:12, NLT)

The child dies.

I am struck by the truth that God clearly has a more expansive view of the value of this child’s life (and ours). Even a short life of suffering has incredible value.**** This child never reigned as king like his father, never grew to be a man, never married and fathered children, never contributed “meaningfully” to the world, yet he is the only good thing that the LORD sees in the entire family of Jeroboam.

Children really matter!

Our significance is not connected to our age or accomplishments. A child’s faith is just as significant as an adults’ and maybe even more. Let’s not dismiss children because “we are older.” This is a reminder that only God knows the best part of our family lines, and it may be a child that does not live long. I am extremely sensitive to anyone treating a child as “less than” (though I have undoubtedly done so myself). This week’s verse does nothing by ramp up my commitment to treat children with the esteem they deserve.


  • Be nice to children like Jesus was.

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (Matthew 19:14)

  • Understand a child’s faith is just as important as and adults, and maybe even more.

Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

  • Even if a child dies, their life mattered and was seen and valued by God.

****The death of any child is grievous. My heart breaks with any parent who watches their child suffer or die at a young age. God promises to stay close to the brokenhearted: The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) The focus of this post is to highlight the high esteem God has for every child.

Picture Explanation: We love to watch our children grow up and watch their purpose unfold as they find their way. Let’s remember this week that these little ones already have full purpose. May we all strive to have faith as little children and never stop children from coming to us.

© 2022 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.


2 Responses

  1. Hi, Friend. This was a great post, and I loved seeing the photos of your children whom I have known for many, many years. Such good memories visiting with you, your hubby, and the children in past years!

    As I write this, I pray that you and all of your readers, including myself, will do better at loving children even when it is not convenient, and it costs us.

    They are vulnerable, and God calls us to love, kindness, and mercy.

    1. Yes, may we love children well as playing a key role in history no matter their age. Thanks for all the prayers for my family over the years.

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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