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When Your Baby Dies

We’re having a baby!  Nothing feels better than the realization you’re expecting a child.  Sadly, those emotions of joy and excitement can turn to grief and despair when you lose a child.  Nothing is more traumatic and painful than the tragic loss of a child.  After all, kids are supposed to outlive their parents.  This life-altering sorrow changes everything.  How do you cope?  How do you rebuild?  How do you go on? 

Mark 10:13-16 tells us the disciples were upset because parents were bringing their little children to Jesus.  When Jesus saw this, the Bible says He was “ticked” (indignant).  He rebuked them by saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  He took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.  “Jesus loves the little children” isn’t just a cute Sunday School song.  It’s a factual statement about Jesus’ disposition towards kids.  These were little kids who couldn’t run up to Jesus on their own.  He said something very interesting here:  “The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  What a statement!  Jesus said He was giving them Heaven.  In other words:  Heaven is full of kids!  If you don’t like kids, then don’t go to heaven.  It’s full of kids who have died from tragic situations and millions of those murdered in abortions.  Jesus loved kids (Matthew 11:17; 18:6; 21:16). 

I think the Bible proves babies who die are in Heaven with the Lord.  We are all saved by grace through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).  We are all sinners from birth with an inherited sin nature (Romans 5:12; 3:23).  David said in Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”  To be clear, babies do not die because the parent or baby has sinned.  God didn’t take your baby from you to punish you.  They tragically died because we live in a fallen world impacted by sin, since physical and spiritual death were the results of Adam’s original sin (1 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:12).  However, the physical death of this world doesn’t have the final word – Jesus defeated it and sin on the cross to ensure to those who trust in Him an eternity in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:56).  When David faced the death of a sick child (2 Samuel 12) he fasted and prayed for seven days.  After he learned his week-old son had died, he arose, washed up, worshipped, and even ate (2 Samuel 12:20).  This shocked everyone around him.  He wasn’t pretending as though he had not suffered great loss.  He said, “But now that he is dead, why should I fast?  Can I bring him back again?  I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23).  David was confident and comforted in he would meet his son again in heaven.  Even the little ones who did not know good from bad in Deuteronomy 1:39 entered into the Promised Land.  Scripture shows us that babies and young children who pass from this world go to heaven by God’s grace.

While they may miss some of earth’s pleasures like marriage, children, and friendships, they also miss a world full of heartache, hurt, worry, fear, and pain.  Those who die as an infant or young child take a much shorter route to the One in whose presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).  Jesus will hold your children in his arms until you can be reunited with them to hold them yourselves.  God, too, knows the sorrows of losing a Son (John 3:16). 

If you are grieving the loss of a young child, remember you are not alone.  God is with you, you have brothers and sisters in Christ, and friends and family who you can lean on.  God is an ever present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1).  Talk about your child.  When people ask how many kids you have, always mention them as one who has already gone to be with the Lord.  Don’t hurry your recovery and grief.  Get counseling and surround yourself with those who love you, especially during the holidays and your child’s next birthday.  If you are hurting and need someone to listen and care, please contact me.

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Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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