Our Children Need a Lamb who Roars

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It may be that my memory is already greatly impaired, but the only song I recall from my early Sunday school years is “Jesus Loves Me.” Another memory is a picture on the wall of Jesus welcoming the children. Jesus…tender, loving, gentle. All true. However, this left an impression that Jesus was like a nice, cuddly teddy bear (or, a cute little lamb). For a while, that was enough to keep me interested in Him, but as I grew older, teddy bears became lame and boring…and so did Jesus.

This is one reason I really resonated with this article by Tony Reinke, “Stop Apologizing for God.” Here is one of the points he makes:

The living God of the Old Testament roars like a lion (Isaiah 31:4; Jeremiah 25:30; Hosea 11:10; Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2).

The living God of the New Testament is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5).

As Michael Horton says, “Nobody today seems to think that God is dangerous. And that is itself a dangerous oversight.”

It’s dangerous because before we yawn at God, we must first replace the majestic, holy, awesome Tiger of Scripture with a domesticated kitten, conformed to the standards of the world, measured by the yardstick of political correctness. Who wants a God who roars, who threatens, who judges? Why not rather fashion a god in our taste—a friendly god we can pet, leash, and export for popular appeal?

I think that there is a tendency–however well intentioned–to give children a tame and “cuddly” version of God. We highlight Jesus as the Lamb of God, and that is right and good. But sometimes we fail to emphasize that He is also a dangerous lion, someone who is not to be treated lightly. A cuddly version of God may draw our children in at first, but ultimately it will leave them longing for something truly worthy of their greatest love, obedience, honor, and worship. I hope and pray that we might pass on to the next generations the truth of the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah.

(Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Children Desiring God.

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