The Holy Bible holds more than a few gems about the value of our little ones and how we should raise them. Even if you don’t believe in God or religion, you’ll find most of these verses are less about religious doctrine and more about having the proper perspective as a parent, viewing children as the gift they are. If you are a believer (and have never encountered these verses before), you’ll delight in knowing that the Lord’s thoughts about your children are as precious as yours; if not more so.
Now let’s dive in:
1. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5
Those familiar with Christianity will probably already be familiar with Jeremiah 1:5. It’s usually one of the first bible verses anyone brings up when it comes to babies; and for good reason. It displays the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God over the life of a child in a single sentence. I formed you tells us God had a direct involvement in the shaping of our bodies, and I knew you implies not only a relationship between one Person and another, but intimacy. Looking at the entire verse in the context of God speaking to the prophet Jeremiah confirms these ideas: “Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Most people leave off that part of verse five so it can be applied generally (which it can because ‘God has no favorites’ Romans 2:11) but including it shows God was both aware of and involved with Jeremiah’s destiny as a prophet to Israel. So, according to Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord knew your LO before they were born, was directly involved with their creation, and had a life picked out for them that only they could live.
2. “Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him.” Psalms 127:3
As one who never wanted children (literally born with zero desire), this verse is exceptionally special to me now that I have two. Having kids was something other people did, people who didn’t want to live their lives as freely as I did. I even married a woman who couldn’t get pregnant. Then, she miraculously did, and long story short, we now have two daughters close in age. When they’re screaming, fighting, and keeping me up all night, it’s hard to think of my girls as a gift, but it’s the truth. They’re the best gift I’ve ever gotten. They bring me more joy and happiness than anything else, which God knew when He allowed me to have them. Some translations also exchange the word gift for heritage, as in inheritance, children are an inheritance from the Lord. The idea seems to me as though God, the Father and Creator of all, has deemed anyone having children as following in His footsteps.
3. “For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart.” 1 Samuel 1:27
These were the words spoken by Hannah to the priest Eli. Hannah was barren for years and prayed earnestly for a child, promising to give him back to God as a servant. God answered her prayer, and after her son was weaned, she took him to the Temple, and he served the priest Eli until he grew up to become the prophet Samuel. Infertile women becoming pregnant and having exceptional children is a recurring story in the Bible (Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth). While this verse is often used generally to express the desires of motherhood, knowing it came from a woman who struggled with infertility makes it even more poignant to me.
4. “You have taught children and infants to give you praise . . .” Psalm 8:2
Here we have another verse that is often used incompletely, with the rest being: “…that you may silence your enemies and all who oppose you.” This is taken to have a number of meanings, from Jesus Himself referencing this verse to defend children praising him to the Pharisees, to the effect of compassion the sound of crying baby has on most people. Regardless, this verse is yet another reminder that the Lord is close to our children, setting their hearts and minds on Him naturally.
5. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
There’s a ton you can unpack from this one little sentence. To train up anyone or anything, even a puppy, requires time and effort from the trainer. The more the trainer invests themselves in the trainee, the better off they’ll be. The way he should go implies specifics, the parent should know their child well enough to understand their individual talents and pitfalls, so they can carefully guide them onto the most productive life path. When he is old he will not depart from it is simple enough, what happens to us in our youth affects us when we’re older. Good seeds bring good fruit, but bad seed can be sown as well.
6. “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24
The book of Proverbs is filled with similar phrases regarding the discipline of children. Many use this verse to justify spanking, but that’s not why I included it. I chose it because it equates parental love with discipline. To discipline a disobedient child is to love them. In your home, you are the authority that your children live under, as you yourself live under the authority of law that governs society. If you let your kids resist your authority without consequences, they’ll be more likely resist the authority of law as they grow older (with consequences), because you’ve taught them they can get away with it. You’re setting them up for a lifetime of trouble, and there’s nothing loving about that.
7. “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.” Matthew 18:10
This subject of this verse can be debated. ‘Little ones’ could refer to children, new believers with childlike qualities, or even the unsaved. Regardless, it’s clear Jesus’s focus was on the nature of childhood. From the beginning of verse eighteen, he spoke repeatedly about it, “Jesus called a little child to Him and set him in the midst of them,” and “unless you are converted and become as little children,” and “whoever receives one little child like this in my name receives Me.” It’s easy for us to dismiss children, see them as a burden or bother, but Jesus never saw them that way. The qualities He most treasured—innocence, love, and trust—are demonstrated in children. We would all do well to emulate them regularly.
8. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
With so many of the verses above written about children, I wanted to include at least one written to them. Childhood obedience comes from a simple place in God’s perspective. The family dynamic on Earth reflects the relational dynamic between people and God. As children show love and honor by being obedient to their parents, we show God honor and love by being obedient to Him. Honoring can mean different things: to prize highly, glorify, exalt, value. Some of us are born to people we’d rather not honor, who themselves live dishonorable, shameful lives. Despite this, we wouldn’t be alive without them. I believe God is asking us to respect our parents for their part in bringing us into the world, for granting us the opportunity to experience life with all its joys and sorrows. In this way, we honor the Creator God, who gave life to everything.
9. “A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.” Proverbs 10:1
Today, it seems like we often shield children from responsibility. Bad behavior and a lack of effort are quickly excused, “They’re just kids,” we say. But children are nothing more than small, developing people. They can be wise or foolish, clever or dumb. I firmly believe allowing our LO’s to have some responsibility, to have opportunities to be wise or foolish, helps them develop into complete adults more effectively. It also seems to help with their confidence. If you continually treat a child like a child, you’re essentially saying you don’t trust them. Trust your child. Let them have a few opportunities to make decisions while they’re under your roof, so you can praise the good and mitigate the bad.
10. “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
This comes from a similar vein as number seven, Jesus wanting His followers to be childlike in nature, but the first part always resonates with me. Let the children come to me was a response from Jesus to His disciples who were trying to stop parents from bringing their children to Jesus so He could pray for them and bless them. The disciples saw it as bothering Jesus, but there’s a beautiful picture of selfless parenting here. Imagine you’re a parent in Jesus’s time. You hear there’s a man near your town claiming to be the Messiah, God Almighty in the Flesh, and based on everything He’s been doing, His claims could be true. You have an opportunity to see God, to ask Him questions, ask for healing, anything! But instead, your mind goes straight to your child. Oh, if only I can Him to bless my son! If only I could have Him pray for my daughter’s future! That kind of selflessness heals the world and is close to God’s Heart. This verse also reminds us not to shield children from biblical concepts and teaching. I’ve heard some parents say they want their children to be older before they talk about religion with them, thinking they won’t understand, but Deuteronomy 11:18-19 says, “Commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine . . . Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” God expects us to discuss Him, His laws, and principles with our children, even while they’re young. After all, if the Lord Himself has taught children and infants to give Him praise, shouldn’t we do the same?
11. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:14
This one might seem self-explanatory at first. Are you a highly critical parent? Do you pounce on every mistake and never acclaim your child’s virtues? Do you tell your kids you love them regularly, and more importantly, show them with your actions? Being loving and nurturing comes easy to some parents, but for some it’s a bit harder. Those that lead hectic lives, for example, might often see their children as a distraction, only focusing on them when things go wrong. Continual chastisement, whether just or unjust, is enough to provoke anyone. Colossians 3:21 also says that doing this can lead to discouragement. You can literally provoke your children until they ‘give up hope’. But notice the last part of the verse, “bring them up with discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Paul is saying we should discipline and instruct our children in the Lord’s way, the same way He disciplines and instructs us. And what are the characteristics of God’s instruction and discipline? It’s always right, always loving, and always what’s best for us.
12. “For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16
I know this verse was written to adult believers, but as I mentioned earlier, I believe the parent-child relationship reflects the relationship between God and humanity. As children are to parents, so people are to God (see 1 John 3:1, Romans 8:15). He created all of us and desires our love and obedience. He’s the Shepherd that leaves ninety-nine sheep to go search for the one that is lost, then rejoices when he finds it, not willing that “…even one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14). He’s the Father standing watch, waiting to see His prodigal son a long way off, and running to meet him (Luke 15:11-31). God is incredibly specific about how we should care for our children, because He is incredibly specific about how He cares for us. “When you give them Your breath, life is created…” Psalm 104:30. As children depend on us for nourishment and protection, so we depend on God for our very lives. He loves and cares for everyone, even those who don’t believe (Matthew 5:45). God is infinitely powerful, all-knowing, He needs nothing to survive, to be happy, He simply is Perfect then, now, and forever. And yet He continually gives Himself to us, gives His breath so we can live, gives His heart to our pain (Judges 10:16), and gives His Son for our sin (John 3:16). We are to do the same for our children. To love them unconditionally, to sacrifice our time and resources for their well-being, and to teach them everything they need to know to be healthy, capable adults—just as God has done for us.
If you’ve been inspired by Adam’s wonderful article about children’s Bible verses then you’re sure to love our Bible Verse Baby Quilt. It makes a gorgeous gift which will become a treasured keepsake. Have a look at our product page here.
We hope you’ve found these Bible Verses about babies and children inspiring and meaningful.
Do you have a different interpretation on these verses? We’d love to hear your views. Please comment below.
Or maybe you have some other verses you’d like to add to our list please drop us a comment.