November 4, 2022

Children and Suffering

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me—Matthew 19:14   

For Insight

Like most, I have a soft spot when it comes to children and suffering. I hate to see children suffer. There are several tv commercials that grip my heart every time I see them. Sick children, homeless children, hungry children, these are almost too much to bear even at a distance. As grandparents my husband and I would do anything we can to spare our grandchildren from suffering. We know we cannot save them from every suffering and trial they will experience in their lifetime—and many have suffered a great deal, already in their life—but the experiences they have where we can be of any help, we are quick to respond.

Jesus said, “suffer the little children to come to me.” He was not implying that we should participate or cause little ones to suffer in the way we may think of suffering. We are not to cause them pain or grief or initiate their suffering. But suffer them: help them to know him as we know him. Lead them to Christ knowing they will have a special vulnerability and receptivity to him.

During Jesus’s time on earth children were a population that was often overlooked and disregarded, especially in matters of faith. But like adults, children have vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and experience suffering; they need Jesus just like—if not more than—adults. Children need our warmth, understanding, consideration, and compassion just as we need the warmth, understanding, consideration, and compassion of Christ when we are suffering.  

Life Lesson

Suffering children should touch us, break our hearts, soften us, cause us to bend to them and extend our help. When we help, assist, and console the suffering child we are begin Christ in their life. This is pleasing to God.


Father, children suffer in this lifetime, and it breaks our heart. We know we cannot save them from every suffering but when we can help us to become the hand and presence of Christ in their life for this is pleasing to you. Amen            

Digging Deeper

Read Mark 10:13-15

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