Psalm 8:2 is the famous “out of the mouths of babes” passage of Scripture. The New Living Translations says it this way: “You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.”
It’s true that little ones have a sweet spirit, being more innocent and trusting and uncorrupted by the world. I remember the old show “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” That title sort of reminds me of this verse. We can learn from children if we humble ourselves. Unfortunately they also learn from us, for better or for worse.
When the disciples tried to get the kids to go away, Jesus stopped them and asked for the little children to come unto him. He wanted to teach them, but he also wanted to teach the grownups around them.
When it comes to our bodies and the shame around them, we could learn a thing or two from the innocence of our little ones.
Children love to do joy runs out of the bath, only to be reprimanded by their parents and told they are naked. They learn body shame from us. They are not born with it. While Matthew 18:1-3 extends beyond this point, it’s important to recognize its truth without grown-up preconceived notions. In a fascinating naturist novel, R. B. writes:
Where did you learn that this kind of nakedness was okay?” the girl asked. “I learned it from the Chain Breakers, but I researched it in the Bible,” Josh said. “It’s a tough thing to understand for the adult mind, but if you learn it with the heart of a child, it’s easy and it makes perfect sense.” “But we can’t go back to having the heart of a child,” the girl said. “You can,” Josh said. “If you put to death the sinful nature, the heart of a child is what’s left. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 that unless you’re converted and become as little children, you won’t go to heaven. Whoever humbles themselves like a little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.1
Chad W. Thompson says, “Toddlers know what it means to be, just like Adam and Eve before the fall, nude and unashamed. But at some point in their development all toddlers … begin to learn the lesson that nudity has a proper and improper context. Just as in the Garden, someone will tell them they are naked.”2 The point is if innocence is lost, it can be regained in surprising fashion. I’m not claiming to be perfect—that would be foolish. However, a struggle I thought I’d always live with is gone, and my innocence in that area has been restored. The world may not be very interested in innocence, but we are to be in the world, not of the world. The pornographic mindset and the prudish one are really one and the same. They both see the body through the same lens.
We previously made a video out of David L. Hatton’s brilliant poem, “Christians and Nakedness.” Here’s a brief stanza:
It’s true we make exceptions for toddlers full of glee
Who run around in pure delight, stark naked, clothing-free.
But those who rediscover this liberty so clean
Are called, when they come back to it, “perverted and obscene.”3
I’m all for “coming back” to a place of innocence, and letting God restore what’s been lost, damaged, or even broken in me. That’s what the last few years has been all about. That’s the plea of Aching For Eden. It’s not too far-fetched. It’s been our reality.
There is a deleted scene from the Brady Bunch where the kids run into some skinny dipping nudists neighbors, and Alice gives them a talking to. It’s a great little scene that depicts the wisdom that can come out of the mouths of babes:
1. R. B. Mears, Chain Breakers: A Novel About The Naked Truth (R. B. Mears) Kindle, 362.
2. Chad W. Thompson, That Famous Fig Leaf: Uncovering the Holiness of Our Bodies (Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers) Kindle,37.
3. David L. Hatton, Poems Between Birth and Resurrection (David L. Hatton) Kindle, 58-61.
4 thoughts on “Out of the Mouths of Babes”
Simple truths simply illustrated are often the most profound!
Another excellent article! Thanks!
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True words! We would do well to endeavor to regain that childlike innocence.
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So sad that this clear, innocent thinking is foreign to so many people. It even angers many! God is working on this site.
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