Innocence is something that is a word that is descriptive of a little baby, a child. Innocence doesn’t mean “flawless,” and it certainly doesn’t mean “good.” Innocence means “packed with potential.” A person with innocence is not what you would call by definition “good,” but rather very much filled with potential. It’s like a rock on a ledge. There is potential energy empowering a kinetic energy, and with one little nudge it’s going to fall. The distance from the top of the cliff to the ground is the potential energy. It’s not moving, and yet there is tremendous power with a boulder on top of the ledge. There is no motion, but tremendous power. One little touch, and it can roll over and destroy a truck.
That’s the way it is with a baby or a young child. They are “innocent.” They are latent, pregnant with power, yet not necessarily for the good and not necessarily for the evil. And that’s where child-rearing comes into play. We are accountable, responsible, to channel that towards the good for God’s glory. We are surrogate parents. We are replacing the Father of their spirits for a season. As they are conceived… as God brings them into the universe… as He blows a breath of His air and His Spirit into the womb—what was once a chemical situation now becomes life, a child. That’s a miracle of God. Our responsibility as parents is to channel that innocence into life with their true Father.
My daughter often says to me, “You are my second favorite daddy in the whole world.” She knows that her true Father is in heaven. She told her mother last week, “You are my favorite mommy in the whole world, but Daddy is my second favorite daddy.” Taken at face value you wouldn’t maybe know how to interpret that. : ) But what she was saying was that she knows who her temporary father is, a father of her flesh, and who her forever heavenly Father is. My job is to present her perfect in Christ to her true Father.
We are to raise children for Him, not simply “rear children.” That’s an important distinction. We need to get it in our heads that this isn’t just a normal thing of life. “The rain falls on the just and the unjust. People get pregnant, have babies, and get a job. You have this struggle and that struggle. Some people have migraines. Some people have children. Some people have both. That’s just the way it is.” No Way! It truly is a blessing and an intention by God to bring a child into the world.
A child is packed with potential, and as Jesus said, “Woe to him through whom sin comes.” Sin must come, but woe, curses on him through whom it comes. Jesus is aware of the latent potential energy and life in any young child. He knows of the innocence and potential, so it is a serious matter that we CONSIDER our responsibility to raise our children for the King. We are accountable to God for how we “raise” them.